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Sneaky and defiant teenage son


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#1 dessiesgirl

Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:17 PM

DS has just turned 15. He is generally a pretty good kid, but lately has become quite sneaky.

We have a rule about no electronics in the kids rooms after 9:30 - I have caught him a few times sneaking his Ipod upstairs, "accidentally" forgetting to take his phone down. Last term I realised when I checked my own FB a/c he had been up till midnight, the night before a maths exam, chatting on FB.


He lies about silly things, - in the recent holidays I rang home from work one morning about 10:30 and was chatting to him - asked if he had had brekky yet, and he said he had. Found out later he hadn't. No big deal, but why lie about it? And he won't admit it, just makes up more and more ludicrous lies to cover himself.


We gave him a new smartphone a few weeks ago, and I found porn sites typed into the browser. Apparently that was a virus. We took the phone off him and said he would have to show us some committment to being more responsible and honest before he could have it back.


This morning I noticed he wasn't wearing his proper uniform school socks - he said he had none in his drawer. I checked - he did, so I made him wear them. When I asked where his other socks were, he had put his school socks on over the non-uniform ones, and was planning to change on the train! Again, not a big deal in the scheme of things but why?


I'm wondering if I am too strict, and I should just let him have a win on some of the smaller stuff, like the socks. it just goes against the grain for me to be seeing to condone him breaking the school rules.

When I try to discuss the terms DH and I feel are fair in order for him to get his phone back, he becomes quite arrogant, and smart with me, and I don't feel like rewarding that behaviour.


Any ideas?

#2 MintyBiscuit

Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:44 PM

I don't have a teenage son, but I know when I was around that age (actually from around 12/13) I would do silly little things to be defiant, mainly because I knew I wouldn't get away with the big stuff. Really petty stuff like my parents making me wear the school hat to school when no one else did, so it "fell" on the train tracks; slight changes to school uniform (ours was strict); telling little white lies.

A lot of the lying was really to test my parents and see if they would catch me out - I think I was trying to figure out if I could get the big stuff past them wink.gif Sadly my dad's BS detector was too good so I rarely got away with anything, but with those little things my parents also wouldn't come down too hard on me - only if I messed up on the big stuff.

I know a lot of my friends at that age were similar, but all in all we were good kids and never got into any real trouble (I waited until I left school and home). Maybe he's just pushing boundaries?

Probably not a lot of help, sorry. Reading it just rang very true of things I did when I was a teenager

#3 Dettol

Posted 04 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

Isn't that normal 15yo behaviour?

Hes 15yo he can work out if hes hungry enough to have breakfast or not.  He no doubt said yes becuase it is easier than hearing his mother nag him about it.  If hes hungry he will eat if hes not he wont.

'This morning I noticed he wasn't wearing his proper uniform school socks - he said he had none in his drawer. I checked - he did, so I made him wear them. When I asked where his other socks were, he had put his school socks on over the non-uniform ones, and was planning to change on the train! Again, not a big deal in the scheme of things but why?'  Let him wear what ever socks he wants and let him suffer the consequences.  He is old enough to work that out for himself.

Re the phone he was probably embarrassed as all get out that you found out what he was looking up on his phone.  Hence the arrogant attitude.

#4 BadgerBasher

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:04 PM

Seriously?
Lighten up! He's old enough to know if he wants breakfast, the consequences (if any) of wearing the "wrong" socks and uhm, his hormones are raging.

Give him (and you) a break.

#5 julz78

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:06 PM

I wonder if he is just trying to fit in? At his age he is more influenced by his peers than his parents and trying to fit in with his peers is going to be higher on his list of priorities than fitting in with the expectations of his parent. His friends probably all have facebook and are up on it all night, teenage boys look at porn and it might be dorky to wear school socks.

I think it probably wouldn't hurt to ease up on things like socks, if the school is uber strict on socks he will find himself being disciplined by the school for his non compliance, let them deal with it. If they aren't strict on it well it doesn't really matter then does it? I wouldn't nag him about breakfast either, at 15 years old its his decsion as to whether he wants to eat breakky, he will be the one getting hungry.

You have set rules about no electronics in rooms after 9.30, stick to it, don't let him forget. Come 9.30 have a set spot where the electronic items are to go and make sure they are there. If they aren't make him bring them out. If he is still being defiant he needs to learn that thinsg like a smartphone are a privelege not a right. Change the wifi password if you have wifi or disconnect his phone. Show him you mean business.

As for the porn I don't know, boys will be boys I guess I don;t know how to deal with this one. If he hasn't already he will soon figure out how to hide his browsing history.

#6 Catbiscuit

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:07 PM

Sounds like he is a good kid who doesn't want to get in trouble but at the same time he feels he is old enough to start making some decisions for himself. Hence, he makes his own decisions and then lies about it to you.

To discourage this behaviour I would recommend you negotiate outcomes with him and be honest. For example, the porn thing. He is trying to explore his sexuality which is normal & healthy but you have punished him for a fairly mild transgression (which young boys have been doing since time began probably). Perhaps you could talk to him about how you understand he has questions but that porn is not a healthy expression of sexuality, that he cannot expect that kind of performance from actual women, that porn sites host computer viruses (segue into a related discussion about safer sex), why it is harmful, etc.

