Question: My son is 14 and we just moved to Florida from New York. I see a difference in him. He talks back, doesn’t socialize with anyone, always has an attitude, and is generally disrespectful. He wasn’t like that when we lived in the big city. What do we do?
Answer: A 14 year old really shouldn’t act like that unless there is something deeper going on. A move can be a traumatic experience for anyone, no less a 14 year old boy. It could be bullying, not being accepted, missing his old friends, or a number of other issues.
With that said, disrespect can never be tolerated. It has to be handled right away. Most parents over-react and give punishments that are unrealistic. Then the parent has to retract and that shows a child you aren’t going to stick with what you say.
Be more understanding and try to communicate with him. Maybe enroll him in the YMCA, or an activity he is used to. Find a mentor your son might look up to. I can’t emphasize how important communications are and as hard as a move is for you, think how hard it is for him. Don’t ever forget, a hug goes a long way.
We also recommend the Reality Check Program. Your son is at the perfect age. The Reality Check Program is geared for people 11 and up and shows what will happen to you if you keep making bad choices. Click Here to purchase the Reality Check Program video. A good resource is “Identifying At-Risk Teens”, see how many warning signs your son has. Stay ahead of the problem and never give up.