Need advice about kicking 18 year old out of our house, Help!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by pinevalley, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    I hope that someone can give me advice about my 18 year old difficult child. He is a senior in an alternative HS, and my husband and I told him yesterday that he could not live with us anymore. We have told difficult child that he could live at our house as long as he followed our rules, and he constantly lies and does whatever he wants. He has stolen my credit card several times and charged hundreds of $ at a head shop. He was truant from school yesterday, and today he was suspended from school because they found "legal" weed in his backpack. He is very good at manipulating other adults, and he makes promises to change but it never happens for more than a few days. He hangs with loser friends who have no interested besides smoking weed and chilling. husband and I have told difficult child that he could not smoke hookah in our house, but he does it anyway. He talks to a psychologist every week, but it does not really help. He was diagnosed with very slow processing speed, and is taking abilify to help with moods. difficult child is staying with his girlfriends family for the next three days, and then they will bring him back home. husband and I do not want him to stay at our house if he is going to continue to lie, steal, and get high. I feel like he will have to learn to follow the law and other rules the hard way, by not living at our house. But I really don't want him living on the street either. Do you think that we should be firm and not allow difficult child to live at our house anymore? Or should we give him one more chance to change? He keeps promising to change and he is begging to stay at home. But we have been lied to so often that we don't believe anything that he says anymore, and husband and I are really sick of the constant trouble with our son. I would appreciate any advice from others on this board with more experience. Thanks,
    me: 50+: stay at home mom
    husband: 50+ engineer
    difficult child: 18, slow processing speed, learning disability, in alternative high school, smokes weed often, cigarettes, no interest in anything at all except hanging with loser friends. was in hospital program last year because he was kicked out of HS for bringing a knife to school to show to a friend. not violent.
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Our situations sound very similar.... I have definitely been where you are at. My son is now almost 20. We did kick my son out when he was 18 and a half for very similar reasons. I think we did the right thing for a couple of reasons... things were terrible at home, we were all living in a war zone. Him not being here has been very good for my younger daughter and it was nice to enjoy coming home again. I also felt strongly that him learning that he could continue to flagrantly disobey all our rules (which were pretty minor and obvious) and get away with it was not the lesson I wanted him to learn.

    So he started to learn the hard way. After several arrests he spent 2 weeks in jail. You can't be out in society, break all the rules and continue to get away with it. He really hated jail and that got him to rehab which was a help for a while.... but he came back to the area, got a job, did sort of ok for awhile and then slid back again. He did end up homeless and finally got himself into a sober living house... and then recently checked himself in to a psychiatric unit.

    So I guess the moral of my story is that things did get really tough on him by being kicked out... yet we continued to let him know we love him, continued to support him when he was making good choices (we paid for rehab, we are paying rent at the sober house, i helped him check himself into the psychiatric unit). And he is slowly learning how the world really works...... is he learning enough. I am not sure. He recently got arrested again and if he is not more careful he is going to end up in jail......

    However I know I have done all that I can do. I am not sure we could of prevented any of this by him living at home. I think if he had stayed here it would have been really bad for my daughter and she is now doing great. It is definitely better for my husband and myselfs relationship and my health to not have the stress of him being here. My relationship with my daughter is great and would not be good if he was here.

    And my relationship with my son is better too. on the other hand my heart is broken for him, but on the other hand now I can be loving and supportive and not try and control his behavior or actions.... I no longer feel responsible for him or his stupid moves.

    So you have to do what you think is best for all of you.... but it sounds to me like kicking him out may be your only option. If you do let him come home I suggest you write out a very clear contract of the rules and if he breaks them then out he goes. So yeah there is nothing wrong with giving him one more chance but it should be clearly spelt out so he knows what the consequences are and then you have to follow through.

  3. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    I can only tell you my experience....not advice, really.

    I have been through a lifetime of trouble with my difficult child that only seemed to get worse with age. We went through drugs, gangs, suspensions, alternative school, probation, etc. Sheer hades. My difficult child's doctor is crystal meth.

    She has run away several times, went to live with my mother across the country twice, and has come back home once in between that. That was around Christmas last year. Things were great for a month. But then everything fell into the old pattern and I knew she was using again. When I found the pipe, I told her it was a full program in rehab if she was going to continue living here. She chose to not live here. That was back in the beginning of February. She has been living the drifter lifestyle ever since. She bounces from place to place. She lives a life I could never, ever live. It is heartbreaking and I will never understand her choices.

