New Here - Hell of a Day & month

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by susanga, Jan 22, 2007.

  1. susanga

    susanga New Member

    Hi Everyone. New here, it's my first post. I am the Mom of a 14 & 3/4 year old son, Tim. I knew Tim had been sneaking out, riding his bike about 5 miles one way to see a 'girl' sometime between 1.00 am - 5.00 am, usually on weekends. I nabbed him coming in the door on a couple of occasions, and of course he tried to lie to me and tell me he had just been in the garage wah wah wah, and so on. Well, tonight a hysterical mother of one of his friends is pounding on my door. I am then informed that my son has been taking our cars in the middle of night. Not only taking our cars for a drive but making rounds to his friends houses and they are sneaking out with him and riding - not just around the block but for 20 - 30 mile one way f'n trips. Oh my god. So - he has lied to me so much that I don't even know who he is anymore. Seriously. I don't even know my own son anymore. When did this happen. How in the hell did it get by me so slyly? In addition to the car thing he was also in possession of a 'bag' of pot which he and his friends evidently smoke while in our car. Tim was kicked out school in December and is now attending Alternative school for 8th graders. A tough school. I don't know what to do at this point. I'm afraid to even close my eyes and sleep. I've done the take everything out of his room and ground him routine. No phone, no computer. I'm at a loss. I'm tired and at this point I'm speechless. speechless.
     
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    So sorry that he is being so difficult. Have you taken him in to a psychiatrist for an evaluation yet? Is he on any medications? My number 1 recommendation is to get an outside-quality lock for your bedroom door and keep your purse and keys locked in your room. This is a cheap ($15) way to sleep a little more peacefully. If you can afford it, have the whole house wired with an alarm that will go off if a door or window is opened (on my wish list).

    Many others will post tomorrow. Welcome to our group of warrior moms.
     
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    Welcome to the site. Sorry I don't have any advice as my difficult child is still young, but others will come who know more than I do. Again welcome and sorry that you have it rough.
     
  4. susanga

    susanga New Member

    More about me and Mr. T.

    He has been diagnosed throughout the years with many things.

    not sure what the difficult child's & other things mean but here is my Tim -

    Adopted at birth. Birth mother bi-polar, birth brother autistic.

    Me, 49, almost 50 - got my first AARP solicitation last weekend. Oh boy.
    My medications: Cymbalta, Sjogren's Syndrome (auto immune disorder).

    Tim has been diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, Asperger's Disorder, ODD, Obsessive Compulsive, and more than likely bi-polar although he has not been diagnosed.

    He does need psychiatric help. His Dad (we are divorced X 10 years)has been very obstinate and distant to him for the last few months.

    sigh
     
  5. Liahona

    Liahona Active Member

    Is he on any medications? Is he seeing a psychiatrist? (psyciatrist - probably mis-spelled that) Has he been formally diagnosed or are you going off the family history?

    husband (dear husband) gets AARP solicitations regually. At least every few months. Lol. He is 29, and has been getting them for years.

    difficult child means gift from God. I think all the letters are in the archives. Also in the archives is how to put things in your signature so everyone doesn't keep asking you the same questions. They can help better with a signature.
     
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well welcome to the board. Welcome also the wonderful world of boys who like to steal our cars! Im a charter member since my son started when he was 12! Nothing irks me more.

    We have not been successful but that has been because we havent done all the things we should have to be honest.

    Right now, I would go out and buy one of those Clubs for the car. Install that bad boy on the car everytime you leave it. Wear the key around your neck. If you can afford house alarms...get them too. You may want to consider a person in need of supervision petition with the courts to mandate psychiatric care and curfew. Also drug testing. You want to nip this in the bud now. You also dont want him driving high and killing someone...this happens all too often.
     
  7. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Hi, welcome to the site.

