Son’s Aggressive Behavior

Dear Sara,

I am a divorced mom with a sixteen year old son, Jordan. His father lives in another state and Jordan seldom sees him. Jordan is six feet tall and weighs about 180 pounds. Lately I have been having problems with Jordan being aggressive toward me if he doesn’t get what he wants. He has thrown a shoe at me and shoved me down on the couch. I don’t want him to think that this kind of behavior is OK toward me or for that matter anyone else. What should I do about this?

Dear Christine,

You are absolutely right! This kind of behavior should not be tolerated. You have control over things that you have given him, like a car, a cell phone (that you probably pay the bill for) or an allowance. Let him know that you will not put up with any more aggressive behavior and you will take away any or all of these things that you have given him if he acts in any way aggressive toward you. This includes threatening, pushing or trying to control you in any way. If you aren’t assertive he will continue to bully you. Don’t tolerate this at all.

If his behavior continues to be aggressive, you could see if his father would take custody for a while.


  1. I suggest a joint meeting with a school counselor. The counselor should reinforce the parent’s rule that aggressive behavior is not acceptable. (S)He could also prevent boy from participating in schol activities if aggression continues.

  2. It’s time for some tough love with this young. You should try the counselling route first. However if this behavior continues or even worse, escalates, you need to be a parent and tel Mr. Jordan that you will contact the police the next time he gets physical with you.
    There should be ZERO tolerance for him being physical with you.
    Ask his father to talk with him also. You both need to be united with Jordan.

  3. I hope your situation turns out differently, but I had a very similar one. Started with a little drinking, skipping school, pot, speeding tickets, failing school…and it got worse. An officer that pulled him over wanted to go easy on him and try this “program” where kids are not charged/arrested, but must appear before a judge, provide clean urine samples, etc. I wanted them to “throw the book at him”, but my husband and the officer convinced me to give it a try.

    Although the officer seemed very nice and knew what he was talking about, something made me think this thing wasn’t going to come to fruition, so as I was leaving I poked him in the chest with every single work…IF. YOU. DO. NOT. FOLLOW. THROUGH. YOU. WILL. SEE. HIM. AGAIN!

    THAT officer charged him with simple possession 6 weeks later. But thanks to a very savvy and popular attorney Daddy paid for, all charges were dropped.

    I did EVERYTHING I could think of, and made up some more…but I was so emotionally spent — nearly catatonic — after a few years, I had to send him to his Dad’s, but nothing changed.

    Here we are 4-5 years later, and Daddy bailed him out of jail for missing to court dates, stemming from a charge of “simple possession”.

    After hours and hours of research and talking to others I’m convinced my son has to hit absolute rock bottom, before he’ll snap out of his delusional world of make believe.

    Anyway, good luck and thanks for listening.

  4. First thing I would do is let his father know what he has done and what he has said to you. After that, I would let your son know that you had contacted his father, and |(hopefully) neither he nor you will accept that behavior. You also need to put something he likes to do on hold for punishment. There has to be SHAME felt, RESTITUTION (I’m sorry mom. I’ll never do it again) and DISCIPLINE (Something he values taken away per discipline required for actions/words taken. If it goes past that, maybe you have female friends who have husbands, maybe with there own kids, that can sit down and clear up a lot of this. He could be taking out on you, something/someone that he is afraid of as well (being bullied). I lost my father when I was young, and I dealt with a lot I took out, not physically, on my mom. Maybe seeing his teachers may shed some light on some things as well. Just some thoughts.

  5. lol you could throw the shoe back at him. might shock him enough to make him see his errant ways

  6. DAVE STONE says:


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