    Since she has been gone, my house is more peaceful than I ever dreamed it could be. My easy child son is flourishing. I never have to worry about leaving money out or locking my bedroom all the time. I don't have to worry about what is going on in my house when I am not there. No one walks around on eggshells. The negative energy is gone. I really look forward to coming home now.

    Sure, there are days I worry so much about her that I cannot concentrate on anything else. There are nights I bawl myself to sleep thinking about her. But I am slowly coming to the conclusion that all the energy I put into that is useless. It does nothing. No one can change anything but her. I do tell her that I love her all the time. Always reminding her that she is loved and we are here to support her every step of the way when she wants the help....but there is nothing else I can do. She does have a cellphone that we pay for, and that is not up for debate and my husband knows that. That phone is my connection to her and I do need that. It lets me know that she is still alive every day.

    A saying that helped me - nothing changes if nothing changes. And that is so very true. Had I stuck my head in the sand when it came to my difficult child's drug use, she would still be here going out and partying for a few days and then coming home and crashing for days. Yup - that was the life we had when she was here at the end. Nothing would change. Why? Because she had it made!!! She lived in a nice house, had a great bed that she adored, kitchen always stocked with food and parents that work full time. Heaven for a drug addict.

    Now, she is still a drug addict. She has not hit bottom. But I am no longer preventing her from hitting bottom and that is what I was doing before. I still make plenty of mistakes - going to post about one of them in a

    We are here for you! (((HUGS)))
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you think "another chance" will be the magic button that will make him change? If so, do it. If not, in my opinion you are wasting your time.
  5. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It does sound like it might be time to push him out the door. At this point, since there have been no hard consequences for his actions, he has no reason to stop his behavior. Did you press charges for the credit card theft? If not, I suggest you seriously consider doing so if it happens again. If he is smoking hookah in your home and you've forbidden it, I suggest that you tell him to remove it from his room and your house, or remove it yourself. Search his room and dispose of any illegal substances you find. You have every right to do that.

    Tough love is not easy on anyone.. but I really believe it's the only choice sometimes. One thing about difficult children, they tend to be very resilient. He may tell you he'll be "on the street" if you kick him out, but I'd bet that he'll find a place to stay pretty quickly.

    You might want to get involved in a group such as Al-Anon, Nar-Anon, or Families Anonymous, they can be invaluable while you're going through this.
  6. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am new here & a newly realized mom of my difficult child so take my advice with a big ole grain of salt!

    It seems that when difficult children leave the nest it does provide answers some immediate concerns. Yet at the same time it introduces wholly new concerns and problems. So sometimes it's more about your comfort level--which set of problems are more livable for YOU? While I realize that none of us have much control over at home difficult children-when they leave-you lose whatever control you had. That may be a good thing or a bad thing.

    He's getting counseling but it's not doing much good. Can you talk with his counselor? Set up some family sessions to facilitate mediation of sorts? Personally, I'd work the counseling angle a little harder before resorting to kicking him out. Especially since he hasn't yet finished HS. Once he is out, he may very well stop attending school or counseling.

    Parenting a difficult child gives new meaning to being caught between a rock and a hard place. {{{hugs}}}
  7. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Guest

    Isn't that the truth??? Never in a million years did I think difficult child would survive out there a month, and it has been seven!!! She has even put on weight since being gone! Even when I offered yesterday to pay her rent someplace - you would think she would have been searching for places and getting back to me about it. Nope. Not one word. Wth??? I am certainly not offering it up again. If she doesn't jump on it, ah well...
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome to the board pinevalley.

    Signorina makes a good point. A difficult child leaving the nest might solve many of the immediate and in your face problems, and it may (and probably will) create new problems for both you and difficult child. Not that moving him out is necessarily a bad thing, don't get me wrong. Just helps to take the time to think things through and come up with a plan that may work best for the 3 of you.

    Have you re-evaluated the house rules to suit an adult child rather than an under age child and adjusted them accordingly? Now for me, that wouldn't be much adjusting as I still expected my grown kids to let me have some idea of where they were when not at home (in case of emergency) and they still lived by a curfew as I'm not going to sit up all hours waiting for even my grown child to finally wander home. (let's face it, grown or not we'd be up waiting)

    But living at home is a privilege as an adult, unlike being a child. If he is at home he should be paying rent, doesn't have to be a ton, but a decent amount so he feels the responsibility. If he's not working or plans to go to college full time then he needs to stick to going to class and make passing grades while helping out around the house. And of course he has to follow house rules.

