What do you think of what the counsellor suggests?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by welcometowitsend, May 17, 2012.

  1. So we had 2 sessions with our counsellor yesterday. We booked a session for us and a private session for difficult child - he didn't come (legitimate reason) but he didn't let me know until it was too late to cancel. I have to say sometimes I really like her and sometimes she frustrates me. Guess that's part of her job - I've never had any type of counselling before so I have nothing to compare it too.

    Anyway, counsellor and I discussed my control issues yesterday. She said that she gets that I like to be in control of things. I recognize that. I also recognize that being difficult child's mother, it's been my job to control things for the past 16 years. But I have also been very involved because I home schooled my kids up until Grade 9 so I had a lot more influence/control than many parents. I've actually tried to lessen up with controlling things and start letting him do things on his own - he doesn't seem to want the responsibility though and he doesn't take it. Ugh.

    Counsellor suggested some things to us.....
    -Make counselling a prerequisite for him coming home. husband and I have been to 5 sessions, difficult child went to 1 and he was checked out for most of it.

    -Do NOT allow him to be disrespectful to us. There will be no swearing, no name calling, no bullying of me or sis, no breaking of rules.

    -If he chooses not to follow the rules then he needs to be given a week to get his things together and find a place to stay - and he isn't to come back for a minimum of 4 months, maybe 6. This is to avoid a revolving door of disrespect, leave, apologize, come home all in a short period of time.

    -Not allow any illegal activity - if I find anything illegal he will be gone.

    - Require him to be in school full time or working full time in order to continue living with us.

    - Require him to participate in our family - help out around the house (and not get paid), have family dinners, participate in family functions, etc..

    I agree with all of the above - wholeheartedly.

    Now when reading the rest you have to consider that he is 16 years old and where we live he is legally allowed to live on his own and make his own choices....

    - Allow him to deal with the school directly regarding his truancy issues. Every time he is truant the school emails me and then I have to report him truant or find out what happened from difficult child - the counsellor feels that this is a control issue for difficult child. She thinks I should tell the school to call him on his cell phone and deal with him directly and let him suffer the natural consequences (ie. fail the course, detention, suspension - whatever)

    - Never wake him up for school again - leave public transit bus tickets for him in case he misses the school bus and let him suffer the consequences of being late for school. He will be very late because the public transit only comes by our place at 10:30am and then again at noon. We live in a pretty rural area. So - again, this would involve him getting detention, suspension, failing, etc.) but the responsibility would be solely on him and he would have to deal with the consequences - eliminating the power struggle he has going on with husband and I (although mostly me because all that stuff falls on my shoulders)

    - If he wants to go out then we don't restrict his movements - providing they are legal. He would be required to show us the respect of letting us know what his plans are and keeping us up to date if they change. He would also be responsible for getting himself from A to B and back without our help - if he wants to stay out until 2am then that's his choice but I don't have to get out of bed and pick him up and he better be quiet as a church mouse when he comes in.

    So, I understand where the counsellor is coming with these suggestions - it offers the hope of saving our family relationship because we are removing the power struggle. I'm not enabling him because I'm not bailing him out, not giving him money, not driving him around. He wants to be treated like a man then he's got the responsibility of a man (aside from the fact that we are providing a roof over his head and food in his belly). And I'm not sacrificing myself by allowing him to demean me, dominate me or bully me - because if he does he is gone. It would take away a lot of fighting.

    Now, here's my fears......
    He has shown little ability to balance school and play - less so now that he has this new group of friends and a girlfriend. I know the the natural consequences of that are that he fails but if he doesn't graduate high school that's something that can affect him the rest of his life. He is so self indulgent I worry that this newfound freedom will send him over the edge with partying, drinking, possibly drugs (if he's not already doing them - will he start?).

    Here are some things husband and I discussed that we want to add to the mix.....

