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Feeling Like Giving Up On 16 Year Old Son

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Feeling Like Giving Up On 16 Year Old Son

Postby bevan » Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:39 am

I apologize in advance for the length of my story but as you know with delinquent teens the stories are never short and sweet.

My son is 16. His father and I divorced when he was a toddler. Father was very uninvolved for most of his life has been involved to some extent since age 13. I am remarried and have a 3 year old, 1 year old, and pregnant with our 4th child. My husband is in the military and thus we move about every 2 years.

"Mike" was diagnosed with ADD when he was in 3rd grade. School behavior has always been an issue. Kicked out of private school in 3rd grade due to lying, stealing, deceptive behavior,unable to follow rules, etc. On meds, but from the beginning refused to take meds consistently. I was so overwhelmed and tired of raising this difficult child that I was not consistent with consequences. Continued to get in trouble at school but was able to maintain very good grades.

Relocated near his father in 5th grade. Father decided to teach Mike how to be a man and would hit him with a belt when he was defiant. I immediately stopped this when I found out. I can not condone physical abuse.

We moved again before 8th grade, lots of problems at school and with friends. A few things he did were put hydrochloric acid on a girl in science lab, moon others in the halls, run from resource officers, he and his friends verbally assaulted the mail delivery person, started to explore alcohol, and I found evidence of chats online that he tried marijuana. He was put into alternative program at school. He decided to live with his dad. I thought this would be good for him to have a strong role model and bond with his father but he started drinking, smoking, doing marijuana, put in alternative school within 2 months, and ran away multiple times.

He convinced me to let him come back to live with us at the end of 9th grade and I did. BIG mistake. He always runs away from his problems and never takes responsibility for the things that go wrong in his life. The past year he has really slid downhill. Kicked out of school due to truancy and 30+ behavior referrals in 2 months. He has been charged with graffiti, destruction of property(scratched an expletive in the side of a boys car he did not even know), and assault and battery on me(put blanket over my head repeatedly and would not stop). He also was EXTREMELY verbally abusive during this time. Called authorities multiple times. When charged with assault on me placed in emergency shelter placement for a week until detention hearing. At hearing was placed on home detention with community outreach support. Smoking marijuana in woods behind our house, having dealers come to our home, had many, many teens over hiding on side of house to get high without my knowledge(having 2 toddlers it is hard to watch his every move). He left one night because I would not just let him leave for a little bit and came home drunk and high. I reported him and all the behaviors, he was taken into custody the following morning and put into juvenile detention. Stayed there 6 weeks until his hearing. Given unsupervised probation(do not give teens supervised probation here), law and teens class, straight talk program, 40 hours of community service. The day after getting out he was smoking marijuana, binge drinks, friends have all been in trouble with the law, have had to pick him up 3 times for being in vehicles with teens who are speeding, picked up from a party(blew 0% so released), is getting into physical altercations with others, is watching the fighting shows on TV, starting to be disrespectful again, refuses to follow curfew,is being either suspended or kicked out of alternative school due to getting off the bus and threatening another student. He is also engaging in dealing drugs. He is the go between for the dealer and the seller. He brings a buyer to the seller and the seller gives him money for his services. He feels he can not get into any legal trouble for this since he is not actually touching the drugs. He has stolen from friends(money laying around, cigarettes, etc.), has stolen marijuana from a friend and then had a great time smoking it over the next few days. He has been interviewed by detectives because he and another friend were accused by other teens to have stolen a TV from a home in our neighborhood. We know the family and he has been in the home multiple times. Nothing has come of it even though my son states that he knows who did it. I have a feeling that he may have given these other kids the information about the item but did not steal it himself. He also enjoys teasing my 3 year old. This is a behavior he has exhibited since he was a little boy. He picks on those weaker than him and then can not understand why his behavior is unacceptable and hurtful. One thing I forgot to state is that Mike tells me alot of what goes on. That is how I know about his drug dealings and other behaviors. I think he enjoys telling me things to shock me. I try to not respond emotionally but it is very difficult to not do so.

