My sweet little boy has become a sarcastic disrespectful 12 year old. plz help me.
I'm writing because I'm concerned about my son. He's 12 years old and I've noticed a change in his behavior in the past few months. He's always been a good kid and a great student. Teacher's used to rave about how "sweet" and "nurturing" he was. However this year I've been called to his school several times about his behavior. He's disrespectful to teachers and doesn't seem sorry for his actions. He's become very sarcastic and doesn't respect authority in school. He has an excuse for everything and does not take responsibility for his actions or he just lies and denies that he did it all.
Its frustrating because I know he is a great kid. I'm feeling very helpless. None of my traditional methods of deprivation punishments are workings. I've noticed at home we have different issues lately. If i correct him for anything, he gets extremely defensive and has to answer back. He will obey me... but he always has to attempt defiance first.
After I left my son's school this morning I cried. I'm completely embarrassed at his behavior. I did not raise him to behave like that. I'm feeling like a failure as a parent. I called my mother for advice and she is suggesting I put him into therapy. She suspects he is acting our because of his absentee father. His dad left 8 years ago and has been in and out of his life ever since and that hasn't caused an issue before. I don't want to assume that and allow my son to use his dad leaving as a crutch for him misbehaving.
I have other family members suggesting I look into military or "specialty" schools, but I'm not sure that is the right choice. If his acting out is a result of feeling abandoned by his dad, then wouldn't my sending him away just tell him that his mom doesn't want him either?
I don't know what to do. How can I get him to change his attitude?