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Tomorrow
Tomorrow asks:
Q:

How should my friend handle her 13 year old boy who makes good grades but doesn't respect his parents?

I have a friend who is having issues with her 13 year old boy. He is an all around good boy, makes good grades, just doesn't respect his parents as far as being a slob and talks back, refuses to clean up. How should she deal with this? She has taken away games, computer, ect. It doesn't work.
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 23, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

It's not uncommon to have difficulty in motivating a 13 yr. old boy to be clean and tidy. Often they are more interested in social activities and sometimes just don't think it really matters whether their stuff is picked up off the floor or not. It's important to issue appropriate consequences when a child doesn't perform their chores, but it's equally as important to reward and praise them when they do. Encourage your friend to keep a list of chores/taska that her son must accomplish everyday. Then he can mark it off when he has completed it. Many times parents have a vastly different idea than their children of what clean really looks like. By making a list, it will ensure that he knows exactly what he needs to do, and can't use the excuse of "it's clean enough for me."

Your friend needs to clearly state the consequences for her son not completing a task and also what the reward will be for him completing everything for a certain amount of time. For example, he may get to choose a special desert or sweet snack at the end of the week if he completed all his duties for the week. The trick is to find something to motivate him to want to do all his chores. Remember that it doesn't always have to be something that costs money.  

Lastly, it's very important to be consistent. Don't enforce the rules only when company is coming, or there's a specific reason to clean. Emphasize that cleanliness is important everyday and it will be an ongoing task for the rest of his life.

Take Care!
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000


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Additional Answers (3)

ronald
ronald writes:
Tom,

Great topic, and what a common issue. My wife and I have raised two boys, and have had issues in these areas. In terms of the slob, requiring the child at this age to have more responsibility is an approach. Examples, cleaning the dishes,etc. inculcates the message that cleaning is easier when everyone helps. Next, maybe he should wash his own clothes if he is a slob in terms of not putting his clothes away. Kids need more responsibility. Lastly, instilling respect is tough. Investing more time in their activities affords the opportunity to have the special conversations with them. Have the parents considered  positive rewards for appropriate behaviors?
> 60 days ago

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mrs.smarticle
mrs.smarticle writes:
Well i'm 14 years old and i used to do the same but i quit because i went to counseling and they put me on medication and i took it everyday i stop being bad becuz i had adhd
> 60 days ago

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coolhipwithit
coolhipwithit writes:
I need help with the same situation with my 13 year old son.  He is an all around good kid, but doesn't want to listen to me, talk to me or even look at me.  I've taken away his games too and he doesn't seem to care or maybe that is why he won't talk to me.  I am at the end of my rope with him.
> 60 days ago

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