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I just don't know what to do any more

I just don´t know what to do any more           reply
29/05/2013 14:27 - Teenage Issues (Locality: Dublin South)
my teenage son is refusing to do certain subjects in secondary.
no matter what we say, he is adamant that he isn´t doing them.

he was involved in a crash 12 months ago and since then his personality is gone from a funny lad to a moody aggressive kid.

the school had been on to me twice in the last 2 weeks about him being disrespectful/aggressive in tone.

he has had an appointment with to see if he was suffering from mental illness.
he isn´t
the doctor is sending him to seen another doctor to help him deal with his anger/aggression.
he wants to do JC / LC but won´t study or put the work in to do JC / LC
i am in my room crying my eyes out because he is just soaking the life out of me.
i feel so lost and at the end of my rope trying to make him understand that he has to do all the subjects.
if anyone speaks he roars an answer back.
his counsellor said he has PTSD
i am at a loss as to what to do to help my teen.

re : I just don´t know what to do any more           reply
30/05/2013 19:36 - Teenage Issues
I hear how difficult this is for you and how worried you are about your son. It sounds like you could use some support. Parenting teens is extremely challenging at times and we need to have an awareness of taking care of ourselves first in order to be in a better place to support them.

It is understandable to me that you are struggling to support him, when you are in need of support yourself. What can you do to support yourself better? Have you family or friends you can speak with? Can you take some time out for yourself to gain perspective of the situation? If what we are doing is not working, we may as well try something different. Therefore, increasing the pressure around the subjects may not be the thing to do at this time.

A teen who is troubling or troubled is not trying to make your life difficult; rather he is trying to show you how difficult life is for him.
Compassion is the No 1 response to this behaviour, which is a mix of understanding and love. When was the onset of this difficult behaviour? What was happening at that time? Was it the accident or was there some change in his life? The best response to his challenging behaviour is to take the focus on the behaviour, and put the focus instead on building your relationship with him. ‘How are you son, are you okay, I’m here to support you and you can come and talk to me at any time, I love you but I’m finding this behaviour difficult and I would love if we could talk together and resolve things.’

In other words, the person is always more important than the behaviour. When we stop focusing on the behaviour, we can focus on the feelings underneath and on how your son is feeling and how he is thinking. You mention he is aggressive, and aggressiveness is a protective behaviour and is often someone who is deeply hurt.

The more he gets to express how he feels (he will only do that when it feels safe to do so); the more he will discharge those feelings and the less aggressive he will be. Sounds like there is a lot of focus on academic at the moment, and maybe more focus on relationship is what is needed as we cannot attend at the head level, when things may not be right at the heart level. Remember, the only A a teen needs is an A in emotional health, so tell him how concerned you are and offer support for him to talk about how things are for him. Many teens go through difficult times and with support and love it carries them through it and out the other end, so focus on not reacting to his behaviour (which is only about him) and being more proactive. The less we personalise his behaviour the better.
Usually we find that when emotionally he feels better in himself that perhaps after the summer things will be different.

Speak with the school about encouraging and supporting him in how he feels right now.

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