difficult child is feeling the consequences

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I checked him out of juvy today for a counseling appointment. Normally, they let him wear regular clothes for this but they didn't today. It might have been because they were running late with getting him ready or maybe they changed policy. Anyway, it was ALL I could do to get difficult child out of the car and into the therapist's office. He was crying because he was so humiliated for having to wear coveralls there. He said he is covering his head with his blanket so no one could see him cry each night. Now, I can see how this could look like a "show" or manipulation, but this part isn't, I am sure. We have known for several mos that difficult child suffers from EXTREME self-consciencness. Not the type where he has to wear a certain brand of tennis shoes, or have his hair cut a certain way, but the type where he will do ANYTHING to avoid any embarressment. He apparently perceives the least embarressment as extreme humiliation or emasculation or degrading. He has refused to take required projects to school, when they are completed and would probablly be graded as a B or C, simply because someone might laugh at it- so he got a zero. The therapist has noticed it, as well as teachers and others at school. So, I believe that is real.

    But, how do I handle this with him? Ok, so maybe he will go 9 mos instead of 6 mos before he forgets his butt is on the line and he makes a stupid choice again, so this really teaches him a good lesson, right? But, he is a difficult child- this isn't going to stop difficult child behavior forever. I don't want to baby him over it, but I can't really sit there and do nothing but say "you brought it on yourself" when I feel like that is kicking him when he's down and he knows it already and I really don't think this punishment is going to achieve as much as the judge thinks it should. The worst part is that she won't even give a clue as to how long she is going to keep him involved in the system. With a sentence suspended until he's 21 yo, I guess she'll keep him under her thumb with a threat hanging over him that long if she can. It even makes me want to give up on everything.

    I'm afraid it will make him angrier, feeling more despair, and really make him take much more desparate action. Especially since he is not going to believe that he can go to 21 yo without ever doing something else wrong.

    Is there any way I can use the concepts from The Explosive Child here? It isn't a situation where if he does what he should, we know when he'll be released. It isn't a situation where he can earn any rewards. What do I say to him?

    I want him to learn a lesson- he needs to and nobody wishes he could suddenly change any more than me. I told him he should write a letter to the judge prior to court. Did he do it? No. He couldn't stand the thought of the judge, or worse, the whole court, hearing how he felt. What is he doing now in juvy- writing a letter to the judge. It's a typical "learned my lesson, I'm sorry, will never do it again" letter. Will he let out any of the part of him that REALLY is hurting or suffering or sorry? No. So, what can I advise him as his mother? I hurt for him when I see him genuinely hurting and sorry for what he has done. But I don't see any real lessons being taught or learned here.

  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This just breaks my heart. It is so sad that our justice system doesn't do more to help those with mental illness. Others will be along with advice. Sending gentle hugs for your hurting hearts and prayers as well.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    No suggestions, just my prayers and for him and for you right now. He at least has one thing going for him ... YOU. Thinking of you and praying xoxo
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    We are trying to figure things like lessons and consequences out for K as well. Nothing ever seems to have a lasting impact. It hits home at the moment, really affects her, causes huge cycling or breakdowns. But she will do it again within days or weeks...
    I have no answers yet, but I do get it and I worry how K will handle tougher punishment as well.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry. I have no idea how to help, but am sending hugs adn prayers. What does the therapist say to help him cope with this?


  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks for the support. therapist sat and listened and nodded his head as we blabbed on and on about what had happened. Then he made an appointment for 2 weeks from now and said he would be gone on vacation for 4 weeks after that. That was pretty much the extent of today's session- except he tried to help me out when I was explaining to difficult child when he should ask to speak to the nurse to request more medications and when he should not ask. (He just got changed to a lower dose of risperdal because he was have suicidal temptations, but he's still cycling a little- not much- so psychiatrist said he should get a little more resperdol on the days when he is anxious/hyper/agitated).
  7. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sorry you are facing this. It must be hard to see your son suffering.
  8. change

    change New Member

    I'm so sorry. I'm the wrong person to offer any kind of suggestions on this one. All I can offer is support and understanding of your pain and feelings. You're being sooooo supportive. I admire that a lot. Really. I could learn a lot from your obvious patience with him. You're a great mother. Prayers for both of you...
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Nothing to add other than hugs...
  10. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I was headed to work and just got a call from PO that difficult child's name is on docket to have a 9:00am hearing in front of judge this morning. No one is there except PO because no one knew. I am headed down there now and called and left message for defense attny. I am so nervous. PO said that someone had sent a memo to the judge that difficult child did not qualify for the program she had ordered because he is too young so maybe this is what is it about. Or it could be because she rec'd the appeal letter from attny and she is ticked off.

    I am so scared and nervous and can't quit crying and I have to pull myself together. I apreciate any good vibes you could send our way.
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Hugs. Let us know how this goes. I'm praying for you and difficult child that this "sudden" hearing is a turning point....
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    SHhooeee... I just got back- no one was there except me and PO. The judge said she called the hearing because of the memo she rec'd saying difficult child was too young for what she ordered so she would have to think of a different punishment and she had hoped everyone (meaning the attny's and GAL) could have made it to this hearing. (HUH? No notice and no time to prepare??)

    Anyway, I came home and played phone tag with defense attny until we talked and discussed a proposed punishment. She'll of course, give more than what we asked for so we asked for another 3 weeks in detention (total 30 days), one mo. on monitored house arrest, one year probation and 100 hours of community service (if some or all can be done at school), continue pursuing intensive outpatient therapy, and instead of commitment to state dept of corrections being the suspended sentence, have this program that he's too young for now be the suspended sentence. (By the time his case is reheard next year, he would be old enough to go to it.) GEEZ- that sounds like a lot to me, but they might just want to see him do more time.
  13. I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this with your difficult child. You are being a great mom and being as supportive as you can.

    I hope that the judge goes for what you and the defense attorney are proposing.

    Best of luck and BIG HUGS!

  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lordy I hate it when they pull those surprise hearings.

    They sure seem to want to come down hard on him. Have you looked up the Juvenile Sentencing guidelines to see what should happen to him for what he has been convicted of?
  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The GAL had told me before that the most allowed is 1 mo in detention for each charge (it has to do with his age and non-violent acts I think)- unless he was turned over to state dept., then I don't know. Of course, I would prefer he not be held that long so that we can continue therapy. (If he is held longer than a few weeks they would send him to a different county where there is a regional dention center).

    I still think the judge already has, and has had, something in mind because I was assured that this judge knew the age limit for that program when she ordered it and the defense attny had just asked her to consider that difficult child was only 13yo right before she sentenced him.

    I just spoke with the defense attn's secretary and he can't be available for court until next Thurs. or the following Mon. Now I have to wait and see if this suits the judge. At least I have something to tell difficult child at visitation tonight.