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What should I do to correct my son's behaviour?

Q: I have a 14 years old son. He is intelligent and very affectionate towards us. We were amazed by the way he picked up the things in his childhood days. But since the past one year, things have changed drastically. He does not listen to either of us unless we threaten him with some punishment. He was very hyperactive when he was a child. Nowadays, he has even lost the interest for learning. He doesn't do anything on his own unless we / teachers force him or accompany him. He lacks concentration and does not possess any kind of leadership, in the sense that he does whatever the other kid does instead of thinking and doing something on his own. He does not listen to his teachers. Nor is he attentive in the class room. We are getting complaints from his teachers on a daily basis. He argues a lot and asks the same question again and again despite knowing the answer. He is not even interested in playing with his friends. He is becoming very adamant. I am observing that he lacks even the basic courtesies like saying excuse me, sorry, thanks, etc. He is our only child and we are very worried about him. Earlier he loved going to school, but now even this has changed. According to his teachers report, he disturbs other children rather than doing his job. He seems to enjoy when something / someone falls down. Please tell me the steps I need to take to improve his behaviour.

A:You say that things have changed in the past one year. Your son is in his early adolescence and his own growth patterns could throw him into confusion. He should be told what changes to expect and how he should manage them. Get the help of experts if you cannot handle this. But since his classmates are also in the same physical stage, the growth spurt alone does not explain everything. Talk to your son and try and find out who his friends are, what they do in their spare time, etc. You should be able to ascertain that he is not into alcohol and drugs. But please be tactful in your study of the situation and not harsh or judgmental. Find out what he likes to do and is good at doing and give him an opportunity to do something well. Other things will follow. Also try and see if there were any changes in your life as parents last year that had an impact on his sense of well being. If you feel that you are not getting anywhere, you might wish him to consult a psychologist or counsellor in person.

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