Confused by whole difficult child situation

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by susiestar, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am very very confused at the reactions to this current difficult child situation.

    difficult child STOLE from my father. Took money right out of his wallet. Was caught because the wallet was not fully in the pocket.

    My parents (the Gparents) locked difficult child out. We picked him up and he will spend a few days here with us.

    I spoke with my mom today. She is very upset, feels betrayed and violated. I totally understand this. She is not sure if she wants difficult child back. I understand that.

    My dad then called. He had a hard time getting to sleep last night. And had nightmares.

    My dad said difficult child could go back tonight. What?????? My mom is not on that page, or at least that is not what she led me to understand.

    My dad said that most, if not all, teens do this.


    Stealing from your parents is NOT something all kids do. It just isn't. More teens would be dead if it was.

    I truly do not know what the man is thinking. He also doesn't think my child needs to take the more challenging classes next year. difficult child will spend 1/2 day at the vocational school learning machinist stuff. He has to take an English class. And he only needs the English and 1/2 credit of something else to graduate.

    College is not in difficult child's mind when planning all of this. He wants choir and drama and yearbook for his classes. Which means he will do very little learning. He doesn't want to take a 2nd language year (which colleges want). difficult child doesn't want to take any science. difficult child is refusing (who does he think he is??) to take the Algebra 2 class again.

    I don't understand why difficult child thinks he CAN refuse to take classes.

    I don't understand these aliens who have possessed my father. If I ever brought home a D in a math class (or any class) my father would have waited until my mom was not home and then beaten the stuffing out of me. I KNOW at one point he used a belt on my bro for getting a D.

    MY father would NEVER have let me get away with a year of school with no science or math. He was a science teacher and I had to take a science EVERY year.

    difficult child wants to take forensics.

    Why does anyone think my difficult child needs lessons in being a criminal? difficult child would use everything in forensics to try to get away with stealing, lying, and various criminal activities.

    Right now I am restraining myself from going up to the high school to see difficult child's schedule for next year - and changing it to suit myself.

    If difficult child stays here I WILL go change that schedule. He can like it or lump it.

    Not sure what will shake out for the future. I think shaking his teeth out should be considered mandatory!!! Thanks for the reminder Star!

  2. Oh Susie, how frustrating! I don't understand where your father is coming from either. Along with all that you have stated, difficult child will think that he can just steal and not face any consequence.

    If he stays, I would definitely change the schedule too!

  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    It sounds like your dad really loves difficult child. That's a good thing! ;) He's also older and wiser than he was when he raised you, so that may account for some of the changes you are seeing.

    I think I would encourage difficult child to talk to his guidance counselar about his hopes for the future. At this age, any ambition that isn't illegal is a good one! LOL! M used to tell everyone that he either wanted to be "a gangster or a pirate." The sad part of that was, he knew he had to make a choice and couldn't do it - it wasn't really a joke. He couldn't bring himself to choose. If your difficult child wants to be in forensics, he'd better bring that D in algebra up. But let the guidance counselor tell him that! A D is a passing grade, and your difficult child knows that.

    I understand your frustration about his classes, but in hindsight, the most important thing is that they get enough credits to graduate. If they have a goal, even one that you don't appreciate, they're more likely to do that. More often than not, by the time they are graduating high school, whatever goal it was that got them through those four years has changed. You can't sweat it now, you'll be miserable for too long!

    Just stick with the basics. And encourage your dad to talk to your mom about what they are both comfortable with. They deserve to be able to support and comfort each other.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm not sure what issues your son has had, but FWIW, when my son is entering his "phases", he has had issues with stealing. When he's stable, he has never done it, to the best of my knowledge. It is such a clear-cut line with difficult child that it has become a tell-tale sign for me that he has entered a VERY unstable cycle. I don't know what the significance is , other than being a tell-tale sign.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Just had an interesting talk with difficult child. He cancome up with the lamest reasons for things. Part of it is twisted thinking, part is just thinking adults are stupid.


    He thinks he will go to college. Says he will take the ACT as a senior. He doesn't see the need for algebra.

    I support the machinist training completely. It will let him have a higher paying job while in college. It also will give him an extra year of schooling before college. The training program is 2 years. The first year is half day, with high school the other half day. The second year is either all the program, or half program half job relating tothe program. He will be 17 at the end of his senior year in highschool, and the extra year is a very good thing.

    My objection to the forensic science class is NOT because I object to him becoming a forensic person with the police. THAT would be wonderful. I object because it will give him more tools to break the law and hide his actions. He is a true master manipulator, and extremely intelligent. He really really doesn't need more tools to become a criminal. And that is EXACTLY how he would use what he learned in a forensic class.

