16 year old son problems... :(

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jenn M, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Jenn M

    Jenn M New Member

    Hi everyone. You guys are my last resort. I don't know what to do anymore.
    Here is my problem...
    My boy was a stellar, polite, loving, caring boy with a great attitude, lots of friends and great grades. Teachers loved him. Everyone did. That was just before he turned 15. Things are a bit different now.
    2 summers ago, he met the 'town kids' who he started hanging around with. Turns out, they all smoked cigarettes and pot. They aren't made to go to school, shower, be home at a certain time, nothing. Their parent's allow their lives to be similar to a free for all. Unfortunately, I didn't know this at the time. I found all this out when my son was arrested for drug paraphilia (pot and a bowl).

    He didn't end up getting probation, but a slap on the wrist. That was pretty much all. Since then, things have been hell with him. Last year, he failed most of his sophomore year in high school. He received 2 credits out of 12, because he didn't do any of the work. He has been increasingly irresponsible around the house and has most of his focus on his 'friends' and his girlfriend.

    This past summer, he and his girlfriend were arrested for stealing things out of vehicles parked on side streets. Of the things stolen, a loaded handgun was taken. They both admitted to taking it and throwing it into the river..... They were both charged with a Class B felony, along with other smaller charges for different thefts.

    My boy was put on probation with only a few limitations. No smoking pot, no skipping school, things like that. Since then, his behavior, as far as getting into trouble has subsided, although he is still hanging around with all them trouble maker kids down the street.

    However, this year in high school is no better than last year. He is 'making up' classes from his sophomore year. His grades are 20's and below. He makes zero effort to do any work or homework. Still.
    I've taken his electronics away as a punishment for his lack of effort and responsibility toward school.

    Last night, he had a Smart phone he 'found' in the woods. He can access the internet and facebook to communicate with his girlfriend. Since he is grounded from electronics, I found it devious and disrespectful for him to be using another phone. I told him I wanted it. He refused to give it to me. I gave him 2 choices. Either give me the phone or leave my house. He left. He packed a small bag of clothes and didn't take any of his school books with him. I'm guessing he went down to his 'friends' house that lives a 1/4 mile away and probably didn't go to school today.

    I am at my wits end with him. Now, he's probably carrying around a stolen phone. Maybe he didn't steal it, but it's not his, regardless. I left a message for his probation officer last night, saying he chose to leave. So far, I haven't heard from her today.

    Do you think I'm over reacting? As far as him not following my house rules, it's not just the phone thing. He takes his 9 year old sisters snacks and lies about it. He will eat all her stuff and put all the trash in his dresser drawer, then he calls her a drama queen when she's upset her stuff is missing. He rifles through my room when I'm not home. I don't believe a word that comes out of his mouth, because he's proven that he's not trustworthy.

    I don't want him to leave, but I feel like tough love and a reality check is in order here. His sister is seeing us argue about him lying and sneaking things, bad grades, and so on. I'm hoping that once he gets a taste of the real world, he will see how gravy he has it at home with his sister and myself.

    What do you think about all this? It's making me crazy because it's so constant for the last 2 years.
    Thank you for useful advice.
  2. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    No you are definitely over reacting. I'm sure just like you , the parents of his other friends have a hard time controlling their own kids as well. How old is he now? I am assuming he is 17? Is there any type of boot camp program you can't put him into?
  3. Jenn M

    Jenn M New Member

    He will be 17 in April. The kids he hangs around with are provided pot and cigarettes by their parents, which they are allowed to smoke in their bedrooms :(
  4. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Well it definitely seems that he is in with the wrong crowd, and he has been in legal trouble more than once which would be very concerning to me. Is there anything you can do to get him away from those friends? Boot camp?
  5. Jenn M

    Jenn M New Member

    I thought the Job Corp might be good for him, but he refuses to talk about anything, because he's "not going to leave his friends and his girlfriend". He seems to like things they way they are.
    I don't! He's become very selfish as well. His sister saved up her allowance to buy him a black and grey scarf he wanted for Christmas. I spent probably $400 on him, getting him the boots and socks and clothing he wanted for Christmas.
    He didn't even make her or myself a card. Nothing for Christmas. I thought that was terrible of him to do. He takes, takes, takes and takes. Seldom gives back anything. It makes me want to stop giving to him. To treat him how he treats us. It's not a good feeling.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, hi and welcome, but sorry you had to be here.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but in my world you are underreacting. I would have taken the phone even if he had a fit and given it to the police. Having lived through those drug days with Daughter I learned t hat when something new showed up it was usually stolen. They steal to pawn to get drugs. But if he doesn't have a cell, how convenient that he found one. Is he using somebody else's service too? Don't feel bad. Most of our difficult children do the same sort of stuff...lie, steal, often substance abuse, disrespect us, even get violent. You are hardly alone. We would not be here if it wasn't pretty bad.

