difficult child is back from time with mentor

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Apr 6, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    And he actually enjoyed it!! I guess they ate lunch, walked around a lot and talked a lot and they seem to have several interests in common. They want to go out again tomorrow to see a museum- difficult child chose that. I'm thinking PO talked to the company again yesterday and made sure they got in gear really fast.

    ETA: Oh- I guess I should add that I have no idea what happened to difficult child's concern about getting locked up tomorrow. The mentor is going to call to make sure we're home, then come and pick difficult child up.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  2. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Makes me wonder if the concern was for show? Man, it was a good show, tho.

    What kind of training do these mentors have? And background checks?
  3. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Sorry...didn't mean to be just negative nellie...its good they got along, tho!
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't think so because I have NO control whatsoever about how a PO handles a situation or how a judge rules and difficult child has enough history with that place to realize that- so maybe I should say I don't think the stuff was to manipulate the system thru me, but it could have been show to try to get sympathy maybe- it didn't work. I have seen a difference in him since Sunday but he clearly wasn't happy but it wouldn't have been appropriate to be. I'm thinking maybe the mentor gave him some hope- which in a way seems like rewarding bad behavior but since the mentor is just starting and needs to establish a relationship with difficult child, I'm not sure there was much choice. The PO is staying in touch with the company, if not the mentor himself, so I'm not going to interfere with how they work as long as I have no drastic concerns and they aren't making things worse. Yes- they do background checks. That was the first thing I asked PO and the one thing I stressed to the company and PO both. The second was just not taking difficult child out for long periods on the two nights during the week when he's likely to have the most homework- of course that can be flexible if we have more critical things to deal with. Unfortunately, they aren't tdocs (but are called therapeutic mentors??) but are trained somehow to help a difficult child more than a typical mentor, supposedly. This company's mentoring service specializes in difficult child's transitioning back into the community after being released from a Department of Juvenile Justice facility or behavior oriented group home- and they run one of those group homes, too. I tried to get something that would have a mentor with more therapeutic training but of course, Department of Juvenile Justice funding won't cover that- that would shift over to requiring in-home services and back to where we started- if a kid with charges or in the legal system for prior arrests, the funding for in-home means MST and that's the same guy we had 2 years ago.
  5. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Yeah, hide from that dude...
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yeah- Mr. Behavior Contract: Mom will cook more meals difficult child likes - difficult child won't break law anymore. We'll give up difficult child's regular, private therapist and just use the MST.


    From what I'm gathering and still trying to get a clearer picture about because I've never known someone well who has had a long-term incarceration (well, they consider this time long for a kid difficult child's age); apparently it is typical for incarcerated people to have that battle in their mind where one side wants to do what they have to in order to make sure they never get incarcerated again and they are helped (in Department of Juvenile Justice) to form constructive goals and plans for release; the other side of the mind is the one where all the incarcerated people are sitting there talking to each other day in and out about all they've done, how to get by with things, what they want to do the minute the gates are unlocked (and it's not the good goals), etc.

    I'm being told it is normal upoon release to still have that battle going on and in difficult child's case, he gave into the wrong side pretty early on. (They don't think the other side was never there, but I'd say that will become clear pretty soon whether or not it ever was.) I have been told that this battle is harder for kids than adults for a variety of reasons, including immaturity, less developed coping skills, transition of a parental type of authority (example- difficult child no longer has a guard over him- but he can listen to PO or the judge who tells him to go back- or he can listen to his parent/guardian and not have to deal with PO/judge- sounds easy, but it's not once that authority has been stripped and transitioned), etc.

    This is where the mentor comes in- 1) he discusses those good goals and plans with difficult child in order to help difficult child stay focused on that side, 2) he helps difficult child have conversations and do "normal" things with people in the community who aren't incarcerated difficult child's, 3) he helps difficult child pursue whichever goals and plans on difficult child's release list/plan that he can. Of course, difficult child should feel good when discussing and pursuing these things. So, in this respect, I am feeling better about this because I think it has a better chance of working IF difficult child has that side in him and wants it developed, than solely a mentor focused on behavior mod, which difficult child would have gotten if his therapist in Department of Juvenile Justice hadn't recommended a therapeutic one to PO. I didn't like that therapist for family therapy but I think she did help difficult child with a few tools and difficult child had confided in her that he was tempted to do drugs when he got out.

    I'm going to back this effort up- after all- there is only so much that can be done right now and we might as well try it. Also, I noticed several people have reminded difficult child lately that he's at a fork in the road- he has to choose which path to follow- he can't do both like he's tried and he better get his head on straight NOW. Since I am FINALLY seeing a few different people in/from the system saying consistent things, I'm thinking there must be some validity to that battle in the brain being typical for those recently released. That doesn't mean I think difficult child just made an honest mistake- I get that he went down the wrong path.

    Right now I'm just happy that since Sunday, difficult child apparently decided he had dug himself in deep enough and better stop. He sure wasn't at that point last week. Yeah, this is pretty minor but when I say "difficult child", I mean it. LOL!! Right now I'm thinking about all the time wasted on medication changes in the past due to thinking this was mania. (Not that this statement would apply to all difficult child's- I'm sure it wouldn't.)

    Even though difficult child might blow it all, I am glad that PO is making every effort to transition difficult child appropriately it appears, given what the law and funding allows. I guess I'd call it a tough love approach and difficult child did need that from a male and supposedly responded well to it in Department of Juvenile Justice. He sure didn't respond well to it last Thursday so I don't think difficult child should push that any further because PO was none too happy about it.

    Apparently difficult child did consider running away but after spending that 3 hours sleeping outside early Sun. morning and thinking it thru more later that day, he decided he didn't want to be homeless.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010