    I already told husband that difficult child needs to know that a 'victory lap' is no longer an option. Many kids now want to do 5 years of high school instead of 4. At one point I was ok with difficult child doing this because his high school has some really amazing courses available to students and I thought it would be a good way for him to get his feet wet in different areas of interest - try them on for size to see if he liked them. They have everything from guitar, to photography, to auto mechanics, welding, architecture, etc.. Now I'm concerned he may use 'being in school full time' as an excuse to not get started in life. Especially if he has no incentive to pass his classes and just goes back for a victory lap to make up for stuff he has failed. He has changed and so my opinion on this has changed.

    He does have the option of going to college or university and he's plenty smart enough to do it if he applies himself and gets the grades he needs. But things have changed and difficult child needs to know that I will no longer pay for his first year of college or university. He will have to pay for the first year and if he does well and passes then we will help him with the next year. I'm not prepared to let him sleep in, skip class and waste my money - if he wants to waste money it will be his.

    There will be no sleepovers or parties in my home.

    I am not running a flop house - he can't come and go at all hours of the day and night - be gone for days at a time and then show up for sleep, shower and food.

    If he gets girlfriend pregnant (oh God please don't let that happen) and she chooses to have the baby then that child is their responsibility. I will do grandma things like throw a baby shower and babysit on occasion but I don't want to raise another child. (I know, all nicely said, but that may not end up being the reality of the situation - can't penalize the baby, can we?)

    At this point I am not prepared to help him get his drivers license. I feel like he has been using us for money and that the only reason he came home last time was so we would help him get his motorcycle license and that after that his plan was to leave again. I think he will need to be a functioning, respectful, young adult that participates in our family for at least 6 months before I will consider helping him get his drivers license. If he chooses to get it on his own then he can do that - doesn't mean he'll be driving any of my vehicles though.

    Maybe easy child will see all the things that difficult child is losing out on and realize that having all that 'freedom' is not all it's cracked up to be. She has always been a different kid than him and I'm hoping she is taking notes on what not to do. difficult child has caused so much pain to husband and I that it's pretty hard not to be angry and detached from him. The counsellor says he is individuating and doesn't know how else to do it - yeah, ok, I get that, but it doesn't change how I feel.

    What do you think of her suggestions? My ideas? Do you think it's a recipe for disaster or worth a try? I always thought I knew what the right thing was but that's not working out so well for us. I am a bit lost right now to be honest.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I'm not going to comment on the plan - haven't been there as a parent.
    But I can tell you this based on GFGbro...
    Not graduating is NOT the end of the world.
    GFGbro left highschool, "wasted" 10 years (literally) and then... of course, after the age of 25... (there's something magic about that age, seriously!) he went back to school, got his minimum grade 12 (uni-level math and english, but missing a couple of credits for full maltric), went to Uni as a mature admission (trial year), got his Bachelor's degree including awards, went on for a Masters...

    I know. It's nicer if they do it now and do it right and stay on the straight and narrow. But... it might not be the total end of the world if he doesn't do it now and has to do it later...
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    The first suggestions that you like, I like too.

    The ones under question: (number them?) 1 and 2 dealing with school directly and being responsible fro getting himself up I 100% agree HOWEVER I wouldn not supply the bus passes - he needs to do this on his own. No money from a job, then he can do extra chores to earn that money.
    the third one I 100% DISAGREE. He's 16. He is a child. And sorry, I'll say my parental judgement type thing - he can't get up because he's staying up all hours. Even not questioning where he's going is pushing a parental envelope, but I'd go with that but most certainly have some sort of curfew imposed. I really think the counselor is nuts on this one. The kid is 16!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not a control issue but a parenting issue.

    However, I think it's all really a moot point because given his recent behavior I think he won't make it past the first set of rules and will be out of your house for 4-6 months. Sorry.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    I second what Keista said - word for word!
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Let's start with me being a softie. And really craving that white picket fence and caring that other people think/say. And not being very good at accepting that my kids embarrass me. And let's not forget spoiling, enabling and boys will be boys-attitude. Enough warnings? Okay!

