Vent about difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Apr 14, 2010.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It seemed he had been doing well- except for sneaking to try to get cigs anyway. difficult child met went mentor yeesterday and had been doing pretty well at home with just a few times that I thought were mmore typical teen. I checked online to make sure he went to school Monday, they had him marked as tardy, I called to see how late he was (half a day or 15 mins, Know what I mean??) and they said just a few mins. Ok, not that big of a deal. Then, he told me that he'd seen his friend at school Monday- the one he'd been out with all night both times and the boy had gotten caught by his mother and step-father for drugs and when confronted, the boy told them "well, I'm already in trouble so I might as well smoke a cig" (which he's not allowed to do either), so after a scuffle over that, they sent him to spend spring break at his father's house and the father worked his butt off. Then difficult child was supposed to go on a field trip with JROTC today and said he needed $5, I had seen the paper and this was true, but it also said to be at school at a certain time this morning in uniform. difficult child assured me he had changed that and said not to wear uniform. OK. difficult child had said friend was not going on this field trip. difficult child had talked to mentor last night about his interest in all this.

    So, this morning I get up to take difficult child to school early for the field trip as planned. He appeared ready to go but fidgety. I had time for a cup of coffee at the computer first, he said he was going, I said I needed to take him, he said "I know". He took garbage out. I ssit down at computer and find he's been on porn- apparently he's getting up real early and doing stuff. Anyway, after I had my cup of coffee, I find he never came back in the house so I call for him and look- he's nowhere to be found. I got in the car and drive thru neighborhood. As I was coming back hoome, I see him with the friend walking so I stopped car and told him to get in. He smirked and said "I'm going to school" - we both said those things twice and he kept walking. I don't think he had any intention of going on this field trip- he juyst wanted the money. I don't know if he wasn't allowed to go on it or if he plans to skip school and try to make it people at school think he was on the field trip. He had told me this boy wasn't going on the trip and I don't think there was a chance they could walk and get there in time, and hmmm- remember the "change" that uniforms should not be worn. The only thing I can say is that at least I was able to confirm who he is sneaking around with.

    He has bragged a couple of times about being able to turn a little amount of money into more money- could that be anything but drugs? Then, yesterday he took 2-3 sodas out of the fridge and took them to school. I don't know if he's taking stuff from the house to sell or not. I'm wonodering if he's thinking he can deal drugs but not do enough of them himself that he can get by with it and not get caught.

    I can see this being typical teen stuff to a certain extent, but given difficult child's circumstances, it seems stupid to me. And even if he was a typical teen (and I know he's not), but I was wondering, how does a parent keep their own peace of mind when you are living with someone that lies and sneaks and you can't trust them? This kid would have me believe that I'm insane and imagining all this if he thought it would work. I had talked to him earlier this week when he had been telling me about the friend's parents dealing with the issue. I told him that one of the differences with him is that unlike the friend who gets into trouble but takes the punishment his parents give him, difficult child refuses to comply with his punishments and doesn't stop digging himself in deeper until the legal system is involved. But then I mentioned his damage to our house and difficult child said his friend had done that to their previous house. More and more I'm thinking this kid- the one that I had thought was a good influence on difficult child- is his partner in crime. Still, I don't think difficult child is being led astray- difficult child is being sneaky, lieing, and manipulative. But how stupid is this- he was supposed to get off house arrest today or tomorrow. Can he honestly think at this point that he won't get caught for this kind of stuff or that this time I won't report him to the PO? Whay can't he get this? How brainless can he be not to care if he's sent right back to Department of Juvenile Justice?

    I'm furious with him right now but then there is a part of me that thinks I'm only furious because I believed there was a possibility that he was trying and being somewhat honest so my anger is coming from disappointment and feeling duped by him. But it is so hard to give up completely on your kid- even though by his actions, it seems like his message to me is "boy, mom, you are stupid for believing me and giving me another chance". Do parents of typical teen's feel like they wouldn't trust their 15yo as far as they could throw him?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2010
  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    k, the thing about trust is that you have it until something causes you to loose it. If there is a good track record, trust is there. If there are constant lies, it's gone. It's tough to get trust back. In your case, I don't think you can trust difficult child as far as you could throw him. Add to that that he is not a typical teen. He is manipulating the heck out of you. And I think you are right in your observation about why you are so frustrated. Add to that that he has been offered a chance to make a change and throws it away at every turn. The PO was thinking about letting him off house arrest early despite his continued disregard of the rules. He has been given a mentor to work things out, and there's a pretty good chance he is manipulating him as well.

