Hi! I'm newly registered here though I have lurked here some time before and learned a lot. I haven't registered before, because I have felt I would be whining about too little. I live outside of North America and English is not my first (or second) language but try to bear with me. While telling our situation I have to be somewhat vague in some details due to privacy reasons, but if needed I will try to elaborate in the meaningful way. I'm sorry this is very long. My difficult child is my oldest child, 18 year-old, turning 19 later this year, son, who has been difficult all his life. First he was colicky and cried and cried four months non-stop. After that, he fell ill and needed hospital stays. And even after that, he was never quite like other kids. I don't know how much was about my son and how much was dysfunctional family situation (my husband is not a biological father and that has been the huge problem over the years even though he at that time thought he could love the baby like his own. He haven't.) But whatever the reasons are, my son has never fit in, anywhere. He was alone and in trouble in kindergarten, was bullied and bullied others at school, played truant, has always had very difficult time making friends, doesn't fit in with peers, is bad in teams and comes off as an arrogant a**hole to most. Has always tries to befriend and impress the wrong people or the right people with the totally wrong methods. His social skills are weak. But he was always borderline case. Yeah, there were many problems but he had also always a lot going for him. And that more or less prevented any interventions. He is gifted in many different ways. Academics are piece of cake for him (if he ever gets to them), he knows his manners when he wants to and the situation is not too complex, he is very talented athlete and can work hard when motivated etc. When he was younger he was evaluated few times, but nothing concrete came up. He has probably ADHD, but it doesn't hinder him enough to get a diagnose here (he would probably had gotten one in the USA before he was 4, but it's different where we live), he has more asperger traits than average person, but they are not hindering enough for diagnose. He definitely has some sensory issues, but they are not hindering him enough for diagnose. There may be some weird learning differences but they certainly are not hindering him etc. You get the drill. Family dynamics certainly play the part. We also have a younger son, who really is the perfect child in every way (I first thought easy child meant 'political correct' child, my younger one is that too) and whom their dad loves unconditionally and is very involved and close with. The easy child is smart, good-looking, athletic, socially awesome, very popular with peers and adults in his life and doing very well everywhere. It's difficult for our oldest to be compared to his little brother. Luckily they still do come along with each other. But partial treatment from their dad has left some noticeable scars to our older one even though my husband has tried more or less enthusiastically to be fairer and be involved also with the oldest. And I have overcompensated and spoiled the difficult child and that shows. We have lacked consistent discipline on him and that also shows. So we got a challenging kid and did an 'how to screw a kid for life in five easy steps' to the tee. No wonder we and others have problems with him now. As I said he is very talented athlete and currently in the transition from the junior level to the pro level. Current mess started few years ago, when our son found gambling. Poker etc. was very cool thing for him and his friends. Our son got hooked. After some flirting with it, he managed to make himself a serious gambling addict in few short months. That was around two years ago. Because of the addiction he did some disgusting things and broke the code of his team in the way, that let them no other option than kick him out about a year ago, when he got caught. They were good with it, kept the reasons and that he was asked to leave out of public, confronted him, made him apologize and plan was made for how he could make amends (and that plan has also been followed.) He was picked up by the other team (that were informed about the problems) and he moved out of home to the other town on his own. The new team does support him in many ways and provides him services to deal with his issues. They have been very good to him and this year away from home has done a lot of good for him. First we helped him financially (but also the team paid him a roof over his head and some food and pocket money), but currently he is mostly self-sufficient because of the sport. We give him gifts at times to help, though. He still has problems. In the new town on the junior team he is in the situation there almost no one on the team even talks to him. Partly due to his current behaviour and partly due to his past behaviour. Things are little better in the pro-team that he is most with currently. But he certainly is not a well liked team mate. He also lies easily (and has been in huge troubles with his coaches because of that), can behave sulky and entitled, can be a jerk to others and still comes off too arrogant, especially when scared. Good thing is, that he is very focused now. He really wants to see, how far he could get with the sport and works hard and is much more humble about it than before. He has worked hard and has come a long way in the year and is doing better than we dared to even hope for. He has matured a lot but is still immature to his age. He has also found a girlfriend with whom he currently lives with. The girl seems nice and smart and their relationship appropriate considering their age and life situation. Our most pressing problem with him right now is how to handle his money issues. After him getting caught of gambling and things he did because of it, we have kept tight rains on his finances. We handle his money, pay rent and bills and give him little money for food and necessities for a week at the time. He agreed to this and with other steps it has made it almost impossible for him to gamble. He has had few small slips, but he has mostly been clean for the last year. And he does want to be clean and understands he has a huge problem that could destroy his future and is working with the issue. But us having control over his finances has been a constant battlefield and very taxing for me. Now he wants to give a control to his girlfriend. We find that to be a very bad idea for many reasons, but he doesn't listen. His team is not thrilled about the idea either. My son still really needs someone to do it and he admits it himself, but he doesn't want it to be us. I don't want it to be us either but even less I want it to be the girlfriend. Maybe someone from the team could take a task (and it could be easier to our son also), but that would give them even more power over him and I'm not sure if that is in my son's best interest. They have been good to him, but his value for them is still in the fact, that they hope to get the same service from him in one fourth or third of the price than they would have to pay someone else. He is young and stupid and I should be the one who always do have his back. But I'm tired of constant drama. About his schooling I don't even want to start at. His grades are excellent thanks to local politic of grading the outcome, not the work. His work... well... if he has finished his homework on time ever, I don't know about it. It has been twelve years of constant fight to get him to school, get him to stay there, behave, do his work etc. And if he does something he certainly is not doing it right. Luckily there has never been the exam he has not been able to ace. Typical example was two years ago. He was to analyse some Charles Baudelaire's poetry. He did analyse porn films and compared them to the poems and claimed they are essentially the same in many different levels. That probably tells everything you need to know about his attitude towards school and his teachers. He is shrewd, but also immature, smug and petulant. And he still has little bit of school left to our, his teachers and his coaches dismay (most serious athletes and musicians etc. here take an extra year to finish the school and schools are very accommodating with their timetables.) I'm sorry I ranted like this and wrote this huge whiny post. But I really can't talk about these things in real life to anyone. We don't want these things to come and bite our son's butt in future. Me and my husband only fight over our son, my in-laws only blame me about all this etc. And after spending the evening trying to explain to my idiot child, why it's not a good idea to give the reigns of your finances to someone whom you have known less than the year ("even though you will be together rest of your life, I know that, honey") is not a smart move. Argh!