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Please forgive the long posting, but I need to talk about this somewhere and maybe get some insight from others.

I am the mother of a 17 year old son, who is having some major issues with behavior, defiance, law-breaking, etc. A bit of background...

His father and I split in 2000 when he was 6. He was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 4 and put on Ritalin, which helped his concentration and impulse control a lot. When my ex and I split, our 3 children went to live with him (ages 7, 6(son), and 5). He took our son off the Ritalin and almost immediately our son started havingbehavior issues in school. Through the years, he became more defiant and rebellious towards not just his father and I, but other adults as well.

At the age of 13, he came to live with me and has been with me ever since. After he did, I found out things that went on at his fathers house. My youngest daughter was sexually molested by her stepbrother. Last year, I found out that my son was also molested by this same stepbrother starting around age 7. My son identifies as gay and only dates other guys, and although I believe that the molestation had something to do with his sexual choices, I support him in whatever identity he chooses. There was also physical abuse by my ex and his wife to our children, and CPS was called about that as well, by teachers at their schools. All of this I found out after my son had been with me for 3 years - none of the kids ever told me or anyone else about what was going on at their dad's.

My son has been cutting since he was 14. We've been to counseling, he refuses to participate... just sits there and nods or gives short answers. There are anger issues he has, and he refuses to talk about those too.

There have been run-ins with the law as well. He stole shoes from Wal Mart, and I called the police on him, who took him to the store and made him stand there in handcuffs and tell everyone what he did (to try and embarass him - it didnt work). He was expelled from school for innappropriate behavior. He busted a window out of the school with a rock and was placed on probation for criminal mischief and I had to pay restitution for the window being replaced. Then, we moved to California.

Since being here for the last year, he's started smoking pot and drinking. He stole from Kmart out here and was placed on a diversion program for that (probation lite, basically). He got a ticket for smoking cigarettes that I had to pay a $100 fine for. He got caught with less than an ounch of pot and a pipe and was given a citation that I had to pay $100 for. He's truant from school (alternative school). I had to call the police on him one night because he refused to clean up his room and threw things at his stepfather and me when we told him he needed to get it done. Any punishment I try to give him is met with "Fine, I'll just cut myself again and maybe this time I won't stop". Then, in October, he was charged with battery against a teacher and his principal at the alternative school and spent 34 days in juvie. He got out last month and is now on formal probation.

Today, I get a call from the school Probation Officer (they have a PO at the alternative schools here) saying he refused to do his work, was being belligerent, back-talking, cussing, etc. She said he was violating his probation, and I totally agree with that. His PO is in a "training class" today and tomorrow, so no telling when she will find out about this. I called and left her a VM though, telling her what I was told happened and the school PO also sent her an email. His curfew is 9 PM on weeknights, although on Thursdays his PO has given him permission to attend a group function in the next town over... and not 15 minutes ago he called to tell me he wouldn't be coming home because "his ride left him". I'm NOT stupid, I know this game.

Ok.. that's a brief (if you can believe it) rundown. I know it may look like I've done a lot of complaining, and not taken a lot of action, but I have. I've tried counselling, didn't work because he wouldn't open up. He's court ordered to have it now, and he sees a therapist twice a week but it's the same thing - he refuses to participate. I've called the police on him, they've all told me they can't lock him up for being "unruly" unless he actually harms someone in some way. When I called them about his shoplifting the shoes, they didn't arrest him, just tried to give him a "wake up call" as the deputy called it. Guess the next time he throws things, I'll have to step in front of it to make sure it hits me. When he was on diversion and not following the rules, I told his diversion officer and she just told him not to do it again. When he got caught with the pot and pipe, they told me that here in California it's just a ticketable offense because it was less than an ounce! My argument was "he's a MINOR!" and they still did nothing but fine ME $100. He didn't have to pay that, I did, because - you guessed it - he's a minor and I am responsible for him! (There needs to be a "headdesk" emote right here). The school wouldn't let me know when he missed days, so I finally started calling them on a daily basis to find out if he even went. If not, I let his diversion officer know and... nothing.

I am at the end of my rope. As a parent, I do not know what else to do. He constantly disobeys me and my husband (his stepdad), he doesn't care about consequences, he only cares about what he wants when he wants it and everyone else be damned. We don't have a car, so I can't just go to where he is and drag him home. I couldn't do that anyway because it would be ME going to jail and not him. He's 6'3" and weighs about 220 so it's not like I can smack him on the butt and put him in a car and take him home like a bad little boy.

How much does one person have to try and endure? I want my sweet kid back, the one that would tell me the cutest jokes and make me giggle until I had tears... not the one who makes me have tears because he comes home stoned or drunk or stays gone for 3-4 days at a time and I have no clue where he is....

:( :( :( :(





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