The arrogance and snarkiness is unfortunately part of the peculiar charm of teenagers. Tell him his attitude is unacceptable and enforce respect. Expect sullenness in return.

Facebook is a colossal waste of time but it is important to teenagers. How long has this 9.30pm rule been in place? Maybe you could extend it to 10pm and then review an extension every three months depending on school grades and general behaviour. Or chores. If you are being reasonable and set clear negotiated boundaries WITH him, he will be more likely to stick to them and also to trust you to treat him like an adult and to trust your advice.

I don't get the thing with the socks? What is the big deal? If he goes to school with the wrong socks and gets in trouble, let him deal with the consequences! If the school calls you, tell them to give him detention. You aren't condoning his behaviour, you are gifting him the experience of dealing with the consequences of his actions when the consequences are still very minor.

What happens later when he is faced with actual sex and drugs and alcohol and dangerous driving behaviours? If he feels he cannot trust you to be on his side instead of just punishing him or coming down on him like a tonne of bricks about every little thing, the lying and sneaking will get worse and he will get himself in a lot of trouble.

My advice is (within clear boundaries) to talk to him like he is a grown up, give him your best advice and let him test out some of his own decisions. When he gets into trouble (and he will because that is what is meant to happen no matter how hard it is for you to watch) he can trust you enough to come for advice and help. This doesn't mean he has carte blanche to go wild, but a little freedom goes a long way to combating anti-social behaviours.

Edited by Catbiscuit, 04 May 2012 - 02:10 PM.


#7 Magenta Ambrosia

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:11 PM

QUOTE (Dettol @ 04/05/2012, 02:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Let him wear what ever socks he wants and let him suffer the consequences.  He is old enough to work that out for himself.

Re the phone he was probably embarrassed as all get out that you found out what he was looking up on his phone.  Hence the arrogant attitude.


I agree.

He's at an age where he needs to learn his own consequences. Pick your battles. They lying should be dealt with, but what he eats and wears is really his issue at that age. If he gets detention for not following uniform rules that's his problem.

Taking the phone is a consequence of breaking house rules and pornography laws - that is fine.
Best way to handle it is to sit down with him and your DH and come up with guidelines with rewards and consequences for behavior. This was if he chooses the behavior he's choosing the consequence and you don't need to think of a punishment on the spot.

#8 Guest_tigerdog_*

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:12 PM

QUOTE
What happens later when he is faced with actual sex and drugs and alcohol and dangerous driving behaviours?


This.  I'd be choosing my battles.  I had purple hair and piercings when I was 18, my mother was onto me about it all the time yet I never drank until I was over 20 and have never touched drugs in my life or smoked a cigarette.  Meh.

#9 JustBeige

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:13 PM

pick your battles.

Food - meh, he can starve or he can eat.  He has 2 arms and a brain and can throw something together.

Socks - It would annoy me (due to the rules thing) BUT I would (and have) shut up and just let them take whatever consequence the school decides to dish out.    If the teacher spoke to me about them, I would be giving my permission for the school to be taking whatever steps they felt necessary regarding his continued defiance of the dress code.

Electronic equipment - this would be a no negotiation thing with us.  We will not let them have anything bar a clock in their rooms and they know it.  they dont like it, but we are consistent and they just suck it up and deal with it.

Another thing, try and remember its OK for him to negotiate or push.  let him 'win' some things.    Learning how to put your POV across and negotiate without exploding is a very valuable skill.

#10 bark

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:13 PM

If these minor things are what is concerning, I really would consider yourself lucky. I think he sounds a great kid, maybe stop asking him too many questions and think of him as pretty responsible.

#11 Rumour has it..

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:14 PM

I dont think he is being overly sneaky or defiant at all he is being a teenager who doesnt like that he is being treated like a child more than the young adult he is - just my thoughts.

I thought it was gonna be a post on a 15yr old, drinking, smoking & partying. Not about the fact he lied about having breakfast shrug.gif

Edited by Rumour has it.., 04 May 2012 - 02:16 PM.


#12 MsDemeanor

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:18 PM

I have a nearly 15 year old daughter who is pretty good, doesn't really do any of those things, but then I don't enforce the rules as strictly and as a result she is open and honest with me.

Sounds like VERY normal teenage behaviour.
Socks, breakfast - meh

I would be stricter on the no FB etc of a night, possibly slightly later though?

And the porn? hard to limit if he has a smartphone. He is naturally going to be curious and with the smartphones the world is their oyster.

#13 amabanana

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:20 PM

If that's all the problems I have when my girls are teenagers I will consider myself lucky.  His behaviour might be annoying to you but he's not hurting himself or others.

#14 CountryFeral

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE (Rumour has it.. @ 04/05/2012, 02:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I dont think he is being overly sneaky or defiant at all he is being a teenager who doesnt like that he is being treated like a child more than the young adult he is.


I think I agree with this.

I was a high school teacher for many years - teenagers are wobbling out there with their training wheels on attempting to become adults. And they can be rather unpleasant while this learning phase is in action compared to the sweet little children they once were.

