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I’m Afraid My Teenage Son May Hurt My Baby


My 15-year-old son acts inappropriately. He says he will do what we want him to do, but then he does what he wants all the time. He lies, telling us he has done what we’ve asked when we can clearly see that he hasn’t. Many of his actions are endangering the well-being of his infant sibling. How can I help him change his behavior?



This situation with your 15-year-old is very concerning. We recommend that you immediately increase your monitoring of your son around the baby. Do not allow him to be around the baby without a responsible adult present. And when given a task, have him work where he can be continuously monitored.

Your son has shown that he cannot be trusted. Teach him that following instructions does include saying that he will follow them, but the next step is to begin the task immediately and to complete it to the best of his ability. The final step is to check back with the person who assigned the task.

If you are unsure how long it will take him to complete a task, ask him that question prior to giving the instruction. When the task is completed, compare what he told you to the actual time spent. 

If you continue to have concerns, it may be helpful to schedule an appointment for him with a counselor. Sometimes as parents we try everything we can think of, but professional intervention is needed to make the necessary ​changes.