    He can take classes in forensics as an adult, and on HIS dime.

    I think he will probably be back at my parents' on Friday. I can handle things until then. Jess will sleep with me. She just won't function well if she is in her own room.

    This will give my mom and dad some time to come to an understanding.
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Unless he needs the algebra to graduate, don't worry about it. I know it isn't easy, but if difficult child does make it to college he can take it there. Same with that 2nd language. Or he can take those in a community college.

    My point is those things can be made up later. (maybe that's what your Dad is thinking too)

    As for Dad's different spin on things with difficult child, some of it is coming from age and experience, alot of it is coming from love. Although I can't believe the "all teens steal from their parents" remark either. lol Maybe Dad's views on the classes is to keep the boy interested and IN school to graduate.

    I have to chuckle about the algebra. Travis had to take it before geometry. Well, he flunked it. Somehow no one noticed but me. Even when I called the school they didn't do anything. Travis passed geometry with flying colors. (his forte) Even took algebra 2. But had never passed algebra 1! Then took physics. School didn't "catch" it til his senior year, and told him he'd have to take it again. We put up such a stink they wound up deciding since he passed the other classes he didn't need it.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed your Dad has a plan and isn't in denial that difficult child can be a difficult child even with him.

  7. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I agree.

    I pray I do not sound harsh, or insensitive, and I may be reading a bit too much into this, but are you perhaps jealous that your dad was so much more militant with you than he is with your son?

    Personally I do not think it is appropriate to whip a teenager for a D, or any child, and even if he did do that to difficult child, I would be willing to bet that it would make difficult child worse rather than better. I betcha your dad realizes this! They have been raising difficult child for the last couple of years - and gotten him back on the right track - I would trust him with his decision on this.

    As for what classes he takes - I think I might just be thankful that he is going to graduate, which is far more than a lot of our difficult children do.

    Again, sorry for being so blunt - I just had to throw in some of my 2 cents.:pouting:
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I am not offended. I appreciate everyone's opinions, support, and perspective.

    I would have been furious if my dad HAD whipped my son. I agree that it is not appropriate for any grade, and it CERTAINLY would have made my difficult child act even worse.

    I am more confused by my dad's actions than jealous. What he is saying/doing is so very contrary to his nature that we are wondering if he had a mini-stroke. That is how very different his actions are than his usual. I honestly don't know if my dad is healthy enough to keephandling my difficult child, but dad is determined to have difficult child come back and live with them.

    My dad has been saying and doing other things that make us wonder, though none are so drastic as his "its ok" attitude toward grades and toward the other things that are going on.

    Thanks for caring enough to respond, ALL of you.

    I will let the algebra thing go IF the school knows that it won't keep him out of college. I WANT my difficult child to be able to do the things he wants, including college.

    Hopefully we can find some way to help difficult child see that his thinking is twisted, and to find a way to help with that.

  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I'm sorry your Dad may have had a ministroke. Is there any way he would go to see the doctor to be checked?

  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    You may want difficult child to go to college but if he doesn't do what he should do or he has no vested interest in going, he won't. Nothing you can do.
    The idea that we can get a difficult child to do anything they don't want or don't see a need for didn't work at 5yrs old. It sure isn't going to work at 18.

    If he takes classes that appeal to him and does well then that is good enough. If they aren't intellectually curious enough for higher level classes then you can't/won't make him do well in it. He needs enough credits to graduate. I'm sure the requirements for college have been explained to him. He chooses to not go in that direction. Anything he accomplishes after high school is up to him and you will have little influence on which way the goes.

    Your job as parent as I see it, is to raise a law abiding, tax paying, young man of character who is as independent as they are capable of being. Everything else is gravy and his job.

    Susie, my easy child who has been a very sensible young man decided he wanted to take a year leave of absence from college to work. It kills me but he is not irresponsible and working is a good thing. I can not make him submit to my wishes and expect him to have a mind of his own or the strength to deal with consequences. He will have consequences with no doubt. He knows I am not in agreement with his choice but it is his choice. I can't imagine postponing an excellent education to make minimium wage.
    Parenting a kid who is ready to step out into the real world is a fine line between supervising and directing and letting go. I believe it's a pretty gradual process that takes years of mom's being surprised and shocked at what a difficult child/teen will not do that we expected them to do.

    Good luck. Of course, the theft issue has to be dealt with. If he does it again, tell him you will call the police even if your parents won't.
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Nothing new to add to what everyone has said. Sending good thoughts your way that things work out with difficult child and your parents.