First post. Don't know what to do now for 16 yr old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mama, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. mama

    mama New Member

    This is my first posting to this website.
    I need advice on how to help my 16 yr old difficult child.

    He was diagnosed with ADD at 7 yrs old, ODD at 13 yrs old; conduct disorder and mood disorder at 14 yrs old, substance abuse at 16 yrs old. Smart gifted child in elementary school and was an incredible athlete. Started having trouble with coursework and following school rules in middle school. He voluntarily went to military school, but was asked to leave due to breaking too many rules. Tried a well respected Catholic HS but he was dismissed for stealing some cookies and later stealing about $5 in donation money. He is currently in a large public HS in the Special Day program with his IEP qualification being ED (emotionally disturbed). He was recently almost expelled for having marijuana on campus and coming back to campus from lunch drunk. He has been in the psychiatric ward at the hospital 2x in past 18 months for his rages. He grades are not great- C’s and D’s, but at least he does not have a truancy issue and he is on target for HS graduation.

    Home life is terrible. We have lost all control of him. Nobody in our family wants him living with us. He has rages at times when he is confronted. He has broken doors, lamps, furniture, windows, and electronic items. Eats when and what he wants. Comes and goes as he pleases with total disregard for any house rules. Does not participate in any family activities. Did not even stick around for Christmas this year. Has pushed me around and thrown things at me. Has been in juvenile hall once for hitting his grandfather, but was released without charges since we were told it was provoked. Big problem now is drugs. He admits to having used LSD, ecstasy, marijuana and alcohol this year. He has been coming home under the influence of alcohol or marijuana on most weekends and holidays. He tells us he does not care what we think. He is constantly swearing and calling me horrible names. He has also been stealing money from his dad’s wallet. He has total disrespect for anyone in the family and anyone of authority.
    He refuses to take his medications (concerta and depakote ER). He refuses to get his labs drawn. He refuses drug testing. He will not go to counseling. He will not help with anything in the house. He will not look for a job or play any sports. He never learns from past mistakes. He does not feel he should have any negative consequences for any of his bad behaviors. We have asked social services, his counselor, psychiatrist, and law enforcement for help, but we are told he doesn’t qualify for their assistance for any type of residential treatment. The Residential Treatment Center (RTC) are cost prohibitive for us to pay privately. Boys and Girls Town will only take him voluntarily and he won’t go. We have stopped giving him money all together and refuse to drive him anywhere. He tells us to just ignore him and pretend he doesn’t live with us. My husband, his father, is just ignoring everything he does and is counting the days until he is 18 to kick him out of the house. Our difficult child is straining our marriage and affecting his younger siblings in a very negative way. Psychiatrist and counselor tell us to just keep offering our help. Well, what do we do in the interim until he figures out he needs help???

    Scared mom who is tired of son’s disrespect and worried her difficult child will live a life in prison or die from drugs.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome, but sorry you had to come here. :faint:

    How old is your son right now? in my opinion, having had a daughter who substance abused, if he is close to 18, your husband is probably doing the only thing he can do to make it through each day.

    Is there a "Tough Love" group in your area? You may want to look into it. Narc-Anon is another really good group. Al-Anon would work just as well. You need real time support from those who have been there.

    Right now, taking his medications is irrelevant because if he is using recreational drugs and drinking they not only will be rendered useless by the other drugs...they could actually be dangerous mixed up with whatever drugs he is using at the moment. At his age, I doubt you can make him do anything and it's appalling that the police won't help you try to get him at least off the streets.

    I'm so sorry you are going through this. I know first hand that it isn't any fun and how hopeless you feel. We made daughter leave at eighteen. She did stop substance abusing.
  3. Jeppy

    Jeppy New Member

    He is stealing and is a minor drinking and also using drugs and law enforcement says there is nothing they can do?

    I'd be calling them each and every time he does something illegal until they get tired of being called to your house and do something. Your difficult child needs to be charged with something and put on probation so drug tests and other measures can be court mandated to try to get him some help.

    in my opinion two years is too long to try to live with this. It sounds like it is destroying your family.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Hello and welcome!

