1. Want to be a Positive Parent? : Click Here
    Dismiss Notice

How To Understand My Teen

Discussion in 'Schoolgoers & Teens' started by happygirl, Aug 6, 2022.

  1. happygirl

    happygirl Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi ladies,

    Please bear with my long post, we r living abroad(not USA).

    My son who is 14 yrs old teen now behaving very arrogant and selfish. He is a tough boy sometimes very good and sometimes getting on our nerves.

    We as parents never behave harshly with him, the visible change in his behaviour was noticeable from 9 years old, he got a sister at age of 8years. We thought he was insecure and whatever time left my husband use to take complete care of him, ad I was busy taking care of toddler because we thought its difficult later if he got the feeling of him being left out.

    But maybe he took advantage or something I don't know life was back to normal as my girl turned 3 years old, she will be always at his back calling Anna but he never showed any interest to spend time with her we thought it maybe because 8 years of age gap.

    But now they were ok now some sibling issues this is one side of the story.

    Now he is14years, more visible change in his behaviour, before covid( covid took a toll on everyone's life) he was very active kid playing with his friends everyday for more than two hours in our neighbourhood.

    But after covid because of lockdown and aftermath things he is slowly lost his friends circle( some parents worried to send their kids to playground and some relocated to India because of job insecurities associated with covid).

    Now he has only friend glued all the time most of the time they both spending in online games or if they both interested they will play some physical games.

    He became addicted to games went to an extent he was not showing any interest in any other activities. All the time shouting and crying for no reason when we tell him to stop the games( I need to mention he is excelling well in studies though he studies not more than an hour in a day).

    Unable to bear his tantrums( ask us to shut our mouths and no need tell him anything) after lot of struggle we cut him off completely from online games for 1 week he has shown us hell and even went on strike like he won't eat anything until we allow him to pay games. We did not gave in, we even talked to his form teacher not giving complete details but telling the problem he addicted to games.

    She told us to observe him for 3 more months if his behaviour not changed we need to go counselling( for my son).

    All in all last straw today when I'm planning a surprise birthday party for my DH whose birthday is tomorrow I want him to buy some birthday gift or card for his dad along with his sister. He said he don't want to buy any thing as his dad scold him in the afternoon( yesterday when I'm telling about surprise also not showing interest)

    I just came to another room tears r rolling continuously.

    I'm not knowing how to change him, unable to believe once my lovely chubbing doll turned this much arrogant and selfish.

    Now my question is am I thinking too much or these are normal teen things( asking us to shut our mouths, irritating to do) how can I may make him understand things like love and affection towards family or he will change on his own.

    Need to mention eventhough we cut off online games he is having personal phone its mandatory for secondary school kids in the county we r living and another thing he has very good name in his teachers and my friends circle(uncles and auntie's) he talks normally with all of them.

    Please experienced mom's give me your advice thanks a ton.
     
    Loading...

  2. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,516
    Likes Received:
    22,416
    Trophy Points:
    538
    Gender:
    Male
    Some children go through such withdrawal symptoms when they grow from child stage to adolescent stage and many young parents in the US indicated that to me when I taught teen children about morality. Most such behavior comes from peer discussions about how to defy the parents. Does he have any friends other than Indian children? Does he play an online game called fortnite? Because many children across the world from Middle to High School play that game. Especially, playing this game became intense when the children were forced to stay home during COVID. Is he attending school now regularly or is he still online?

    The children do resist when you pull them out of what they enjoy the most but he shouldn't be spending a lot of time on that on a regular basis. My suggestion would be instead of pulling him out of the game completely, you can restrict the hours of play.

    If required and if both parents feel it is necessary, you can have a quick consultation with a psychologist or take him to a couseling session where he can have one on one with the psychologist. It might help him overcome whatever he is going through.

    Continue to share a lot of love with him and he will turnaround as he grows up further.
     
    candidheart, Laks09 and happygirl like this.
  3. DDream

    DDream Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    1,768
    Likes Received:
    3,718
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    Its a difficult age. Many teens exhibit similar tantrumns. Handle him softly. Talk in a loving and affectionate way. Also, set rules. For example, if he behaves well and do his home work and chores, he gets one hour of screen time. Limit screen time to 2 h maximum. Completely cutting off game is not a good idea. My ds is not there yet, but I have noticed that if I ask him nicely he do things well. There can be a delay. But if he misbehaves, he loose screen time for a few days. Its like they act as a mirror of us. If I yell, or change my tone I get it back. So I stopped it and use soft cool way. But they have opinions about every thing. So talk as if you respect it and then provide feedback. No is a frequent answer, but if there are a number of no's he loose screentime. I think we should keep them under our radar without letting them know about it. So, try a soft loving approach. Dont talk much, limit to a few sentence at a time. They need our care even though they pretend they dont need it.
    If nothing works, its a good idea to consult school counsellor or specialist.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
    Laks09, happygirl and Viswamitra like this.
  4. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,110
    Likes Received:
    3,903
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    @happygirl,
    Come on! He’s a kid and therefore immature. What happened to you and your husband?