    How I would feel would depend a lot about how easy the 'do over' is there you live. If he drops out from school or gets through with totally lousy grades, does it mean college etc. will be nearly impossible for him or does it just mean a detour, if he later decides that is what he wants? In our system the do over is easy. Any time kid could get back to night or online school, do the missing courses or replace the once with the bad grade. And there are many routes to Uni, so if you have a smarts and dedication, you can not screw up anything permanently when you are 16. You can just make it so, that you have to make that small detour later. If screwing up now really means that many doors will be closed forever, I would have a huge problem letting my 16-year-old make those decisions.

    If it doesn't mean that, then I can see a whole lot of point in your counsellor's suggestions. Because really, no one usually wins in those power struggle situations. They tend to end up to be loose-loose for everyone. So I really understand the point and think it is smart. And same goes with the things you were thinking. I do think it may be worth trying.

    But those rules do expect a lot of maturity of someone who is only 16. I do know my easy child (soon to turn 16) would probably struggle with that much freedom and responsibility. And he is a mature for his age. [HUGE softie warning] So I would maybe consider giving difficult child the chance to try living by those big boy rules and then, if he doesn't like them and finds them too hard and wants to go back to the situation, there he is treated more like a kid, with less freedom and less responsibilities, I would give him one chance to change his situation back to that. No going back and forth with it, but one chance to go back to being a kid, while he still is a kid. And if he would do really well, I would probably consider paying costs of that first college year afterwards back to him, if he does well enough. [/HUGE softie warning]
  6. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I have to say I disagree with this. You can not have your cake and eat it too. And I don't think that one can reasonably wait adult level of responsibility from someone and not give them adult freedoms. What would be a point from the kids point of view? If you treat your teen as a adult, while it suits your agenda, it will be very difficult to go back and say, that oh, you are still a small kid, so you can not have these freedoms, while that suits you. People just don't deal with something like that well at all. And you are back in square one with power struggle.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with-most of the ideas. They will be hard to stick to but you can do it.
    I understand your not wanting to fun a flop house. Especially when you have to sleep with-one eye open. I would moderate that plan ... if he wants to move home, it's got to be totally on your terms, and if that means he has to be in by 11 p.m. weeknights and 1 a.m. weekends, then so be it. We tell our easy child that if she's going to be too late, to stay overnight where ever she is, which helps keep her off the roads in the middle of the night when drunks are out, but also gives us a good night's sleep because we're not half asleep, waiting for the lights to be turned out. (Or on.)
    I agree that difficult child should be allowed to communicate directly with-the school, unless you are considering helping him catch up with-his failed classes ... which means it takes time out of your schedule. The idea is to give you back your time, to give you back your normal life. So if he starts to fail and you panic and want to help him, you're not doing yourself any favors.

    Think about what you can do and follow through on. Think about what will be most difficult and which things will keep you awake at night.
    Think about what you want to be like and feel like 5 yrs from now and how to accomplish that.

    Your counselor sounds great, actually. Even if you butt heads on occasion, it's better to have one who has constructive ideas than one who mumbles, "Mmmhmm" and doesn't do diddly squat.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Second that, SuZir!
  9. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    It seems that you and the counselor are at odds over the when difficult child can come home. I see the point of view of if he has these responsiblities then he should get the freedom. On the other hand, I know that I would never be able to sleep. If difficult child was coming home at 2 am then I'd be awake until he was quiet in his room probably about 3 am. If difficult child never came home that night I would just not get to sleep that night. If you are like me I can see how this would be a deal breaker. I also think its a mute point because he isn't going to be able to do all these rules on the first try. I also think its important that if he is refusing treatment and making your life miserable that he face the consequences. It is better to do this now then later when outside the family isn't going to as nice when he messes up.