    Although your son is driving you bonkers right now, putting him out onto the street with a learning disability and processing deficit will most likely make you feel like a major behind unless you research some alternatives first. Some areas have assisted living apartments and halfway houses to help ease the transition into adult responsibility while having someone who checks on them daily to make sure they're eating, bathing, and getting bills paid on time.

    Ultimately, you have to do what you can live with. If the situation at home is a war zone, even non violent, and you and husband are miserable and it doesn't look like editing house rules for an adult child would work? Then certainly difficult child no longer belongs at home. You've done your job for 18 yrs, at this point you've every right to peace in your own home.

  9. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Thank you so much for all your advice from your experience with other difficult child's. I was really hoping that our difficult child could just stay in school for the next 9 months so that he can graduate from HS. We have been trying to give him therapy and support so that he can just stay in school and graduate. But just this week he skipped school for one day, and then he was caught with the legal weed in his backpack and was suspended for the rest of the week. He is coming home on Friday, and he will probably be on his best behavior for a few days. But it seems like he tries very hard to make good choices for a few days, and then he falls apart and gets in trouble. This is a pattern for difficult child, and I don't know how it will change. We have tried all kinds of contracts with him, but he usually breaks them and then we all get mad and ground him and then we give up on the contract. This situation is making my husband depressed and he says that our difficult child has ruined his life and finances and he insists that our difficult child must get out of our house. Our difficult child will listen to the psychologist when he is in the office, but then he does whatever he wants when he is with his friends. I think that we should all talk to the psychologist about this situation first. We have an appointment next Monday with the psy, but it will be a long week-end with difficult child at home. difficult child does not want to take any responsibility for his behavior, and he blames us for all this problems. In his warped mind he is the victim of very mean parents, and that is what he is probably telling everybody. Anyway, thank you for sharing your experiences. It is nice to know that there are others who understand our problems.
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    As I mentioned earlier, I can't offer any expert advice. But fwiw. I am finally realizing that 2nd chances don't translate into compromises for (my) difficult child. They are the equivalent of lowering the bar.

    Again, take your time and work with the counselor. Remember that you and husband need to turn to each other, not on each other; Know what I mean??
  11. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    You're right, Signorina. I don't want the tension and stress of dealing with difficult child to come between my husband and I. I know that this is really upsetting for my husband, and he is in a bad mood all the time. I think that we both need to learn about detachment, so that we detach ourselves from the problems of our difficult child. But I don't really know how to detach from my son, when I am worried all the time about where he is and what he is doing.
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Therapy is a lot like using drugs. If you are NOT, as a client, willing to change or interested in changing it is just a waste of money. Also, he may be doing more drugs than just weed (how did he get "legal" weed? For what purpose?). I thought that was for cancer and glaucoma and sure hope they don't use the medicinal part to allow our kids to legally smoke dope.

    My daughter was a big drug abuser. We put her out at 18 and she turned around fast. Not saying it would happen to your son, but SHE had to decide to stop her behavior. Everything we did for her before that was a waste of time and money and it turned out she was abusing more than just pot. According to her, many kids will cop to pot, but hide the fact that many are using more drugs than just pot. She has also told me, now that she is clean, that drug users are the biggest liars in the world (as she was when she used) and that you can't believe anything they say and that if you use, you sell. Period. But many parents don't know this.

    I have to say I made her leave even though she had never stolen large amounts of money from us...a twenty here and there is about it...nothing to brag about in a child, but not hundreds or thousands of dollars. Now that she is completely clean (even dumped the cigarettes), she is almost finished with college at age 27 (she got scholarships and loans and did not get much help from us), she has a good job with that college which will turn into full time when she graduates, she has a non-drug using boyfriend of eight years and they bought a house together with no help from us. She thinks that if we hadn't made her leave, none of the good stuff would have happened to her because it would have been easy for her to stay the same. I don't know if this is true, or if this is the answer for your son, but I am passing along what my daughter has told me.

    When daughter still lived a home, due to her untrustworthy behavior, the rules were stricter for her than for my other older kids who had not gotten into trouble. I didn't care if she didn't like it. Also, I did turn her in when I found her with pot and if she had stolen a credit card I would have done it again. I suggest going to an Al-Anon or Narc-Anon meeting. I think you will find it interesting. They will be a real time support system and help you with Tough Love, which works a lot better for anyone than enabling.

