Ungrateful Teenager

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Sara writes, “I have a 17-year-old grandson that is turning into an ungrateful young man…

He does not want to spend any time at home with his family; he stays overnight at a different friends’ house (running around with 14-15-year-olds’ and has nothing to do with any of his old friends that are his age). He only comes home every two days. When he is home he stays in his room and refuses to eat with or have any interaction with his family.

His parents bought a car for him and gave him new tires and a stereo system for Christmas. The kids he is friends with now all have wealthy parents which his parents are not – so now my grandson thinks they are not good enough.

Is there anything I can do to help him? I want him to realize that his family loves him and his so-called friends are just using him.”

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15 thoughts on “Ungrateful Teenager”

  1. Take him on a month long trip to Bali to live with a family in a village
    He will soon learn to appreciate things and not feel so entitled.

  2. It is my opinion at 70 that most young people are self centred and have very little empathy, little respect for others….the whole world revolves around them. And nothing but experience will drag them out of that attitude. They need to grow up and do things that give them feedback…..that show them the way to be and who they really are. No amount of kisses and praise will do that for them. They have to learn about consequences…..and responsibility. If you give them everything they should be striving for, you are delaying their maturing. Let them do something for themselves.

  3. The kid is 17. Why is he even allowed to decide to not come home at night. The parents are still
    Legally responsible for his actions. Take away the car, take away the phone and any other extras that he has. They are privileges. I can’t believe all of these, teen age is a difficult time and just let him know he is missed… seriously? My kids always knew the expectation that they were to be home by a certain time, no excuses. This is just more of being your kids friend and not their parent. It is so wrong. Kids need boundaries and rules.

  4. … is he at school? Does he have a job?
    It’s often said, never get into the ring with your teen age child!
    It’s been said that the hormones and fitting in are two of the most common areas having these effects.
    In an age where everything is so materialistic and hegemony is rife it’s just so hard to understand this abandonment of friends and family. I’d tread very lightly, don try to shame him, don’t use emotional black mail. When he does come home, be calm, don’t ask questions, don’t overl him with kisses and hugs…… just be a little withdrawn, gentle, let him know you are glad to see him……..button up…….leave it at that…..
    Pray …… they are struggling……. Heaven knows why! Got it easy? ….. just let him come out of it……. let him come to you, don’t over crowd…….with one of mine, it took a few years. Good luck xxxx

    1. I agree at this age they have to find out things & people for themselves otherwise if you try you will only push him farther & farther away just let him know you love him & always will & you will always be there for him.

  5. For me, in my experience, this type of behaviour escalated. My 16yo daughter suffers from unspecified mental illness. She started off being oppositional, spent all her time in her room, and needed to get out of the house all the time. One of my paycheques per month were spent on buying “things” for her to help her self esteem. She has always been ignorant and disrespectful towards her father, ever since she was 6. Do not think love and positive reinforcements will help him come out of his shell. My daughter has made attempts of her life 3 times in 5 months, not serious attempts, taking too much Advil and Tylenol, but attempts that may have left lasting damage on her body. She told me, after her last one last Thursday, that I never spent enough time, money, and attention on her; but that’s not true. She needs to realize that there are others in life. And now, with the current outbreak, she and her boyfriend are running around, visiting their friends and not coming home. All mental health supports done face to face have been suspended. Although we were in emergency, they would not keep her; the beds are needed to be ready for COVID-19 patients. So, she’s decided she needs to stay with her 19 yo boyfriend and not come home except to shower and change clothes. It’s time for some real life consequences, and I’ll help her pack. And cut her $$ off. It’s what I have to do. And for those who think it’s too far, all my conversation and texts with her have been “I love you” and “You are very important to me.” So, just be prepared for the showdown. It’s coming. Read Barbara Colorosso and be ready to support and set limitations.

    1. Good for you. Its amazing how smart parents become when children become young adults. Took my stepson until he was in early 20’s to appreciate the sacrifices his dad made.

  6. Teenagers go through a lot mentally trying to “fit in”. He is trying to find himself while forming opinions of his own, on what love is and what he wants out of life. Money can’t buy love, but his parents have showed him otherwise. They bought him a car, then they bought him new tires, and a stereo for the car. (Your post doesn’t mention him working) Teenagers don’t catch on about being used by their friends, when they have a car. A car gives them a sense of control in their life that some make good choices like getting a job, while others see it as a way to keep friends. He needs shown how real these relationships are by taking the keys away from him for a period of time. It isn’t the teenager you need to be talking to, it is the parents!

    1. Parents must not give up on their love.Have patience ,trust and hope .Be a good example by your actions not your words

  7. Just keep telling him how much he is loved and missed, and how much you would love him to be around because everyone is sad without him. Hopefully, he will come around soon, but don’t expect it to happen over night. Teenagers do not always make the right decisions or understand the consequences of their actions.

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