15yo no control

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Nopeacenohope, Oct 16, 2018.

  1. Nopeacenohope

    Nopeacenohope New Member

    so I stumbled across this site when I Googled giving up parental rights. I actually had searched before on FB for some support groups but no luck there. I'm in florida I just came back home from picking my son up at 3am. He's 15 and this all started around 13. Wow it feels like it's been longer than that. We moved to another town and my husband went to work out of state for a bit, so it was just me and my son. I have a daughter who is in her 20s and doing well. We have a very close supportive family and I'm not sure where I went wrong or what happend. My son staring hanging with so not so good kids got picked up for stealing a skateboard he admitted to it and was put in a diversion program. Well from there it progressed. I will say he's not to smart as he always gets caught. Smokes pot thinks it should be legal and wonders what's the big deal why does anyone care. Skipped classes grades went down. Got caught smoking pot at bus stop sent to diversion program again. Decided to send him to new school change the environment encouraged him to join swim team. Met simalar not so good kids at New school lied about swim team practice I caught him not going found vaping device and an unknown iPhone says he found them. Got caught at New school smoking pot now sent to alternative school (I called it jail school) now with all kids that have same issues. My phone would ring nonstop with school calls him being disrespectful. Defiant got in fight was pepper sprayed by SRO- I pulled him from school got him to counseling and started home schooling he had diversion 3 times so this time sent to court got lucky judge gave him another pass if he gets in no trouble for 8 months no record. So as of right now he is barely working on the online home school I took a new job to be home all the time. He's snuck out. Still getting high recently stole 600$ from his dad. He denied it but I found receipts for expensive clothes and more pot. I've begged and cried for the truth I've loved him so hard. He won't follow any house rules if I say he can't go out he leaves if I say hand over your phone he won't he's bigger than me and I'm not going to wrestle things away, he says life sucks and he hates himself he does not want to discuss what he does because he says he already hates himself and what he does. I talk to his therapist and let him no but I see no change. Here's the really sad part sometimes when we go visit my parents or his sister I see the little boy I remember. He's sweet kind and interacts with us. Helpful thankful. Then he's back to this defiant yelling cursing stealing pit smoking kid I don't know. I've been wondering if I should send him to an inpt treatment center or a military school somewhere he can get help. I have always tried to tell him that his family is his most important resource I mean he has me his dad my sister my brother his sister my parents all call him check on him worry over him. Alot of his friends don't have that, they come from really broken families. I guess you can't love them into good behavior and liking themselves. I somehow feel it's all my fault or I'm making it worse by not being tougher but I also want peace in my home. Sorry long post
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Hi there. This happens in good families. We think WE are why our kids act out but it becomes less us and more peers as our kids hit middle and high school. We have little influence compared to peers. We really dont. And if they find bad kids, well, there are enough of them in any school.

    Military school will just send him back to you. They dont deal with kids who wont behave. You can try IOP. I would have done something rash about stealing from us or anyone. When my daughter started using drugs i called the cops on her for pot, which was then not legal anywhere. I wanted to scare her straight. She also escaped her bedroom through a window at night and was homeschooled but she kept upping the drugs. She.managed to get out of the house and the cops would bring her home for curfew violations.

    I WAS tough and she got tossed out of our home because of our two littles at 19 and turned her life around.

    Been over a decade now and she is doing great. But it was a scary crapshoot that worked for her. All difficult kids are different. My daughter started weed at 12 although until she quit I had not guessed it had started so young. She steadily moved up the ladder to meth and cocaine. We didnt know all the drugs she had used until again after she quit and confessed.

    Pot today is really hard to argue against with our kids because it is legal in many states and will be legal all over in my opinion and kids think of pot like alcohol. If I had younger kids now i would shut up about pot as long as they worked and took care of their needs and didn't live with me but I forbid smoking of any kind on my property and that includes pot. So a fifteen year old could not smoke it while living at home. Not my home. My home/my rules.

    Have you ever drugged tested your son? Because kids usually dont need to steal to get pot. It is the harder street drugs they need to steal to buy and steal they do. If my kid had stolen from me I would have called the cops to again show her I wont play nice and that she can not steal.

    Your sons drivers license is coming up. Say no to driving. Unless his grades go up and he behaves for you and (God help me) dont buy him a car...he will crack it up. They often do. And why give him a weapon to drive while he is impaired? We stopped letting our daughter drive our van, and never bought her anything on wheels, after her first accident. Her second and third were "friends" stupidly allowong her to drive. At least it was not our responsibility...by then she was over 18. In one accident a lady had been hurt and she was sued for $14,000. We made her pay it until she had proven she was totally sober for several years. She paid about half of it herself then my ex paid if off because she was putting herself through college...her own loan.