    If he's Aspie, etc, is he thinking of this himself or is he being led by others? I know my Aspie older son would never do anything like this, but another Aspie young friend is constantly in trouble with the police because he tries to buy popularity with the 'cool' kids by doing what they want him to do. His last big brush with the law was carrying eggs around for the local thugs on Halloween (which is not popular here in Australia - local bullies have hijacked it). The cops searched his bag and found nun-chuks in it (they're an illegal weapon for ANYONE in Australia, and he was under-age AND carrying an illegal weapon). He had put the nun-chuks in his bag as a favour to a 'friend' who had used them earlier to beat up another kid. "Here, you mind these so when I get searched they won't find them on me."
    How stupid can you get? This boy's parents are good people, totally at a loss as to what to do to get through to their son.

    Back to your son and your problem - yes, he needs to be assessed and seen by an expert. You also need to talk to someone (as part of the team) to put strategies in place to ensure he does nothing more in this vein. My concern is, that if all you do for now is REact, instead of being PROactive, he will turn it into a game - "beat Mum's latest obstacle to my joy-riding."

    Some practical suggestions for now - get a kill switch installed in your car. We had one in our car (from a previous owner) that we didn't even know was there until husband accidentally kicked it on one day and we had to get our car jump-started until I took it to an auto-electrician. It took the experts half an hour to find the switch, so a well-hidden, secret kill switch in your car (don't tell him or mention it in his hearing) will keep him puzzled. You kick the switch when you get out, kick it back again when you get in to drive. Ours was a quarter-inch toggle switch on the floor in the corner, away from the steering column. Get it put where you can reach it discreetly, but where it won't be found by fumbling fingers (ie don't put it anywhere near the steering column or where someone trying to adjust the seat could find it). Base of gear shift, if you have a floor shift, or base of handbrake is a possibility.

    Use the kill switch WITH a club lock. Belts and braces. Let him think you're relying on the club alone.

    Get the house wired for alarms. Get movement sensors installed outside his windows. A remote movement sensor leading to an alarm in your room would slow him down some. If you also have consequences in place for him trying to break curfew, then hopefully he will learn to not break the rules because he won't know what you're up to.

    Keep him guessing, whatever you do. Don't let him know what you have or where it is.

    Instal nanny cams. Put one in the car. Another in his room. Another outside his room, using infra-red. Put one anywhere you think you need coverage and include infra-red if you can. Be as discreet as possible and check the films behind locked doors in your room. If possible get them solar-powered, or battery powered. Mains power can be cut. You need battery back-up, at least.

    ALWAYS - keep a logbook for your car, write down mileage. We have to do that by law with our young adult drivers, plus husband keeps a log book to help us with car maintenance. It's not difficult. But it's very hard to hide if somehow a mysterious number of miles has been added to the meter overnight.

    And yes, drug-test him randomly and regularly. Bring back chores, accountability, keep him busy and tired. Get him a volunteer job somewhere, maybe at an old folks home. Make sure he's supervised. Never let him sleep in - always get him up and working, even if it's study for school. Even on weekends - never let him sleep in. I use a water squirt bottle up the pyjama leg to get any sleepers out of bed in a hurry. But you need a reason to get him up - enrol him in a sporting activity such as self-defence classes, sport classes, whatever you can that will give him a place to be and something physical to do. NEVER let him off it unless he has a broken leg, and even then he can go and watch.

    Basically, keep him tired enough so he'll go to bed earlier and not want to get up in the middle of the night, especially if he knows you will be dragging him out of bed at 7 am (that's a sleep-in on the weekend).

    You need expert help. Not only talk to the health professionals and counsellors, but go talk to security firms who specialise in nanny cams etc and pick their brains. And when he's no longer under your roof - everything you're learning and acquiring will set you up for a career as a private detective.

    Be inventive, be suspicious but also be good-humoured. Keep him guessing, keep him active and good luck.

    I'm one MEAN Mama!

    Marg
     
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Susan and welcome.

    I think there are some things you could do. Put a club on the cars when not in use and make sure the key is with you at all times. An alarm (call companies for specials they may have - some will install the equipment for free if you sign a monthly monitoring contract).

    Sounds like you have gone the diagnosis merry-go-round and don't have much faith in that. However, your boy needs to be nipped in the bud. Attending an alternative school, sneaking out at night, stealing the car, smoking dope ..... pretty good laundry list.

    He needs to be evaluated by a pediatric psychiatrist. You may have to reach out to the court system, the police, etc., in order to help your boy.

