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Megan de Beyer

Question

Posted by: Linda (South Africa) | 2010-05-03

Q.

Out of control Teenager

My son is 15 years and since he started high school has changed into a juvinile dilinquent. He is rude, defiant, self obsessed. His grades have plummetted from 80's to borderline 50's. He is unable to concentrate and taking away his cell phone would be like severing a limb. The school had enough of him and he has been in numerous fights and has been caught smoking. Try as we do to set limits and boundries he defies everything. What are parents to do?

Expert's Reply

A.

Megan de Beyer Megan de Beyer
- 2010-05-21

Studies show that aggressive behaviour amongst teens  has increased remarkably.In SA the number of juveniles in high security prisons is on the increase daily. Crime and harm to others is always linked with Angry aggressive behaviour. Boys are ones who have been blamed for bullying and fighting yet research shows that almost as many girls are being aggressive although they may show it in different ways. In SA many of our schools are unsafe because of aggression and assaults and educators are often scared to teach teens. Parents blame the school and teachers blame the parents.

Why are our teens so disruptive?

Aggressive behaviour can be a result of neglectful or angry parents as well as the environment that the teens are involved in on a daily basis. Teenagers who experience or witness anger and violence become aggressors themselves. Watching violent movies, playing aggressive games, seeing crime in the community, listening to angry music all contribute if done on a weekly basis.

When parents think that coercion, insults, hitting or shouting at a child is the way to make them listen they are shaping a bully . Parents who neglect their children or who feel helpless raise disruptive disorganised teens. When the school and the parents do not teach values of respect and consideration, healthy problem solving skills and ways to control emotions Teenagers cannot learn how to behave. A few children consistently participate in problematic behaviours that negatively affect their family, academic, social, and personal functioning.

These children present great concern to parents and the community at large. Many adolescent psychologists believe that relationships rescue struggling teens, not punishment. I see all aggressive behaviour as a cry for help. This boy need to go to therapy or a private institution that helps troubled teens. he needs empathy, care, understanding and strong structure.

Listen to your child. Pay attention to what he or she says and how he or she acts. Try to have a conversation where you don't accuse the child or reprimand the child. Talk about the problems and ask what you can do to help. Express your love for your child in your words and your actions. Make sure he understands that you will always love him even if you don't approve of specific things.
 
There is also the possibility of a chemical imbalance where this boys hormones and brain neurotransmitters are out of synch.. I highly recommend that this boy be taken to a psychiatrist to be checked out medically for Conduct disorder and juvenile delinquency. Contact: info@csvr.org.za to ask about their youth violence prevention programmes in your area.
 
How to restore communication

  • Try to forgive both yourself and your teen for what has gone before. Start today with a confident attitude. Be the adult as you are the one who wants to make changes.
  • Do not insult your child's character, swear at them or shout at your teen. Always calm down first by breathing deeply or thinking things through before reacting .
  • If you want respect, consideration and kindness than as parents you have to be this yourself.
  • Demonstrate problem solving skills. Talk about how to think  and talk through a problem acknowledging different sides. Show them how to resolve conflict and plan a strategy. Help your teen make personal goals.
  • Expose your teen to positive role models especially adult men you admire. Find books or movies about people who  help and succeed.
  • A busy teen is a safe teen. Encourage sport, community volunteering, positive hobbies.
  • Not all serious family problems can be solved without outside help. Contact Famsa or Childline to get the details of someone in your area who can facilitate changes in your family dynamic.

For more information on creating and maintaining good communication with your teenager, read my articles by on parent24.com


The information provided does not constitute a professional diagnosis of your problem. You should consult a health care practitioner, lawyer or other appropriate professional for formal advice. Parent24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
2

user comments

Posted by: Anonymous | 2014-12-12

I have a 16 year old that is also completely out of control. He smokes drugs and drinks and never comes home. I have no idea where he is most of the time and he does not answer to any kind of reason. I try to talk to him but it always ends in fighting, swearing and even physical abuse. The school is about to throw him out for good. I have tried contacting places for assistance but cannot afford to pay some doctor over R700.00 per hour for treatment. Is anyone able to assist with advise, I live in Cape Town.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2014-06-19

i have a 13yr old son that is on drugs and is not focused in school - he is out of control and i dont know what to do. looking for boarding or facility in cape town area. Please help at desperate parent

Reply to Anonymous

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