preventative measures anyone?



Ok, been reading many posts in this forum. I am terrified. So many of the posts are familiar.,,,Gifted, refusal for school work, ODD - can't even get into that. Each school year he says he'll do better next year. First he says next quarter, then it turns into next year. Doesn't do his work, but can ace the tests. First year of middle school (age 10) was involved with a group of kids and did get caught with pot. He admitted to smoking it, but drug test came back clean. Had him drug tested periodically for a year..all came back clean. (I never told him the first test was clean, since he admitted to it)

I am terrified about the coming years. Seems as if 8th or 9th grade is a popular grade. difficult child will be going into 8th grade next fall. For those of you who have managed through these years, with drug/alcohol, school defiance, if you could go back, is there some one thing that sticks out in your mind? Is there something that could of alerted you sooner?

It just seems too familiar from early on up to the age of my difficult child. I am trying to educate myself with the different types of drugs, slang out there so i will know a little bit. I see my son in so many of your stories, I also see the potential for him to make the bad choices.
I thought the daily battles were tough. Looks like the past ten years are only the beginning.

this board is a wealth of knowledge.
First of all, I get where you are coming from. Copper went into 8th grade in '01, which is not that long ago, but long enough ago that drugs did not seem to be as much of an issue. Each year it gets to be a bigger and bigger problem.

Now, worrying about it is borrowing trouble. That is spending your energy unwisely. But, that fact that you wish to be proactive and learn what you can is very wise.

There are drug programs that are held through the health and police departments, that are very informative. There are websites that are more convenient that show pictures and descriptions of drugs.

The most important thing is to talk about it with your son. It sounds corny. My daughter rolled her eyes so hard I thought they would pop right out of her head. But I talked to her about it anyways. I will not say she is perfect, far from. She never tried a drug till senior year, and then it was only pot. She's been out of school a year and still only does pot, and only occasionally.

I maintain that you need to get yourself some help. It seems to me that you are not very comfortable talking to your son about anything. You need to feel in charge, and you seem very depressed. You need to be able to be boss of his computer time (I read your myspace question) and be able to handle things if he does get into trouble with drugs. You've come so very far, but you need to take care of you. If you don't, you will never be able to take care of him.


New Member
My son was caught drinking at age 14. I gave him the riot act. I had a member from our church that was also a detective talk to him. I thought it was a one time experiment and that we handled it, I was wrong.

I wish I had taken better care of my self emotionally, so I could have stood stronger against my son's actions. Dealing with ODD and drug use wears you down to nothing. The entire family can come undone very quickly and then you are at a loss for what to do next.

Every situation is unique. There is not a path anyone can tell you to take that will make you or your son not go thru the things you have read here.

This board is a wonderful place...You can get advice from others that have been there done that. You can laugh and you can cry.

We are all here searching for answers and strength to make it in this journey. Some are just beginning and some are full with a wealth of wisdom, you can learn something from them all.

I did every possible intervention I could find to change my son. My son is who he is and nothing I did kept him from continuing to make his own choices and live the lifestyle he chose. I just threw little roadblocks in his path but he always found a way around them.

The best advice I could ever give you ~~

Take the time to take care of yourself!!


Psycho Gorilla Dad
I can only ditto what was said earlier. To say that we were blindsided by our son's problems is an underatatement. Up to that point, he'd been an outstanding athlete, did fairly well in school, had lots of good friends, and had great relationships with both of us.

But when things went south, they went in a hurry, and with no warning.

What others have said about taking care of yourself is probably the best advice I can offer as well. Nothing wife or I have done has changed McWeedy one single whit in either direction (good or bad). The only thing that HAS changed is that neither wife or I are completely incapacitated by anxiety, fear, and worry any more. That was the worst thing - getting hit sideways in the head, not seeing it coming, that's pretty much the norm. However, had I been a bit more prepared for it emotionally, it wouldn't have taken such a toll on me and my wife.....

And it would have helped me reach the point of increased clarity and acceptance much sooner. Until you reach that point, until you stop being ruled by your emotions and fears, you are the complete and utter hostage of your child's worst whims.