    I think you did fine. I would have done more as I am a stickler for not breaking the law and I don't want my kids to learn it is ok. I turned my daughter in twice for pot, hoping it would scare her straight. It didn't, but she DID quit using drugs at age 19, nothing short of a miracle.

    I am a big believer in tough love and do think that this is partly why my daughter chose to quit drugs (and even cigarettes!!!) rather than continuing her nonsense games and drug use. She had to leave at 19 and lived with her brother in his basement for a long time. She quit there and did not seek out drug using friends, which is a good sign...if they hang with troublemakers, then they are one. Like attracts like.

    I don't know where you live, but you can't leave home in the U.S. until eighteen so we were stuck, even as she continued to break the law, show horrible examples to her young brother and sister, and sneaked out her window to run around at night. We found out after she quit that she had done a lot more than pot...she fessed up to meth, psychodelics, ADHD drugs (they put them in a pillcrusher and snort them alone or with cocaine), and even a fling with heroin. I always thought one try of heroin and you're hooked, but it can't be true because she said she tried it a few times, then got scared and never did it again. It's been over ten years since she has used drugs and her life is pretty normal, even boring for a thirty year old young woman now.

    From what my daughter has told me about the drug life, I think your son may be more involved in drugland than you think. He is living the life of a serious drug user, which includes stealing, lying, pawning, and disrespect for anything socially normal. My daughter had been a very nice, if sensitive kid until the drugs started and then she changed to this girl I didn't know. Once she quit though she quickly, and I do mean quickly, reverted back to what she had been before the drugs. This entire path she took is irregular. Most kids go to rehab, then relapse, then go back to rehab...it takes a while. Mine just did it on her own with her boyfriend helping her. She didn't tell us until afterward and we didn't believe her until she was clearly not using substances and was living a normal, socially acceptable life.

    Don't be afraid to search your son's room to see what you find there. I did that to my daughter many times. I reasoned she lost her privacy rights when she broke the law. Also, it is my house. I found a long letter to a guy she didn't know. Apparently she was going to run to Colorado to be with him at his college. I called his mom (phone number was written down) and we both cut that one off. If I hadn't looked, I wouldn't have known. I consider this sort of snooping saving our minor children from themselves. Once we brought in a cop with a dog to sniff her room and we found cocaine. That really shocked me, although she swore she was holding it for a friend (very common lie). Until then, we really believed all she had done was smoked pot and maybe drank a little. We were wrong.

    In the end, after she graduated, we put our foot down. She quit doing illegal stuff or left our house. She didn't quit so she left our house. She was lucky her brother let her stay with him and that he lived far away enough that she could dump her druggie friends who would not stop harassing her when she did try to quit.

    I highly recommend going to Al-Anon. I did that as well and it was a lifesaver to me. It helps to have a support system who has been there/done that and can show us the ropes. I had never taken drugs nor had my other kids. I was so naive about them. I had a lot to learn.

    The bad news is that you can't force your son to go to rehab or any treatment. At some insane age, like fourteen, they have the "right" not to accept treatment. I don't get it since they aren't eighteen, but my daughter refused any sort of help and nobody, under those conditions, would take her. Do not spend all your money on solutions. If you want to send him somewhere and he will go or they will take him without his consent, make sure the coverage is there. In the end, usually short-term fixes, and the advertisers who claim miracles, don't work for our rebellious kids. They have to really want it...

    Do not take his selfishness personally. When kids use drugs they are thinking about the drugs and their relationships with us sort of go south. The drugs and their drug friends are their lives. It's very sad, but I saw it with my daughter too. It hurts, but truly it is not about you, it's about your son. I would just limit how much you give him for next Christmas. Make sure you don't give him anything he can sell, Know what I mean??