    Keep us posted.
  13. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What is 'legal' weed?
    I think Hookah is just regular tobacco, right?

    So you do not want him to smoke tobacco. Can he do it outside when he is at home? It is not getting him high, what if he was smoking cigarettes?

    Just curious. I know there is way more to this than the smoking thing. But, I wanted more info.
  14. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    To Busywend: My difficult child told us that he wanted to use "legal" weed, which he can get for about $10 in our local Dollar Store. From what I understand, it is really like incense that kids can put in pipes and smoke. It does not have the drug ingredient in weed, so it is not illegal to use, which is a big plus for the teens. My difficult child told me that he can get as much of a high from this legal stuff as he can from smoking real weed. They even sell this stuff in fruit flavors, like blueberry and raspberry, which the teens really like. One of the big problems with the legal weed is that kids don't know what is really in the mix of leaves and herbs, and some kids have had seizures and been hospitalized from using legal weed. A law was passed in Illinois that banned the sale of several brands of legal weed, such as Spice and K2. But the manufacturers just changed one ingredient and changed the name and they started selling the legal weed in Dollar Stores again.
    My difficult child seems to need to have any kind of substance in his system often. He started smoking cigarettes this summer, which we don't like. We have to pick our battles, and we chose not to fight with him over smoking cigarettes. He just can't smoke in our house or cars at all, and he respects this rule. He also likes to use hookah, which contains nicotine, but it is also come in different flavors. Hookah is popular to smoke in groups in our area, with long pipes, and my difficult child likes to smoke hookah with his friends. Hookah is not illegal, but it is definitely not a healthy thing to do, and we don't like this at all. But the real problem for us is the weed use, and now the use of this new legal weed. A lot of our difficult child's other problems with stealing money, and getting suspended in school, stem from his drug use. But he refuses to believe that he has a problem, and he says that we does not want to change. We make our difficult child take drug tests at home, but the legal weed does not show up on the home drug tests, so that is not any good for us.
  15. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    TO Midwest Mom: It is encouraging to hear that your daughter turned her life around and is doing well now. Did she graduate from HS when you put her out at 18? Also, it is so true and therapy will not work is the client is not willing to change. My difficult child insists that he can stop using weed on his own, and that it is not a problem for him. Unfortunately almost all of his friends use weed also, so he does not have a good circle of friends that can help him through this. He is in a band, and he says that using weed is just part of the heavy metal music culture. He has an explanation for everything! I think that in order to stop smoking weed or anything else he will have to lose his friends and find a new group, which he refuses to do. Anyway, thanks for your input.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are extremely lucky they didnt arrest him for the legal weed. When my son was barely 14 years old he was going to his first group home and he was as stupid about things as he could be. At that point in time he didnt smoke pot or anything. Some kids in the neighborhood told him he should take some pot to the group home so he could make friends there and the other kids would like him better. Well he had no access to pot so he went and picked weeds along the side of the highway and evidently there must have been one tiny little plant that could have grown along there from someone tossing out a joint or something..who knows. But he snuck a gallon sized baggie of green weeds into this group home and he got busted and he was arrested for felony possession with intent to distribute. They tested the stuff and it came back as mostly generic weeds but a teeny little percent had thc in it. However, they charged him just because he intended to sell or give it away on the pretense of it being a drug. So if he even had taken cornstarch and said it was crack, it would have been the same thing. And my little fool gets up in court and swears...OH NO...I dont smoke it, I was just gonna give it away!!!!

    I just started shaking my head, his lawyer, caseworker and even the judge stared at him in awe. The judge you even know about drugs? He said no...but I just thought they would make me friends. They dropped the distributing charge but he kept the felony possession but thankfully it was a juvenile charge and it came off at 16.
  17. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Janet, We are lucky that the school didn't call the police when they found the legal weed in his backpack at school. He goes to an alternative HS and they search the kids every day. difficult child even said to the teachers that it wasn't his weed, he was just holding it for a friend. Like they really believed that! That's why I am so afraid for him now that he is 18, because he would not be charged as a juvenile anymore. He is very immature, and he still believes that he can get away with just about anything. I have read on these forums about kids who never learn anything except by the hard way, and unfortunately that is exactly the way my difficult child is. Is is so scary for me....
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My daughter was out of high school when we told her to go. Actually, now that I think of it, she was nineteen. She did graduate and even finished Cosmotology School. She was a very functional drug addict.