If this is something you're worried about, there's nothing you can really do to stop it from happening (I found out how true that is just in the last few days). If it's something you're worried about, though, then start taking measures that will help you weather the storm you seem to think is coming.

How much or how little you can "control" or "address" anything that might happen with your child remains to be seen, But, as you said, there's a wealth of knowledge here. Use it. Look at your worst fears, work with the good CD'ers here, and have a "just in case" gameplan for how YOU will handle yourself if those fears are realized.

That's the best I have to offer. Hope it helps.



New Member
Just try and keep the lines of communication open with him. Take care of yourself and if you see things going a direction you aren't happy with, try and get on top of it before it gets to far. Glad you started the drug testing early. Just let him know it's totally unacceptable and that you always expect it to come back negative

We have all done our best on this board to prevent our kids from heading in the wrong direction, only to figure out that sometimes there is nothing we can do but hope and pray. One of the members here, DDD, and I met on an adhd board many years back with the same fears you are faceing now, only to meet up years later on this board. You will find great support here. I'm glad you found us.


Active Member
The hardest part for me is the balancing act between being the parent and being "mommy".

Us boomers received so much psychobabble parent squawk that there's a whole entitlement generation out there.

My suggestion is to have your difficult child work for everything. Be held responsible for all actions. Give the minimum and work for the rest. The struggle builds character. Don't be afraid to parent either. It's ok for your difficult child to "hate" you.


Active Member
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">My son is who he is and nothing I did kept him from continuing to make his own choices and live the lifestyle he chose. I just threw little roadblocks in his path but he always found a way around them.


he was expelled in both 8th and 9th grade. I put him in a small private christian school in 10th and he got all A's and excelled. he refused to return there in 11th and that was the end of his public education. he finished high school in reform school.

I would have liked to try the small christian school earlier, I think it may have helped...then again...who knows?
I have to say I know you are worried.

ant lives on his own in an apartment he pays for for the first time ever. he cooks, is a good dad to his son when he visits. he has his own phone and is learning to keep up with his fines. he works daily. having a borderline genius IQ didnt make him choose a better path. having a full paid college scholarship including room,board and books didnt work either. he has 12 credits and will never go back to school I dont think. But, he can support himself. he is drug free, but an alcoholic.

I have to also say you will survive no matter what. you are here and being educated and made aware. you will have our support as you go thru if you choose. one day they all grow up.


difficult child 1 will be in grade 11 this year but he also has learning disabilities in addition to his ADHD & ODD. He is on a VERY short leash. I search his room about once a month, his backpack about every other week. Plans have to be made with friends at least a day in advance & cleared with us. He does not have a cell phone (why would he need it?), does not drive & I have no problem with the MEAN MOM label. Because he has no impulse control & no motivation to do more than the bare minimum he still gets lots of structure & supervision.

Previous suggestions are good, I would include communicate with the teachers, confirm with friends' parents activities that difficult child will go to & have him EARN everything.

As an "old fogie" & HS teacher I see way to many kids that expect everything to be handed to them & feel put out when they have to do a little bit of work.

I'll get off my soapbox now. Sorry for the rant.



Well-Known Member
There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting educated. on the other hand,
most of us thought we were educated.......until the bottom dropped out and our loving, seemingly wonderful kids decided to
choose the wrong path, with full intellectural knowledge that the
path was WRONG!

Some of us believe that if you watch like a hawk you can keep your difficult child from opting for the wrong path. Some of us don't feel
that way. To me, personally, the most reassuring part is that I
know that I cared every single solitary day and did my best. It
was, sadly, not enough. DDD


Psycho Gorilla Dad
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Some of us believe that if you watch like a hawk you can keep your difficult child from opting for the wrong path. Some of us don't feel that way. To me, personally, the most reassuring part is that I know that I cared every single solitary day and did my best. It was, sadly, not enough.</div></div>

To that, I can only say amen. On a personal note, my opinion is that watching like a hawk has the same affect on my teen that overuse of antibacterial soap does on bacteria - it only makes them stronger, more resistant, harder to deal with, and much more resourceful. Now I deal with rewards and consequences. It's the only thing that even halfway works.

Was it Maya Angelou who said "We did the best with what we knew. When we knew more, we did better...."