    Wishing you good luck. Keep posting. It helps!
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  7. Jenn M

    Jenn M New Member

    Thanks so much for your help. I am quite ignorant to the drugs scene as well. It's not something I've been involved with. I knew when I gave him the option to leave that he had somewhere to go. I knew he wouldn't be on the streets in January. I am thinking that he will help himself into my house before I get home from work to shower, get some food and maybe more clothes. If I see anything missing, I will have to change the locks, to show him that it's not ok to help himself to my house, without talking about this first. I guess I will see what happens when I leave work....
  8. GuideMe

    GuideMe Active Member

    Aww, man I am so sorry. that is very, very hurtful and you and your daughter (his sister) does not deserve it. Do whatever you can to stop this awful behavior. Don't feel guilty and don't feel like you're over reacting because you're not. It's not just the drugs that he is doing, it's getting into the legal trouble as well. It gets worse each year they get older.
  9. Jenn M

    Jenn M New Member

    He gets tested every month for smoking pot. I wonder if he has been doing something other than pot, that his PO hasn't tested for. Maybe I will put a bug in her ear to test for other things. Boy, I hope he's smarter than that, but lately, he hasn't been proving so...
  10. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Word of advice, don't give him the chance because he will take it. Ours did as did so many others who are on this board. Change the locks now and save yourself the expense.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

  12. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately K-2 doesn't show up on the standard drug test. They can test for it but its VERY expensive. Because of this, it has become the drug of choice for those who are working, on probation, or for some other reason need to dodge the urinalysis test.
  13. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    MWM???? Did we forget something?
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Do you live in Canada? I heard they are allowed to leave at sixteen there?

    In the end, you can look into rehabs and hope he will decide to change. I learned the hard way that it can't be forced. I even pulled Daughter out of school and homeschooled her and she still managed to get drugs.

    I feel for you and again think Al-Anon is a great way to help yourself cope with this plus get GREAT suggestions from those still in the trenches. You have no idea how this saved my sanity. I wore a necklace day and night that read:

    "God great me the SERENITY to accept the things I can not change,
    the COURAGE to chnage tht things I can,
    and the WISDOM to know the difference."

    I cried a lot, but Al-Anon helped me get on with my life. And I also got good feedback on what worked from other parents with the same problem. And what did not work. Once they reach a certain age, seems like we can only hope for the best. (((BIG HUGS)))!!!!
  15. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Look for little playing-card sized packets of "incense" or "potpourri". Those are synthetic marijuana. Some places it's completely legal to sell. Our state has a law against it...but since they label it as "not for human consumption" and insist it's not for smoking (they'll even have warning labels about breathing in the smoke of the "incense"), they get by with selling it. Or they'll change the chemicals added to the organic matter just enough to not meet the definition. It's nasty stuff too.
  16. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    VERY nasty stuff. Our son was using it for a bit and told me at one point that he might get one pack that barely gave him a buzz and one hit off of the next one would knock him for a loop. It was one of the latter that got him caught by us the first time.

    Also, I work in a prison and have seen some......extreme....reactions. Just a few months ago there was a group of three or four who smoked some K-2 in the bathroom. Another offender told the officer when they all collapsed and then started....hmmmm, how to put this for polite society...."Pleasuring" the floor. We send on average one or two offenders per week to the hospital due to K-2.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you don't mind, lol, YES!

    (shyly slinking away) i forgot to post....
  18. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Actually, synthetic pot is far more dangerous than pot.

    I mean, kids misuse everything nowadays, even over the counter stuff. And you can't test for everything. Not everything comes out and the kids know which does and which doesn't. I would go by behavior, friends, and other markers rather than a drug test. The behavior is more accurate. Big hint here: Kids who are sober DO NOT HANG WITH DRUG USERS. If your kid hangs with drug users, he is probably also involved. Like attracts like. Users and non-users have very little in common.

    Sadly, I'm sure many of our difficult children use drugs and some of us don't even know it or believe it until something happens and we can't deny it. Am I guilty? Sure.
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  19. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Very true as there is no type of quality control since its clearly labeled "Not for Human Consumption"!

    A guy I was in the military with always started his "Party Night" off with a bottle of cough syrup. Granted, they don't really make them that strong anymore but there are other options, most of which won't show up on testing. Behavior is definitely the best way to tell.
  20. Jenn M

    Jenn M New Member

    Turns out, he skipped school today. My daughter called me a few minutes ago asking if I had been home early. There are dishes in the sink that weren't there this morning when she and I had left.

    I guess he decided to come home, shower, eat , grab more clothes and head out again. Are you serious? This is the kind of disrespect I'm talking about.

    I'm beside myself right now.