I recently left my well paid, very satisfying job- packed up the 16 yr old and 14 yr old and headed to the other end of Australia (4,500kms away). Why? one may ask, well… my dear darling 16 year old son obtained an apprenticeship and was desperate to do it..so here we are.

My problem is that the child I transposrted here 3 mths ago was polite, respectful and gentle. After obtaining his licence (uses my 4WD), obtined a girlfrien (the 2nd in 3 mths) and having money he has become selfish, self centered, disrespectful. He is never home and when he is I barely get a grunt from him. He wont do anything around the house-“too tired” and treats his sister with such distain.

What do I do?? not such. Have no male influences (grandfather/uncles- all left back home) and I feel like I am losinghim rather rapidly. Any advise would be amazing

Posted by cindym, 16th April 2013

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  • OK. He is working. He may not be earning much (don’t forget his employer is paying for him to do the schooling for the apprenticeship which, believe me is expensive and he is being paid while at school). Is he paying any board at all?, is he contributing to the cost the fuel for the vehicle at all? You defintely shouldn’t be paying for the fuel he uses. If you aren’t using it let it run low and he will have to fill it up.Failing that you could confiscate the car keys when he comes home from work and not give them back to him until he is going to work. Do you know if he converses with the Mum or Dad of any of his mates? If so, do you know any of them well enough to confide in them and ask their advise. He may be treating them the same or they may just have some suggestions for you to try.


  • Start by laying down some ground rules. Like when he can borrow the car, chores around the house for him to, rent/board to be paid. And for him to have changed so dramatically in such a short time, I would be looking into possible drug use :( Must have been an awesome apprenticeship fir you to pack up your family like that


  • Wow tough kid. Just so you know it’s not your fault he’s acting up, that’s his choice. I don’t have teenagers but keep your expectations of him regardless of how he acts. Can he still loose privileges for disrespecting and not participating in family jobs? Hope it’s just a phase!!


  • i like reading these stories


  • You need to take him aside for a serious talk. Tell him you and his sister have uprooted your lives to support him with his apprenticeship. He is sixteen and working and its time he showed some appreciation and responsibility. If he continues to behave like a selfish spoilt brat, then take the car keys from him. Don’t give them back until his behaviour improves. A couple of weeks of public transport and walking might do him good. Remember, you are the parent and you are in charge. He is still a minor and needs a bit of a reminder of that.

    • Very well said Mel, you’re the parent not him.


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