There may be many factors contributing to this behavior. The manner of the death of his father, any childhood or upbringing issues, and that he is in his late teens. Of course the loss of his father may be a great contributor when he was only 14 years. He is missing him but from the standpoint of an authority figure, a role model, a person who could have been there with him for more years and several such things. If you can find a man from among the relatives to cozy up to him and fill in the void, it will help tremendously. In the meantime, you could act like one and help him tide over this adolescence period without infringing on his freedom. He can also get a lot of help from a counselor with whom he gels. A good career guidance will also give him specific direction, in which a father would have played a very significant role. He needs a good paternal guide and you can explore this in many areas with the right people involved. Get him to be actively involved in sports and games and that will channelize his energy and keep him occupied healthily. Have a lot of talks with him without moralizing but keep all communication channels open. Sometimes it may help for him to know how much you miss your husband and how difficult it is living without him. You may be surprised how that will impact him. Share with him but do not succumb your authority, nor should you molly-coddle him. Because of the hormones he will be acting up too. During this time there will be a spurt in the production of the male sex hormone, testosterone, which has a duration of two years. Due to this chemical alone there are three identified features that present itself over which he has no control: he will be sexually active, aggressive and rebellious, and he will have acne and pimple problems. Then if he has unresolved childhood issues, they will compound the situation and fuel his uncontrolled behavior. Please remember that he himself may not be aware of all this. He is establishing himself among his peers, and he will try to be fashionable in every way possible. What is outrageous to you is very much in, with youngsters today. I am not asking you to become like them but you must understand that this is a different generation and era. He will be seeking a lot of attention from his friends and some of them think that they have to be horrendously different for social acceptance. They will smoke, drink, do drugs, have relationships with girls just to impress their peers. Now what to do? You as a parent need to become his best friend i.e. You must always ally with him and find the path of least resistance, without displaying any weakness. Communication must always be open and favorable. The moment he hides things and does not communicate with you or you withdraw it, there is serious danger. Avoid all types of confrontations and discus your concerns with him, openly. Indulge in him and make home a beautiful place for him to want to be in. Now remember he needs money for all his adventures, which is a commodity he does not have and is not earning it either. That is your bargaining chip or weapon. Use it to negotiate compliance on a barter basis. Never give him anything without there being some negotiations â barter with him; you give him something in return for some compliance from him. There has to be some ground rules in living in your house. If he cannot adhere to them, let him choose to live elsewhere, on his own earnings. Let it appear like it is his choice. You have to be strong and firm in some matters. Donât make decisions for him: offer alternatives that help him make responsible choices. I recommend that you take him for career counseling and determine his aptitude for academic pursuits. Offer him the option then, that he does his course or goes to work. If you feed him with all the comforts, he will never be under pressure to do anything. In fact you may be encouraging him in his negative behaviors by facilitating them. If you can befriend his close companions, especially his peers, you can reach him through them to influence him positively but it has to be done with strict confidence. You may also have some respected elder relative whom he regards highly. Use his/her assistance to get some obedience out of him. Whatever you do, never let him feel rejected by you. There is no harm to tell him that you are afraid as to what is going to happen to him, and afraid that you cannot handle him. This is a fact and so there is no shame in being that open to him.
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