Home > Kids > Behavior and Discipline > Dealing With Bullies > Disrespectful 16-Year-Old
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Disrespectful 16-Year-Old

Middle School Expert Advice from Connie Collins

Q: How can I show my 16-year-old son that calling me names and shouting at me all the time is not acceptable behavior? He doesn't do this to anyone else in the house and I have never had trouble with him in school. I don't want to keep repeatedly punishing him by taking his things away. What should I do?

A: You won't be able to show a 16-year-old what is acceptable behavior, but you can show him what you choose to do when he calls you names and shouts at you. What I am going to encourage you to do may take a lot of courage because your son is out of control. I am assuming that this type of behavior has gone on for quite a while. What your son is doing is called verbal assault and it is against the law. If he continues he may escalate to physically assaulting you or someone else.

The first thing I would like for you to do is to look up the number for the nearest police or sheriff's office. Call them. Explain what is happening with your son and that you want to call them the next time he threatens you. Then pick a calm time when you and your son can talk, not fight. Explain to your son that you choose not to take his abuse any more; that you are willing to discuss issues but you will not be shouted at nor called names. Tell him firmly but calmly that if he chooses to call you names or shout at you that you will call the police. Then when he does (and he will to test you) call the police immediately.

You need support and some help in setting boundaries and consequences for your son. When you talk with the police, ask if there are any programs available for parents of out-of-control teens through the juvenile system. If not, you can call your local school or the state department of human services (child protection) to inquire about parenting classes. If you can, I might also suggest some family counseling even if you are the only family member who goes.

Please don't wait. You and your son need assistance as soon as possible.

More on: Expert Advice

Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

8 Products to Help Your Family Go Plastic-Free
How can you minimize your family's exposure to harmful chemicals and lessen your impact on the environment? Try swapping out some of your everyday plastic products with these non-plastic alternatives.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks