difficult child had been telling me that things were going pretty well the past couple of weeks, and he started our visit today like things were ok. Then, he started getting emotional. He first was saying that he has always taken too much from other kids and holds things in that bother him until he can't take it anymore then he explodes or does something stupid. (This is true.) But, he started blaming me for it saying that it was because I raised him that way. Now, there is some truth to that- I used to tell him to tell a teacher or ignore nasty comments from other kids instead of teaching him how to really stand up for himself. But, the fact that he's really sensitive kid who never like competition and is not naturally assertive is not anyone's fault. Does anyone here ever recall having to just accept characterisitcs about our own personalities and learn how to handle things in a way to compensate for that?Is there anything I can say to difficult child to help him see that? I should add that what triggered that was that he's doing very well in there- behavior wise. But he says that when he tries to ask staff a question, they don't even realize he's there and don't even repsond to him but they always respond to the other boys. I told him it was probably because he has behaved so well and they don't see him as one who could end up causing a problem. Plus, I doubt he's as assertive about it as the others. Then, he started again about me never letting him hang out with his friends. Ok, I did, until he got into more legal troubel than everyone across the board felt they should stay away from each other for a while. When I was ready to let them hang out together again, the other parents would not allow it and apparently, the other boy wasn't too interested either. This hurt difficult child so bad that it took him months before he would even tell his therapist - he kept telling his therapist that I wouldn't let him hang out with anyone. Then he started to hang around a kid who was more than a little bad news and I wouldn't allow that. Anyway, I didn't raise my voice but triecd to tell difficult child that we should discuss these things in family therapy- he was starting to cry n front of all the other kids and their families visiting. He talked about how he wanted to get back into advanced classes when he gets out and goes to high school. Then he turned around and fussed at me for making too big of a deal about him doing homework. He said the most important thing to him was having friends to hang out with. But he wasn't going to take carp from other kids anymore- he was going to fight them. He went on about several things where I really didn't see how anyone could add things up the way he does. Then he was really trying hard not to cry more and said over and over "I have royally scr**ed my life up. I will never be able to do anything. If I get out and do things differently, I will still end up in here again. I hate it here. But I don't care- I'll just end up in here again- then someday it will be adult prison." I couldn't decide if this was a sense of hopelessness, an "I don't care" attitude in general, or just trying to accept that he's in there for the next year and there's nothing he can do about it. I finally gave up trying to reason with him and told him it would help to talk to a therapist but he needed to decide for himself what his own priorities were- school, friends, or proving he's cool. I reminded him that a lot of things happened because he kept getting into trouble and if he kept handling things the same, he would get the same results. He said he would never be equal to other kids now because if he makes a "normal" mess-up, they would get a slap on the hand, he would get back into Department of Juvenile Justice. I said "that's right- you are in a hole and have to work hard to get yourself out- but it can be done." He asked me how he was supposed to handle things once he gets out. I don't have the answer to that. Is my kid sicker than I thought? Is his inability to add things up in a better way permanent? He says no therapist has ever really helped. In his defense, I don't think he's ever had a good one either. But I don't think it would matter- I don';t think anything will do any good until/unless he adds things up for himself and comes up with logical conclusions about how things got to this point (in the sense of accepting himself and takiing responsibility) and realizing what it will take to turn his life around and sticking to it. A good therapist who really cared and spent ample time with him could help with that part- but really, I think those are few and far between. It's difficult for adults who are ready to walk in and blurt the problem out to find a good therapist, much less a kid in trouble who has trouble identifying the problem to begin with. Thoughts?