difficult child Given 15-days


New Member
Well, we went to court yesterday and my son's PO filed a contempt charge (with our blessings) since he has continued to test positive + hasn't gotten a job as he was instructed and is totally apathetic about everything. The only condition he manages to follow is coming home at curfew 7:00 pm & he does go to whatever appointments we set up for him.

I told the judge that we were going to send him to a rehab facility and then on to a boarding school (if I can find one we can actually afford) or at the very least the 5-month youth challenge program because he will not stop using drugs, wants to drop out of school and will not get a job. I told her I felt he didn’t have any respect for the court or his parents & I’d like him to suffer the consequences from the Court first. She agreed & sentenced him to 15-days in the juvenile detention center with a “do not release” attached which means we won’t get a call saying we need to come & get him due to overcrowding, etc. They handcuffed him & carted him off – he didn’t look at me or say a word. The last time he went in (a couple of months ago) he was only there for a few hours & he was sent home on house-arrest.

I’ve read many postings all over the site and have been following Mikey’s story in particular along with all of the advice given to him. Me and my husband were in denial a long time and were all talk and never any real follow through so I really relate to his situation. I have come a long way and also to the end of my rope. I can’t live like this anymore. We all have become totally dysfunctional – I can’t even stand being home anymore so I just close myself off in my bedroom & read parenting books (just finished Tough Love, if you couldn’t tell yet!) – our difficult child watches TV, eats & talks to his difficult child friends on the phone – our older difficult child is in her own world with no interest in her brother at all (and he knows it) – my husband runs around trying to spend a few minutes with each of us - what kind of home-life is that? It ain’t Ozzie & Harriet that’s for sure. I hardly ever talk to our difficult child anymore because we were TRYING to let him see the errors of his ways on his own and hopefully start making the right choices but he just doesn’t get it.

So, my question today is do you think we should visit him anytime during the 15 days or just leave him be?

Thanks for listening to me ramble. :whew:


Well-Known Member
Sigh...darn Im sorry it has come to this but I think you have made the right decision. Dont you wish that you could just bang their heads into a wall and wake them up?

I wish I had been able to get my sons PO to drag him back into court when he was a juvenile and get him into juvy for a long stint then maybe we wouldnt be facing what we are facing now. Who knows. The worse that happened to my son was that I reported all his violations for 9 long months and the PO sat on his rear and finally after my son got in even more trouble, the judge gave him 5 days in juvy! 5 days...can you imagine? It didnt even faze him.

Since your son only has 15 days in the facility I think I would refrain from visiting him. Let him sit and think. Juvy really isnt a bad place. It tends to be boring.
Funny you should post, you were on my mind today.

I agree with Janet. He will only be in there 2 weeks. Take this time for respite and to refresh, replenish, and renew.

He will be OK, and you will benefit from the break. Have a date with husband, and maybe a girls night with older difficult child.

Kudos on the detaching!


Well-Known Member
To go or not to go...that is the question. For some of our difficult children
it is best to leave them on their own to "think". on the other hand, most of
the time I tend to think it is best with teens to see their parents as a reminder that they are loved and do have choices
that many of their fellow teens don't have. Having lived thru three s.a. programs with our teen I was totally amazed that very
very few kids had any family contact at all. At the lst private
placement (which was a mistake, by the way) and at the last which was
through juvie less than 1/4 of the kids had any visitors. The
more high end private s.a. placement required visits weekly
which included a group session. From what has turned into many
years experience with s.a. issues, we fully accept the sad fact
that an addicted kid can love his family but still have to make
his/her drugs and accompanying lifestyle first in priorities.
It is ugly.

If we had the opportunity to start back at the beginning, we would have found some way to pay for a EGBS and isolated our teen
from his peer group pronto. We spent years thinking that the next placement or initiative would change things. Long term placement in a well established emotional growth boarding school
might have cut off the pattern that developed so early.

Caring thoughts coming your way. DDD


Active Member
Since never having had this "experience" I'm not really qualified to give advice. But....another poster wrote recently that when her difficult child went to Juvy (I think it was Juvy) she did not go see him but her husband went. She forced husband and difficult child to bond together. That sounded like a good idea in my always on the fence mind.

NOLA, I gotta say, you sound very good. You sound positive, you sound like you've taken control, and you've got your whole family's best interest in your heart. Congratulations. Your line in the sand was drawn. You definately got detachment 101 down :smile:

Keep on posting, it helps.


Active Member
SunnyFlorida is referring to me. I didn't go see Alex in juvy, (except for once on Thanksgiving) he was there about one month. My husband did go see him.

I wouldn't go visit him. 15 days isn't that long. And juvy isn't that bad. They get their own "cell" to sleep in. They are safe, and fed (I'm sure the food stinks)

However,I do agree with the statement DDD made:

"best with teens to see their parents as a reminder that they are loved and do have choices"

You could always write him and let him know that you love him and will support him as he cleans up his act.

It's a very tough situation. But be tough while the courts has his attention.


New Member
We're just starting on this downward spiral as well and don't know what our next steps will be. My difficult child is currently in a 28 day MH crisis setting after spending two nights in Juvenile Detention Center. Unfortunately, not making any progress and is completely alienating himself from everyone. The way he is right now, we will NOT bring him home.

