16 yr old Difficult Child has been in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for 3 1/2 years now due to out-of-control behavior. 3 months ago wrote a "thoughtful" letter letting me know that he does not want to be my son anymore, that I am not the Mom for him, doesn't want me to tell him "I love you," isn't going to be part of the family anymore . . . He hasn't spoken to me since he wrote that letter. Also has not acknowledged me/pretended to ignore me the several times I have been in meetings the past few months, with him & Probation Officer & in his criminal court hearings. Thanks to this list, I have been able to keep some perspective on this. Over the past year, I have been able to recognize that he has been in a cycle with me where he will participate in a relationship with me, attend family therapy, come home for weekend visits, etc. Then after some big event that goes pretty well (camping trip, birthday, Christmas) he will totally turn on me, refuses to attend family therapy, curses at me when we are in a meeting, say at school or with Probation Officer. Since his letter 3 months ago, I have felt surprisingly relieved that I do not have to participate in this unhealthy pattern anymore. Tonight, out of the blue, he called to "check in." Chatted about school & events happening in his birth family. I tried to stay neutral. He asked if he could have an "Incentive Program" between me & him. Which usually means at his Residential Treatment Center (RTC) that he earns or gets a reward for behaving in a way that most people would consider normal. I didn't even want to go there and brushed past his question. I feel like I didn't honestly communicate with him, but that I am done being Sugar Mom, who rewards him with "prizes" in order for him to act normally in our relationship. Do any of you have any hints of how to discuss this? In a way that would be more neutral than pushing him away?