My teenage son is disengaged at school. He says that all subjects and the teachers are stupid.

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Hey, and thank you for your question.

Your question is:

"My teenage son is going through a difficult time. He's disengaged at school. He says that all subjects are stupid and the teachers are stupid. Flying under radar and doing the bare minimum, not doing homework. When I told him that he couldn't go out with his friends over the weekend because of his poor performance at school, he put his foot through the wall. He swears all the time at home and has become aggressive. Any ideas on what to do?"

Well, first of all, we recognize that sometimes teenagers, they're more impulsive and they do get angry, but there are some questions I have. And that is, did something happen at school? So first concept, I wonder if you could get your son to talk about his school experience. Tell me more? Help me understand?

Normally as parents one of the things that we want to do is say "School is not stupid. That's where you learn." I would want to take the approach of seeking information. So, go in being curious, seek information from him. Right. What's happened at school? Right? Maybe he feels like he's inadequate that he's not good enough that he's not as good as the other students. Something has transpired there. Again, I don't know what, but something's happened there. The teachers are stupid. I wonder why your son is angry? What's driving it? That's one of the questions that I would want to pursue, is just trying to understand.

The next is the anger at home. And I think that during a calm state, it's trying to talk with your son. What is your anger about? Why are you swearing? What's driving the anger inside of you son? Those are the things that I would want to address and be aware of.

The next part of it is softness. I would approach this with, "I want a deeper connection with you son. I want to be close to you. I don't know what has happened but it feels like there's something upsetting you right now." As a parent you want to find what it is that's upsetting them.

That's where I would start. Thank you for your question.

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Dr. Kevin Skinner