    I would also suggest making your definition of "Do NOT allow him to be disrespectful to us. There will be no swearing, no name calling, no bullying of me or sis, no breaking of rules." as detailed as possible. I know my difficult child 1 would push boundaries until he was right back to where he started from. Is sarcasm disrespectful? What if he goes to the store on the way home? Is that a change of plans? What if he goes to 2 stores? What if he just drops something off at a friends house but doesn't go in? Is teasing/pushing o.k.? How hard does the teasing hit have to be before it's not ok? You get the idea. Its exhausting for us, but we have some very set boundaries now.

    This is going to be hard. Good luck.
  10. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    not there are a parent either, so you can take this for what its worth.

    i get your point and your rules and reasons are valid ones.

    but i'm no longer 16.

    are you even sure your son truly has the maturity and ability to conform to all of these rules? because just living with a girlfriend doesnt make him a man--it seems to me there are still some significant impulse control issues and immaturity factoring in, so it would seem to me, that as a parent, well, yes, you DO need to have some aspect of control.

    i think on things that will have life altering consequences you do have to be in charge. i also think you have to have the foresight to realize a 16 year old cant see tomorrow, let alone 10 years from now, even when dealing with a typical teen.

    i was a good kid. great student. held a real full time job at 16 with real responsibilities. i made a questionable judgement call (i cant even now call it a bad call, and even now would probably not do it differently--it in no way was something harmful, illegal or dangerous--it was a typical teenager thing)....

    and my punishment was my parents refusal to pay for college.

    i did a whole lot of maturing between 16 and 17--i wasnt even close to the same person. i got into some very good colleges. i was a responsible citizen by college age. but no matter, it was a closed discussion.

    a split second questionable decision altered my life forever, and i absolutely never forgave them for it. in fact, i moved out of the house for good right after i graduated HS, and never lived under their roof again. i was fortunate to have been self sufficient enough to make it, and to have enough drive to go on to college on my own, but struggled every step of the way.

    i'd like to say i'd thank them for making me who i am today, but umm, nope....all the credit for that lies strictly on my own shoulders. and i'm also the first to tell you i was one of the lucky ones--certainly had i been a different type of person it could have all gone very differently.

    it would be much more productive for everyone involved to be more solution based--together figure out what would either get him through traditional school, alternative school, modified school, home school or whatever, and how to help him move forward educationally and leave the discussion of who's paying what when out of it for now....if you ask me, he doesnt really have the capability to grasp the full concept of life after---he's still in the moment. clearly he still struggles with something on the school front...maybe even just asking him what would make it easier for him would at least help him know you recognize that it IS something he struggles with and you want to be supportive, not punitive.

    every kid is different of course, but the one thing most of the difficult child's here have is a pretty big lag in maturity.
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    SuZir, I hear what you're saying but there have been similar discussions on the Parent Emeritus Board. If an adult child moves back into your home, that doesn't mean they can come and go at all hours of the night. It's not respectful of the other household members and just not safe. I would set a curfew for this 16 year old in the same manner I would set a curfew or quiet hours for and adult child.
  12. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    A curfew I do agree to certain degree. To let people you live with know, where you are and if you are spending a night home or not. And yes, it can be reasonable to decide, that no one comes or goes between for example 00-05. But it would be difficult to try to enforce the rules, there the teen is considered adult in responsibilities but has much less freedoms than other adults in the household or almost none at all. To be honest, I think that any kid would see that as parents trying to smoke him out without having to take a responsibility of kicking him out themselves. And I could certainly understand that point of view.

    If you want to parent the kid, you can not really treat them as adults at the same time. You have to choose. Either you are parenting a child or not, but you can not expect other person to behave like an adult and still accept being parented like a child.

    And being softie I am, I also agree with confuzzled about not setting things in stone and deciding too harshly about second chances when the kid is still so young. Especially boys are still very, very immature at 16, they grow up a lot in years to come and deciding something for the future just because right now the kid is being immature brat. Three years from now situation may be totally different.
  13. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    I read some of the list of rules/consequences and then it felt like there was no point reading on. This sounds like a sink or swim plan and unless your child is a easy child in a difficult child disguise, I see this as a rapid sink.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree mostly 100% with Kiesta.

