Help! My Son is Out Of Control!

Help! My Son is Out of Control! - Anchor Of Promise

Visiting a parent site a few days ago, I noticed quite a few posts from moms sharing their woes in dealing with a rebellious teenage son.

As I was surveying these posts, there was a common thread that weaved through their words. From a mom’s perspective, all she could see was disrespect, no accountability, and not abiding by the rules. Furthermore, fathers were either not present in the family or not fully involved in the family. In many cases, drugs and alcohol became an issue and violence was starting to enter the home.

From the teen’s perspective, he wanted respect, to be heard, and given independence. He was also tired of being treated as a little boy when he was old enough to start making more mature decisions. Moreover, he felt suffocated with little to no opportunity to experience things that were considered acceptable. In fact, in many situations teens became angry and often expressed to their parents how they hated them.

Another troubling factor remained, in that parents often did not follow through with punishment and discipline. So in essence, this gave the teen permission to be in a more authoritative role over the family. There have even been studies that showed teens that were the most violent came from homes with parents who were weak or non-existent. Several cases explained how a parent was physically abused by their son and instead of sending him to jail or even away for help; they did nothing or excused his behavior.

With teen boys between the ages of 13-18, there is a shift from boyhood to manhood. To mom, she does what comes natural by keeping her family in order and get through the daily routine of life. Like a momma duck with her ducklings, when she speaks, they listen. When she moves, they follow. To her, this is necessary in keeping in line for survival. But in reality, as a mother, we often miss the ongoing changes that transpire in growth with our children.

Fathers play a key role into manhood by showing respect towards women, accountability with others and responsibility as well as skills to help him in his future. He is ultimately the one person that has the biggest impact in a teen boy’s life. If he does not actively participate in his son’s life, it is perceived as rejection to that teen.

Likewise, hormones also play a vital role in a teenager’s life. Emotionally, physically, and mentally, they exhibit these changes internally and externally. While physical changes can be prominent and viewed much more easily, the emotional and mental state of a male teen can be difficult to observe.

Some of the physical symptoms normally seen are the hormonal changes of body and voice. Typically boys are not very expressive or outwardly talkative. They are more private and quiet compared to girls. Their sexual peak is more heightened during this time as well which can cause havoc for parents who want their sons to hold back on relationships.

Emotionally, they are starting to have more feelings. Things that never bothered them before are frustrating them now. Anger is becoming dominant in their self-expression. They worry about their body image which affects their self-esteem. Their ability to think things through is foggy. In fact, this is partially due to the brain’s frontal lobe that is not completely formed at this age which is crucial in decision making. With that in mind, many male teens make risky decisions by going with the “feeling at the moment” attitude. Distorting conversations is also a common problem because they are so focused on themselves that they struggle to really listen to what is sound wisdom.

Although I do not have sons of my own to raise, I have met four teen boys coming from different cultures and backgrounds. Two come from divorced families. What I have seen in all four: Risk takers, anger issues, combative behavior, disrespectful towards family members, abused drugs and alcohol, runaways and sexual promiscuity.

Stating their desires of being on their own, all four wanted independence outside of the boundaries set for them. All four felt that mom and dad didn’t understand them. All four have said that they disrespect their parents because they feel disrespected. All four said they have been treated like a child and their opinions were not validated by the parents. And all four said that they felt their parents were wishy washy on discipline, being unfair in punishments because they were given out in the height of anger. And most importantly, all four felt strongly of being unwanted or unloved.

So what can parents do?

1. Seek help! Counseling should be at the top of the list to help your family get through a crisis with your teenage son. I am not talking about counseling for just your son, but for you parents as well. Boundaries need to be learned and administered. By understanding how to communicate more effectively, you can also learn how to be more attentive and supportive. And in return, your son can learn how to be more open.

2. Parents! When you lay down a rule or guideline, you MUST stick to your word. It empowers you with more authority, have control, and in return get more respect.

3. Parents if at all possible, you must be in agreement on how to handle bad behavior and how to reward good behavior.

4. Praise and build up your son in his accomplishments. Teach him how to be responsible and accountable to others. Encourage him in finding a job. It will make him feel like he is being counted on by those that employ him and lift his self-esteem.