We have had him in counseling since he was in 2nd grade. Most of the counselors have dropped him as a patient due to his refusal to engage in therapy. Now as a teen we have had therapists tell us after 1-2 visits that they refuse to see him due to his argumentative and defiant attitude. We are going to family counseling at a drug counseling center for teens(will show up high many times), taking drug tests(always + for marijuana even though I suspect other drugs such as prescription meds, hallucinogenic, etc), has no cell, no computer access, no rides from me, no money. There is not anything else to take away. We have stripped his room, has no license, and I do not buy soda or special snacks for him. We can take away everything and it does not bother him at all. He does what he wants when he wants. My husband is not a strong role model. He is concerned with Mikes anger issues and quick reliance on violence that things could escalate and our family and his career will be at risk. He just ignores him and Mike ignores him back. We also lock our bedroom anytime he is in the house, he has no house key, we bought a huge safe and everything important and valuable is locked up, liquor in the house is inventoried and kept in one place, all prescription drugs are locked in the safe, no cold medicines are kept in the home. If a bottle of alcohol is opened it must leave the home with our friends or neighbors so we can make sure we are not contributing to his alcohol use. We are moving again in a few months and Mike would like to return to his fathers. In one way I would love for that to happen since I am at my wits end, but he will revert back to the same friends and behaviors there. His father does have more control over him so Mike just chooses to runaway where here with us he stays, manipulates, and does as he pleases.

I have done research on schools, military schools, etc. I have even filled out applications. My husband refuses to help pay or co-sign educational loans for this type of program since we have friends that have chosen this route and their sons reverted right back to their old behaviors within months of returning home. I am a stay at home mother with no personal income and his biological father does not have the means to contribute to such an option. Our extended family feel that it would be a waste of money since they do not believe that Mike can change at all. I have purchased expensive programs and read multiple books on defiant teens but I feel that we are so far beyond their recommendations since we have NO control over Mike and he recognizes that.

At this time I feel I am at a crossroads where I feel I have no options. Give up and just let him be what he is going to be or continue to let him destroy his life and pray that he gets into enough trouble where I can plead with the courts to send him to a program that is state sponsored. Both options require passivity on my part and that is so difficult.

He agreed to take Concerta for a few weeks after being released from juvenile detention but then saved up his meds even though I witnessed him taking the pills(or so I thought) and took a large number one night while drinking. He got so sick that he then refused to take the meds from that point on. We have completed a neuro-psych eval and I will receive the results in 2 weeks. We have also done a head CT due to his numerous head injuries due to fights, that was negative. I suspect that the dx will be ADD but needed to rule out bi-polar, depression, etc. I have attended parent support group meetings but when your child is the worst of the group and the other parents can not understand why you just can't make your child adhere to their grounding you know you are not in the right place. I am miserable. I see my son destroying his life. Even if you sit back and allow your teen to make their own choices and live with their consequences it still breaks your heart and has such a devastating effect on the rest of the family. I am sorry for the length of this, as you know most stories of families with these teens can fill volumes. I would appreciate any insight that you can give us.
bevan
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:45 pm

