Estranged Children and Christmas ~

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Im a Believer, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    I am seeking advice from all you experienced tough love parents ~

    My #3 difficult child (21 year old son) recently left home (at our request) for drug use in our home and violent behaviour.

    He has not contacted me in a few months ~

    My oldest daugher ( #2) knows where he is and I am wondering if I acknowledge him for Christmas.

    I know - I know ~ but realize I am a recovering co-dependent! LOL

    Do I even send a card???

    TIA ~ Judy
  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Did your daughter say how he was doing? Is he trying to quit the drug use or is he enjoying his "freedom?" If he's still happy with the things as they are, I'd leave it at a card. Just because you were forced to make him leave doesn't mean you don't love him and it doesn't hurt for him to know that. If he's trying to change, I'd invite him over for Christmas with the proviso being no drugs either before or while at your home.

    Being without our kids during the holidays is so painful. It is a time for families and being forced to leave our kids out of this time is so very, very hard. HUGS
  3. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    I'm not sure how he is.

    My daugher says he is doing well but #4 son recently went to live with him and came back after two days saying it was a mistake to leave and that #3 wasn't a good influence.

    I think the card is a safe way to go.

    Money or gifts (returned) could be used for drugs.

    #3 son has ALOT of "stuff" to work thru from an abused childhood with Bio Dad.

    All my kids say #3 is my favorite - I always had to protect him from his dad and I can't protect him anymore - the protection now is from himself.

    It is hard but I want to do want what is best for him - I try to remind myself of that ~ Sometimes moment by moment.

    Thank for the input ~ Judy
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If you do want to do a gift, food can not be returned. Maybe a small individual fruit basket or an individual meat and cheese set?
  5. judi

    judi Active Member

    Our son hasn't had contact with us in almost one year except for a 15 minute conversation in June of this year. I am unsure where he is living so obviously am not doing anything. If I knew where he lived, I would send a gas card and a grocery store card, but no cash.
  6. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    If it were me, I think I would extend a 'gift' of some sort to him. It might include dinner @ your home (no drugs as meowbunny suggested). Might be a plate of homemade cookies with a nice card. I like the fruit basket idea.

    The thing is to keep the door open - without enabling his behaviors. Our kids need to know that we will never stop loving them - but neither will we continue to provide for their destructive lifestyles.

    in my humble opinion.
  7. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    WOW Guys!! Thanks for all the Great ideas!

    My husband thinks we should do nothing but as a Mom and gifts are my love language I feel led to do something ~

    Everyone have a WONDERFUL DAY!!

  8. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I wouldn't go the gift card route. They can be sold. If you have a local store that delivers food, maybe place an order of food and have it delivered to him. Since you're not sure if he's still using, I'd not doing invites or even go see him. I'd stick with the card and a loving note and some sort of food gift. Don't go overboard because even food can be returned to the store.

    I know it will be hard, but do have a good Christmas with the rest of your family. Give them the love you can't show #3 son at this time. Hopefully, he'll get tired of his life and want to change in the near future.
  9. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    A card and a note, +/- a delivered food basket, would be nice. But I second MB's suggestion - give your love and attention to the other kids and your husband this Christmas.
  10. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I agree with MB and Katya, a card with a loving note, a small gift of food, no direct contact or a visit. And lavish your love and attention on your other kids and husband.

    One other thought...
    Do not feel guilty if you find yourself enjoying Christmas more without your difficult child there. Regardless of how much we love them, our difficult children bring lots of angst with them and sometimes it's a great relief not to have to deal with it. Let yourself relax and enjoy it. You and your family deserve to.

  11. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I'm remembering back when Rob was not doing what he should have been doing. During those times he got only necessities. A card. Socks. Underwear. Food. Sometimes one, sometimes all. The difference is that we never lost contact altogether like you seem to have.

    I'm a tough old bird. Your difficult child has not reached out at all to try to maintain any kind of relationship with you, and it sounds like he is not doing the right thing for himself either, so at MOST, I'd send a card. Tell him you love him in the card. No lectures. You raised him so you know he knows what he has to do.

    This is a good opportunity for him to learn to miss you and his family. Hopefully, if he misses you enough and he cares about himself enough, he will take a step in the right direction.

    It's really wonderful to get excited about those tiny baby steps. Don't rob him of the pride he'll feel when he makes them or the joy you'll feel applauding his efforts.

  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I would go no further than a card. This year. I would say nothing more than "Merry Christmas".

    If I didn't hear from him again, I would give him exactly what I got from him for birthdays, holidays, etc. Nothing for nothing. A card for a card. A call for a call. A gift for a gift.
  13. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    What is so neat about "talking" to all of you is that you validate my initial thoughts.

    Like any situation - when we are in the midst of it - we do not see it as others do and others can and usually see it more clearly than we do.

    My son has not contacted me although he talks to some of his brothers and one sister.

    I will send a card though ~

    I want to remind him I am always here when and if he decides to "grow up".

    If you look in any version of the Bible the prodigal son came home "when he came to his senses".

    I pray my son finds his ~

    Thanks to you all for your encouragement ~

  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I know you are new, so you don't know me. The longtimers will know why this strikes a chord with me. But funny enough, this is the one Bible story that intrigued me in school, and I remember going home and telling it to my mother. I wonder if she remembers...
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I am very frustrated with my adopted son from Hong Kong who I haven't heard from in three years (and I'm not even sure why), but I sent him a card with a short "love you always" and left it at that. I do not expect to hear from him nor was that my intention. That's the way I'd go.
  16. judi

    judi Active Member

    We just realized that our son has moved and we don't have a clue where! His phone has been disconnected for awhile now. We saw him for 15 minutes in June and it was very cordial with him hugging me and telling me he loved me.

    husband and I are heartbroken! Christmas is just soo hard!
  17. Im a Believer

    Im a Believer New Member

    I'm so sorry Judi ~ Sending hugs your way ~
  18. judi

    judi Active Member

    Thank you.