    I am sorry. You have a hard ride. Do not let your family tell you how to handle him. They will. Do what tou feel will work. You have until he is 18 until you have no rights at all. I personally dont think second and third chances and letting them get away with crime sends the right message but all of us do what we feel is right; what we can bear. I would rather have them in trouble with cops at 15 than 18. My daughter was but her record is clean now. She started to straighten out after we told her she had to quit drugs or leave. She left, we cried. Not everyone responds to that but she did.

    Love and light. Others will come along.
  3. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    No peace, I'm sorry you find yourself here. Please do not blame yourself. It sounds like you have done so much right and have put a ton of energy into trying to help him turn things around. Changing schools. Holding him accountable. Even home schooling! You sound like a great mom and this is not your fault. Plenty of kids come from disadvantaged backgrounds and still make good choices. And plenty of parents here have given their kids every advantage and still ended up here.

    I think this is the conclusion many of us have come to.

    I don't have magic answers. I know exactly what it is like when they decide they don't need to follow rules anymore. It's like they've called our bluffs - we say "do this, or else!" but they've already figured out we can't enforce the "or else." Go to your room? Ha! nope. You're grounded? Yeah, funny mom. See you later. Because what is the or else? Physical force? Calling the cops? We're at the end of our options and they know it. And once they know it, they realize they are in control.

    I finally came to the point at this stage where I realized that the old punishment and discipline strategy just didn't apply anymore. I had to concede that I couldn't "make" them do anything. I could only hope to help them want it on their own. To try to help them see school and grades as something for their own benefit to reach their own goals, not something I wanted for them. To see the importance of treating people well, keeping commitments, taking care of responsibilities. Shifting to more of an adult-to-adult discussion (they think they are adults, anyway) rather than a parent-child disciplinary relationship. Getting out of the constant push and pull and trying to move to a more collaborative relationship - what do you want out of your life and how is your current course helping you get there? He needs to find his own reasons to get back on a good path, rather than making it about "mom and her rules."

    Obviously, you'll see from my sign off that this approach didn't work for all of mine. I had some real disadvantages in my situation with my marriage that made things a whole lot worse. It sounds like you and his dad can work together and be on the same page, which will help a lot.

    I think my biggest learning was that I cannot and should not shield them from the natural consequences of their actions. If there are legal consequences, school consequences, loss of ability to play on a sports team, etc. they need to learn that's life. I think that is the #1 piece of learning they need to do: to see that their choices have results and consequences and that it is not about waiting for your punishment like a child but facing those natural consequences like an (almost) adult. As SWOT says above, it is ideal if this learning happens BEFORE they turn 18.

    This may mean, as SWOT suggests, actually turning them in for criminal offenses. If I were back in that situation, I would absolutely tell mine that I will not be protecting them or shielding them, and will turn them in if I have evidence of criminal activity. It may mean, at some point, he can no longer be in your home if you feel unsafe or abused with him around.

    I also agree that he should NOT be driving unless you are 100% certain he is sober and on the right path. Bad things happen when you mix rebellious teens, drugs and alcohol, and cars. Very bad things. I've lived through some of those things.

    I do see hope here, though. The fact that he is respectful and sweet and kind around other relatives, and expresses gratitude with them, is huge. This says to me that he is not all gone, certainly not irredeemable!

    It also sounds like he is in therapy. If you can keep him going that's huge.

    I don't have experience with getting them into inpatient facilities or how often that works. Keep working with his therapist, keep being loving but firm. Are there things that he wants for himself in life that can be used as motivators?
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  4. Baggy Bags

    Baggy Bags Active Member

    Has he been diagnosed? Have you done much research into Conduct Disorder? The more you learn about it, the more you will understand that this is NOT YOUR FAULT.

    My son is an only child, had all my love and attention, and also at 13 started with these behaviors. He's 15 now too. The hormones kicked in and all hell broke loose. The pot-smoking also changed him a lot.

    It's devastating. I'm glad you found this site. Lots of support and information here. (((hugs)))
  5. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Did the behavior begin when his dad took a job out of state? Do you think maybe he resents his dad for taking the job?
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Sorry you are here but glad you found us.

    My son sounds a lot like yours. His behavior started at age 15. He has anxiety - like his dad/my husband so started with the pot smoking. Then someone gave him a pill. It progressed.