Feeling Like Giving Up On 16 Year Old Son

Postby criostoir » Tue Nov 29, 2016 9:13 am

Hello Debi, I can appreciate how disturbing your son's behavior is for you. You've tried everything you know how -- and nothing has produced an effect. I do agree with one thing you said and that is when he gets into enough serious trouble then you can plead with the court to send him to a residential program. If this were to happen, you may not have to plead with the court; they may just see it as the only alternative. And I don't think you necessarily have to take a passive approach for this to happen. Despite all of your attempts to do whatever you could to help him, he us not getting better. It seems inevitable at this time that he will continue to get in trouble and be charged with criminal behavior. I frankly don't see what else you can do at home to help him. I think he is beyond most forms of help. I also am not too optimistic about a military school, as such schools generally don't keep acting-out adolescents very long. Certainly you should continue with family counseling, but counseling in the past has not produced any significant results. While living with his father is not the answer, it does provide some respite for you. In short, there is no magical answer to help him with his problems. A court-sponsored residential treatment facility may provide some relief for you and your family, but the prospect is that for the forseeable future he is likely to slip in and out of trouble. I wish I could give you some hope or a way to get him the help he needs. However, I can't do that and I think you need to think of protecting yourself and your family from your son until a court provides a program for him. Best wishes, James Windell
criostoir
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:20 am

Feeling Like Giving Up On 16 Year Old Son

Postby fenwick » Sun Dec 04, 2016 8:04 am

I apologize in advance for the length of my story but as you know with delinquent teens the stories are never short and sweet.

My son is 16. His father and I divorced when he was a toddler. Father was very uninvolved for most of his life has been involved to some extent since age 13. I am remarried and have a 3 year old, 1 year old, and pregnant with our 4th child. My husband is in the military and thus we move about every 2 years.

"Mike" was diagnosed with ADD when he was in 3rd grade. School behavior has always been an issue. Kicked out of private school in 3rd grade due to lying, stealing, deceptive behavior,unable to follow rules, etc. On meds, but from the beginning refused to take meds consistently. I was so overwhelmed and tired of raising this difficult child that I was not consistent with consequences. Continued to get in trouble at school but was able to maintain very good grades.

Relocated near his father in 5th grade. Father decided to teach Mike how to be a man and would hit him with a belt when he was defiant. I immediately stopped this when I found out. I can not condone physical abuse.

We moved again before 8th grade, lots of problems at school and with friends. A few things he did were put hydrochloric acid on a girl in science lab, moon others in the halls, run from resource officers, he and his friends verbally assaulted the mail delivery person, started to explore alcohol, and I found evidence of chats online that he tried marijuana. He was put into alternative program at school. He decided to live with his dad. I thought this would be good for him to have a strong role model and bond with his father but he started drinking, smoking, doing marijuana, put in alternative school within 2 months, and ran away multiple times.

He convinced me to let him come back to live with us at the end of 9th grade and I did. BIG mistake. He always runs away from his problems and never takes responsibility for the things that go wrong in his life. The past year he has really slid downhill. Kicked out of school due to truancy and 30+ behavior referrals in 2 months. He has been charged with graffiti, destruction of property(scratched an expletive in the side of a boys car he did not even know), and assault and battery on me(put blanket over my head repeatedly and would not stop). He also was EXTREMELY verbally abusive during this time. Called authorities multiple times. When charged with assault on me placed in emergency shelter placement for a week until detention hearing. At hearing was placed on home detention with community outreach support. Smoking marijuana in woods behind our house, having dealers come to our home, had many, many teens over hiding on side of house to get high without my knowledge(having 2 toddlers it is hard to watch his every move). He left one night because I would not just let him leave for a little bit and came home drunk and high. I reported him and all the behaviors, he was taken into custody the following morning and put into juvenile detention. Stayed there 6 weeks until his hearing. Given unsupervised probation(do not give teens supervised probation here), law and teens class, straight talk program, 40 hours of community service. The day after getting out he was smoking marijuana, binge drinks, friends have all been in trouble with the law, have had to pick him up 3 times for being in vehicles with teens who are speeding, picked up from a party(blew 0% so released), is getting into physical altercations with others, is watching the fighting shows on TV, starting to be disrespectful again, refuses to follow curfew,is being either suspended or kicked out of alternative school due to getting off the bus and threatening another student. He is also engaging in dealing drugs. He is the go between for the dealer and the seller. He brings a buyer to the seller and the seller gives him money for his services. He feels he can not get into any legal trouble for this since he is not actually touching the drugs. He has stolen from friends(money laying around, cigarettes, etc.), has stolen marijuana from a friend and then had a great time smoking it over the next few days. He has been interviewed by detectives because he and another friend were accused by other teens to have stolen a TV from a home in our neighborhood. We know the family and he has been in the home multiple times. Nothing has come of it even though my son states that he knows who did it. I have a feeling that he may have given these other kids the information about the item but did not steal it himself. He also enjoys teasing my 3 year old. This is a behavior he has exhibited since he was a little boy. He picks on those weaker than him and then can not understand why his behavior is unacceptable and hurtful. One thing I forgot to state is that Mike tells me alot of what goes on. That is how I know about his drug dealings and other behaviors. I think he enjoys telling me things to shock me. I try to not respond emotionally but it is very difficult to not do so.