    Daughter had an option that your son didn't have, however it was hard for her to make that decision. She called her super-straight arrow brother to rescue her and he agreed to take her in (this was out of state) but that if she broke one of his rules, she'd be out. She had to get a job, pay for her own foot and upkeep, and help clean the house, which he shared with a few roommates. She was given the basement to live and sleep in.

    She did listen to his rules and being away from all of her friends without a car did wonders. She had to walk to and from work and was pretty isolated for about a year. Slowly she got her license back, advanced in her job (which was at a Subway...she became manager), saved some money, bought a car and met her boyfriend. But she was ready to give up the drugs. It was just easier for her to do it in a new neighborhood. And she also knew her brother was not softhearted and if she screwed up once, he'd show her the door and not feel any sympathy.

    I can almost guarantee you that either your son or some of his friends are way beyond just using weed. Many people smoke pot and manage to avoid legal trouble. I'm not endorsing it, just saying that he's probably doing other stuff too...or at least some of his friends are. I feel strongly that tough love (such as the type her brother gave Daughter) is the only way to help a drug user decide to change.
  19. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Hi there. Being in an alternative school, and being that it was legal marijuana? I'm pretty sure the reason they didn't call the police is because the substance 1.) isn't illegal and 2.) has not been addressed to the district, parents and children in a formal manner in their student handbook which would probably have made it a civil liberties issue. Believe it or not seems to me calling the police would have violated HIS civil rights. So if they gave him the "business" over the "stuff" they were doing it with bravado to put a fear into him UNLESS it has been addressed in writing - and then he is very lucky school wise, but it's not an offense they could call police for (not an illegal substance) just a suspendable substance in that particular case. in my opinion.

    With regards to his processing speed? How long does it take him to understand the house rules? Are these new rules? Did you just change the board game of life? Have you been pretty much consistant in your parenting and what can and can't go under your roof? I mean he's 18 years old - in 18 years? Something had to sink in. He's processed how to eat, take a bath, get dressed, find his way home, buy fake dope, get one over on teachers - so yeah I think trying to skirt the house rules in his favor stating he can't process things fast enough is a load of manure. Moving on. If we're talking about processing things school-work wise? He has to have an IEP if he's in alternative school. Under an IEP the district can give you an EMERGECNY IEP meeting. In that meeting you can request that he be given a SHADOW. Shadows watch him from the time he gets to campus to the time he is supposed to get on the bus. They also help him with homework, class work and when he is "stressing out" can take him OUTSIDE for a walk -or even the rare OFF CAMPUS for a smoke to calm his nerves. THEN back in the classroom to finish his work so there is NO homework. NO HOMEWORK can also be written into this IEP if he has a shadow. THIS IS ALL AT THE COST OF THE DISTRICT. Shadows make sure they are not TRUANT. They could go to the gym shoot some hoops - go outside sit and talk.......GET WHERE I AM GOING WITH THIS?

    If he has a big brother? He may be less likely to blow up at home - not ASK anything about his day or his talks with the shadow. It's NUNYA -------Other than You getting along? Yes - Good. Great.....

    HE........cooperates, and hopefully - has someone that helps him in class, gets him OUT when he's frustrated..........keeps him on task...........and kicks his butt when he's a jerk........and gives him advice about how to handle being a jerk at home........

    If you are get a SHADOW that has therapy/counseling background in his history...........and enjoys the same things as your son - Your son can be a part of the interview process and you and the school counselor and the DISTRICT PSYCHIATRIST work this out ahead of time. DISTRICT PSYCHIATRIST input VERY important.

    As far as second chances........etc.........etc........etc........and drugs? Test him. Make it part of the condition to live at home.

    NUMBER ONE THING here -------GET HIS DIPLOMA............

    ALSO - have you considered ------------------

    MAKING HIM GET A PT JOB and working with the school with a shadow through a GED on line program ------talk to the HS counselor about alternative programs where kids get out early and earn money at jobs they used to call it OWE - Occupational work experience.......Go to school 1/2 a day - Go to work the other half.

    ALSO ...................

    There is TECH school...........TALK TO THEM.........and find out NOW what classes they have avaliable and TAKE HIM FOR A TOUR............ASAP --------

    Let him see WHAT THERE IS FOR HIS FUTURE............