    In regards to him getting on your computer to look at porn, I don't understand why he still has access. He did this within 12 hours of being home. We urged you to disconnect at night, take the keyboard, or set your computer for no internet access during certain hours.

    If he can get away with it, he will.

    If he didn't go on this field trip this morning, find out what he used the cash for and then don't give him any more - period. You can supply all his needs - he doesn't need any cash.

    Your boy can't be trusted. I understand your frustration.

  3. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    #1. is he at school? If not, I'd be calling the PO pretty darn quick to report him as truant, again. I'd also ask for my $5.00 back.
    #2. why does he still have access to the computer?? A small thing perhaps in the grand scheme of things, but it's one more way he's snubbing his nose at the rules. If the computer is not password protected and the keyboard and mouse are right there hooked up and ready, it's like an invitation, given his tendency to ignore the rules.

    I imagine your anger is from your disappointment, that's only natural. But given the amount of defiance he's exhibited since getting out, I don't think I'd trust him one iota until weeks and weeks had gone by without a slip-up.

    I'm sorry he's continuing down this road.. it is SO frustrating to watch them make these kinds of decisions. It makes no sense to us .. yet obviously it makes some kind of twisted sense to them.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I'm so sorry to hear that you are having to deal with all of difficult child's nonsense.

    Just yesterday, my own difficult child asked for money to participate in some kind of school activity. It was presented to us as a last-minute a Oh I forgot to tell you...sort of way. Did we give her money? Nope.
    She tried to tell us it was extra credit if she participated. Did we give her money then? Nope.

    Our computer is password protected.

    We also have an agreement with the school that we are notified immediately if difficult child does not show up on time for any class at any point during the day.

    We don't rely on trust because difficult child has shown that she cannot be trusted.

    I think your son is showing you the same thing...
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Re. the computer- he doesn't have access normally, but stupid me didn't even consider it a risk last night because I it hadn't been an issue, a tech was here working on it yesterday and I didn't want to mess with it last night, and it never occurred to me that difficult child would do this on a night he was seemingly excited about going to bed early to get up and go on this field trip.

    Yeah- I know he'll do whatever he can get by with- it's the fact that now it seems he'll do stuff even when it should be obvious that he WON'T get by with it and he knows what's at stake and he STILL does these things- that's what makes no sense to me.

    It's clear at this point that difficult child is the type that right at the moment I think things are ok, at least for right now, is when he is sneaking the most or planning something.

    I expect PO to call today because he said he would call me mid-week when difficult child's drug test came back from the lab. Right now the phone battery is recharging, then I can make calls.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jamie was pretty typical teen and blew our trust on a few occasions. We came down on him hard and he worked hard and fast to earn our trust back. He didnt like the results he got from his escapades.

    Cory? We couldnt trust him as far as we could throw him so he basically never left our line of sight. He was not at all happy with this situation but it was what it was. Every time we attempted to give him an inch he blew it so we couldnt loosen the rope at all. This is what it sounds like the situation is with your difficult child. You are going to have to sit on him completely. No chances for a very long time. He blows them all.
  7. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What I learned early on is to NOT try to make sense of any of what my difficult children did, especially when they were teenagers. The fact they will get caught is clearly oblivious to them. Don't ever assume they will not do something because "it would be foolish." They ARE foolish!

    Quite honestly, k, I think you are hoping for the best, and I do understand that, but I think that is your downfall with your difficult child.. and I think that he takes advantage of it. He knows that if he sits tight for awhile you'll begin to trust him again, and then he seizes an opportunity. He's done it over and over again. It may be harder for you to see because you're in the middle of it, but from the perspective of one reading your posts, I see it loud and clear.

