Active Member
I'm struggling & feel like I'm at the end of my rope with my 18 year old son. He just got out of juvenile detention in December, & has already violated his probation by posting that he was drinking in FB. He won't turn himself in, & threatens that he will break into houses if I don't give him money. I'm so afraid he's going to get hurt or killed, & he uses that to manipulate me.


Well-Known Member
I'm sorry no one has responded to you yet, it gets kind of quiet here some evenings.

Sherril, I have no words of wisdom, there are others here who will do much better. But, I do know that your son is an adult. Telling you that he will steal if you don't give you money is the same as stealing from YOU! It's as much threatening you for cash as it would be if a mugger said they'd beat you up. I assume he's living at home and you are paying for everything already! If he commits a crime, it is HIS choice. YOU will not be to blame.

Clearly, juvenile detention didn't teach him a lesson. What was he in there for? The next arrest at 18 would mean an adult jail (at least in the US). I know that may be a horrible thought for you...but he is victimizing you.


Well-Known Member
I'd calm down. He is simply manipulating you. If he tries to break into houses, he will simply be arrested. And you have no control over that. Do not give into that sort of emotional blackmail. He is old enough to work full time and have his own money. He is old enough to join the service and vote. He is a young man now. Is he still living with you? If so, I'd contact his parole officer and tell him about the drinking so he can be restrained from doing even worse damage to himself...sometimes jail is a safer place to be than on the streets at night. If he does not live with you, I'd let him do what he will do and learn from the natural consequences.

If he has your car, take it from him. He can do much less harm if he doesn't have a vehicle to get him easily to parties, plus since he drinks he could kill himself and others. Also, If he does live with you, call the cops if he even talks about violence. You have got to protect yourself and others in the home. You may want to think about him finding alternative living arrangements if he is still home.

Whatever your son does, he is the only one who can control his behavior. He has 100% control over himself. You have 0% control over him, but you do have 100% control over yourself, how you treat yourself and how you react to wayward son. He is past the parenting age, since he is legally an adult (I know lol, but he is). So all you can do is think about what is best for you (you matter as much as he does) and the others you care about and whether it serves yourself and your son best if you give into his threats.

If he uses drugs, which I'm guessing he does, any money you give him will go to drugs.

Be good to yourself and do what you have to do to feel safe and at peace. If that means you have to tell him to leave, with a list of shelters where he can eat and sleep, then that is what you have to do. If you would rather he stay with you, you can still lock up all your valuables and lock the doors if he comes home later than you like (change the locks/no keys for son). A few nights sleeping on the porch won't kill him. And, as I said before, it is probably safest if he not have any access to your vehicles. If he so much as threatens you with his voice, I would call the cops.

My own son had to leave at 19 for intimating me into fearing him. I had a younger child and, even if I hadn't, at the time I was a single mom and was not going to be scared in my own house, my sanctuary. Nobody has a right to abuse you, including your adult son.

Hugs and I'm so sorry you had to join our little community, but we all do understand.
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Active Member
Thank you both for your replies. This is the kind of support I need to remind myself I'm doing the right thing by refusing to give him any more money. I will admit that in the past I've given in to his threats to keep him from getting in to more trouble. But giving in to his demands isn't helping him or me. So happy to have found this site. I just needed the support of others who have been through this!


Well-Known Member


Most of our difficult children have threatened us with their own safety and security. Because they know we care so much about them that we will do almost anything to save them from themselves.

But then comes the time that we realize that we can't.

Only they can do that.

But one thing we can do is not enable them to do wrong. Like bullying us, extorting us, manipulating or threatening us. Or allowing them to live in our homes and being disrespectful to us. Or bringing drugs into our homes.

We can't be there with them when they go out into the world. If the commit crimes or take drugs, it is their decision and they will have to take the consequences.

The best thing that can happen to our children is learning to take responsibility for their actions. Most of them have a hard time with this and blame everyone else, especially us, for their problems. Giving in to his demands only reinforces his belief that you are responsible for his actions.

Hang in there.

Continue posting, as it really helps to know that you are not alone.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Sherril,
Welcome to this site. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I understand the desperation you feel, I too was there more than once.
The good thing is you are aware that he is manipulating you, he is using your love for him against you. Little does he realize the best way to love him is to not give into his demands. Don't let him guilt you into anything. He want to make adult decisions like drinking, then he needs to be an adult and accept the consequences that go along with that.
You have no control over what he chooses to do.
((HUGS)) to you.....


Active Member
Thank you for your support. It's hard, but I know I have to remain firm because giving in is only making his behavior & demands much worse. It really helps to hear from others who have been through this![emoji173]️