    You can’t ban stuff outright. This is exactly how they will respond to something like that. This is a tough situation and needs careful handling. I understand you are highly concerned about his potential addiction to gaming but you guys are totally going about it the wrong way.

    First of all, forget how you and I were raised. Our parents could forbid us and ban things and pass decrees but we can’t do that to this generation. Not in this day and age. If we try to do that this is exactly the result. You have to handle the situation carefully and diplomatically.

    Coming to your son it seems like he’s not neglecting his studies so far but he’s spending more time than you like on games. Just for that, this total ban and informing the school is an extreme reaction by you guys.

    As adults you and your h do the necessary work to get income and then you relax with something you like right? Suppose when you are ready to relax with something you like he tells you this is bad y you do this every time you are addicted I will ban this how will you feel? You’ll be very annoyed right? That’s exactly your son’s reaction here. One day you had big argument next day as an adult you got past it and said ok now sign a card for your Dad. But he’s a kid, he’s not able to get past it as easily as you so he reacted that way. Just for that you are so emotional that tears are rolling out then imagine how much more emotional he feels for being banned for a month from his games?

    Now If the issue is too much time spent in one thing , then teach him how to apportion time for studies and for games. Think of it as a life lesson or time management issue. This will be useful later in life as well. Maybe studies are too easy so he finishes quickly and has lots of free time. Use up the extra free time by signing him up for in person activities like swimming, soccer, basketball etc. Automatically the free time left over to game will decrease. And slowly he will lose interest because he is getting his relaxation from a different source. Also use up some free time by assigning chores at home wherein he has to interact with little sister and talk to you. Maybe you all play board games together. So show him there are other ways than gaming to have fun and relax.

    Set a rule that he has to maintain certain level of grades no matter what. Every year increase time for study by half hour or 1 hour as difficulty increases. Allow one hour of gaming per day that’s it. No cheating. If he gets caught next day he has to forfeit. As you cut into his free time with all these other in person activities that help him relax slowly his interest in gaming will go down. Just banning is not going to work.

    Keep the lines of communication open. You are his mother. When he’s in a good mood ask him what he finds so absorbing about the games, make him explain in detail so you understand. Maybe you will see common connection with some in person activities and point it out or him and ask him to try that.

    Finally as your teen grows older your being able to talk to them and making them feel they can come to you and openly tell you stuff without extreme reactions, like outright banning and informing his school, etc is very very important. I cannot emphasize it enough. Show your kid you are on his side and will be there for him. Building that trust is very important. Mother son relation is unique in this regard. This is my personal experience. Not even your h can replace you. It’s very important you keep that connection strong especially during the turbulent teen years when they go through so much! It is how you will help him navigate future problems. So no matter what keep the lines of communication open. Good luck! Keep us updated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
    candidheart, Laks09 and stayblessed like this.
  5. happygirl

    happygirl Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    30
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Gender:
    Female
    Tks to viswamitra sir, ddream and 1 sandya taking your time and replying to me. Will post in detail tomorrow.

    @1Sandhya please your post is looking judgemental you don't know what we r going through, I informed only to his class teacher they will keep it very confidential here not like India.
    And we not even discussed with both side parents as we don't want him to be labelled as bad child we r on my son side only that's why worrying about his fure where it leads to.

    Will post tomorrow detailly, yes all your points helping to understand my son but its looking rude to me it's like your questioning about my parenting.

    P.S.: please don't judge my parenting already I'm in a low mood, help us to overcome this situation as a family.
     
    Laks09 likes this.
  6. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    2,110
    Likes Received:
    3,903
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    Hello,
    I am not being judgmental at all! I have been in the same boat myself having raised two boys. I just cautioned you that kids these days are not at all like what you seem to be expecting. It’s a very different world. Taking this kind of confrontational approach can and has backfired big time. I have seen it myself in many families. He’s just 14 and issue is just games if you are too strict now itself, it can go very far if you pull the thread hard. So if I spoke strongly yes it’s from that concern.

    Yes I am telling you to change your approach. What you tried is not working as you saw for yourself the result. You can take my suggestion positively and try it or you can decide I am judging your parenting that’s up to you. But according to me telling someone their approach is wrong is not being judgmental or judging their parenting because I explained clearly what you all can try doing instead.
     
    candidheart, Laks09 and stayblessed like this.
  7. AppuMom

    AppuMom Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    404
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Gender:
    Female
    OP you are not alone.My friend's son refused to go to school when it reopened after covid.He refuses to do even cycling outside
    Reason is his social anxiety.Now he is slowly getting back to normal
    Another friend's boy had became a completely indoor boy and one of his chat with my son and other friends(they have chat group) he mentioned he is depressed ..and another little guy mentioned (10 yr) about hentai..Reading the chat messages of these kids( I have access to my son's chat room) upsets me so much. We parents need to have a soft but stern approach to handle these issues..Have one day picnics to nearby park every weekend. Enrol him in to some sports ,where you or your H too participate.Have gadget free play dates at home if possible.allow him to play for certain time and then bring the internet down or have a policy where all family members drop their gadgets in a common place.This will surely work and above all have patience and work with him to slowly get rid of this addiction.
     