    Again, I'm sorry. I know this is exhausting, and incredibly disappointing.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Maybe he snuck out somehow last night. He told me yesterday that the JROTC leader told him he needed to trim his hair before today, so he did and he asked me to check to see if I thought it was short enough around his ears and nck. I swear I don't think he planned this by yesterday evening. He ttold me the friend was staying at home last night for the first time since getting in trouble over a week ago. I just saw that either the boy or a parent tried to call from that number to my house yesterday around 8:30PM. I think I was trimming difficult child's hair then. Anyway, I also noticed a flashlight on the bathroom counter this morning. I think he planned to sneak out last night, but also go on the field trip, then maybe got high and that's why he was fidgety this morning and blew the field trip. Plus, the $5 was probably spent by the time I woke up this morning. He went to bed about 9:45- I went to bed aroun 11:30. I'm going to go see what time the alarm is set for on his clock.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    PO and I had discussed last week that difficult child was either teetering back and forth or just manipulating and we were giving him the chance to make that clear. I think he's made it clear now. I see it now- I just don't know what to do about it in the sense that I can't stand guard over him 24/7. All I know to do is report this to PO, suggest he pursue drug testing in the way that we discussed before so difficult child can't slide by it, put difficult child on the program where he has the ankle bracelet at his arraignment in a few weeks. But honestly, this makes difficult child a nightmare at home, then I can't get work done and make enough money to live. It's a heck of a situation.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Getting high last night on pot will not make one fidgety this morning. It might make it harder to get up this morning but will not make him more fidgety.

    Personally, it wouldnt matter to me when he decided to mess up, the fact that he did is the bigger issue. He simply cannot control his impulses. There is supposed to be something in there that says to him...uhhh, I cant do that because I am on parole, I will get into trouble. Or even better yet, I dont want to do that because it will mess up my future. Personally I will take the I cant do that because I will get into trouble. The thoughts on future will come with time.
  11. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    klmno - I have to agree with Sharon - your son isn't a typical teen and under the circumstances, I wouldn't chalk anything up to typical teen behavior. He violates your trust every chance he gets, and then some.

    Personally, I'd call the ROTC instructor and get the facts about this alleged field trip and if difficult child went or not. If not, I'd want to know why. I'd also call school to verify he even showed this morning.

    I understand your anger. Can't tell you how many times I allowed myself to hope that thank you was turning things around, only to get clobbered with irrefutable evidence that he was just pulling the wool over everyone's eyes. I was 100 times more angry with myself than I was with him. You know that old saying, fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me? Well, around here, it's fool me for the gazillionth time, how dumb can I be and *when* will I ever learn. We want to trust our kids and believe the things that they tell us, but they give us absolutely no reason to do so. It always cracks me up when thank you whines "You don't trust me". Gee, ya' think? He's dug himself such a deep pit in the trust department, I honestly am not sure I'll ever trust him again.

    I've told all my kids, trust is freely given the first time around. If you violate it, it's 10 times harder to earn it back. As a detached observer, it doesn't seem like your son has any interest in *truly* re-earning your trust. If he thinks he can do it by saying all the right things and feigning remorse, great. But if it involves following thru with his actions.... well, he just doesn't seem terribly interested.

    I'm so sorry he's giving you such a run for your money. I have to agree with Crazy - don't even think about trying to figure out what's going on in their brains because logic and cause/effect just don't apply.
  12. janebrain

    janebrain New Member

    Hi KLMNO,
    this reminds me of how things were with my difficult child 1, E. She lied, manipulated, etc. without regard to the consequences. I think I was able to stop being disappointed and upset with her when I came to the realization that I should never get my hopes up that she had changed. Also, I quit trying to figure out why she did the foolish things she did, and I quit expecting her to think about the consequences of her behavior. She was on a PINS so she had a probation officer. I simply reported the truth to the probation officer, I reported her missing to the police every time I did not know where she was or she did not return when she was supposed to. Did they actively look for her? No, not at first. Eventually she dug her hole deep enough that she was sent off to an Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I did not lecture her, did not question her, nothing. I simply reported every single misdeed to her P.O. I removed myself from the equation. I told her that her actions would eventually lead to consequences--not made up consequences by me but real ones by people in authority.

    I think changing your own mindset is the only way you are going to have any peace of mind. A true typical teen has their own internal boundaries and they will not cross the line. A difficult child has no boundaries and will do whatever they can get away with. And, as you know, they are great manipulators. My difficult child was so charming, everyone loved her, even her PO! I think accepting your difficult child as he is now is your best bet. He may change--it isn't set in stone, but if you can accept him where he is now I think you will be able to reach a more neutral state of mind and won't be torn up by anger and disappointment.

    So sorry, you are in my thoughts often.

  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I won't be able to talk to the JROTC leader today- they are on a field trip out of town until 5:00 or so. I am sure about there really being a field trip- and at this point I am pretty sure that difficult child isn't on it but can't swear to it. This would give him a cover so to speak for not being home until about 5:30 because since I won't be there to pick him up, he'll claim he had to walk home when the bus came back from the field trip- except now he already knopws I've caught him in a lie. I can call the school but the problem is that the kids going on the field trip had to be there 45 mins before school started this morning. So the school won't be able to verify where difficult child is until tomorrow (unless they can call the JROTC leader by cell phone) unless he is in school right now. I am going to call though in about 10 mins- to make sure my battery is charged before getting on the phone with PO. Maybe I should call the PO first and let him talk to the people at school to verify where difficult child is.