We have had him in counseling since he was in 2nd grade. Most of the counselors have dropped him as a patient due to his refusal to engage in therapy. Now as a teen we have had therapists tell us after 1-2 visits that they refuse to see him due to his argumentative and defiant attitude. We are going to family counseling at a drug counseling center for teens(will show up high many times), taking drug tests(always + for marijuana even though I suspect other drugs such as prescription meds, hallucinogenic, etc), has no cell, no computer access, no rides from me, no money. There is not anything else to take away. We have stripped his room, has no license, and I do not buy soda or special snacks for him. We can take away everything and it does not bother him at all. He does what he wants when he wants. My husband is not a strong role model. He is concerned with Mikes anger issues and quick reliance on violence that things could escalate and our family and his career will be at risk. He just ignores him and Mike ignores him back. We also lock our bedroom anytime he is in the house, he has no house key, we bought a huge safe and everything important and valuable is locked up, liquor in the house is inventoried and kept in one place, all prescription drugs are locked in the safe, no cold medicines are kept in the home. If a bottle of alcohol is opened it must leave the home with our friends or neighbors so we can make sure we are not contributing to his alcohol use. We are moving again in a few months and Mike would like to return to his fathers. In one way I would love for that to happen since I am at my wits end, but he will revert back to the same friends and behaviors there. His father does have more control over him so Mike just chooses to runaway where here with us he stays, manipulates, and does as he pleases.

I have done research on schools, military schools, etc. I have even filled out applications. My husband refuses to help pay or co-sign educational loans for this type of program since we have friends that have chosen this route and their sons reverted right back to their old behaviors within months of returning home. I am a stay at home mother with no personal income and his biological father does not have the means to contribute to such an option. Our extended family feel that it would be a waste of money since they do not believe that Mike can change at all. I have purchased expensive programs and read multiple books on defiant teens but I feel that we are so far beyond their recommendations since we have NO control over Mike and he recognizes that.

At this time I feel I am at a crossroads where I feel I have no options. Give up and just let him be what he is going to be or continue to let him destroy his life and pray that he gets into enough trouble where I can plead with the courts to send him to a program that is state sponsored. Both options require passivity on my part and that is so difficult.

He agreed to take Concerta for a few weeks after being released from juvenile detention but then saved up his meds even though I witnessed him taking the pills(or so I thought) and took a large number one night while drinking. He got so sick that he then refused to take the meds from that point on. We have completed a neuro-psych eval and I will receive the results in 2 weeks. We have also done a head CT due to his numerous head injuries due to fights, that was negative. I suspect that the dx will be ADD but needed to rule out bi-polar, depression, etc. I have attended parent support group meetings but when your child is the worst of the group and the other parents can not understand why you just can't make your child adhere to their grounding you know you are not in the right place. I am miserable. I see my son destroying his life. Even if you sit back and allow your teen to make their own choices and live with their consequences it still breaks your heart and has such a devastating effect on the rest of the family. I am sorry for the length of this, as you know most stories of families with these teens can fill volumes. I would appreciate any insight that you can give us.
fenwick
 
Posts: 55
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 1:21 pm


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