Interesting conversation

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by flutterbee, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    with my second son, I'll call him GFGII. It's a really long story, but I'll try to pare it down.

    GFGII is 15. I've known him since he was 7. He spends a lot of time at my house, whether easy child is home or not. He's a really good kid; has a good heart, fiercely loyal. He is a textbook case of ODD. For a while he was on depakote (no, he's not bipolar; it was rx'd for ODD) and it helped quite a bit, however his home life, specifically his step-father, was such that it just fueled his ODD more. Step-dad is now out of the picture. However, prior to step-dad leaving he went to live with his bio dad. Bio-dad is a difficult child himself. Actually, bio-dad is just a selfish, ignorant, bully that likes to huff and puff a lot. Bio-dad doesn't believe in medications, so GFGII hasn't been on any medications for quite a while.

    GFGII initially showed much improvement with bio-dad; he brought his grades up, seemed much less angry, made new friends, etc. But things have been brewing lately. Discovered that GFGII has been sneaking out, being destructive, stealing, started smoking, has smoked pot, you get the idea. A few weeks ago, GFGII and bio-dad really got into it. Bio-dad had his hands around GFGII's neck. GFGII left and went to a friends. This other friend (we have since learned that all his friends are difficult child's in their own right, although GFGII may well be the biggest difficult child) had a fight with his parents and decided he wasn't staying home. So they slept outside somewhere until the police picked him up. Friend's parents had reported friend missing and he was already on probation so he was taken into custody and GFGII was just taken to the police precinct where he called his mom (my friend) and she picked him up and brought him to her house. She's decided that he's not going back to bio-dad's.

    Keeping up? :wink:

    I just got done chatting online with GFGII. He's telling me that he's thinking about staying down at his dad's house, but not really staying there; he'd be staying with a couple of friends instead. I talked to him about this for a while then told him that I really didn't think it was going to be an option for him. This is the part that gets interesting. He said he'd make it an option; that he "really really doesn't listen to people". I told him that I knew that and asked him what was going to happen when he got an attitude and/or didn't listen? (by the way, I give it all of a day and a half before that happens.) I told him that these people are not his parents and don't have to take care of him and once they'd had enough they'd kick him out. He said he knew that and that's why he listens to those people; that he knows when to get his act in gear. :nonono:

    Don't you think that kind of says it all? I told him he's going to have a hard life with that view on things; that he was going to have to learn the hard way.

    I feel so sad for him. He has so much potential and he doesn't see that he's essentially shooting himself in the foot. I've talked to him a lot over the years and my home has been a safe haven for him often. I wish there was some way to get through to him. I certainly don't know how to. It really hit me tonight that he really is going to have to learn the hard way. And who knows if he ever will. He seems to think that the rules apply to everyone, but him. Sigh...

    by the way, he spent several days at another friend's house a couple weeks ago and ended up getting kicked out of there. So apparently he's not as good at it as he seems to think. :rolleyes:

    Everytime I talk to him someone has :censored2: him off (his words) much anger. I'm pretty sure I :censored2: him off tonight by saying things he didn't want to hear, although he didn't say so. He'll get over it, in any case. I'm not going to pretend everything is something it's not, you know.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Can he sit down and make his own list of choices he has? Options he could consider? because at the moment, he's running away, not to. He's wanting to get away from bio-dad and find a way he can do that, but he hasn't really given proper consideration of the to.

    He needs to sit down and look at EVERYTHING, including the legal picture for the adults he is interacting with. For example, if the courts think he's at bio-dad's, and you all know he's not, will the courts take you to task for letting him live wild?

    He's a kid, he's not really thinking ahead at all. as you said, he's got an attitude problem, not helped by his handling in the past. He needs to re-think and consider, maybe I CAN succeed despite all the nasty things that step-dad & bio-dad have said.
    He's got problems, not properly identified - they were doing better with treatment. There is support out there but he has to ask for it and be prepared to do his bit as well.

