My soon to be 13-year-old son and I constantly battle over almost every issue that effects his life. From homework and accountability, to what he is allowed to do on his own, to what his does and doesn't have in relation to his friends. We stress that responsibility and accountability go hand in hand with privileges, and that he is now too old for us to be micro managing him every step of the way (which he hates anyway). His teachers and other adults see him as a positive influence and a "good" kid which we know that he is, but we are tired of the daily battles with him.
I sure sense the frustration level in the tone of your message! I wish I had a foolproof answer for you - to provide you with a forumla that could instantly make things better - but as you know - parenting is often difficult! I would like to encourage you that you are not alone. At HomeWord, we get messages like yours on a regular basis.
It seems to me that you are doing a lot of right things in parenting your son, stressing responsibiltity and accountability. Don't give up!
I encourage you to choose your battles wisely. No one can win every battle and if every issue turns into a battle - life can get pretty miserable. Are there non-critical issues (determined to be so by you!) - that you can decide not to battle over? Sometimes, in a season of battles, parents may become entrenched - holding their ground - rather than giving issues a thorough consideration. I had one parent, who is actively engaged in parenting her middle school daughter tell me recently, "When our daughter asks us something, we've decided that we will try to say 'yes' - unless there is a compelling reason to say 'no'." I like that approach. It isn't a automatic green light - or hands off approach - but about perspective - an intentional starting point for considering issues.
I also encourage you to consider your relationship with your son. Do you think he is confident in your care and love for him? Do you converse with your son primarily about these issues or are you keeping your broader communication lines open? Have you had an opportunity to sit down and really talk (can you?) to your son - not over specific issues that you've been battling over - but about how he is feeling about his life and the way things are at home - and why he feels the way he does? Are you having any fun together? There's an old parenting adage that I think is true: rules without relationship lead to rebellion. Make sure that you are doing your best to build and maintain relationship (as his mother - not just a friend, of course.)
Most of all, commit your son and your parenting to the Lord in prayer. Don't give up praying about this. Your timing and God's timing may be a little different - but I encourage you to trust God to see both you and your son through these days. (Just a personal testimony here: I gave my mother a horrible time as a teenager and God was faithful to see both of us through to the other side.)
We have some similar questions that have been asked by parents on our website. I encourage you to check these out (and our answers) on our website, www.HomeWord.com. Click on the "Real Life Answers" link and enter the keyword, "accountability".