What you need to know:
- Any time we talk, he takes on a don't care attitude and dismisses me. I become so irritated and I shout at him
- At times it becomes very nasty and he throws his hands up and walks out
Q: I have a 17-year-old son who has become a problem as he does not listen to me. During this holiday, I have been wondering how we will co-exist harmoniously. Any time we talk, he takes on a don't care attitude and dismisses me. I become so irritated and I shout at him. At times it becomes very nasty and he throws his hands up and walks out. How can I make him listen to me? Are all teenagers this difficult? Help me.
A: Just like any other teenager your son is unique and an individual but most parents fail to understand the age group. That is why while he is in a group, he strives for individuality yet still craves peer acceptance. It is never easy to deal with a difficult teen but it calls for patience and a lot of understanding. Your son has an issue with being disobedience which you need to handle wisely. He seems to push your buttons and make you react negatively. By doing this you simply give away your power which makes him feel like he has won. I would therefore suggest that when such heated moments arise you remember to keep your cool. This is because the less reactive you are to his provocations, the more you can use your better judgment to handle the situation. When you feel upset or challenged by him, take a deep breath and count slowly to ten. In many instances, by the time you reach ten, you would have regained composure, and figured out a better response to the issue, so that you can reduce, instead of exacerbating the problem. If you are still upset after counting to ten, take time out, and revisit the issue after you calm down. This will also signal to your son that he has no power over you and chances are he will listen to you this time around. This does not however mean that you get so accommodating as it is key to set ground rules to maintain a workable and constructive relationship. Wishing you a great relationship with your son.
For feedback to the editor email [email protected]