Hi, I am new to this message board and am getting desperate for advice. My 13 year old son is a good student, in advanced classes. He has enjoyed dance for the past 5 years. He does hip hop, tap & jazz. This has been a problem between he and my husband. He has tried several sports in the past, but they just aren't for him. He spends most of his time outside of school & dance classes on the computer instant messaging friends and doing different art projects. His dad occasionally brags about how well he dances, but he and my husband just don't get along. I almost think they love each other, but don't like each other. It puts me in a really bad position. My son is disrespectful to us at times. He doesn't always say hi to his dad when he gets home from work or he doesn't tell his dad bye when he is going somewhere. I know this sounds petty, but it does hurt my husband's feelings then he gets upset. My son also gives us these looks like we are stupid when we ask him questions or try to talk to him. I know he is a teenager, but how can I get him to respect us more? He also never takes the initiative to help out with anything around the house. I have tried giving him a to do list, asking him, yelling at him, and ignoring him. Please give me some advice. Thank you!
I'm sorry but I had to laugh when you said your husband gets upset if your son doesn't say hello or goodbye to him. If he gets upset about that now just wait till your son is 15 rather than just 13.
Was your husband a perfect teenager or what? Has he forgotten that teens don't always want to be around their parents. This is the age their independence starts coming out. I don't remember taking an initiative around the house either when I was a teen.
Yelling at teens isn't usually a good way to get them to do chores around the house. However, calmly explaining what you want them to do and then taking away the computer so that he can't chat with his friends online if he doesn't do what you've asked might have a different impact.
Like the other post said, just wait! You will look back on this time as the good old days. Your son is a 100% normal 13-year-old. Not greeting you is par for the course. It just does not occur to him. One of the less attractive parts of adolescence is the fact that the average kid is totally incapable of seeing the wider picture or looking at things from someone else's point of view. This is not bad behaviour, it is how it is. You get through it by reminding them, probably every time, about what you want from them. In any dealings with them, one person gets the stress, no prizes for guessing which one. You will be a wet rag and the kid will be serene and uncaring. The thing you can do is to remove the angst from the whole equation. Accept that if you want him to pick up, do chores etc, you will have to tell him to do it. Kids do not notice that Mom is tired and could use a hand, they just DO NOT. This is just how it is. It does not mean he is a future criminal. As for the father-son thing, you get that too. It is not that much different from the young bull challenging the old bull in a herd, they WILL lock horns from time to time. Let them go, poor Mom is often worn out becoming the peacekeeper and it doesn't make much difference. As long as there is not abuse happening, they will have to sort out their own boundaries. I had to keep reminding my husband about all this stuff, as he was at boarding school all through that age and had not much experience of this day-to-day stuff. Bottom line, you can have this stuff with or without stress, but you WILL have it.