A Letter to My Son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DavidWH, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. DavidWH

    DavidWH New Member

    Hello all.. I am still around reading each AM and PM when I get home from my work!! Wow how mice is that to say after a year of no work! I again want to say thanks.. this board is helping me each day just to get through the thoughts with out my boogie here... I will talk to him tonight for a whole 5 mins.. but am going to put this letter I wrote him.. I thought it would be something others can read and maybe give yea's or Ney's on why you say that to him or what ever.. you know what I mean?


    Hello Boogie!!!

    Well it is Monday morning I am sitting here drinking my coffee... got to get up and ready for
    work here in a few mins. Had a rough night last night... for some reason BJ got up at midnight
    and was caughing real bad.. she was running back and forth from bedroom to the kitchen,
    maybe drinking water not sure but she could not stop caughing and this went on until 2.30AM

    She seems fine this morning but is still sleeping so I am sure she is very tired.. But of course
    I walk into the kitchen this morning and she had pooped all over the kitchen.. YUK!! But she did eat
    allot yesterday.. I gave her Tuna Fish water in her food and boy did she like that.. she ate up almost
    the whole bowl of dog food. And then earlier she had eaten a easy child of left over pizza, but not the bread
    part, I took off the toppings and gave it all to her... she loved that of course.. so she had a full belly
    and I guess just had to poop all over just to feel better, since I did not get up with her and take her out.

    It is going to be hot all week.. I hope your not still wearing your long underwear still... your gonna
    burn up all day..

    What did you decide to do about your teeth? Are you doing as I suggested and just deal with
    brushing with your water bottle like everyone else is because it is how it is done? Or still doing
    what you told me you were doing?.. Please be doing the right thing.. just because it is the right thing ok?

    Well I wish you luck on your GM level.. I will not know if you got it till you call me Wednesday night.

    I know Will is leaving soon and I know you had said you wanted to stay in contact with him, if you want
    and he wants since your are not going to be able to write him until you get your RGM level you can give
    him the house address here and I can write him to let him know how you are doing or just keep his
    letters till you get your RGM. Just an idea if you want to be able to be friends after you come home.

    I know you talked about things you know you feel you will be able to handle when you come home..
    I will give you some other things that are very important to think about.. that will need to be done.

    One thing you have to remember is your reaction to things that do not go your way, as you know our here
    in the real world kids at school are not so nice, teachers and the principle are not so nice, they have
    lots of kids to worry about and you will not have the one on one time you have at TSNC with them, this
    is just a fact that we all deal with when we are in school. What happens when someone says something
    rude to you or a Teacher tells you no about something.. you have to decide how you are going
    to deal with the answer you get. No question you are a bright kid and deserve to be treated well,
    however not everyone knows how bright you are and they are not going to be a nice to you as you
    want them to be.

    You are not going to be able to have the fast impulses getting back at someone or if something is
    not going your way. As you know the impulses are what gets you into trouble, even at TSNC you
    have had a hard time with it. So if you can show everyone you can do it there and practice it
    everyday then it will be much better when you come home for good, TSNC is teaching you how
    to use the tools to do the right things, those tools they are teaching you are being burned into your
    brain so you do not ever go back to the same problems you had when you were home.

    You will also need to be more a part of the "team" be a active participant in things, you know what I mean.
    Part of you going up for the next level is all of these little things, as they ask you too talk to other kids
    about why your there, ask them what they did before coming to TSNC and how they think they will handle
    things when they leave, guys like Will and Adam. Never be afraid to open yourself up take a risk and
    put yourself out there, it is OK to have weakness for something you are human and every human in the
    world has weakness's.

    Arguing with adults.. as you know it gets you know where you have never accomplished anything by
    soing so. As much as you may not like something there is a reason your being told or asked to
    do it or whatever. If you disagree then there is nothing wrong with being respectful and bringing it up.
    Or asking for clarification as to why something is the way it is. You much more abt to understand if
    they are willing to talk about it with you, but by being mean or ugly and disrespectful, you just ensure
    they will just force you to do what ever it is they have said, and even if you are doing the right thing
    by asking in the right way, you still may have to do exaclty as they say.. it is life it is the way it is, as
    much as you may not like it.. it is what it is.. Even President Bush.. must do as he should he has
    rules he has to follow he is not allowed just to do as he wants... if he does he will be in big trouble

    I know you can do all of this Justin... and as soon as I know you can come home and have success
    then I will be showing up to get you. I miss you very much.. but one thing to remember TSNC should
    be your last stop... no more nothing..

    Remember, I told you a long time ago.. Justin if you keep acting this way your going to end up in jail.
    where did you end up?
    Then I said Justin if you do not get things right your going to go to boot camp or a Wilderness camp,
    and where are you now..?