    His alarm was set to go off at the usual time for school so who knows if he snuck out- but maybe you're right, Janet, all the details probably don't matter as much as just realizing that he is still sneaking and making sure PO knows. I'm going to have to talk to him about a couple of other things, too.
  14. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    k - this is exactly the same thing we go through with Onyxx. She will appear to be doing really well then we discover something she's done, sneaky. For instance months ago - she'd been very good. Very, very good. For months. And then... I discovered that all of my body jewelry was missing. Nothing expensive. I went looking for something else a couple days later and there were drugs missing. husband and I gave her a chance to come clean with immunity, she swore she'd done nothing, had nothing, took nothing. Until husband unzipped her bean bag and found the bottle from the pharmacy... Empty.

    She left her bag the other night so husband did a random check. $50 bottle of perfume. She's wearing a bunch of new sterling silver rings. Supposedly a friend gave these to her. I don't believe it. However without any proof of any kind... Sigh. When she spends the night with a friend, we can't exactly hover...
  15. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    k, the school would have to have a list of the kids that left school property for a field trip - SOP for schools. When you encountered him walking with his friend this morning, was there ample time for him to make it to school 45 minutes early? I think you are right - he is probably skipping school as we speak.
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    See step...thats where you mess up, she is allowed sleep overs. We tried that once with Cory with disastrous results.

    Oh we heard all about how he had come home from a group home wanting to do well. He was a changed boy. He would show us. And he did for several weeks. One of his second-cousins asked him to spend the night. These boys were Jamies best friends during his growing up years. Not only cousins but they were joined at the hip. They wanted to allow Cory a chance and let him spend the night. Cory comes home the next day but early the morning after we get a phone call at about 6 am from the mom...Tonys cousins wife. Seems Cory had stolen one of her earings!

    Tony went in to his room to confront him and Cory attempted to lie about it. Oh he was adamant that he didnt do it. Must have been someone else. Tony was livid. Why you may ask? Cory was wearing the earring in his ear!

    He never went on another sleepover again. We begged them to press charges but they wouldnt.
  17. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    That's the thing though. I honestly do NOT think she's stealing from her friends or their families. This is brand-new stuff. As in... We went to Wal Mart... AND.

    I am pretty sure she does this at Kroger too. I cannot stop her from going shopping entirely. In fact I can't stop her from doing anything.
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Step- lock the rx'd medications up.

    Ok- get this- I called the school district, difficult child did not go on field trip, lady called his classroom to see if he was in regular class and he is. Now, if he wasn't high this morning, why wouldn't he go on that field trip as planned? Janet- I know pot won't make a kid fidgety but getting caught high by your mom will. And, there are other things floating around at school besides pot according to difficult child- all kinds of stolen rx'd medications are in abundance.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You have a major problem on your hands. Go to walmart and get one of those full scale drug tests before he gets home and pop it on him.

    If he shows dirty, then you are going to have to do something more to control him. Go to Radio Shack and get those window/door alarms. At least you will know when he is leaving the house.

    I always said I wanted to put one of those shock collars they use for dogs on mine. Zap!
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I just spoke with PO- difficult child's drug test came back perfectly clean- no dilution indicated. He says he ddoesn't think difficult child is ddoing as much as he's trying to brag about. I told him about this morning and so forth and he says difficult child is a difficult situation and it is weird because he isn't delving into one path or another. He said he is almost certain that difficult child is struggling and not 100% trying to manipulate us all- unless he doesn't come home after school as he should today. He said what difficult child wants to do is typical teen however where it goes awry is that difficult child's circumstances aren't typical and this is where he struggles with which path to go on, in PO's opinion. So, we discussed what to do if difficult child does come home on time today and if he doesn't. If he does, PO wants to take him off house arrest starting Sat. with a curfew. He doesn't want to punish him for not going on the field trip because no one would have made him go and because difficult child went to school on time this morning. OK- but what consequences should I give him for lieing to me or at least not telling me this morning that he'd changed his mind and didn't want to go? Or did he plan to go and think he could walk with his friend and still get there on time to make the field trip? If that's the case, maybe the natural consequences are enough??