    I, too, am a parent who is counting down the days to 18 or arrest, whichever comes first. Our daughter is also non-compliant with medications nor does she participate in therapy.

    So--we are handling this by continuing to take her to every therapy session, as scheduled, fill her medications, as prescribed AND call police each and every time she engages in dangerous/illegal behaviors.

    You CAN report your son as a runaway each and every time he leaves your house without permission.

    You CAN report your son for theft each and every time he takes money from you.

    You CAN report an assault any time he lays a finger on you.

    You CAN report him for property damage any time he smashes something in anger around your home.

    I am so sorry to hear that you are having to deal with this.

    Sending ((((hugs)))) and support.

  5. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! You found the right place.

    Has anyone mentioned getting a PINS petition? Parent in need of support.
    Or a CHINS? Child in need of supervision. I think those are the right descriptions of the acronyms.

    I believe the CHINS will put your difficult child in front of a judge every few weeks to answer to his behavior. It might bring Juvenile detention into the mix.

    Frankly, I do not believe this child should be living in a family setting. I think a residential treatment facility is what he needs. Can his psychiatrist or therapist recommend that type of placement? You could turn him over to Social Services for them to place him. I think it means giving custody to the state though. Which may not be a bad thing in this case.

    I am sorry things are so rough. I could not live like that for long. Nobody should have to. It is parental abuse. Did you know your child is abusing you?
  6. Dragon3666

    Dragon3666 New Member


    I am working simular issues with my son who is also 16. Was ODD since 5 yrs old and some things regarding the 1,2,3 Magic worked when he was younger - now nothing works. I now have him on medications for the anger part of it cause he was very close to abusing us as a family. It was out the door or Depression/Aniety medications. The medications keep him slightly less angry and frustrated. Alot of these kids are extremely depressed or bi-polar. Its almost ruined our marriage and he has disconnected with his older sister almost and has very little relationship with his little brother. I am on pins and needles everytime he walks in the door. Does not get involved too much with family items either.Unfortunately from what I am hearing it is a tough love situation for all of us.
    Conduct disorder is already a serious problem for you and I am very close to this condition with my son as well. Been in trouble with the law but nothing major yet. I am now looking at the PINS program in case this is the only way to go going forward. He is already kicked out of school and is going to an alternative program in the area. He is using cigarettes now and uses weed. Its a common thing with ODD and Coduct disorder. I am at my wits end also and cry alot. I through his stuff out constantly. I won't have it in my house. He brings it in - I tear his room apart and throw everything out. DO NOT take any physical abuse from the kid. Arrest him if you have to. He almost struck me once - it would be his last time. Sometimes we think as parents we did something wrong. I have a 19 year old daughter who is just fine. I am beginning to realize its not us - its them and they need to change or follow hard times. The only thing left is the security of his home. PINS maybe your only way out now. Its a step that is hard - let me know how you do. I am having a small REVIST the rules session this week with my son - One last attempt before I think he will either comply, walk out or be kicked out. My gut aches everyday. He knows I am always here to help him but not dig him out. I have not given up on him - he is giving up on himself. Once they give up on themselves - its a tough road back. I am dying everyday myself and hope I can actually follow through with the tough love cause I am afraid it will be the only thing to save my family.:anxious:
  7. emotionallybankrupt

    emotionallybankrupt New Member

    I cannot believe that nobody on the case--psychiatrist, counselor--or even law enforcement--will offer any assistance. I'd absolutely be calling the police and filing a report at every illegal incident. I don't believe they can continue to ignore you. As has also been said, you can file certain petitions on your own, but they have different names in different states. My state doesn't have PINS or CHINS, as far as I know, but there are parallel types of documents. I would call juvenile court, explain your situation, and ask for advice. If you did that in my state, you would be invited to come right in (no appointment necessary) and file some paperwork to get in front of a judge.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Call and report him EVERY SINGLE TIME he does anything illegal, abuses anyone, or comes in high or drunk. Continue to call until someone from the police station does their job. If after a few calls no officer comes out, no arrests are made, etc... then call the chief of police and the mayor or head of the town council. That is the chief's boss. Start with the chief, but if that does not get action within a few calls then by all means go above his head. Or call the state bureau of investigation and report a police district refusing to do their jobs. That is who investigates when the police refuse to do their job.