    You have to trust me Justin, trust me with your life... I would die for you to make sure you are 100%
    successful in your life.. I will guide you and teach you... I only ask that you allow me to help you be
    much better than me.. I made the mistakes and I am still living with them and will forever, I do not
    want you to have to.

    Most kids in your posistion go from one camp to the next then to boot camp or taining school... I
    do not want this for you.. I want you to do and listen to the good that TSNC has to give you and
    you take advantage of the opportunity you have been given.... Not all kids get the chnace you have

    Remember.. I have always said.. you have a choice of two roads to go down in life.. what one do
    you want to travel?????

    You took the wrong one in the past (by getting you in jail and tsnc, by running away while at tsnc ect...)
    but you can still at this point in your life try to understand what I am saying by what road do you want,
    and make a U-turn and come back to the road that is the one you really want.

    School... I only need to say one thing... you will NOT be what you want to be in life, with out being
    successful in school. Plain and simple...

    I am proud of the progrss you have made.. keep it up... I look forward to the day you come home and
    you and I can be a real Father/Son and do all we can to have a great time during the last few years you
    have to be home with me. We have alot to do... I have a lot to teach you... life is a never ending lesson

    Never ever forget. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH... you will never know how much I love you .. until you have a
    child of your own...

  2. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    This is my edited version of your letter. in my humble opinion, I would leave all of the expectations out of the letter. At this point it's just BLAH,BLAH,BLAH... It will sound like you are lecturing him and he will just read over it. Plus, in my experience the kids will agree to anything just to come home.

    I know how anxious you must be, you want and are expecting him to turn his life around. I hope that he wants it as badly for himself as you want it for him.

    Try to hang in there while he is away, enjoy the peace and quiet in your home, enjoy not having daily arguments and issues.

    I think all you can do at this point is wait and see. I'm sure he knows your expectations. I'm sure he is learning these things where he is at.

    Just keep your letter casual and nice. Keep talking about the weather and the dog and stuff like that. I know it is hard but I think it is important. Let him feel like he is figuring out how to behave, and you are not telling him.

    Hang in there!
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    David, I have read your letter and parts of it seem right on target for bonding with your son. Each of us has to figure the
    best approach in our individual relationships so it isn't really
    possible to "edit" one another's communication.

    I think all of our teens would get a kick out of the pizza eating
    barfing pet segment. I'm sure all our teens would and do love to
    know hear they are loved and missed.

    Learning the skills at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that will help with life in the home community makes sense, too. If the program allows it, it seems like volunteering to save letters from his peer mentor might be a positive aspect also.

    My parenting experiences would indicate that for MY family (not
    necessarily your family or anyone else's family) the "preachy"
    parts of the letter would have a negative effect on my teens. The
    intention is totally honorable but the message would not be received in a positive way with either generation of children I
    have raised. My kids would think "does she think I need her to
    explain to me how I screwed up in the past and how I need to avoid it with HER help??" My kids would think "I'm already a
    teenager and I don't want or need a Mommy or a Daddy as my best
    bud or confidant." They also would wonder "is it really up to
    my parent to decide when I am ready to come home? If so, the
    system isn't in charge of me after all...it's just a parent."

    All of us who have had much loved children in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) have struggled
    with the degree of participation that best fits our difficult child. My son
    has spent years trying to accept his individual responsibility.
    There has never been a New York minute when he didn't completely
    know that we loved him, that we missed him, that we believed he
    could have a wonderful life full of pride and accomplishment.
    difficult children do not want to be clones. They need to find "their" own persona and develop it. That is hard. DDD
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nice chatty, newsy letter.

    Until it gets to the lecturing part.

    I would not even talk about the toothbrushing. Too nitpicky. Micromanaging. Ditto for the following graphs. I would edit along similar lines to what Gottaloveem posted, but I'd even take out more.

    You yourself said that the Residential Treatment Center (RTC)/TSNC people will be teaching him to deal with-emotions and respect, so I would stay out of it. Let him deal with-one thing at a time.

    Make him look forward to receiving your letters.

    Thanks for posting, David.

    I know it's all hard for you.
  5. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    His choice. Why are you worrying about it?

    Don't beg him to do the right thing. He has to make those type of decisions on his own. He has to see that making those decisions are what will get him out of there and on the right track at home.

    Check with the camp first to see if this allowed. Don't offer to do something that you can't follow through on.

    That's an awful lot in one letter. Maybe just focus on what he feels he can do at this time. Do you think he is being realistic in what he has accomplished and is able to do? Is any of it manipulation just to get out of there? Be honest with him.

    Maybe simply mention other areas that he needs to work on. Don't give him the lectures on it. He's not going to "hear" them anyway. At least not yet.

