It makes me so sad that our 15-year-old son shows no respect for either his mother or me. In fact, he laughs off any person of responsibility - teachers, coaches, etc. It is very confusing for me as we have always given him the material and moral support he has demanded. Yet he doesn't seem to appreciate this at all. His impudence is so extreme that he even mocks us in front of our friends. We have tried to explain to him that his behavior is unreasonable but he laughs us off, telling us that we're old and don't know anything. How do we deal with him?
I believe that your indulgence towards your son is the direct cause of his arrogant disrespect. Instead of creating a parent-child relationship which is a child's model for dealing with all people, you have shown him a lord-serf relationship, where you and your wife are the serfs! You are doing him a disservice for as you know, this is not the way the world operates and when, as an adult, he is faced with real life situations he will not have the means to deal with them. It may not be too late to make him understand that your support is dependent on his behavior, respect and consideration towards you and everyone else he has contact with. This about-face in your treatment will take a lot of effort and must be fully supported by your wife. Be strong, be patient, don't submit to the inevitable initial abuse you will encounter, and you may well find over time that you have a different son in your household.