    I'm sure there will be moms checking in with you today that have been through this with their teens. They will be of much more help to you.

    In the meantime, hang in there, glad you found us.

    Sharon
     
  9. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Hi Susan. I can see your hands are full. I really have nothing further to offer that hasn't already been suggested above.

    Just wanted to pop in & welcome you. :warrior:
     
  10. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Susan,

    Wow, your son certainly knows how to keep you on your toes and BUSY!!! I can't think of anything to add to what the others have already said, but just want to say hello to you too. Please take time to take care of yourself!!! WFEN
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome.

    I have four adopted kids. The birth family history is very important because things like bipolar and autism are hereditary. If he has both, he has his hands full (just like you do) and he needs both treatment for Aspergers (school interventions) and medication for bipolar. Since he is getting older, I hope you can get him in treatment soon. It sounds like he is being treated as if he is a 'bad' kid at school. Obviously he isn't making good choices, but they could very well link back to his disorders. Pot is a BIG red flag. My daughter was caught using pot and we late found out she was doing a heck of a lot more than pot--you name it, she tried it before she straightened her act out. We didn't even guess she'd be crazy enough to try more than pot. I wish you luck. I'd want him evaluated, maybe by a neuropsychologist, and treated for his disorders--at 18 you lose all your ability to help him.
     
  12. Losing_Resilience

    Losing_Resilience New Member

    Hi Susan,

    I'm sorry to hear about all you've been going through! My daughter of about the same age was sneaking out in the middle of the night and getting in the car also. Not sure if she or others were driving it around or not, but she at least turned in on in the garage, and could have been asphixiated!

    I also put a killswitch on my car, as someone else here mentioned. It cost $150 to have it installed (although another mechanic might charge less). Mine is up under the dashboard where it is very hard to find unless you know where to feel. I switch if off when I leave the car - if anyone tried to start it, it would just sound like the engine was trying to turn over, but it would never start up.

    I think putting the club on also is a good idea.

    My daughter, on top of her difficult child issues, is going through the "terrible teens", and boy, is it ever tough. She desparately wants to get away from me and my rules, which are just the normal, standard rules most families have, about wanting to know where they are, etc.

    Here is an example of her difficult child logic: we recently took in her friend and her friend's mother for a few days because they were on the run from the mother's boyfriend. The mother is temporarily homeless (has now moved in with a friend), and the daughter has now moved back with the grandparents, but they are upset because daughter put dad in jail for hitting her. The daughter just turned 17 and had also been very rebellious. They were very nice and responsible guests at our house. Anyway - here's the difficult child logic part - when we were at the therapist yesterday, my daughter says to the therapist that she wanted to go live with this friend! The therapist looked confused and said, "Where? I thought she didn't have anyplace to live?" So in my daughter's eyes, being jobless and semi-homeless is preferable to following my rules. I guess to her it is!!!

    I'm veering between consistant rules and compromises, trying to keep her safe but also trying not to drive her away. Obviously, I'm not succeeding to well. When you find the magic solution, please let us all know!

    Seriously, though, we're all here for you and we understand and send you good wishes.
     
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Susan,
    Just wanted to pop in and say welcome. Glad you found us-you are not alone.
     
  14. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Susan,

    Welcome from a fellow Georgian. My difficult child snuck out of the house for a couple of years and I didn't even know it.

    When we did find out, we had an alarm system put in the house and deactivated the code that difficult child knew each night (we reactivated it each morning). That put a stop to her sneaking out.

    As far as the pot, I have a feeling that this is just a tip of the iceberg. I definitely think you need some professional help now while he is still young. If it is at all possible, I would try to find a place for him to go to get him away from his current set of friends.

    You have found a great site with a lot of people that have been down this road before. You might also want to check out the teen and substance abuse forum for help with the drug issue.

    ~Kathy
     
  15. TexasTornado

    TexasTornado New Member

    Post deleted by tiredmommy
     
  16. jodyice

    jodyice New Member

    hi Susan and welcome to the site. I don't have any advice other than what everyone else has posted. Just wanted to welcome you and to let you know you're not alone.

    ~hugs~
     
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