    His best chance is to understand that it is better to succeed - it is the best revenge on a society he perceives has already thrown him in the bin. If he would be prepared to sit down and let you help him make a PMI list (plus, minus, interesting) on his options, then at least whatever decision he makes, will be made with more thought and judgement. it can still be his decision, but a better informed one.

  3. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    I think my difficult children think this way, they just haven't been able to articulate it this way. I do know that they think if they lived with bio mom all would be okay. husband has tried to explain to them that visiting someone and living with them are two totally different things. husband has also tried to explain that between her own problems and theirs, it would be the worst thing for the difficult children. I think they just live in their own world and no matter how rational our side of the argument is, it isn't enough to get through to them.
  4. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like my difficult child - will have to learn the hard way. Seriously, not much you can do. If that is the only way they will learn, it is the only thing to do - let them go learn, in my humble opinion.

    I suggest, counsel, try to subliminally interject (LOL!) all the leassons my difficult child is just not getting. But, I know deep down she will have to learn the hard way. Keeping her safe is the goal.
  5. twistedfrog

    twistedfrog New Member

    The old saying comes to mind. " You can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink."
  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Marg, I completely agree with you, but I don't know how to get through to him. These are things I could do with my kids, but with GFGII it's a different story. Once he gets something in his head - or once he's decided he wants to do something - there is no reasoning with him. That's what I mean by he has to learn the hard way. There is just no talking to him and actually getting through. He's so freaking hard-headed and stubborn.

    I know his mother will not allow him to do what he is planning. What got me was the statement that he knows how to get his act in gear when he has to and that he listens to other people because they can kick him out. It was jaw-dropping.

    I know him well enough to know that he can't get his act in gear like he says. Inevitably, someone would tell him no or he'd get caught doing something he's not supposed to (cause that statement in no way implied he would walk the straight and narrow, just that he'd be more sneaky about it) and he'd get a major attitude and he'd be out the door. Like I said, it only took a couple of days at another friend's...and he was just there visiting.

    Wend, like you I try to offer counsel. It saddens me to see the path he is taking and to know how hard he is making his life. I told him last night that he was too young for life to be so complicated, but that he was making it so. It's such a helpless feeling.
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    Of course many these kids claim they can control their own behavior. The other option is that they have no control over it. Who among us is willing to admit we have no control over the things we say and do? A person who states that s/he has no control is never treated well.

    Because some kids have neurological, not psychological, disorders they really may not have control over their actions. All actions and thoughts are the result of chemical activity in the brain. If the brain is functioning properly, it's possible that thoughts and actions occur no matter how hard a person tries to control them. That's why they are given drugs which effect brain chemistry.

    It reminds me of my former roommate in college who told me that I didn't need my antiseizure medication, that if I didn't want to have seizures I should just decide I wasn't going to. That's clearly absurd but not much different than expecting a person with an improperly functioning temporal lobe to control his/her emotions.
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Gee, Sara, I sure wish the local Judge could grasp that brain
    damage can and often does preclude proper choices. If "regular"
    people like us can get it.......why can't the judicial system??
    Yikes! DDD
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    DDD - Because they would have to find someplace other than jail for those people and that costs money. Maybe? Or the number of appeals that precedent would set would bury the courts and no one wants to deal with that. Because people want "justice" and that means punishing someone whether they can actually be held accountable or not. Same reason they try teenagers as adults even though we know that the teenage brain is not done developing. None of them good reasons, in any case.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Sara, I do wonder how much control he really has. I know he knows right from wrong and he can stop himself from destroying other people's property for the sheer thrill of it. But I really don't think he has much control over his anger...and there's so much of that. That's why I noticed such a difference when he was on depakote.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    That stubbornness of his could be such an asset for him, but as has been said - it comes down to control and his ability to handle it.

    You do what you can and don't beat yourself up over what you can't. All you can do is say, "I want to help,, you know where to find me when you're ready to accept that help. You can do so much more for yourself, but it seems you have to work this out for yourself. I love you and I'm here for you, when you come to me."

    Then the hardest bit - leave him to do what he's gonna do anyway. Because there is nothing you can do to change it, or him. And trying would only make his stubbornness head even faster in the wrong direction.