The yelling in his house is giving him a headache.

March 11, 2014

Dear Wayne,

I need help with my 14-year-old son. Every morning there’s yelling and commotion in the house. It’s a lousy way to start the day. What happens is that his mother yells upstairs to wake him up. When we don’t hear any movement upstairs, I begin to yell at him to get going. Then he starts yelling at us to stop yelling. He’s been late to school quite a few times so we’re trying to help him to be punctual. But the noise is giving us a headache. Please, give us a solution.


Oy, My Head


Dear Oy,

I’m happy to give you a solution, but first we have to identify the problem. It certainly isn’t your son. If you want the yelling to stop, stop yelling. Someone got a gun to your head? Sounds like you and your wife are blaming the kid because you don’t know how to parent him. You’re giving him all the power.

Your son is old enough to be responsible for his own schedule. If he’s late, let him get marked tardy. If he’s late often, let him suffer the consequences at school. If he can’t uphold the standards in your house, let him suffer those consequences as well.

If you keep yelling and insisting on being less than the man you want to be, what kind of man do you think your son will become? Too many parents don’t understand that if they want their kids to act like adults, they first need to act like adults themselves, and then treat their kids like adults. You’re babying your son and that won’t help him to become a responsible man.

So here’s your solution: get him an alarm clock and lay out the plan. He gets up on his own, he comes down on his own, and you and your wife enjoy the morning paper. If you drive him to school, you can either drive him when he’s ready, or let him know that the “bus” leaves at a certain time, and if he’s late, he walks.

You have several options. But what’s most important is that you not be afraid to parent your son. Don’t be afraid to have him angry with you. If you and your wife are on the same page, you may be shocked at how easy this change will be. And imagine the peace and quiet.