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17 Answers

My son was always cheeky and naughty as a child, but now that he is a teenager, I worry that he won’t learn from his rule-breaking and that it will have real world consequences. No matter how I tell him that his behaviour now can impact upon his future life and job potential, he doesn’t see any further than today. I just can’t get through to him. Has anyone had any luck with any strategies in this situation?


Posted anonymously, 1st November 2021


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  • It might be worth seeking the opinion of a professional to rule out any particular reasons for his challenging behaviours. Perhaps start by having a chat with your GP who can refer you to relevant professionals. Understanding the behaviour will give you a good starting point for strategies to manage it.


  • I agree. It is quite hard to dealing with teenagers. I am struggling with my son and always tried to understand him and compare it with my own life when i was younger.


  • I was a rule breaker as a teenager, I still am to an extent. Keep driving home that actions have consequences and he’ll most likely grow out of it


  • This is very interesting as I thought the problem is when they are toddlers. I guess it depends on what exactly his behaviour is, but someone need to see it by themselves and experience the issue before they even try to change something.


  • Respect elders and kids do not respect elders and they have bad attitudes and they need to know that miss behaving has consequences and that they will be punished. As if they do not learn now from you if they keep doing it as they get older they are not going to think they can keep doing it.


  • Very interested to hear answers about this, my son refuses to do the small things he’s asked like tidying his room and I’m worried how he’ll be as he gets older (he’s 6).


  • Be respectful of your teen but let him know that you expect the same in return.
    Do not make unsolicited and/or negative comments about changes in your teen’s dress or physical appearance.
    Make them have consequences every time when they misbehave, be neutral (not angry) and consequent.
    Relax.
    Stand strong.
    Tie Privileges to Good Behavior.
    Connect with you teen, do something nice with and for them.
    Show you love & care.
    Avoid Repetition.
    Enforce Logical Consequences.
    Have a Plan.
    Praise Good Behavior.
    Teach Problem Solving.
    Focus on One Behavior.
    Pick your Battles.


  • It’s all normal. The teenage brain is quite good at not considering consequences. Concentrate on modelling positive choices and reminding your teen that you are there for them -unconditionally.. It’s hard to watch, but they have to learn it all themselves.


  • You can just keep teaching him the right way and hope that it sinks in at some point. Otherwise, teaching moments and making him responsible or in some way make amends for the rules he is breaking. He might need a sharp reality to make him realise.


  • I wonder if you could distract him by joining SCOUTS or Karate/martial art as they offer great developed programs teaching respect and responsibility. He may like a sport that he can enjoy and once you have this in place everything else will fall in place too. I had my son in a boys Ten Pin bowling team and Ice Hockey he looked forward to these two events after school and he made sure he had his bag packed with his uniform, shoes etc for his kit. It gave him confidence and guidance. Ask you child if there is a problem at school he would like to talk to you about.. there might be a problem there that then he brings home his attitude. I found outdoor activities were a great help taking my son on weekends away just Mum and son helped breaking down the barriers and gaining trust and respect. Doing activities like hiring Stand up paddle boards and Kayaks was a fun activities..


  • Not sure what the rules are but maybe you can ask a teacher or psychologist at the school to have a chat.


  • Having a child that is ADDH often shows these behavioral traits in their teenage years but with understanding parents, teachers, & a psychiatrist who specialises in helping kids get through these growing years can make a big difference. Good Luck.


  • What type of rules is he breaking ? can you give some examples ?


  • It would be good if the school could have the Police come and talk to the children about behaviours that could effect their future.


  • I personally was one of those kids and it wasn’t until I hit adult life that made me realise there are a lot of responsibility and I pulled my head in. Each person is different, but I feel like I can try to guide my own children if they take the same steps as myself.


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