Online Parent Support Chat

22.8.09

He is disrespectful and unappreciative of anything that is done for him...

I am the girlfriend of a man that has a 17 year old son. My boyfriend is his biological father, Josh was raised by his mother and her now ex husband. His mother remarried a very young man 4 years ago, whom Josh fought with so bad that he had to move out of his mother’s home and live with his step dad. His step dad has recently been remarried. Mark (his father, my boyfriend) has been an every other weekend father for the duration of our relationship with the exception of a 6 month time frame when Josh lived with him because he was failing in school and his mother could not get him to do any of his school work.

Josh does not get angry, he does not react to you, he just simply refuses to do it. He just tells you no and he will not do it. I am not talking about little things like putting his dishes away or picking up after himself. He will do that if you ask. When is comes to school work, he does just barely enough to get by after hours of coaxing and arguing, if you have to work in the yard or you are working on a project, or he goes to work with his dad to earn some gas money for his car, you have to push him through every step, pick up the shovel, put the dirt in the hole, it is absolutely ridiculous the amount of energy you must expel just to get him to do anything physical. He walks off, you have to go find him and get him back on task. If you yell at him he laughs at you because you are so beside yourself that you can get no response from him that you have resorted to yelling and screaming, I think he gets a kick out of how hard we try to make him. We have tried to just leave him behind if he is not willing to come along and be helpful. He is stone cold. I think this child has some very serious emotional and social issues and we are looking for someplace to start.

He has had some counseling, he does very poorly in school, he is socially retarded when it comes to dealing with any adults. When he arrives on the weekends he doesn't even say hello. You have to get his attention and stand in front of him and make eye contact to get a response as simple as hello.

We have tried talking to him about his defiance, his disrespect. He just tells you he doesn't know why, he just knows that nobody is going to make him do anything he doesn't want to do. Josh does not interact with anyone but small children. If there are people around us, he only talks to or deals with the very small kids, he has no interest in the kids ages 12 or older unless it is a teenage girl. Then of course he follows her around, but doesn't engage in any conversation. I have had several of my nieces say that he makes them uncomfortable because he doesn't say anything unless they do and then only answers with yes or no or a shrug of the shoulders. Every once in a while he will actually sit around and talk with us, but those situations are few and far between.

Today was the last straw. Mark and Josh were going off to work, Mark asked Josh to bring the ice chest, he said "he was too sore to pick it up, you carry it" and no matter what was said, calmly at first then escalated into yelling, he would not pick it up and take it to the truck, he walked away got in the truck and did not pick up the ice chest. Marks comment was, well this is going to be a great day. He knew what he was in for because Josh had already made up his mind that he was not going to be cooperative. Mark is not an impatient or angry person, he asks he does not tell, he always says thank you when Josh is helpful, Mark provides for him, anything that he needs, gas money, clothes, things for school, a computer, a cell phone, . This child has everything. But he is disrespectful and unappreciative of anything that is done for him or provided for him, he has the attitude that he has a right to all of these things. For years we have tried taking away the phone, the computer etc. He just doesn't care or he finds where it is hidden and gets it out when we are not at home. I am sure you have heard all of these stories before, at least he isn’t doing drugs or drinking or any of that.

Out-of-Control Teen

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