    HE may.........completely flip when he sees the auto shop and love body work.........the CNC shop and love machine shop -..........electronics................or ART CLASS and want to be a tattooist..........or graphic artist...

    DO NOT groan or moan about whatever he is excited about because he will change his mind 100 times.........but he will get excited, possibly stay in school and work towards something if you are lucky..........

    EVEN ...........CDL class for truckers............take him to a truck driving school...........

    SHOW HIM WHATS OUT THERE and LET HIM GET A TASTE OF SOMETHING BESIDES DOPE..........or fake dope..........get him interested in something...........

    THEN........if you see no desire in anything.......if you see no ambition..........if you see no and your husband get to a over a strategy...........(exit strategy for your son) write it out, present it to your son...........stick to the plan and let him have life like HE wants it - and know you offered him alternatives.........not just the door. THAT WAY??????? YOU HAVE no guilt. ANd you sleep at night.

    You went the long mile - drug tested.......knew if he was using........worked with the school..........gave him choices for life.............and the rest were HIS choices for HIS LIFE.

    And you did it - with the help of a trained professional who explains to you all the while..........HE IS AN ADULT --------living in your home.....and if he were NOT your son? Would YOU TOLERATE THIS from anyone else?
    HECK no.......and how to deal with the feelings and waves of emotions you are going to have - because if you just throw him out ---------and do NOT seek professional help ----ONE of you will feel and harbor resentment towards the other for a long, long time---------about your choices and sometimes THAT can be worse than having them there tearing you apart....and sometimes that's why you try to keep them because what you know seems easier than what you don't know.

    Just my thoughts -
    Hugs & Love
  20. pinevalley

    pinevalley Member

    Star: Thank you for all your suggestions about my son. I have never heard of asking for a Shadow for my difficult child. This sounds like a great idea, but I am going to make sure that they offer this as part of an IEP in Illinois. The school told my difficult child that they have scheduled a meeting early on Monday morning, and they didn't even notify my husband or I about this meeting. My difficult child told me that the school is not obligated to notify the parents now that he is 18. My difficult child is in a reintegration program, where he attends his regular HS in the mornings, and then they drive him to the alternative school in the afternoons. They are slowly doing this for the entire semester, and then if everything is OK they will let difficult child attend the regular hs full time next semester. They have scheduled this meeting to decide if they should continue with the reintegration to the regular HS, since difficult child was suspended for 3 days last week. I am positive that they don't want my son in the regular HS, and they will tell him that in the meeting on Monday. I am going to attend the meeting with my son, and I really want to request that they should continue with the reintegration, so that difficult child has a chance to return to the regular HS. My son really wants to be out of the alternative hs, and attend the regular HS with his friends, since he is a senior and only has a few months of school left. I know that difficult child should not brought the legal weed to school in his backpack next week, but I think that they just want to punish my son by stopping any reintegration to the regular HS. It is probably easier for all of the staff if he is NOT at a much larger regular high school, and they do not want to give him any second chances to reintegrate. I am going to advocate for my son, because he really wants to attend the regular HS. He has already been punished by being suspended for 3 days for bringing the legal weed to school, and I think that the administrators are totally out of line to take away any chance of attending the regular hs just for this offense.

    Our difficult child was truant for one day (on Tuesday), and late that day we told him that if he could not follow our rules at home then he could not live in our house. He ended up staying with his girlfriend and her family for 3 days, and he returned home late on Friday night. He told us that he felt terrible when he was not living at home, and he made all sorts of promises to follow the rules from now on. My husband and I do not expect any drastic change in our difficult child, but we hope that he was scared a little when we told him that he could not live at home. I agree with you that my main priority for my son right now is for him to graduate from HS. We just don't want him to be high every day, and I can't live with him if he is going to steal my credit cards any time he can. We all have an appointment with a psychologist on Monday, and I think it helps to talk this over with a neutral third party. My difficult child really respects this therapist, and he is not able to manipulate the therapist by saying things that are not true. The therapist tells difficult child all the time that he needs to have a part time job, because he has too much time on his hands. Now we are not letting difficult child drive our car until he at least fills out job applications every week. I think that this will be a big help if difficult child can get a job, because he has too much time on his hands to hang around with his friends and get high. None of the kids in his group have jobs, and they all seem to have money all the time, which is another problem.

    Anyway, thanks for your suggestions for our difficult child. Please send some good thoughts that the school meeting on Monday goes well, and that difficult child will be able to reintegrate to the larger HS.