    happygirl and Laks09 like this.
  8. paru123

    paru123 Gold IL'ite

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    332
    Trophy Points:
    123
    Gender:
    Female
    Have seen a teen(14) in my neighborhood, is more or less like your son. His mom says he is very rude to them(parents). He is always playing games if not attending school or classes. Now he talks very nicely if I ask him anything. Also other neighbours have good opinion about him. He is good in sports but not so good in studies. His parents are worried about his grades.
    Now , his mother is also behaving like a big enemy of his. The other day I asked her something and she very loosely said he was an hopeless boy (obviously in his absence) I was a little surprised to hear that from her mouth. He has not been given a phone, so he snatches his mom's phone whenever possible. And mom is frustrated about that more.

    My suggestion would be, dont interfere much into his gaming thing as long as his scores are good. Dont talk much with him. If possible, ask your relatives n friends to speak with him and know more about his studies n school. Allow him to spend time with his friends. Dont interfere or give him advices always. But overall keep an eye on him without his knowledge. Surprise him with small treats, picnics and guests .He will be forced to behave well.
     
    happygirl and Laks09 like this.
  9. hrastro

    hrastro Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,438
    Likes Received:
    3,282
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    An active boy good at studies, after covid, has become addicted to games!
    A wellspoken preteen, after covid, has become withdrawn and uncaring!
    How many parents have complained this to me...

    But, it is not just covid, but their age (full of confusions) + lack of activities + zero motivation + reduced influence of full-time school
    (students used to be answerable in school for their behaviour and marks and homework - it has reduced, so responsibility & motivation has reduced)

    What does he like doing - other than mobile games?
    Say - he likes football - let him play or learn or write blogs, articles about various strategies and share with other enthusiasts
    Say - he is good at photography - he could write a travel/photography blog
    Say - he likes technology - he is old enough to create simple apps or websites or enrol him for courses like robotics or AI
    Say - he likes music or instrument or dance - let him learn it, create videos and share it, participate or teach someone...
    Say - he is good at planning and organizing - let him plan the next party or trip or organize your kitchen or library

    Bring back his motivation and confidence! Give him some purpose! Some self-expression!
    Give him projects to DO! If he likes, he could do them along with a group of friends also!

    Please list down what his interests are, what his capabilities are - and DO something everyday - you or your husband could spend time (not talking or advising) but DOING something that HE is GOOD at and HE finds INTERESTING
    Let him see some success - we see success at things we work on when we are good at it and also like it - so let him find success at something - then he will see that hard work and consistent work gives you success and a sense of achievement.
    This will lead to confidence and thus all the teenage angst and defensiveness will change..

    He will also understand what his future could look like and maybe study some courses that would help his future....

    As a career counsellor, the first question I ask a teen is "Right now you are 14, you are dependent on your parents! Do you want to depend on them at 23?"
    They say "NO"
    Then I ask "So, thats just 6-8 years more... how are you preparing for it? They are prepared to work hard and educate you, what are YOU doing?"

    Is there anyone in your family that he listens to? Any uncle or aunt or elder cousin or grandparents who can ask this question?
    (If as parents you ask - the conversation will go haywire, so please dont try it)

    Limit the gaming time - to something he agrees - say he agrees everyday an hour after food - ensure that he doesnt play at other times - so he will have time to DO something at other times....

    As a pre-last resort:
    Instead of a behavioural (or psychological) counsellor, is there any (really reputed, experienced) career counsellor you can speak to - get him to decide on a destination - what are the possibilities he has when he grows up - and see what he needs to work towards - this will give him something to DO (rather than play games), something to look forward to and work on...

    Last resort: your behavioural counsellor! You could try the CBT - Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

    I have a feeling it is not his "psychology" but a lack of purpose in his life... once you bring that to him, he should be fine...

    Keep smiling
    HR
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2022
  10. vidyarp

    vidyarp Bronze IL'ite

    Messages:
    167
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Female
    This is so relatable. My son is 16. Was always a good student, polite and easy going. Now in the past 2 years - i see a dramatic shift in his attitude. He appears self centered, does not care what others think, wants to stay aloof and plays online. His grades have steadily declined. We have spoken to the school counsellor + had a detailed conversation (multiple times) with him on where he sees himself in the next 3 years. He knows his destination. and works for it as well. But the instant gratification that he gets by playing games - is something that i am unable to wean him off. But we are taking it slowly. Most importantly - as a mother, i am keeping all the communication open with him. And secondly - i listen to him and try to participate in his world. Fingers crossed -this will lead us to a better relation
     
    Thyagarajan, happygirl and Laks09 like this.

Share This Page