5. Tell your son you love him. So many times parents think their kids already know this. The less often it is said, the more insecure and unwanted a child feels.

6. NEVER, EVER hit your teen. This only reinforces bad behavior and rejection.

7. Ask for guidance and support from your minister, pastor or clergy. If he needs a mentor that is closer to his age, a youth group leader would also help your son in this area.

8. Pray! Pray for God’s intervention in your son’s life. Pray for God to show you how to be a better parent. Pray for wisdom and discernment for each situation.

9. When you have done everything that you can, and your son is still out of control, then you need to submit your son into a program that specifically helps teen boys in this area.

10. Don’t give up!

Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Hebrews 12:11(ESV)
For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Proverbs 29:17 (ESV)
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

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  1. lifecoachwriter on July 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Reblogged this on free life coaching blog and commented:
    I found this post and thought it appropriate for parents of teen age boys. Even though the author admits to not being a parent who has had this experience, plus throws in a bit of religion; don’t let it deter you. it’s still some great advise.

  2. lifecoachwriter on July 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Hi, I really liked your post and I’m so glad I found your blog. I’ve got a degree in Behavioral Science, I’m a youth worker and writer; plus I’ve just started a life coaching blog and offer to help people experiencing problems; NO charge anytime, for any reason. So, if anyone is after any one on one help; please send them my way and I’d be very happy to listen to their problems and offer assistance. I also have teen age sons myself, so I understand how challenging parenting can be. I look forward to following your blog and checking out the other information you’ve been sharing.

    • Stacy Lee Flury on July 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

      Thanks for sharing your information and for following my blog. These days are very challenging for our youth. I might pick your brain in the near future with different topics, so thank you for help and yes, if anyone comes across my way and is looking for information as well, I will certainly send them your way.

      • lifecoachwriter on August 30, 2014 at 9:13 am

        Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. I’m still new to WordPress and still navigating my way around. I’m glad I found this again. Absolutely drop by and pick my brain anytime. If you want to send anyone my way, they will also be welcomed. 🙂

  3. howsyourlovelife on July 14, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    I agree with everything said here except the wording,’get him a job’. Encourage him to get a job, yes! With your help and encouragement he needs to secure his own employment.
    Our son turns 17 in two days, and one of the biggest things I’ve learned from him is the value to showing him respect. As his Mom I am in authority over him, but I try to show him respect, not questioning his logic or talking down to him, but making suggestions and explaining my reasoning if I have to trump him.

    • Stacy Lee Flury on July 14, 2014 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks for liking this post. And yes, you are so right. I will correct that regarding the “job” issue. It sounds like you are on the right path with your son and it is so great to hear of pro-active parents these days. Many moms could learn some valuable lessons from you. Thanks for your input!

  4. asha on June 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Stacy. I have been looking for sound advice for a friend who has a very troubled 14 year old boy ( smoking weed every night now, angry, violent ) She is already doing a lot of the things you have suggested here but one of the problems that gets in the way is that she has also a very unhappy 17 year old daughter who intervenes and argues with the disciplinary/showing love behaviour. It is a constant battle because as she is trying to do good with one child the other gets upset. Either the daughter will express feelings of hate towards her brother and undo all the ‘loving encouragement’ or she will insist that Mum is being too soft on him. Other times she will lay in with criticism if Mum has a week moment or chooses not to fight a particular battle. It is extremely hard work trying to keep two very different teenagers happy. She has obviously tried to explain to her daughter her reasons for certain actions- I sometimes wonder whether she should just tell her to trust her and butt out ( nicely I mean ) . Both children refuse to go to church anymore and Dad left a couple of years ago. She has organised a family counselor but both son and daughter refuse to attend the sessions. Any comments ?

    • Stacy Lee Flury on June 21, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      There’s a lot going on here and plenty of it that I have seen first hand. Email me and I can explain to you some of the things that I am noticing just from your comment and some guidance that I have learned on my own. My email is: [email protected]

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