    Don't make promises like this. You never know what will show up while he is there. I didnt find out until my daughter's time was almost up about some of the things she had done pre-Residential Treatment Center (RTC). Sadly, it was too late to work on them because there truly were no more funds to keep her there. Simply leave it that you will be showing up to get him when everyone thinks he is ready but not a day before.

    Don't know about you and Justin, but I HATE I told you sos.

    No, he doesn't have to trust you. You may want him to trust you but he does not have to.

    We all make mistakes. We can either forgive the mistakes or live with them forever. However, unless a mistake has caused you to be disabled or given you a life without parole term in prison, mistakes can be forgiven. Don't imply that he will have to live forever with his choices and behaviors of today. Let him know that they can be put in the past, that there is hope.

    Not true. For many, it is a camp and then juvie and then jail. For others, it is back to the same old thing but a tad wiser at not getting caught. For the smart ones, it is a change for the better.

    David, he's going to know the facts. Don't say things unless you can back them up.

    Be careful of lecturing too much. It is easy to not read a letter. Some things are better left to when you are together, with or without a mediator present. Don't throw everything at him at once. Baby steps.

    Great job here!

    Drop that last part -- it rates up there with when I was a kid we walked 5 miles in the snow, uphill to school. Kids don't understand, don't want to understand and truly don't care that their lives will change when they have kids. It just has a tendency to negate anything said up to that point cause it proves we adults know nothing.

    Talk to your CM there. A lot of times they ask parents to write specific letters about issues to be worked on at certain times. Ask them if they want every letter to broach on these topics or save them for family counseling or during visits. We were told to keep the letters on mainly what is happening at home and one issue. Save the rest for other times, but each place/child is different.
  6. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    your letter is very heart-felt and you can tell how much you love your son. But I must agree with the above posters. Keep in the newsy part (the dog poo is a good touch!) and the love you part. I would remove the teeth and all the other "lessons". I agree that you want him to look forward to your letters and you don't want to micromanage from a distance. Metioning the teeth and the long underwear are micromanaging. He can handle it along with all the other kids there.

    Make your letters full of home news and love and he will look forward to your letters and they will brighten his day. Save the lessons for the staff.

  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    Hi - we've never met. I'm Star.

    I'm sorry for your hurting heart. These kids can certainly break us down. The best thing I've learned so far in my life with my son is to NOT let him know he's wounded me, but to let him know that I am saddened by his behaviors. In your letter you say you would die for him. I don't think that there is a parent here that does not feel that way about their own child, but I think it's a little heavy to lay on a teenager.

    The barfing pizza, tuna water pooper is good - more day to day stuff like that is good. I honestly had to re read your letter because at first I thought you were talking about a dog, then a small child, then a cat. And I sat here with a blank expression on my face and thought MY GOODNESS THAT Father really does have some issues going on in his house!

    I by nature, am 'slightly' wordy. I tend to 'over-explain' because if I don't see in YOUR eyes that you got exactly what I was trying to say - I want to keep explaining it to you until I'm sure you get it. My son usually suffers the first 3 explanations and then I get "OKAY OKAY MAMA I GET IT" then walks off and rolls eyes.

    I think it's a good start on a letter to your son. I would print it out, and then hold it for a day and then go back with a red pen and mark out I feel, I wish, I need, I want, anything that is uber emotional. Leave in the part about how you are expecting him to do well and hope to see him soon. That was very well put.

    It's also a little long. I've found with my son who has ADHD that shorter letters usually get completely read more than those that I used to send him. Curse of the get your point across I fear.

    Best to you - I know how difficult it is to have a child away from you at Christmas, and if it IS a cat you are talking about I know how difficult it is to get potty off the floor. In any event whomever isn't feeling well enough to make it to the bathroom - I hope they are feeling better.

  8. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi, David!

    Great letter! I believe that it must have felt really good to write all of it down. I also believe that it's a good idea to keep it newsy as opposed to lectury (is that a word?). Oh well, here's a thought.

    I agree that making him think about the better parts of life within his community is the best place to be. Try and update him with stuff that gramma's doing, cousins, friends he's close to etc.

    Write about the usual mundane everyday stuff that goes on then at the end, keep in all of the stuff that makes you proud of him. If you feel that you want to give him words of wisdom, pick up a copy of "chicken soup for the soul" (they have ones that are written for all different situations) tell him: here's the quote of the week. Every once and a while, make them funny so that you can slip in something that he may learn from. This way it's not lecturing, it's just words o' wisdom.

    Just my 2 cents!

    Glad to hear from you!
  9. DavidWH

    DavidWH New Member

    WOW... you know what I am glad I placed this on here now... I owe my Kid an I am sorry...

    I can see your (all of you) points very well and it makes perfect sense...

    I guess I just try to do so much - I must make some changes in me alone as the same ole same ole did not work in the past...

    IE.. Talk like the letter

    Why do I think it will work in a letter...

    thank you each of you...