Here's where we are now...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child and I had an exciting visit today since it's our first one after finding out he gets released earlier than expected. Apparently, his behavioral counselor called the judge and got permission to release him two weeks early- I don't quite get why because it's only 2 weeks so unless the facility just needed to make more room, why wouldn't they just keep him the other two weeks? Anyway, this works for us so we aren't complaining.

    As far as expectations when he comes home, he knows he'll have chores that include the ones he used to have plus his laundry and I have some projects for him to do to help repay for my cost in this and repair to the damage he'd done to the house. No complaints from him so far on this.

    We both simultaneously had this idea about his schedule for homework, free time, etc, and I'm thinking it's a great starting place for a difficult child his age transitioning back home- he will think of a daily schedule to propose to me, write it down, and we will discuss it for my approval. Neither of us intend this to be as detailed as Department of Juvenile Justice- like saying from 4:45-6:00 homework will be done, but homework will be done before free time, as an example. I think this gives him responsibility and freedom both while letting him do some problem solving. As long as he can live by that responsibly, I have no reason to step into it; if grades go down or bad choices are being made, I will step into it.

    He will get a small amount of money upon his release- I think they earn $9 per month they are in. He has to use part of that (not all) to help buy new clothes. He can buy the clothes he wants as long as they are appropriate for school. He doesn't know it yet but I am putting together one gift box for him that will have underwear and a few shirts and a pair of sweats (that look nothing like Department of Juvenile Justice sweats) in it, plus a gift certificate to the mall so the shopping he will do can be for things he cares most about- shoes and jeans and a few more shirts. And so the first night he's home, he can take a long shower and put on new, washed underwear that isn't by Bob Barker. LOL!

    I need to define the consequences for things he does wrong- most we have discussed but I need to cover them better. I need to make sure he knows up front that this time, if he gets a CC out of my purse and uses it to get porn online in the middle of the night- he's being reported to the PO and he can figure out a way to pay me back- no matter what his consequences are. The other things- if it's a violation against a house rule, he'll have consequences at home only. If it's a PO violation only, I'll report it to PO. Of course as always, if he breaks a law orr becomes violent with me, I;m skipping the PO and calling the police.

    And too strict or not, I'm not giving in on expecting to know who he's with, what he's doing (in general), and the time he'll be home. I give him that consideration, his family will expect it of him when he's grown and the husband/father, he can do it for me now. Period.

    If he chooses friends who are known to do drugs or otherwise break the law, I have no idea to handle that one. We can't, as parents, choose all our teen's friends. But we shouldn't turn a blind eye either. So what do you do in that situation?? Maybe I can tell him that I reserve the right to step in on his freedom under these circumstances- the same as he knows I'll step in on his privacy if I'm concerned about his well-being and I'll step in on his schedule if grades drop or he can't get up for school, etc.

    Thoughts?? More ideas on things I haven't thought about yet??
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  2. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    No, input, only hugs. I know this will be as exciting as it is challenging for both of you.

    I think the key is trying to duplicate as much structure as possible into your home that mirrors Juvy. He will have a hard time with the lack of structure at first, so as much as you can, try to make the environments the same.

    Do you have a backup plan if he gets angry? I mean, like a neighbor or friend that can be called if he gets really out of control? It seems the authority figure is one thing these kids respond to - and if you had someone that is not family as that person - it would help.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sounds like a great start. I would let him know that you expect him to use common sense on everything not mentioned in the rules. I would also let him know that his room/backpack/belongings can be searched by you with-o reason. It sounds "unfair" but it is something that will save a lot of arguments if/when you ever think it is necessary. Your house, your bills, you can search anywhere for anything. I would also let him know that you won't search as a hobby, but if you think you need to, you will.

    As for why the counselor called the judge, maybe she knows that the other kids will try to get difficult child to mess up more and more as the release date draws closer. From what I understand this is common. She may see that difficult child is working hard and want him to have the best chance possible to not get into trouble just before release.

    I am so glad that his release is drawing near.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Yep- that's the privacy policy we have had in place for a few years- since I saw it on Oprah. It goes like this- if he's in the bathroom or in his bedroom alone, being that he's a young man and I'm a mother, I will not barge into the room. If I knoock on the door and he doesn't respond or respond in a way that I believe he's safe, then I reserve the right to give him 20 seconds before I come in. Anything in his room or in this house or that belongs to him is subject to search by me at anytime- same as they have at school and at any psychiatric hospital or detention center. GAL didn't like this- but GAL also pointed finger at me for not knowing everything difficult child did every minute of the day. He's a minor, my legal responsibility, and in my home- I reserve the right. Oprah's guest said this is the best way but tell the kid up front so they don't feel betrayed- like a daughter would feel if a parent read a diary. I tried it- it worked- it's a policy I'm keeping for my son (not that I would do this with a house guest).

    No back up plan, unfortunately. Family goes against me and is out of the area. I plan to try again to get PO to discuss details more specifically but I'm not holding my breath. The PO's in this jurisdiction always want (expect and require) parents to sign every detail to take responsibility for "supporting" what they put into place, but only say things like "it will be ok" or "we'll play that by ear" when the parent tries to get their backup for a home plan. Think about the way school district's try to work- this is what they try to sell as working together. It means the parent backs them up or is a horrible parent, but God forbid they should discuss parent's rules and support them. Yet they will be the first ones, along with a GAL, to point the finger at the parent when the difficult child messes up.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think my plan would be an ever so slowly evolving, stretching rubber band type of parenting.

    In the very beginning he is going to have to work extremely hard to regain trust. No way in hades he can just walk in the door from Department of Juvenile Justice and have complete trust and lack of supervision. Nope, doesnt work that way. Would a bank hire someone who was getting out of prison for bank fraud? I dont think so! Ya gotta prove yourself.

    Same here. He has to work to prove that he can be good and responsible in the real world before you trust him out alone. Only reality. Natural consequences for what he has done to himself. Hoovers big time but oh well.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Can you give me specific ideas since I'm thinking alone those lines in a way- but he'll be on house arrest for the first month? And he'll be 15yo. One thing I won't do due to cost and previous experience with him, is get him a cell phone.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well actually a cell phone might be something to strive for...a pre-paid, no frills, no camera, no web phone. One he has to earn minutes for. One you can put a gps

    I think for at first he should have the basics.

    Be respectful and courteous.
    No lying or stealing
    Going to school and trying his best
    Always letting someone know where he is and when he will be home.

    Thats it.

    You can use the method of dealing with the breaking of the rules that Blondie does by sitting him down and saying how disappointed you are and asking him which rule he broke, how he broke it and what he thinks about it. Then asking him what HE thinks the consequences should be.