    Here we are 7 years later. It has been hell. No other way to put it.

    I found this site when I did a search for Conduct Disorder. It helped me SEE that it was not anything that we did as parents. He had a good life. It helped me to get tough. Even when I did, he continued to spiral downward.

    I agree to let them experience the natural consequences of their actions. It is so very hard. He is young. But my guess is he will continue to do as he wishes. There is no magic answer. Usually it's maturity and that is a long time coming for a 15 year old male.....

    They sometimes go to therapy because they are trying to appease us but most don't reveal much at that age or don't really see a problem....unfortunately.

    I do hope that it is different for you that in was for us and I hate not to be a positive light because I am truly a very positive minded person but looking back I can't see anything good that came out of our experience except that our son is still alive and has been sober for 14 months and will come back to live with us next month. After all we've been through I'm still scared and the past haunts me. I can never live like that again. It's all consuming.

    I do recommend you get help for yourself also whether it be therapy (I did for years to help me cope) or just keeping yourself sane in some way and your marriage strong.

    Good luck and we are here for you.

    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Many of us here are shell-shocked. Like you we tried everything. And not one thing made a difference. The thing is, it is not about you. That is what our learning is. But the problem is that we feel all of the consequences of failing to resolve this, failing to keep them safe, fear of losing them. We suffer the consequences and yet there is not one thing we can do except what the others have said: let go. Offer support but not protecting them from their own choices, their own lives. Which feels impossible to us.

    I have been singularly ineffective at this.
    We are not jailers. They will find a way to do what they wish. When I read this my idea was this: (I am a one trick pony. I always write this.) He can go to Job Corps at 16. It is free. They are supervised. It is a job training program. He can finish High School there. It is residential.

    The thing he must face is this: if he continues to act out in a way that puts him at risk, while he is in your home, and you are responsible, he cannot continue this way.

    But.This puts us at war with them. And they will always win.

    Some parents basically give up and let them win. Other parents fight the war. Other parents force the kids out to semi independence, as soon as they are 18. But the thing is, these kids will prevail. This is the thing to remember. They will battle until they stop. To their own peril.

    The thing to remember is that they are trying to grow up. They are just doing it wrong. For some of our kids, they will eventually succeed. For others, who have disabilities or real wounds, it is harder. I fear for my son and I.

    Our learning is to find a way to protect ourselves and our hearts and somehow preserve a modicum of self-respect in the process. The horribleness of this is that it triggers all of our own deeply buried struggles and pains. Everything from all the rest of your life past will rear its head. This path becomes a veritable spiritual battle, in my own experience.
    This is the heart-wrenching part. To us, and inside them, they are still these people. My son (who is now 30 and homeless) texted me a month ago (now he won't have anything at all to do with me): Don't you love me anymore?

    I wish this was easier. I wish it WAS NOT HAPPENING. I hope you stay with us. Posting helps. A lot.
    • Friendly Friendly x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  8. Nopeacenohope

    Nopeacenohope New Member

    Thanks for your advice/insight - he actually has a case worker for this last episode and the judge warned him that they would take away the diversion program if he broke our rules. It's just myself my husband and him here but he looked me dead in the eye and swore he would never take that kind of money from us he admitted he has taken a few Bucks and change here and there, my goodness the way he denied it and was so angry that we accused him first and we only think horrible things about him. So I said fine it's just the 3 or us how do you think the money disappeared? Well no answer from him and I looked back on our security camera and saw him go in and out of our room 2 days before we noticed it missing. I could not imagine lying to my mom like that. I was crying in tears and telling him.please just tell the truth he still swore he didn't take it. In the last week I found receipts for $100 pair of shorts he got some ipods some other stuff purchased $50 visa card all the receipts say paid cash 100 bills. Ask him oh the visa card was my friends not mine, I found some money in a parking lot. Really you are the luckiest kid. He told girlfriend when they went to mall shopping he made some money working for his dad because I asked her if she saw him.with money She asked he swore to her he didn't steal it from us. I told her he didn't work for his dad that's the money he stole. So now my husband and I are talking about calling case worker and letting judge know he's breaking curfew and the rules..yes weve tested for other drugs just pot and occasionally alcohol he just wanted to buy what he wanted without asking us. Today I had to pay 530 for his crown to finish a root canal I was so upset - I told him we can't loose money like that. I feel like a horrible Parent
  9. Nopeacenohope

