Jane’s 16 year-old son was clear: “I’ll do what I want, I don’t care about you, if you don’t like it you can’t do anything about it, I’m in charge of myself, I have rights so shut up.” Actually, he blamed all his problems on her, cursed her more and then shoved her against the wall.”
Jane loved him and up until age 12 he was nicer to her much of the time. But now he’d turned nasty and dared her to try to stop him. He was bigger and stronger. Mostly, he was angrier and hateful. She didn’t know how to educate him or give him enough of what he wanted so he’d be nice to her. His behavior was unacceptable.
She did notice that he was capable of controlling himself and even sucking up to people who had power in his life: teachers, rich grandparents, police.
This article is for parents like Jane who have given their children every consideration and advantage, who have given their children what they wanted, who have shown their children kindness and consideration. This is for good, forgiving, understanding parents who gave their children too many chances
Jane had given her son all the power:
- He was willing to go to any extreme to get what he wanted. He didn’t think she’d be willing to do what it would take to stop him.
- Jane was limited by her kindness, forgiveness and fear. She didn’t want to ruin his life by calling the police or having him held for a psychiatric evaluation.
Jane realized she had two choices:
- Give in for three years until he agreed to leave home to go to college or get a job.
- Go up the staircase of firmness until he showed he what would stop him.
Jane finally realized:
- The most likely possibility would be his living for free, leaching off her for years and beating her into submission. It was domestic violence, only worse because it was a battering son not a battering husband.
- She didn’t want to show him he could be brutal, selfish and narcissistic, bullying and abusive to her or any other woman.
She developed strength, courage and determination; he’d change his behavior or she’d get him out of her house and life.
- She told him that now he was 16, only performance counted; not potential or promises.
- She told him that the way he could earn privileges, like having his feelings and wishes counted, was by making good choices and showing good behavior. As long as he was negative, hostile, angry, bullying and abusive, she’d think of him as a child throwing temper tantrums or having hissy fits. She’d know she’d have to make every decision for him. He’d get no privacy nor a vote on anything.
- She told him that since he never accepted a code of caring and kindness to her, since the only thing he listened to was power, she’d use power.
- When he ranted and raved at her and said she’d ruined his life, she said, “What have you done with the gifts you’ve been given? How have you proven you’re worthy of respect or treats? What have you done to deserve being listened to?”
- She told him that it was a choice. He could take charge of himself or sink to his lowest and most selfish. But she knew he could do better. There was nothing wrong with him.
Her repeated refrain became, “Make good choices.”
Of course, he didn’t believe she’d follow through, so he rebelled and treated her worse. Then she called the police and social services. She said, “I can lead you to water but I can’t make you drink. However, I can protect my life from a predator and if that ruins your life and future, so be it.” The calmer and stronger she got, the more he became convinced he’d have to behave or else.
Of course, there are many complications depending on your situation. The best way to learn how to take power in your life and to be the person you want to be is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and counseling so you can:
1. Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
2. Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert counseling and coaching by phone or Skype.