    I have a child who is almost sixteen. Now she is a typical teen, but we are letting her make A LOT of her own decisions now because she is growing up and will have to and we do not interfer in school much anymore (although she would not skip school or get into trouble there so maybe it's different). ON THE OTHER HAND, she is not quite an adult. She has a curfew and rules she has to follow in our home. I think it's possible to loosen the reigns yet hold them as well. I don't think it is so much about "fair" as what is best for the child. Also, there is a matter of respect. If you live in my house, you respect our rules as well as us. When the child is an adult living away from home, I will follow the rules in their homes. I have grown kids and I already follow the rules in their homes.

    I also agree that I doubt a difficult child will make it though. I wish you all the luck in the world and use your best judgment, but don't feel like a failure if the plan doesn't work.
  15. Wow! Thank you all so much for the replies!!

    Insane and SuzIr - You are both right - it wouldn't be the end of the world if he had to do a 'do-over' and go back to high school or night school and pick up some credits. Where we live they can go back to high school until they are 21 and then there is always the option of a GED with college as a route to university. So, as hard as it might be I may just have to sit back and let him make a few mistakes. He is a smart kid though and I hope that when it counts he will buckle down and do what needs to be done.

    SuzIr - I totally agree with you and some of the other posters about the problem with maturity and responsibility. I think taking care of your schoolwork, getting yourself out of bed in the morning and doing some chores around the house should be expected at this age. I think the problem he will have will be with balancing sleep and work and play without parental control. I can give him guidance but 16 year olds don't really need a bedtime - they should be able to figure that out for themselves - although difficult child sure struggles with it.

    That said, he has to learn these skills at some point and I would rather he start learning them now before I'm spending huge $$ for him to go to college or university. If he hasn't figured out how to balance his life at least somewhat by then, he will fail (my sister did this).

    I do like the option of going back to 'kid-mode' as a one-time thing. I don't think he'll take it though now that he's had such a taste of 'freedom' over at girlfriend's house.

    Keista & SuzIr - Keista, a couple of months ago I would have completely agreed with you about this not being a control issue but a parenting issue. This is where the power struggle came from and what has led to difficult child leaving twice now. I feel that he is too young to have so much freedom but I may have to let this go in order to restore some family harmony and peace in our relationship. He insists on the freedom or he will not come home - in which case he will have freedom and no parental influence. So, I have to give him the freedom but with that will come responsibility as well.

    At this point I'm starting to see that my best option is to treat him more like an adult (which is how the law sees him) and restore a good relationship with him so I can have an influence over him that way.

    Terry - I like your idea of saying ' OK, if you can't be home by say 1am then stay at a friends place tonight.' This will let me get some sleep because I will know where he is (one of the house rules) and that he isn't out on the road or sneaking out of the house (which I believe he was doing before after I discovered the screen missing from his bedroom window). It will also give husband and I quiet and peace in the evenings. I would rather his honesty than lies and sneakiness. And if he ever got into a situation that was urgent and he needed us we would, of course, go and get him no matter what the time.

    Liahona - I could have written your post to me!! I am a worrier and I am the type to wait and stay up and fear for my kids. My mom was the same way. But I think if I had some openness and honesty and he didn't feel the need to sneak around then he'd be less prone to stupid, dangerous stunts in order to avoid getting caught or in trouble. I think if I knew where he was, who he was with and if/when he planned on being home then I would feel better.

    Confuzzled - I'm very sorry for what you went through because of one mistake. I would never do that to difficult child. I don't have anything set in stone - as things change we will change. I guess I just don't want difficult child to go along with a sense of 'I'm going to be able to do an extra year of high school, so I can do what I want - because I'm not sure I'm going to be ok with that in 2 years. I don't want him to be surprised by it and feel like I'm 'screwing him over'." Same with university/college - I don't want him to think that it's a given and I"m just going to dole out the money for him. We are very willing to help him through college/university but it's not going to happen if he's not responsible/mature enough to handle it. Maybe a year off of school to work would be necessary first, Know what I mean??

