Can you teach a 12 yr old conduct disorder boy to follow rules?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Praecepta, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    I'm fostering a 12 year old boy with ADHD/ODD/Conduct Disorder. He does not follow rules - frequently breaks rules. He was removed from his birth mom's home a year ago. She is a single parent, smoker (cigarettes/marijuana), alcoholic, and drug user. She did not supervise the child or enforce any rules...

    Can this boy be taught or trained to follow rules?

    If yes, how to do so?

    Note - He hangs around with troublemaker friends. I'm thinking it might be best for him to be moved to a different area/school - away from those "friends"?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome to our little corner.

    Sounds like you have your hands full!
    It might depend on why he isn't following rules. It seems like there are two kinds of kids that it is very hard to reach or teach... One set has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), which results in prenatal brain damage especially to the frontal lobe. These kids don't seem to be able to control impulse etc. The other set has Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), due to not bonding with a consistent caregiver in the first three years. These kids learn that they can only depend on themselves.

    As a foster parent, is there any way to find out whether he has been screened for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)? and what his first 3 years of life were like? It might help provide some framework to what you are dealing with.

    Having said all that... some kids are simply rebellious at puberty, especially if they haven't been given guidance and limits and rules. So, there is a chance you may be able to reach him. Maybe. 12 is pretty old...
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I dont think you can do it alone. If he is violent, consider mental health residential.treatment so he can get ongoingb professional help 24/7 and you can have peace. If you move he will.only bad friends, he may well have attachment disorder. He lived a tough, neglectful life. You may be unable to do much. I was a foster mom too. We cant save them all. Thetly were damaged badly before ever meeting us. Does he have sexual behaviors?

    Please take care.
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    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  4. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    Yes - In very serious legal trouble - Can't go into detail.

    As for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)), Fetal Alcohol Effects (Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE)), and Reactive Attachment Disorder (Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD)), no diagnosis for that to my knowledge.

    I'm also thinking mental health residential treatment 24/7 might be the best for him. I am willing to keep trying - I would like to keep him, but we are not talking about what is best for me! (Rather what is best for him.)
  5. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Mosr foster kids who are older have attachment disorder and often act out sexually because somewhere they were molested but the memory is so traumatic it can be repressed. Doesnt stop them though from being sexual with other kids. We had a child like that and he scared my little ones so badly with threats to kill them or all of us. My kids did not tell me the truth until we kicked him out. The county (not our idea) tried him with first degree sexual assault of a minor and he was found guilty. We did not attend the hearing. We never wanted to see him again. He did poorly in a semi juvinile center for youth sexual predator. We had adopted him but disrupted that. Never been sorry.

    If you have younger kids I would call the caseworker and have him transferred to another home. You cant fix someone as old has him already displaying dangerous behaviors. You are risking your kids, your pets and neighborhood kids.

    Our family was deeply affected by his secret horrors. I never recommend fostering or adopting kids older than your own. Often they are also cruel to animals too although ours put on a "I love these dogs" act in front of us. When our first dog was killed, he cried so hard we did not suspect him. The second dog, well nobody was home but him and me. That is when everything came out.

    My suggestion is not to destroy your family for a possibly already too damaged child. If you have no young children or pets it will still possiby not change him, but at least nobody in your home is at risk. Except you if he likes knives and has threatened to kill you. Then lock your door at night.
    I would never adopt or foster a child over two years old again.
    Do be careful and we support whatever you decide to do. Have wide open eyes.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
  6. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    You know my kid QUITE well!

    Thank you SO much for your reply - what I needed to hear.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    From observation (here and in real life), the child welfare systems aren't in a rush to diagnose Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). They don't want to have to pay for institutional care for any more kids than they have to. But from the sounds of it, this may be a definite possibility.
  8. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Yep they dont like to tell you about reactive attention disorder because then nobody would take them. I hope you dont keep him long. He is dangerous.
  9. PiscesMom

    PiscesMom Active Member

    bless you hon. it is all so sad. can you get him into an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) if that is what is needed?
  10. Praecepta

    Praecepta Active Member

    Yes - That is in the works. It helps that I can distinguish between what I want (for him to be home) and what is best for him (to be in residential treatment). Very difficult to make a recommendation for your kid to be taken away!