    If you have to, go to the police station with a good book, nice blanket/pillow, etc... and stay there until the Chief can meet with you to explain why his officers are refusing to do their jobs. Call the courthouse and ask the clerk which office you go to for help with a delinquent juvenile. Go to that judge's office with your book/project/pillow and stay until the judge can meet with you. Some judges will try to wait you out. Just do not leave. Eat a snack you bring, chat nicely with the secretary and anyone who comes in, be polite but adamant.

    One of these will end up getting some assistance for you. Your husband just may be doing all he can handle. You may need to sit down with him and discuss the situation. Figure out what bottom line is, what it is that will make you turn your son out of your home. in my opinion the time has come. He NEEDS to have to face hard times. It will be the only way he learns, and it will be hard.

    As substance abuse is an issue get the phone book and look up AlAnon and/or NarcAnon. GEt to some meetings. ASAP. Take husband and take the kids to Alateen. The entire family NEEDS this. It is excellent support and it is FREE. You will get real life support and hugs. People will tell you that it is NOT YOUR FAULT. You need to hear this a LOT.

    Welcome to our forum, and sorry you had to find us.
  9. horserider

    horserider New Member

    Many of us have been down this road, please know you are not alone. We went through similar serious issues with our 16 yr old difficult child (with the exception of drug use) for years. Our difficult child is now in a program in the jjc that he has to "earn" each week towards release date. He was charged with destruction of property and assult (not his 1st offense). We did have Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placement for 3 months through our Community Mental Health, and many short term hospitilizations. You mentioned social services refused placement, have you contacted your county's community mental health for an assessment for placement? If he is non-medication compliant, violent (danger to family members) and using drugs he certainly does meet criteria for placement. I have told intake/assesement personel that someone in our family WILL end up in the hospital or worse if our difficult child was not placed in an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). He was stable for over a yr coming out of the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) program.

    Another possible suggestion is for you and your husband to file a police report charging your difficult child as incorrigible. This may produce a court date where they at least put him on probation, with rules to follow. I agree with Susiestar to call and report anything that he does that is illegal. You and your family have a right to not be physically and emotionally abused. I also went through the constant swearing and name calling and understand how stressful this is to live with. My difficult child swore every time he spoke with me 6 months ago. He has started coming home on pass 12-30 hours the last few weekends. His swearing and disrepect towards us has improved 95%.
    It has been a difficult road with our difficult child in the jjc program, but he is making progress and realizes where he will end up if he breaks the law again in ANY way. He is lucky to be in an intensive program in the jjc that involves group, ind. and family therapy, instead of just detention. We pushed for this, along with- our son's attorney. I would also call your probation dept for your county to ask what kind of programs they have for at risk children and drug abuse. Most juvinille courts have programs that proactively work with youth to help get them back on track, before they get arrested. At 17 yrs old you will not be able to obtain services that may be available for your difficult child now, time is running out. This is why we took drastic measures with our difficult child, who just turned 17, to get him support to turn his life around. I am sorry you are going through this.

    Dragon, thoughts and prayers are with you also. Stay strong, you are doing the best you can. The threads on detachment have truly helped me here.

    Take care of yourself.
    Hugs and prayers
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
  10. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    I think we have the same kid....
  11. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Mama. So sorry you had to find us.

    You are in the thick of it. I feel for you.

    You've gotten some great advice here. The only thing I can add is to put a lock on your bedroom door, and strip your son's room of non-essential items.
    I suspect that nothing you do will work as long as he is using. You are not seeing his real personality. You're seeing the drugs. I am so sorry.

    One thing I will sugggest is having a date night with-your spouse. You can't control this kid but you can salvage your relationship. Go do dinner and/or a movie. Go for a walk. Force yourselves to not talk about your son for 2-3 hrs. Talk about work, politics, snow, whatever you want, but don't bring up your son, just for that amt of time. It really helps.
  12. phildjb

    phildjb New Member

    Wow, first of all my sympathies go out to you... As I read your story I thought "this mom sounds just like me" I too am new to this group, and I have found that there is some really great people here with some really great advice.