    MWM - Thank you also. I think husband and I need to find some way to balance parenting with allowing difficult child to have independence and responsibility. I guess the hard part is that he is our oldest and we've never done this before - all new to us. To make it worse his rebellion/change came almost out of the blue with this new set of friends. Sort of hit us like a freight train and we have been flailing.

    We will go back to the 'drawing board' and tweak things in order to find a good balance. I do think I need to be pretty specific with difficult child so he understands clearly - he needs that.

    Again - thanks to all of you - I find your opinions and advice very valuable and I truly appreciate it!
  16. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Late to the party here but I was reading all of this and thinking, wow I am glad to have this group to come to so that so many perspectives can be shared to help work on some of these hard things.

    I dont have this situation, so obviously have no specific great ideas. Just observations...

    One, that what complicates all of this is where you live, the laws/rules. He is already doing what he wants and in some ways has proven that your hands are tied....that he can just choose to leave and black mail you with threats of "they abuse me" etc. really stinks. Two, that my automatic response would be no way he just gets to go out as long as he wants...but this situation is similar to what many of us have in the difficult child journey....the need to think way outside the box and to do things that maybe dont sit so well with us but given all of the factors may be a shot. As long as you actually, really could detach from the consequences that may come of it. Not feel it is breaking the "disrespect" part of the plan. We all know he would easily lie about where he really is.

    I agree just saying no disrespect is way too broad. I am not sure many difficult child's recognize some behaviors that are disrespectful. This part will be hard and may have to have one last item...."at any time additional items can be added to this list for clarification!"

    Mostly, I think the plan is just where you are....not much other choice but to let him run the show and that would do no one any good. He is trying to achieve that but in the end will obviously be better off by your setting guidelines. He is not mentally able to make a good call on this. Just too immature. But due to his age and the laws, all you can do is your best. Well in my humble opinion you are doing amazing considering what you are facing.

    Sadly, I too think he is just not in a place to be able to stick with the plan. The disrespect thing will get him. Too bad you can't put him in a wilderness program or other intensive therapy situation. It is insane the age considered legally able to make those kinds of decisions. I am so sorry for you on that point.

    Well, maybe he could have the choice of 4-6 months on his own OR a residential treatment facility???

    How can you enforce the 4-6 months if you have to provide unless he chooses to move out (was that what you said the law is?)

    I wish you the best....it is a really tough situation and these folks here sure know the ropes, glad they could share their experience.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think it sounds like a good plan. Go for the Curfew where you tell him he needs to tell you as a courtesy (sp) that most adults give to each other living in the same house, if you are going to be out late, what time you will be home. If it is after a certain time, you would like him to stay where he is because you dont want to be awakened that late. Perfectly okay.

    Also my big thing would be the cussing. I would explain to him that this is for his own good as an adult. He needs to get his language cleaned up for his future. No one wants to hear a young man who cannot control the fact that every other word is F this and F that. This is the biggest mistake of our lives. Cory is living a nightmare because therapists told us to ignore cussing when he was a kid and now it is ingrained in him whenever he gets upset. Heck half the time when he isnt. Its awful. He tries but I could kill those therapists.
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I haven't read the replies. I do like most of the suggestions. i think that allowing him to come home any time he wants is nuts. sorry, but a curfew means that you can go to sleep with-o worrying about someone banging around or disturbing your daughter.

    I would NOt wake him up unless he had woken me up. then it might be unpleasant for him to wake up for a while, esp if it had become a habit. i saw my mother do some creative things to my brother for sleeping in inappropriate places, nude, and for being disrespectful. My mother stopped waking us up in about grade 3, so there is NO reason a 16yo can't get himself up. well, my bro did have problems and I did wake him up when we were in high school, but he paid me. I had many envious friends because they got into trouble for pouring ice water on their sibs and I got paid to do it to mine! of course he wakes up swinging, always has so waking him up any other way is a recipe for a black eye and broken nose.