    Nopeacenohope New Member

    Thanks yes you are so right there is.no or else unless I call the cops on him, that feels bad because like you I see him in those moments when it's.my sweet little boy again. He has therapy once a week and tonight I plan to speak with the therapist, he has no motivation at this point he wanted to go back to regular school and I agreed but now with the homeschooling he's stopped working and hasn't finished the classes, so he's giving up there. I have no intention to let him drive and if he wants to he will have to be drug tested negative to use my car. In fl if you drop out of school before 18 you cant get your DL so there's that.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  10. Nopeacenohope

    Nopeacenohope New Member

    Thanks me too I felt pretty alone- yes started at 13 and the drugs make it worse but like mentioned above its a hard battle because it's legal in so many places, I'm a nurse I tried to educate him about the developing brain and damage it could be doing and that all this research done is on how it works on adults
  11. Nopeacenohope

    Nopeacenohope New Member

    I do think that because we moved away from where he was born and I was working at the hospital alot so he was home alone alot. Lots of guilt there
  12. Nopeacenohope

    Nopeacenohope New Member

    Thanks I'm asking his therapist if he thinks he could have this conduct disorder, right now just keeping him semi safe and. Alive is all I can ask he does suffer depression and anxiety and has lots of negative self talk, but also likes to blame me. For example he went to leave today and I told him no he needed to keep working on his school work and that he would not finish and could lose his place in the online school well he tells me he's going he needs to get out of the house and he worked all.day. I told him he.worked for maybe 2 hours then he's yelling at me I'm a horrible person I make him feel bad by telling him all the bad he's done etc but none of those words left my mouth so that's inside him his guilt I think he appears so conflicted
  13. Nopeacenohope

    Nopeacenohope New Member

    Really thank you for this yes heartbreaking because at times I can see the actual conflict he has about his own behavior but it's like once he's on the path he won't get off.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Dont let him manipulate you. He is doing this knowingly. What teen doesnt feel sort of badly about himself/herself? Most do. The majority dont act out like your son, refuse school, lie, steal.

    I swear I was born with depression and anxiety and on top of being a very sad child, my mother hated me my whole life so there was that and I was bullied at school. The bullying got better in high school because I finally got pretty but I had horrible learning disabilities, no help back in the day, was being abused at home and hated myself. I felt stupid, like the only asset I had was being pretty and that this was not enough. More than you can imagine i hated me. I thought I was crazy and had NO family support at all. Did I drink, use drugs, break the law or act out?

    I decided at 13 never to drink or take drugs. Ever. I had my first major depression by then and could barely smile and I couldnt enjoy anything so I didnt do anything. My anxiety was so bad that I slept with the closet light on and cried every day. My mother refused to get me help, not that there was good help back then.

    I have a problem with kids who act like maniacs because of depression and anxiety. Almost 10 percent of the population has anxiety and both depression and anxiety are highly treatable. Obviously not if pot is your main form of medication or alcohol, a known depressant. Now I did sass off to my mom because I was a kid then teen trying to defend myself against her abuse but I never stole from her or broke societal rules. I am 65. To this day I have never been drunk. And my depression has been treated successfully. I worked very hard to get to my happy place. It can be done☺️

    Mental illness, especially treatable ones, is no excuse to break the law or abuse a loved one who is kind to you. You dont even know if he is truly depressed and anxious or just an angry defiant kid. Depression is debilitating if it is really bad. You dont even want to do what you used to love. You have trouble feeling pleasure. Anxiety makes you obviously fearful and certainly not risk seeking. At least that was my experience. Maybe sime can be drpressed and sometimes have fun going out. I could not. Going out scared me.

    Getting better takes commitment, work on the persons part and compliance with treatment. Not smoking pot and stealing and, although you are kind and feel you are helping your son from real trouble...letting him get away with crime in my opinion sets a bad precedence. He needs to stop before 18. Of course we all have different opinions. I dont think giving second and third chances when a teen does a crime teaches them not to do it...that there are scary consequences. Even getting tough doesnt always work on all kids. But I always thought I had to try. And for me, we were blessed...it worked.

    Try not to see your son as that sweet little boy. He isnt one anymore. He is nearing legal adulthood and society will hold him accountable as an adult at 18, even if he has a young mind. There are no breaks for that. Young adults serve our country at 18. That age is the magic number where if you break the law, you are an adult, act or think like one or not.

    Again, this is my opinion only. All opinions are equally valid. Take what resonates with you and do take care of YOU. You matter.

