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OT: Teenage Son Wants to Live With His Dad

Old 07-17-2014, 10:42 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Location: Midwest, USA
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I'm still really anxious about my son's behavior. He has been really edgy with me and I find it difficult to let it go and not take it personally, especially when his dad is playing his ally. He is not a bad kid, but his attitude really stinks, and his dad has had six weeks of all fun and no rules to persuade him with during the first half of summer now.

I drew up a "house expectations" contract and plan to have us talk about and sign it next week. It covers all of my standard house rules about chores, lots of "I" statements, bedtime, curfew, screen time, grades, etc. Believe it or not, I fit it into ten numbered rules. Some of them have additional bullet points, because I want it to cover a lot of things.

The big part I want him to get is the "family accountability" part. It reads:

I am accountable for my relationship with my family. I have the power to be a positive force in my relationship with my family at both houses.
  • I will communicate with family members to resolve problems. If I dislike a rule or habit of either house, it is my responsibility to discuss and problem-solve with others who can resolve it in that house.
  • If I am upset, depressed, angry or bothered, I will take some active positive steps to deal with my feelings and problems, such as talking about the problem, expressing myself, listening to and/or playing music, getting more sleep and exercise, and finding other positive outlets for my negative energy.
  • When I am unhappy with something at my Dad’s house, I will take positive steps to deal with it at my Dad’s house.
  • When I am unhappy with something at my Mom’s House, I will take positive steps to deal with it at Mom’s house.

It's a little redundant, but hey.

I really don't have any expectations that this will be the last word on these issues, but I do want to reinforce that at my house, DS14 is accountable to me. I want us to have open communication and for him to communicate about any issues he is having with me, so I can understand his frustration. But also that complaining to his dad about me (and vice versa) is no longer an acceptable form of problem-solving.
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:14 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Love the accountability, Florence Try to remember; it is really not all that personal. Most teens would choose the "fun parent", especially if the "fun parent" is filling his/her head with how great life would be if......
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