Teen smoking, trouble with the law, single parent home

by Becky Linscott
(Waldoboro, Maine)

I have a 15 year old son. I am a single mother to him and his brother who is 11. For the last year and half, my 15-year old's behavior has drastically changed. He smokes cigarettes, marijuana from time to time, hangs around kids that have been in trouble with the law, he doesn't like to go by my rules, he wants his own way, everyday. I am at a loss at what to do. When I talk and sometimes yell at him about it, he stays very pissed off at me for awhile, as a single parent, what can I do to turn my teenage son's behavior around?

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May 14, 2009
Teen Defiance
by: Laura Ramirez

Hi Becky,

First of all, know that you are not alone. Every day, I get emails from parents who are dealing with teen defiance and disrespect and are at a loss for what to do. Things are even tougher for you because you are a single parent.

Although I am sure you understand how important it is to take care of behaviors like disrespect, defiance and smoking now, let's underscore the urgency of the situation with a few facts: 1) teen defiance does not get better on its own, in fact, it worsens with time 2) angry teens seek out other angry teens which can lead to acts of criminal behavior 3) your teenager is acting as a role model for his little brother, 4) kids who are chronically angry, disrespectful, defiant and oppositional as teens have a greater tendency for exhibiting criminal behavior throughout the teen years and as adults.

You need to act now for the sake of your sanity, physical well-being (I imagine that your teen is already bigger and stronger than you) and the well-being and future of both your children. Read my review of the Total Transformation, a behavioral program that you can use at home to help your son turn around his behavior using some simple, but very effective techniques. The program was created by a therapist of 30 years who specializes in turning around defiant kids and who was once himself a troubled youth who was into smoking, drugs and criminal behavior.

It's an excellent program because this therapist understands troubled teens from the inside out and knows what it takes to create lasting changes in behavior. As a successful therapist, he is living proof that change is possible, even for the most delinquent teens.

It's not your fault that your child behaves this way, but it is your responsibility to take action and refuse to let him slide down that slippery slope into an angry, troubled life.

Thanks for reaching out. You're obviously a caring mom.

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