    One last comment. I was a Stay At Home Mom and could not stop my daughter from drugs. Dont blame yourself or that you worked. Like most drugged kids, she found a difficult group of kids and wanted them to like her. And sheswas as slippery as a snake and managed to do drugs even with me at home. She woukd wait until we slept than got out if she had to wait. This had nothing to do with her family, was not personal. Your son is not like this because of you. It is about peer pressure, which parents can not compete with after a certain age. Sometimes I it is only one peer....a first love who does these things. But many kids stop copying us when they hit high school. Earlier for some.

    Love and light!
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  15. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Look. There is always something. You need to try very hard to not blame yourself because it does not help at all.

    Personally, I think that for now it might be a good thing to not get into high conflict discussions with him. He will not sink or swim based on an hour more or less of online school, on one particular day. I might put it to him this way: OK. What is your plan to get the hours in? Have it worked out with him in advance what are his goal for the day and week , and let him come up with a plan. And then it is on him.

    My son went to school for independent learners where he could got credit for all sorts of independent activities. He learned foreign languages independently and got credit. He studied martial arts and got credit. Could this happen for your son? I think nothing or little gained by his being chained to the computer. Little for him and nothing for you.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
  16. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    This is a tough decision with no one right answer but if I had to do it over again I would probably involve the law more at this stage. Because it gets so much worse once they are 18. They need to understand that and get on the right road before they have adult consequences. But It’s hard to predict outcomes. Sometimes scared straight tactics work. Sometimes it only makes them madder and more defiant. Do you feel like the case worker and judicial system where you are are generally supportive and on your side as a concerned parent? Then maybe lean on them more.

    Please dont go there. Most of us had to work. I had to work full time. We needed the money. It wasn’t a choice. I worked a demanding job out of the house at that time. Once they aged out of after school care, there were no good options. I always felt like it was worse having them home along at that age than it would have been at 8 or 9 in some ways! We all do what we have to do for our families, and for most of us that means working. I freelance from home now, and sometimes I entertain the thought that it would have been better if I’d been doing the back then. But there is no guarantee it would have been. As someone pointed out above, they will find a way if that’s what they want.

    Does he have a vision for what he wants for himself as an adult? Does he want to go to college or learn a trade? Does he dream of living independently with his own apartment and money? What motivates him?
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This seems like a little but it is a whole lot. Because if he and you are able to get through this more or less intact there is the future ahead of you. These things are accomplished sometimes day by day.
    Elsi here is talking about involving the police or probation. The thing is you lose control.

    This is the horribleness of all of this: there is no control over outcome. There is great need and fear, but no control. Not over him. Not over any official who could help or could torpedo the situation.
    Even anticipating support and assistance it is still a wild card. I think we have no choice when there is violence or threats of same. But the belief (or hope) that somebody like police or a government employee will help? It is fifty fifty at best, I think.

    There are social worker type people who specialize in working with families in this situation. Training parents, acting as a buffer, working with the kids, developing accountability and a plan, helping the family system to change and to heal. Could you try to find somebody like this?
  18. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    CPS is what many states use for help. Caseworkers come from C PS for us in our state. But I stil believe the cops can be helpful with underage kids. My daughter was treated well. Again she was a minor. Nobody came close to harming her in any way.

    In our state Caseworkers do work with law enforcement. Please do check YOUR state's laws and resources so that you can make an acceptable decision that you feel will help him and that YOU can live with.

    Many prayers.
  19. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    In retrospect I have involved the police too much. When there was an issue of authority (I was a single parent) I would haul him into the police station. That is TOO much.

    I don't want to dissuade you from seeking help.

    I have to say we have had police come where I live now (9 years) maybe close to a dozen times. Every time the police show restraint and compassion. I do not know what it is in my community--we are increasingly diverse, we have a major university, but there is a real empathy in the people who have come to my home. Empathy for me and most of all for my child. These people have wanted the best outcome for him. Some have been here more than an hour.

    The thing is once you call somebody, you don't know what will happen. That is why we say think it through.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  20. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I like this idea a lot.

    Getting law enforcement involved is a loaded question, for sure. Copa brings up good points about balance here. You don’t want to escalate or make a bad situation worse, and you don’t want to break the relationship further. On the other hand, if it is an issue of immediate safety, or serious criminal activity, I would definitely get them involved. Petty stuff it’s a harder call but if it’s part of an escalating pattern I would also consider getting them involved, on the better now than when he’s an adult principle. For issues related to drugs and addiction I think I would seek treatment first rather than law enforcement.

    I don’t know what kind of relationship you have with the case worker you are working with now - can they point you in the direction of a social worker as Copa describes above?

    Wishing you and your son all the best here. He’s still young - there is still time to get on track.