Recently an exasperated mom wrotetomeaboutherenraged 13-year-old. She shared how his temper was getting worse
and worse and she didn’t know what to
do about it. Following is the dialogue
that took place between us:
The first step is to
apologize and admit that
you made a mistake . . . .
Recently my three children were argu-
ing and name calling while doing their
chores, and I decided to punish them for
their behavior. I decided they would not
be allowed to go to the county fair with
their cousins, an outing they were looking
very forward to. When my brother and his
family came to pick us up, I was their only
When I returned, my 13-year-old son
was livid. He started yelling at me and
insisting that the punishment was unjust
and that his sisters were at fault. Actually,
he was right. But now he was yelling and
being disrespectful. I admit that my punishment for him was a little unjust, but
now how should I deal with his disrespectful behavior?
The fact that your son is yelling and
being disrespectful suggests that perhaps
there is more to the problem than sim-
ply a reaction to an unjust punishment.
Is yelling a reaction that has been mod-
eled by Mom and Dad? Many behavioral
problems stem from parents who are not
modeling the behavior that they desire in
their children. The boundaries we set for
ourselves are usually the boundaries our
children will adopt for themselves.