By testing and ignoring your rules he is trying to assert his ideas of what he can and can't do.

You need to let him make some mistakes - like cop the school punishment for being out of uniform sockwise - so that he can learn what is worth doing and what isn't.

He is looking for some 'control' of his own life.. if he eats breakfast or if he doesn't when you are not there is really HIS business. Not yours.

Try and keep the lines of communication open - over reacting to the little things instead of viewing it as a chance to maybe renegotiate some 'rules' that acknowledge he is growing up won't help.

You want him to feel comfortable to be able to talk to you or his Dad when there are big important issues without fear of you dismissing or punishing him for his actions or questions.



#15 eachschoolholidays

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:27 PM

Sounds like most of the teenagers I teach

#16 Mummy Duck

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:37 PM

We have a Fritzbox (modem router) best invention ever and no more confilct over the internet.

Basically it turns the internet on and off all the devices in your house. You can also say how long they can use internet on the device. Plus you can block sites like say facebook during homework time if you want.

It works so well for us. We know the boys cant get on the internet after its bed time. No having to take devices. Its brilliant.

I disagree about the battles in a few early posts. Honesty is a huge thing and if they think they can lie about little things they will lie about bigger things.

#17 TwiceThe Woman

Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:37 PM

^^^I second what JustBeige & CountryMel just wrote grin.gif
Pull back - you're a little too controlling.  Let him make some (even bad) decisions.
Allow him to evolve into an adult (with all the mistakes along the way) and try to refrain from treating him in such a child like way.
He's not feeling respected, so feels it's hard to feel that about you.

Edited by TwiceThe Woman, 04 May 2012 - 02:39 PM.


#18 Mummy Duck

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:03 PM

Im curious if those saying to pull back, pick your battles and give kids room to make mistakes actually have teenagers? Its all good in theory when your kids are younger however when you live it sometimes its not the best method.

#19 TwiceThe Woman

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

^^^MummyDuck I have raised 4 of my own +1 foster. They are all now in their late 20's.
(I also think that if someone is a 2ndry teacher, they would have great insight into current teenage life)

#20 steppy

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

don't give him back the phone at all. Seriously. If you do, make sure it's on prepaid and make him pay for it. A kid I know ran up $3000 looking at porn on a plan and his parents lost their phone plans because they didn't pay the bill.

Do NOT give him wireless access to your internet. If he looks at illegal porn it will show up on your ip history, not his. You don't know what he is looking at as you can't control smart phones.

Edited by steppy, 04 May 2012 - 03:12 PM.


#21 Guest_tigerdog_*

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE
Im curious if those saying to pull back, pick your battles and give kids room to make mistakes actually have teenagers?


Maybe not but we've all been teenagers biggrin.gif

#22 Bathsheba52

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:14 PM

You give a 15 year old boy a "new smartphone" and he looks up porn and you are surprised?

#23 dessiesgirl

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:21 PM

QUOTE (Rumour has it.. @ 04/05/2012, 02:14 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I dont think he is being overly sneaky or defiant at all he is being a teenager who doesnt like that he is being treated like a child more than the young adult he is - just my thoughts.

I thought it was gonna be a post on a 15yr old, drinking, smoking & partying. Not about the fact he lied about having breakfast shrug.gif


biggrin.gif



QUOTE (Mummy Duck @ 04/05/2012, 02:37 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
We have a Fritzbox (modem router) best invention ever and no more confilct over the internet.

Basically it turns the internet on and off all the devices in your house. You can also say how long they can use internet on the device. Plus you can block sites like say facebook during homework time if you want.

It works so well for us. We know the boys cant get on the internet after its bed time. No having to take devices. Its brilliant.

I disagree about the battles in a few early posts. Honesty is a huge thing and if they think they can lie about little things they will lie about bigger things.



Could you tell me where you bought this - sounds like just what we need.



Thanks for the replies everyone,.We do try and treat him as a young adult, and we generally discuss things rather than lay down the law, but lying to my face is something I am finding really confronting and hard to deal with.

I kind of knew, when he left the house this morning that I had been ridiculous about the socks. I should have just ignored it and let him get a detention. But once I'd seen it, and he knew I'd seen them, I felt like I just couldn't back down.

I appreciate the honesty in the replies - it helps to get other insights and a bit of perspective.

#24 ~**SYMONE**~

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:30 PM

I found some boobs on my 15yo's phone. I think I would be more worried if there weren't any...

#25 *bibs*

Posted 04 May 2012 - 03:43 PM

Hi,

I can relate very well.  My son is 16 so year 12.  He really is a great kid and has given us no trouble thus far.  But we go through all the little things exactly the same as you.  We even had the same sock conversation this morning.

We treat him fairly and like an adult.

It is easy for people say 'oh that is just being a teenager' but they are lying to us.  If your child lies to you most parents do not except this no matter what the age?  So why does it become ok when it is thought of as 'just teenage behaviour'?

Sorry in our house you don't lie to your parents no matter what your age.

We are by no way overly strict but we do have rules for our children and they are expected to follow them.  

Good luck Dessiegirl.

Edited by *bibs*, 04 May 2012 - 03:51 PM.





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