    But if he misses the free transportation then he pays for the bus pass - you do NOT.

    PLEASE stop thinking his life will be 'ruined' if he doesn't graduate high school. It won't be. He will have 60+ more years after high school and he CAN go turn it around at any time. Unless he goes to prison for life for something, his life is more difficult and he has to learn the hard way, but it is NOT ruined.

    I would insist that he do the things you ahve listed. I would list firm consequences for the disrespect, etc... up to and incl moving out if it keeps happening. It is easy for a therapist to say to not tolerate disrespect, etc.... The problem is that you ahve to figure out HOW to not tolerate it. It isn't as easy to figure out a consequence that will matter but is NOT overkill. I 110% think you should stay OUT of his schoolwork unless/until he ASKS for help and is respectful as you give it (esp meaning that it isn't your fault if he gets a bad grade and he is not rude/disrespectful about the help you give).

    I think you have the start of a good plan but need to refine consequences and define the expectations a bit more. Don't be disrespectful is rather vague, etc....

    Parenting Your Teen with Love and Logic is a book that might be helpful.
  19. Thank you Susie, Buddy and Janet.

    I am going to work with husband and refine our plan. And I'm going to pick up that book tomorrow as well - heck, maybe I'll go in today and pick it up. I say that because difficult child is coming home tonight. He doesn't have much choice but it's a place to start.

    I'm feeling very bad for him because his life is crumbling around his ears - as we knew it would sooner or later. His girlfriend left for the weekend and went to her mother's boyfriends to be away from him, he figures she is going to break up with him and she is his first love, he's been kicked out of their place, friends that were supposed to help him out have bailed on him, he is failing science, may get kicked out of the arts program at school, and is just having a hard time all the way around. I saw this coming but I'm kind of worried about him based on some FB posts. I think he is pretty depressed right now. I'm going to see if I can at least get him to take some St. John's Wort and see if that helps him feel better. It may just be situational but teenagers and depression are a bad combination. It's hard for them to see straight when they feel like their lives are falling apart - and his has been.

    He did sound a bit better this morning when I spoke to him on the phone. He seemed like his spirits had lifted a bit when he had decided that he wanted to come home. We discussed what things would be like and he seemed ok with it. That said, I no longer have the illusion that this is going to be easy from here on out. I am sure that we're a long way off from peace and harmony but he is far better off with us for at least the next couple of years until he is 18 and a little more mature.

    Wish us luck!! We're gonna need it!
  20. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to hear, your son's world is crumbling. It is awfully scary to watch. Even when you do know that most who have to live through that experience come out from the other side just fine. But then you also know that for some it just is too much, and that is so very scary thought. Kids at that age have so very limited understanding of what they can sustain, how well time indeed does help and how long time rest of their life is compared the time they will most likely feel very bad. While they are so capable in so many ways, their world still operates largely here and now basis. And they tend to be melodramatic and believe on their own drama. And unfortunately it doesn't help that much, that you tell them that they are able to live through it.

    We were there year and a half ago. Our son had screwed up really badly and because of that, his world fell apart. It didn't help that to preserve some of his life he had to move away and become independent. For him everything changed and while it now feels that most of the changes have been for the better (our son does better than ever in many parts of his life and in many ways his new environment is much better fit for him at least for now) at the time he felt it was pure punishment and we worried how he would survive with all the additional challenges when he didn't do that well without them. And we worried. Oh heavens, did we worry and fear for him. He had support system in place, he was kept on eye at, he got a lot of help, but still. Scary times.

    To be honest I would think through again, how much adult-like responsibility your son can handle in this time and how much he still needs guidance. School may well be an area there you can let him try independence, and not succeed, if that is a case. He has more than enough time to correct those mistake later, so maybe not worth the struggle. But he does still need his parents to guide him. In your home or out of it, but he still needs you.