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Old 04-01-2010, 03:15 PM   #1
StressedDad
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Default Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

Our 8th grader recently lost all his 'screen-time' for getting bad grades. His life in the last 2 - 3 months had pretty much gotten down to just playing Call of Duty 6 all the time on the xBox. He no longer played soccer, played guitar or had any interests outside of COD6 -- he was obsessed with it. Now that he's lost all his screen-time, he's become just plain verbally abusive to both his Mom and me -- but mainly me, because he rightly understands that I am the one with a bit stronger spine regarding discipline.

He tries to argue/negotiate for screen-time every day and calls me a jerk, a hypocrite, a terrible Dad, etc and much other things for refusing to discuss letting him have any precious COD6.

Since his screen-time has all been taken away and he basically no longer has any other interests, I have no leverage with him to get him to stop being so nasty. He tells us now that we have no control over him and he can do anything he wants to and say anything he wants to.

I'd love to hear some suggestions on how to deal with this nasty, hateful kid and get him to stop verbally abusing us and basically refusing to do anything we tell him.
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Old 04-01-2010, 05:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

Hello brother.

My boys poison is Halo. Similar situation. He has been off the Xbox, computer and tv for the last month. There have been a handful of time he has temporarily "earned" the privilege back for a day or so. But he is just generally better behaved without it. At the end of the grading period if he gets a better than average grade in reading he will be reinstated with the Xbox.

My wife and I are hammering out a new set of rules to post on his door prior to that. We also plan to get some Chips one hour and one half hour that he will be able to "earn" time.

All that aside I feel you pain. Its almost like a gambling junkie playing slots. And his behavior go's right into the crapper. He has been working really hard to earn his privileges back. But slips from time to time. We negotiate with a hour here or there. Same with the TV but not the computer.

I did explain that I would be a bad parent if I didn't teach him about consequences and responsibility that goes with privilege. probably in one ear and out the other. But we, like you aren't budging. Our line in the sand has been drawn.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

Oh, he's definitely off any electronics. My problem is what to do about the nasty backtalk and attitude because he is so resentful and angry that he's lost his COD6 screen-time. He was so nasty earlier tonight he made my wife burst into tears and go lock herself in the bedroom to get away from him. He wouldn't stop his constant griping and name-calling, so at one point we both took him by the shoulders and walked him to his room. He then popped out grinning a minute later and asked, 'So, are you going to walk me back every 2 minutes? Because you can't make me stay in there". That's when she burst out crying and locked herself in the bedroom.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

I know what I would do but cant advise you to spank. I dont think 8th grade is to old. Other than that stick to your guns. It sounds like a battle of wills and has put you in a corner with no good way out. I think if it got to that point they would be for sale on craigs list or something. The more I think about it. I would sell it. Gone in the morning put it in you trunk until its sold. Nothing to argue or negotiate about then. Tell him he is hitting the point of no return. And IMHO no bluffing.

Just my opinion.
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

Tough one...how long has he been grounded from his electronics? If it's been a while then he is right, and he know's you have no leverage. Teens are like toddlers with way better vocabulary, you know how the time out rule is one minute for every year of their lives, there is a reason for this it's becasue if the punishment is to long then they loose reason of why they are being punished. It need to be an appropriate amount of time, if it's to long what's the point of being good.

Allow him a chance to earn some time back, make all rules very clear as bssage said keep them posted so there is no question about what is expected. If he knows ahead of time what will or won't earn him time he will be more willing to tow the line.

Make it clear that hurting someones feelings and being rude will not earn him time or privalages.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

Thanks for the responses. He's only been cut off since Monday. He started getting nasty on Wednesday and then turned into a male version of the little possessed girl from The Exorcist last night. He tried various cons on us to try to get his precious COD6 time and when they didn't work, went nuclear.

Oh, my wife and I were already talking privately about how he could start earning some screen-time on the weekends, but then last night he blew and I have no inclination at this point to allow him more than food and clothing. I've just given the summary in my previous posts. This kid asked if he could go to a foster home, said we shouldn't expect him to come see us after he turns 18, etc. etc. etc. All this kind of stuff (and the insults, name-calling and refusal to either be quiet or stay in his room) is what finally made my wife burst into tears. Of course, he loved that. He was trying to get a response and he got it.

As far as selling the xBox is concerned, although I definitely love the thought, I feel as if we would have absolutely no chance of any future leverage if it were gone for good. Although the struggles with it for the last few months have been huge. Ex: Why can't I play for 5 hours a day? ALL my friends do! You're the worst Father in the world!' Ex2: Why can't I play 30 minutes past the time I was given? What's your problem with being nice and being flexible? What's YOUR problem, Dad? You're the worst Father in the world!" Oh, this week I've been called a 'jerk' about 50 times by my 14-year-old son for refusing to discuss letting him have any COD6.

Repeat those examples a couple of hundred times and you'll see why I deeply regret the decision to allow the COD6 'gifting' at Christmas.

I think one of the reasons he's so hell-bent on getting COD6 back is that he has friends at school who all play it and I know they talk about the dern game every day. Since he's not online on it with them anymore, they're probably noticing and asking him questions about his 'absence'. He most definitely doesn't want to tell them he's been cut off for bad grades, so he's starting to get very, very stressed. That's one of the reasons I don't want to bend at all on this -- I want him to feel some heat from his 'peers' as just one of the consequences of his recent poor grades.
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Old 04-02-2010, 04:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

COD6 is an 18, he is 14, throw it away, he wont be able to buy it again.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

Even though it may seem like it now. I don't think you will run out of things to bargain with. At his age, Heck any age people have a hard time getting Needs and Wants in perspective. There will be a thing he "Needs" and its going to be just around the corner.

He is old enough to play paintball swimming is a little bit away. Teen parties should be coming up. I would guess he has already applied the heat for a cell phone. IMHO tell him the next outburst it gone. And stick to it. What do you have to lose your already the worst dad in the history of the world?
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:54 AM   #9
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

Honestly, those things can become addicting to the right personality. If he's reacting the way he is when you took it away, he has a problem. To me, it's time for Xbox rehab. Quit cold turkey. Take the Xbox and put it somewhere where he can't find it and let it sit for 3 months to get over this situation. Then maybe let him have it one weekend per month, then one weekend per 2 weeks and see how it goes.

I personally think that giving him ANY time right now is not the right choice.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: Need help with discipline problem for 14-year-old please

Oh, he gets no time on it whatsoever now. Yes, I want him to spend at least 3 - 4 weeks completely cold turkey off this thing to try to get a perspective on 'real life', not a virtual one.

I like the thought of telling him if there are any more outbursts like last night I'll just take the dern xBox and he has no chance of getting it back until he can go a month without calling me a jerk, without making his Mother cry and starts to make the grades he's capable of.

As far as taking his cell phone away as a consequence for his behavior, well that's not really feasible since he lost it a month ago. Yep. He has no idea where it is and doesn't care that he can't find it. When we tell him he needs to find his cell because we paid for it and his monthly plan, he says we're being outrageously difficult and pressuring him. That we can't 'just let things go' and 'need to get over it'.

Thank God we only have the one kid. I don't see how people with more than one maintain their sanity.
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