Frustrated with 13yr old son...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2007
Frustrated with 13yr old son...
Fri, 10-01-2010 - 7:55pm

Hi, I am new to this board. My name is Dawn and I am the mother of 3 boys. My oldest son will be turning 14 in December and somedays I am not sure that he is going to make it to his birthday.

Austin is a smart kid with a very outgoing personality. The problem is he doesn't apply himself at school or at home. He is constantly in trouble at school for not following directions, not doing homework, talking, making poor choices. Then he comes home and blames everything on the teachers, he refuses to take any responsibility for his actions. Not to mention he has a pretty smart mouth, although I think he is finally learning when to shut his mouth and go to his room.

He can be happy, smiling, and easy to be around one minute and then just like a light switch has been turned he is moody, rude, disrespectful. I am at my wits end and just wondering if this is typical teenage behavior or something different? Any advice or suggestions are welcome.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2008
Fri, 10-01-2010 - 11:16pm

AWWW, yes Dawn, welcome to TEEN-NESS :)

First- You know these boards are being updated I hope? Have you seen the NOTICE that the boards will go down to "read only" tonight at 11pm Eastern time and we won't be able to post on the new updated boards until sometime Tuesday Oct. 5? I want to answer fast so you don't think you are being ignored if nobody talks to you! Please stick around and let us know you're still here as soon as we can post again.

SO... I have 3 girls, only the youngest still a teen. Has your son always been a difficult student or is this something recent? It could be he is merely feeling for the first time the feeling of being in control of his own destiny and wanting those around him to know he knows that now. OR he could have some kind of learning disability that is just now rearing it's head in reaction to hormones that blossom around this age. It could be all kinds of things or nothing at all- welcome to living with a teenager!

He sounds "normal" to me, is there more to this than you're saying? Hope to hear back from you as soon as we can!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Tue, 10-05-2010 - 8:54pm

Hi and welcome to the board! Hold on tight for these teen years! My boys are now 20 and 23; I think my least favorite age was 11-13 (well the 18-20 hasn't been a piece of cake but I digress). The whole preteen/puberty thing was tough. They could be laughing one minute, slamming doors the next and crying 5 minutes later. They went from my little boys who thought we could do no wrong to these alien, sullen creatures! Hang in there - it will get better. Probably not soon but it will get better. As far as not applying himself - I still have one of those and he's 20. Smart kid and has so much potential if he'd just put forth some effort...

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2005
Tue, 10-05-2010 - 9:13pm

Sounds fairly

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 10-05-2010 - 11:24pm

Are these problems something new, or has he always struggled?  If this has been an ongoing problem, he may have ADD, a learning disability, or be BiPolar.  He may have been able to cope marginally before, but now it's getting harder to compensate because he's a teen and also has the added pressure of being in HS, where the demands are much heavier than before.  However,  even if there ARE emotional or other problems, he still has to speak and act respectfully.  Make consequences IMMEDIATE and meaningful.  Grounding only drags everything out, and causes more problems for YOU than him.  Take away phone, video games, etc, and make return contingent upon good behavior for an extended period of time, rather than simply taking it away for a week or so, which TEACHES nothing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 6:15am


Although if you take things away for an extended period of time that is TOO long, you risk the kid falling into the trap of believing that it's of no use to try, he's got nothing left to loose and he'll NEVER get that phone back.

I've found that making the consequences fit the "crime" works a whole lot better than simply going for the easy punch of taking away the telephone or video games... a kid is going to think "what the heck does video games have to do with talking back to mom?"

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2007
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 8:30am

Thanks for the responses. I'm relieved that his behavior seems to be typical for this age. Austin's grades started to decline in 6th grade, up until that point he was a straight A student. I appreciate the words of wisdom and the warm welcome Photobucket

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2010
Wed, 10-06-2010 - 10:18am

Hi there,

I have three children, ages 13 1/2, almost 17 and 18. When my both of my boys hit age 15 is when they started having a difficult time.