First Post Here, Seeking Opinions.

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by Trpl, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Trpl

    Trpl New Member

    My difficult child will be 17 in 19 days. Through a rough beginning to my marriage he came to live with close friends of the family for the last 3 years. Things were rocky in the beginning of him living there, pushing boundaries, then leveled out. However, this last year he has been heading downhill fast. He stole the car of the guardians he is living with without a licence or insurance, he's been busted smoking pot, his grades dropped from a C avg. to F's, he was almost kicked out of ROTC, he's smoking cigarettes & drinking and stealing those items to use them. The drinking and smoking just came out a few days ago. At this point I'm at a crossroad where I feel like this is my last chance to so something before he's 18 and responsible for his own well being legally. There is a program very close to me that puts him in a "boot camp" environment for 5 1/2 months while getting him his GED and teaching him job skills, interviewing skills, and resume writing skills. Then monitors him for a year after to help him stay on track.

    So, my question is: Is that too drastic? Or should I just let the guardians deal with it how they see fit?
  2. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    To be perfectly honest, it works better if you get the kid away from the peers he's using with. 5 1/2 months sounds like a good period of time and the program sounds wonderful because it also has some other really important things built into it. Personally, I would do it.

    Others with much more experience with this will be along to offer their wisdom. That's one of the great things about this forum. Welcome to our little corner of the world. It really is a wonderful place.
  3. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Do you have a working relationship with the guardians? It seems like it could be a bit difficult for you to intervene after three years unless you all work in unison. Usually I offer opinions with-o much hesitation but in this case I'm hesitant. Frankly I have raised a teen who followed that same path. I did everything I could (including three programs) to get him back to his easy child life, friends and behaviors. The two of us were, and are, tight as ticks and at the beginning I really never doubted that he would find success. I am sorry you are facing this path. Hugs DDD
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Can't hurt. There is also no guarantee that it will help once he gets out. It's really up to our k ids whether they stop using drugs. I found out through The School of Hard Knocks that there is NOTHING we can to do force our kids to stop using drugs if they don't want to stop. They will do it anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if it even goes on at that boot camp.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. It is NOT easy.
  5. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    17 is a tough age for boys. Sometimes they go through a rough patch, and then straighten out on their own. Many times, it gets worse. I agree with DDD that you should certainly consult with the guardians on this rather than making a unilateral decision, unless of course, the guardians are encouraging or aiding this behavior. I don't see how a program like this can hurt: like TeDo says, it takes them out of the peer group for several months, so I think it's worth a shot. No guarantees, naturally, but if you go in with your eyes open, you'll know what to look for when he comes back after 5 1/2 months.
  6. Trpl

    Trpl New Member

    Thank you for all your input. It's very appreciated.

    I used to have a pretty close relationship with the guardians, over the last year things have become distant, in my humble opinion because I seem to be taking this behavior more seriously than they are. To them, he's just being a teenager. And while I understand that his behavior is mild compared to millions out there, my worry is that if I don't try now, he'll just keep getting worse.

    difficult child and I talked about this program a few months ago when he was busted smoking pot. His reply on it was that even without the trouble it would be something he'd be interested in doing. That gives me a feeling that this might be a way to help him that he'd be receptive to and would really try at.

    I just wondered if I'm being overly concerned about all of this, or if I really should step in and try to help him while I still can.
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He isn't quite 17. The program you are looking at is 5.5 months. So... he will then be almost 17 and a half.
    Question: then what?

    Does he go back to the guardian? return to you? what happens if it works, what happens if it doesn't work...
    I think there are some key issues that have to be considered...
  8. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Who would be legally responsible should he do any damage, etc. while a minor? Are the guardians legally responsible - because stealing their car with-o insurance, etc. is no joke. I can't imagine why you're taking this more seriously than they are! If you're going to be held liable, I'd keep him away till age 18 lol.
  9. Trpl

    Trpl New Member

    InsaneCdn: these are things I have considered, hence the doubt of my decision. The program lasts 17 months, 5.5 are on a military base within minutes of my home. After the on base portion, he would come home to live with me for the following year to finish the program. Am I willing to do that? Yes. Am I aware of all that entails? Probably not all of it, but my eyes are open and I'm determined to do all that I can to help him avoid going farther down this road if I can.

    Calamity Jane: there's no legal paperwork stating they are responsible financially. We both have a notarized document signed by all of us stating they are allowed to enroll him in school and are responsible for his daily care. They could legally come after me for any damage he, yea keeping him away wouldn't make much difference except that I could keep a better eye on him and limit his chances of getting into trouble if he comes home,lol