Anyway, I agree with others, I would not go to see him (difficult for my mommy heart though) but would write and/or call, just so he knows you're thinking of him. If yours is anything like mine, all he does is argue with me and try to bully me to see his side.

I also saw that you mentioned boarding school. My son just spent a semester in a boarding school directed toward helping the ADHD boys who want to do better but are unable to in the public school. If you'd like to know more about our experience with that, PM me. I'll share anything you think may help you.


Well-Known Member
Please note: I do not know what I am talking about from experience!

I would think that the selection of a specific board school would
be a complex choice. As I did mention before, the lst placement
we found for easy child/difficult child was recommended by the former head of the
Department of Juvenile Justice. To me that seemed like a great endorsement. Further the
people from the residential facility were helpful, upbeat, had
worked there for years etc. etc. AND helped me finance the stay.

Things I didn't know to ask made a huge difference. The highly
qualified staff members left at 5 and didn't work weekend. The
care of the teens was left in the hands of untrained people who
were paid minimum wage. None of them were evil people but they
had no concept of the overall philosophy of the program and so
the teens were smarter than the "sitters".

I didn't know to ask for a breakdown between private placement and pay families and court ordered and alternative placement
teens. As a result our son learned all kinds of drug and crime
information that he sadly took to heart.

Even though "kids are kids", you would want to avoid a placement
where kids were accustomed to a different lifestyle than yours.

Geez, this whole this is TOO complex. DDD


Active Member
I would not go see him for a week as he will only tell you it is your fault he is there. towards the end of his time, I would go see him and ask him if he has any suggestions as to what would work for him.

do write him a letter telling him you are sorry his life choices have made his life so hard. tell him you love him so much you will stand in the way of any danger to him no matter what.


Active Member
by the way rehabs and boarding schools may save him from himself for a while but unless he is with the program, he will drug the day he is out.

ant was sent to a 2 yr reform school. he did drugs the first day out.


Roll With It
I want you to know how brave you are. You stood up in front of a judge and told him about your son's problems. That is so very very hard to do. I know, becasue I did it too.

I don't know whether you should visit or not. It is a tough question.

I have done the same thing with my son. I have stood in front of the Judge on his court date and told him the truth. I told him we loved him and wanted him to get better but he could not come home on house arrest! Iasked the Judge if he could go to a treatment facility - he has already been there and they kicked him out - instead the judge revoked his probation and sent him to a correctional facility for 11 months. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. But he survived! I had several people come up to me after that and tell me how brave I was. you are too.


New Member
Thanks guys - it's been a tough 2 weeks. I decided not to visit & did not speak to him (he called home & spoke to husband) but then he called me on Thursday & asked why I hadn't visited & if I could come. husband & I visited him on Friday (30 minutes) Boy, it's not easy seeing your kid in that jumpsuit & in that environment.

All things considered the visit went well until we dropped the bomb on him by being upfront and telling him he would be going to boarding school for the upcoming year. He started with the "I've changed" mantra and how he'd be so miserable he couldn't stand it, why couldn't he get his diploma on-line, etc. After calmly explaining to him that as his parents we had to do what we thought was best for him and his on-line option had expired (since he not once mentioned it since it was offered) and he could look at it as a real chance to turn his life around and rise to the challenge or be miserable and complain - it was totally up to him. He acted up for a few minutes & then moved on to the "can I just come home today & I'll go wherever" - always the negotiator!

It wasn't easy but we held our ground -- now comes the next phase of this adventure. husband is picking him up tomorrow, day 15 of his incarceration & he will go to the ‘interview’ at the school on Thursday. If all goes well he will actually start on the 20th – it’s a 3 ½ hour drive away.

As you guys know, I am filled up with self-doubt and second guessing my every decision. The school is an accredited military boarding school where he’ll have the opportunity to get a HS diploma, small classes, supervised study time, sports, and most of all be held accountable for himself.

I’ve searched the internet up and down (and even sideways) and this school seems to be the right choice BUT, as usual, I have the other side of the coin that keeps glaring at me. Have any of you guys or your friends gone that route? I would love to send him to an EGBS but that is not an option for us financially. The only ones I’d consider are cross-country & way out of our league $$ wise. In my heart, I feel he is screaming for structure, accountability and wants to do well so this is where the momentum has taken me.

How do you know if you are raising the bar so they will reach for it or if you are setting up for failure?


Well-Known Member
There is no way to know if your decision is the right one. Sorry.
You just have to be convinced that your choice is the best choice
based on all the information you can gather. Some of us have
had positive results. Others have delayed the inevitable. Many
of us have lost alot of dollars. We all love our difficult children. DDD


New Member

Hi Nola:

I happen to think Military school is a better option than EGBS...
Still, alot of our difficult child's adapt and work the "system" they are in.... :hammer:

Melissa :angel:


Active Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: NOLA</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> and he could look at it as a real chance to turn his life around and rise to the challenge or be miserable and complain - it was totally up to him. </div></div>

I think this says it all.

As parents, we make the best decision possible with the information we have on hand. At some point difficult child's have to either rise or fall.

I think it's absolutely fantastic that you even have the opportunity to make this decision. Not everyone has that opportunity.