My 13 year old son is almost nocturnal, he is up nearly all night and has stopped going to school. At the moment he is in a programme and receiving counselling to get him back to school. He is supposed to attend a half day every Friday to ease him back.
I am trying very hard to go along with all of the advice the professionals are telling us but he just ignores them and stays off stating he hates school. The problem is compounded by the fact we have 4 other children and I work away from home a lot and my wife has to deal with the other kids getting them ready for school. They have assessed my 13 year old with ADHD and have him on medication? Everyone is pussyfooting around him, but feel its time to step in and play the bad dad and remove all of the electric devices from his room and play hardball till his attitude changes. I have to admit this is putting a huge strain on me and my wife and I have almost come to blows with him because of the way he talks and treats his mother and the total lack of respect for us.
I am always criticised for being too angry with him especially by my wife but I really struggle. I love him more than anything in the world and struggle to see him waste his future like this.
Any advice would be a help.
The following user gives a hug of support to Propdodger:
YOU are the father and you are in charge. You can control this. Here in the states we have an organization called Tough Love. They help you deal with issues like this. I strongly suggest you do a search for information on them and their methods. Basically, they'll tell you to take away everything from him - nothing but his clothes and a bed. Everything else is gone. It's not his anyway - it's yours as the parent/adult. He is not allowed to go anywhere but where you say - and he will be taken there and picked up. You really need to take control before he's beyond it and nothing can bring him back.
My mom and dad would have taken the xbox away the first time I skipped school. There's no law saying you have to give kids things like xbox and spending money and the coolest clothes and sneakers and all the stuff they like. Things like that don't come free in life, you have to work to get fun things, and kids "work" is to go to school and do the best they can, teach him this now.
This is no way to prepare him for life, what happens in ten years when he won't go to work? Are you planning to support him forever? What are your rules with your children? For example growing up my brother and I had to do our homework, and our chores Before we got to go play. This started as soon as we got to school. You could bet if I didn't do my homework or chores my mom or dad was coming to get me and drag me back in the house till my work was done. I hated them for it at the time but now we have a great relationship and I've seen what all the spoiled children I grew up with have become. They can't function on their own they are mid-twenties and haven't gone to college or studied a trade or built careers in anything. They complain about having no money yet call out from work every week and can't hold jobs because of lack of discipline.
Talk with his mother about the realities of preparing him for life, it's both of your responsibilities to prepare him for the real world. He needs tough love, and that doesn't mean you just scream or yell at him. You don't have to yell at all really just enforce some consequences for his actions and be firm no matter how much he screams of cries or complains.Good Luck.
This is very odd to me. My dad was never a pushover with us. If we asked for something and he didn't think we needed it or thought it was a waste of our time, he said NO and that was the end of it. If any of us (there are 3 of us) would have even attempted to skip school for any reason other than actual illness, we'd have our butts handed to us pretty quickly. I am having a lot of trouble understanding how you, as his father, allowed things to escalate to this level where he actually stopped going to school. That's so weird to me because that would never be allowed in my family. How did you allow things to get to this level? I'm really interested to know because this is just completely strange to me?
Now that it's already at that level, obviously your first step is to remove all electronics from him and do not allow him any of that stuff. This business about "easing" him back into school is complete nonsense. Starting tomorrow, he needs to go back to school and quit acting like he owns the world. I'm sorry but for a 13 year old to quit school is completely and totally unacceptable. I think that to do anything other than forcing him to go back like tomorrow and for him to remain in school until he graduates high school AT LEAST is doing a huge disservice to him for his future.
I know some kids whose parents allowed them way too much leeway when we were growing up, and guess what? They're all unemployed losers almost age 40 who are still living with mommy and daddy because they literally never learned how to be independent functioning adults. I can think of a handful of people like that. Unless you want your kid to end up like that, I strongly suggest that you start kicking his butt into gear and stop kowtowing to his behavior, which once again is completely and totally unacceptable. He goes back to school tomorrow or else ship him off to a boot camp for bad kids because that might be the only way to get through to him if he fights you about it.
I have a little different approach. It's just my take on things. Your son is suffering from isolating himself with the Xbox. Too much exposure to electronics causes a disassociation from reality in some cases. It may be that it is difficult for him to associate with others especially at school. It may be causing him anxiety that you are not aware of. If the Xbox is in his room I would recommend that it is moved to a more social room in the home where others are around. Once lights are out for the night he needs to shut it down therefore limiting his time on the Xbox. The last thing he needs to feel is that he is being punished for something he cannot control since this has been going on for quite a while. I would also recommend that he becomes involved in some kind of physical activity away from all electronics. This distraction will help him stay off the Xbox and help him associate with others. I do agree that you need to be firm but any behavior that threatens him will make him do the opposite of what you want. He is 13 which is a very difficult age, becoming a man with all the male hormones making him feel aggressive at times. This is where physical activity will help him release some of his aggression rather than channeling it towards his mother and you. I saw the change in my sons at this age and it's not easy but a couple years later they are sweethearts. If at all possible spend some one on one time with him out of the home doing something fun and he may open up to you. I feel he is using the Xbox as his escape from dealing with life. It is definitely addicting. Whatever you do just remember to reinforce that he is loved.
My soon to be step son is 13 years old. He has an addiction issue with ALL electronics, including watching too much TV. We limit the amount of time he can spend "with" any electronic on a given day, especially if it's a school day. As long as he is doing well in school and is interacting well with the rest of the family, then on the weekends, he can spend more time playing games or watching TV. We approach the electronics as a reward. If he is allowed to spend too much time with electronics, he becomes hateful and aggressive and his grades slip way down. We do NOT reward that sort of behavior at all.
We encourage him to be active, to go outside, etc. We also do family things on the weekend where we are all active, like hiking, fishing, etc.