    My difficult child was recently arrested on Christmas Eve when he went on a rampage and threw me thru the glass of my front door, and shoving my difficult child 2, and basically just destroyed my living room and kitchen.

    This past week has been the first week in months that we have been able to breathe easy and get some much needed rest.

    What has helped us in keeping him locked up in detention is that we called the police every single time he ran away, went into a rage, or basically did anything wrong. And, we requested a report and case number each and every time. Now, the States Attorney is using all those reports to help our case against him.

    I know that this is hard for anyone to do, but as I have helped my husband to understand, we have to practice "Tough Love" and stand firm in our decisions, we want to hope that this will eveantually end up helping our difficult child 1.

    Good Luck to you and your family... I will be praying for you..
  13. mama

    mama New Member

    Thank you all very much for your great ideas and support.

    On New Year's Day my difficult child punched me in the face after confronting him about his swearing and disrespect towards me. I was seen in the ER and a police report was taken. The juvenile hall in our county told the police officer that the offense was not great enough to even warrant taking my difficult child to juvenile hall for booking.

    I wish my difficult child would partipate in some family or individual therapy to help him with his anger and hatred towards me and the family.

    Tired and sad but still hopeful. difficult child turns 18 yrs old in 16 months so there isn't much time to help him prepare for independence.

    Thank you all so much!
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Punching your mother in the face isnt a great enough offense? OMG!

    My kid would have been begging to be arrested because he would be scared he would be killed by his father or his brothers!
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes, that is shocking! Did you tell police you wanted to press charges for assault?
  16. Iamwipedouttoo

    Iamwipedouttoo New Member

    In our state the state presses charges for assault-you don't have a choice in the matter. I think punching your mother in the face might qualify. Yikes.
  17. mama

    mama New Member

    My difficult child has an appointment with social services today through the school district. We have requested residential treatment for our difficult child, so they are doing their evaluation. I have been told that since his home behaviors of disrespect and violence and do not cross over to school hours we likely won't see him placed in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC) ($$$$$) He has, however, been caught with marijuana and alcohol at school. He is currently in a special day class for kids with psychiatric disorders.

    In response to him hitting me. I was told that his assault charge was not strong enough to be put in juvenile hall. The juvenile hall is overcrowded with drug dealers, gang members, rapists and murderers. Sad, but this is what I was told.
  18. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would suggest calling the intake office at your county's juvenile court, and asking what type of services they offer for out of control teenagers (e.g., a CHINS petition as suggested above) . Another suggestion is to call a domestic violence hotline or shelter in your county, they may have some suggestions as well. His punching you in the face certainly qualifies as domestic violence, and they may have an advocate that can help you.
  19. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    Assault is a crime; this what my GFG17 was charged with, and he spent 3 weeks in juvie. Doesn't matter how crowded they are, they HAVE to take him - IF you press charges. If you don't, for whatever reason, or if you let them talk you into something else, well.... I've never heard of anyone not being charged/arrested for lack of space - juvenile or adult. Status offense, yes, it can happen.

    You have to be an advocate for him - sounds backwards, but you're trying to help him and this is part of it. Will incarceration help? Maybe. Will drugs or therapy or anything help? Maybe. But you can't give up. Google everything, your state, your county, the laws and procedures therein.

    I apologize. This makes me very angry. If a stranger assaulted you on the street, would you be okay that the police let him go? I'm NOT angry with you, but with your area law enforcement, just to clarify.

    And check further into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I wanted mine to go to one back last March - after he assaulted me - but they said "there's nothing wrong" with him. Found out in October that the report said "there is evidence of CD and antisocial personality disorder". Nice, huh? And guess what - by then he was almost 17 and "too old" for an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Too late for me, maybe not for you.
  20. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    Assault is assault. Sigh....

    You may want to check out the Teens and Substance forum on this site also. Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for our difficult child's to get involved in drugs.

    One thing that may trigger additional problems for you is a bipolar child on stimulants. They can make the bipolar worse.

    Welcome to the site!