First time I've ever been on a message board of any kind, but like many of you, feel driven to it by my teenager's behaviour, and the messaages I've just read have finally inspired me to write. I have 5 kids altogether, I'm an older mum and I love them all to bits. One child is post teen and went though the teens fairly well. 3 are pre-teen. My 11 year old daughter is just starting to become ghastly, and my 15 year old son is already ghastly. It's all so common and yet all so scary. He:
- attacks me when he's angry (I've been punched, pushed to the ground and shoved into doors, etc over the last few years).
- stays up all night and sleeps most of the day (despite my efforts to stop this pattern).
- is staggeringly rude and disrespectful.
- lives in his room and appears to have no friends at all now.
- appears to be addicted to gaming.
- lacks all sense of personal hygene.
- is completely devoid of motivation and is spiralling downwards academically (was recently on the point of being thrown out of sch.)
- seems depressed but won't talk to us and refuses to talk to any professionals.
- has no goals, aspirations or any interest in the outside world.
We've heard it all before, of course, but WHY are they like this? This behaviour really isn't universal - hormones have always made the teen years tricky but the extremes that people are writing about on this forum seem to be peculiarly Western (?) European (?) British even. Sometimes I'm too tired to react and then I feel I'm letting him down. Other times I'm pushed over the edge and I just lose my rag. I rarely feel I'm handling it right. It's unbearably sad to see his self esteem and his prospects rushing down the drain.
Anyway, I'd really appreciate a plausible explanation from someone (an expert somewhere) of why our beloved children are turning into such frightening monsters in such large numbers and irrespective of whether they've had a happy childhood. Is it - lack of discipline? The media? Consumerism? Food additives? ............ If we can send people to the moon, surely we can answer this one (?)