My 17 year old son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Jude1969, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Jude1969

    Jude1969 New Member

    I am a new member. I have a 17 year old son with ADHD. Doctors have told my wife that he has Asperger’s. The last 6 years or so has been a real struggle. He is defiant about doing anything he is asked. He spends most of his time in front of his computer. He won’t go to bed when he's told and will get physical if my wife or I try and take his computer away. He had a laptop but bought himself a easy child with money her earned working over the summer. Our lives are a mess. We have 4 other boys ranging in ages 15 down to 3. It's not all my 17 year olds fault, but a good percentage is caused by his behavior.
    He's been to counseling and family counseling, but nothing works. I think he should go to school that can work with him. My wife, a S.P.E.D. teacher, says otherwise. My wife and I have a different philosophy on parenting. So far it's been all her way. My 15 year old is defiant, but will for the most part do as he is told. My 13 year old is a good kid who is active and (seems) happy. The same for my 8 year old. The 3 year old sees how things work in the house and I'm afraid will turn into his oldest brother.
    My 17 year old is extremely smart. He is wasting his life away. As a junior in High School, he skips school and never does his homework. Yet he still passes on to the next grade.
    I feel like my family is beyond dysfunctional and I feel like I need to move out to keep my sanity.
    Am I a quitter? Every day is a nightmare. We lost our house over a year ago and live in a rental house paying more for rent than we were paying for a mortgage.
    I've tried counseling and stopped going when the family didn't want to keep going to family counseling.
    Does anyone have advice? I was a good father once. But I'm now a complete failure just going thru the motions.
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there and welcome to the board. We are understanding of this type of behavior because most of us have lived it.

    I have a few questions to ask to guide us in giving good, solid support.

    How were his very early years? Easy? Chaotic? Did he have many caregivers when he was very young?

    Did he reach his milestones on time? Any meltdowns, tantrums, violence from toddlerhood to now? Do you feel he is dangerous?

    How are his social skills? Does he know how to maintain a friendship with his same age peers?

    It does sound like he has Aspie traits. It is very common for Aspies to crave the computer. Most Aspies have limited interests and obsess over them and often it is computers/gaming. This is part of the spectrum. I don't think that it can be changed. He may always crave the computer, but he can expand his interests some too. This takes time.

    At seventeen years old, your son is almost considered a legal adult. You can try to parent him. My own experience with a child who got into drugs was that no matter how we tried to parent her, she resisted all that we said at that age and had to leave the house at eighteen and did not use her own high intelligence until she was on her own and had quit taking drugs and was maturing. She is doing well now, but she really didn't give high school much of an effort. Do you feel your son is experimenting with recreational drugs?

    You made a large family. Do you really feel you can walk out on everyone? I understand how hard it can be, but is leaving the answer? As for your house, renter here too. The housing market went kaput. It was NOT your fault or anyone's fault. It just happened. I know it seems like when it rains it pours. It is ok to rent. Maybe you need to tell yourself that your self-worth does not depend on owning a house or any other material things. That won't make you happy. What is inside of you determines that.

    Sounds like you have a lot going on in your family. Is it possible to get everyone in the gang together for family counseling in my opinion it will work better if Dad Mom and all of the kids are at least working toward the same goal. It will continue to be crazy until you and Mom are on the same page. Try the counseling a second time and this time try to get everyone to commit to it. Maybe your seventeen year old will refuse to participate. But the rest of the kids will still be helped. Seventeen is able to be shown the door at eighteen if he is that big an issue.

    I am really sorry for your hurting daddy heart. It is hard to watch our bright kids throw it away. But some kids mature later and start to get their lives together at older ages.

    You are not a failure. You just have your hands full!!!!

    Hope to hear more of what is going on and hang in there. You need to be good to yourself. You matter. If you aren't good to yourself, you won't be good for anyone else either and your mental and physical health could deteriorate.