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    insight on teenage son
    Anon_2851 posted:
    actually my step son - 13 years old. His behaviors have me wondering as I grew up in a home with all girls so I have no idea about teen boys. Some of his behaviors seem extremely odd to me. I am at the point that I do want to discuss some of them with Dh and some are sensitive. We have a 3 1/2 year old together and I am slightly concerned for her as well so I just want to see if this is normal or not first. Here is a list of what I am seeing:

    1. SS has no friends to speak of. We have asked if he wants to invite any over he says no. none at school that come up to him at events we attend and say hi to him. None in the neighborhood. He even says he does not want to go to our neighborhood pool b/c it's "boring" and there are a ton of kids his age down there.

    2. He does not shower or brush his teeth unless he is told to do so. He doesn't care about his overall hygiene or appearance. He has braces so it gets really nasty.

    3. When he has chores to do he will do 1/2 of them on the list and only 1/2 of the 1/2 that he chose to do. (IE: bathroom cleaning he will only clean the sink and the mirror and leave the rest un done) He has nothing else to do that would be a motivator to not do it either. He is always required to go back and finish it and gets in more trouble for not completing it. He lies when asked if he completed it (even though we know darn well he didn't). He would literally rather sit on his bed and do nothing than finish the chore list he has to do and will have to do no matter what and get in more trouble for not doing them.

    4. He cannot communicate like other 13 year olds. He talks so softly no one can hear him and when he does speak up it sounds like he has marbles in his mouth. We have had his speech and hearing tested and it is fine.

    5. He is a perpetual liar. He will lie about anything/everything. He knows he will be in trouble more so on things he is responsible for if he lies (IE: homework) versus just telling the truth but he still lies but what really bugs us is just lying about stuff like food. He hides food in closets and then we will go to find it and he will say "i don't know where it is". There is no reason for this. We have never given him any idea that any food is off limits. He can eat what he chooses (to a certain extent of course...he cannot eat a boatload of candy of course)

    6. He is addicted to video games and TV. We do have a 2 hour time limit to his games/tv. during the school year he is only allowed to play on weekends. Issue is if he is not doing this, he will retreat to his room and just sit on his bed and do nothing. Not go outside, not watch TV with us, play games as a family, etc.

    7. He never smiles, jokes, laughs, talks or anything. He is just uncomfortable to be around. When you try to talk to him he is just wierd and you get frustrated trying to understand his speaking back to you.

    Other info: he has visitation with his mother. she does not have custody. DH and I have been together a total of 8 years. married 6. I am not new to the picture. He has been tested for LD's and was cleared. He has not exibited violence but he was caught (by me) under a blanket w/ my 8 y/o niece in a dark room. She had no idea what was going on. He did - very clearly - know it was wrong. He is not allowed around my nieces or my duaghter for that matter alone any longer.

    Our home is safe, in a nice neighborhood that we have lived in for 5 years. DH and I are fair, consistent, loving, etc. SS has his own room, his needs are met and then some. We have dinner as a family. We plan things together to try to bring him out but nothing. He is just wierd, he's uncomfortable for ALL of us to be around and it's putting a strain on our family. I am personally getting to the point where I am uncomfortable in my own home. Any thoughts or advice are much appreciated. TIA!
    kay_kay75 responded:
    I think you need to have him evaluated by a mental health professional, this all seems like it could be leading to a psycological (sp) disorder. I don't mean it in a bad way but if caught early enough it can be treated and let him live a "normal" life, also this could be a sign of depression. PLEASE talk to his doctor or a mental health professional about this! HTH
    momuv4girls responded:
    Like the previous poster, I too think an evaluation is in order.

    I would find a qualified, board certified Child Psychiatrist (here is a link) - preferably a male one.

    I would call around and do some research before just taking him in. I would call several offices, set up phone appointments for your self to "interview" the prospective Dr. You want to make sure he's a good fit for your son, before you tackle bringing in your son.

    I would print out what you wrote here also and bring it with you. It would be great if his father would come to the meetings also - - the more people on board the better!

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes!
    FCL responded:
    I have no advice to offer - only sympathy. It must be really difficult for all of you to live in this situation. I'd also like to say how much I admire the fact that, though all of htis is hard on you and is probably building up dangerously, you wrote a matter-of-fact post with no anger nor accusation in it. You must be a really great stepmother
    BrookeFaye responded:
    You should also not forget his teachers, counselors or any one else at the school who would have good insight of what they see and notice about your SS.
    Teachers are generally aware of "out of ordinary" behavior with children of the same ages.
    You mentioned being tested for LD's but I wondered if he has "other health" issues and works with any special educators. If so, they SHOULD have tons of data.

    As an educator: I HIGHLY recommend asking his teachers of the last three years for information. Also, usually doctors/specialist have rating scales that they send to the school and teachers fill out and send it back to the doctor so the doctor can assess your SS with all of his aspects of life.

    Here are some questions that teachers could possibly answer: (and I would talk to ALL of his teachers so you can possibly get a pattern)
    1) How is his behavior on a scale of 1-10?
    2) Compared to the average child, what are his social skills like?
    3) Does he seem hungry, tired, lethargic, excited, hyper, can he sit still for lessons/activities?
    4) Does he have appropriate conversations with other students?
    5) Does he have appropriate conversations with adults?
    6) Can he recognize when he needs help? Does he ask for help?
    7) What are three of my SS strengths?
    What are three areas of concern for SS?
    9) Is his work done in a neat and timely manner?
    10) Has he mentioned anything about dying or suicide in writing assignments or conversations with anyone?

    Also mom- take a look at his sleeping habits. You mentioned that he plays video games. I assume he doesn't have it in his room since you mentioned he'd just sit on his bed. GOOD- keep any electronics/tv etc. out of his room. But don't forget about the phone. Most phones now a days can play games, videos, watch tv/movies etc. If he has a cell phone, have him give it to you or dad before he goes to bed. You'd be amazed at how sleep deprivation affects teens. They can't hardly function. Teenagers are to get between 10-12 hours of sleep per night according to scientists.

    I hope this helps along with talking to a doctor.

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