Struggling with almost 18 yr old

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by smurfegurl2, May 21, 2012.

  1. smurfegurl2

    smurfegurl2 New Member

    My son is driving me crazy! He is about to fail 10th grade for the second time and says he has given up. He goes to school but does no work. At one point the counselor and teachers set it up so we paid for after school classes that would have him caught up to graduate on time...he was excited for awhile then that disappeared and so did he. He was diagnosed with ADD around 9 and he currently takes Adderal regular only during school. He has had problems with school since 7th grade. Always the same thing...waiting until the end of the reporting period to do anything and just barely passing. He is quite the con man so he is usually able to con his way thru many thing but I think this is catching up with him. I know that he started smoking weed a little over a year ago and it seems sporadic. Generally he is very respectful expecially to other people. He helps with his little sisters and used to be good about getting his chores done except his room. He stays up all night on World of Warcraft (been a night owl since he was born) then wants to sleep the moment he gets home from school. the other night he decided to "joy ride" with my car while I was at work. When i got home a little after midnight and called him he strolled in an hour later saying he just wanted to get out. I smacked him. There was little conversation. He left that night but came back the next day. The two weeks prior we've been having these conversations about life, his future, his actions...just things in general...all for nothing. I don't know what to do. I've taken everything before. Didn't help. I'm lost.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi I just woke and peeked on the board. Wanted to welcome you and I promise to check in better tomorrow. There will be many here who can relate.

    For now, my questions include: has he ever tried a different medication than adderal { do you think it works, does he really take it} and do you really believe the pot smoking is minor? That kind of sleep pattern I'd worry in and of itself could cause adhd symptoms and for a kid with adhd it has to make things worse. Can you take the games away at night. (Game curfew )? Has he had a recent neuropsychologist evaluation for all possible learning and developmental and/or mental health issues?

    Just helps to know where things are so we can share what we have tried or experienced, but of course share what you are comfortable sharing.

    In any event pls. know you are not alone. Many others here can relate very much to your situation. I'm sure they'll be along too! Glad you found the CD board. It has been a life saver for me. Hope you find some comfort as well.
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome. You may want to post over on the Parent Emeritus board because we have more parents with kids over 18 and you will probably get more answers there. Most of the folks who are on that board dont come over to this board often. Feel free to post in general since he isnt quite 18 but you might get more ideas there.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    I agree about going to parent Emeritus. I go there too. My difficult child is eighteen.

    I would gently suggest that perhaps your son is more involved in drugs than you think. I had a child who did drugs and we also thought it was just pot. Although we were worried, the pot alone didn't scare us, although we tried all we could to get her to stop. Now that she has quit drug using, she has told us all about her nighttime drug use. She used to be up all night too and want to sleep during the day. H owever, she was up all night because she would pop pills and sneak out at all hours while we were asleep. The drugs kept her awake, but then daytime came, she crashed, she was tired.

    One of the most coveted street drugs is Adderrall. My daughter and her friends would crush ADHD drugs (especially Adderrall) into a pillcrusher and snort it with or without other drugs, such as cocaine. She also took a lot of speed and ADHD drugs were targeted. Not saying he is using them that way, but it's possible. You can also buy them on the street.

    Anytime a teen is up all night, asleep all day, this should be a concern. It would also explain why grades are falling. Even pot alone can cause apathy.

    Hope this helped a little and hugs to me, I k now how hard this is! Check on Parent Emeritus. All our k ids over there are 18 and older. However, although my son is 18, he is graduating this year so he is still in high school for a few more weeks. I think you'd get more input over there too.
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member


    I would be most concerned about his sleep pattern (that can easily cause a lot of problems alone) and also WoW. While enjoyable game, I'm sure, it is also the one that I have heard is very addictive. Behavioural addictions often cause very similar problems than drugs and other chemical addictions. And can be just as tough to break. In behavioural addiction the addict can use so much time and energy to doing and thinking their addiction that there is very little time or effort left to other things.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    He's been struggling with school since grade 7 - which means, he was likely struggling before that but not so obvious.
    ADD/ADHD is a tricky diagnosis... IF it is accurate, then chances are really high that he is more than "just" ADD. It's actually more rare for ADD to stand alone, than it is to have co-morbid problems. And the co-morbid problems can really mess up school for a kid. And, yes, many of them "fly under the radar" until somewhere between grades 4 and 8... they push back, weasel their way around, get a sympathetic teacher who inadvertently accommodates real problems without either teacher or kid acknowledging the problem (this really happens with writing problems... and a teacher who re-tests with oral exams).

    But... by the time you get to this age, and possibly add drugs to the mix, it's not so clear how to solve the problem...
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    But drug use often starts in 7th grade (kids are 12/13).

    If he was addicted to a game it would be more than just at night. Of course, he could have multiple addictions, but I'd never jump over possible drug abuse. One good method, although hardly foolproof, is to spring a surprise drug test on the child. However, the child's response alone could be very telling!! I wish we'd had them back when my daughter was using drugs and claiming it was only "pot once in a long while." Haha! Sneaky teens :)
  8. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Drug abuse is of course always a possibility and the biggest concern especially if a teen changes quickly. But one still has to remember that a kid trying pot does not yet make a drug addiction. Of course drug using is the thing teens try to hide from parents and if the kid gets caught it is usually not the first time. But rates of kids trying pot are nowadays so high that vast majority of kids who have experiment are not having drug problem and if parents get too gung-ho in trying to only catch their teens of drug using they may miss that the real problem is somewhere else.

    Just a sleep pattern smurfegurl2 described is a problem it is own and can imply, or even be a cause of depression. Serious problem on it's own right. Behavioural addictions also don't often take all addict's time. People with for example sex addictions often are able to work or go to school and sleep. They use a lot of time to their addiction and they think about it even they are doing something else (like being at school) but they are not only doing their addictive behaviour all the time. While for example my son was compulsively gambling, he did go to school (well as much he ever did), kept his grade in the acceptable level, was doing his sport around 30 hours a week (it did suffer though, he wasn't quite as good as usually), was dating and was doing some family activities. But he didn't think much else than gambling and he did use his nights to it, at day time he had too much else he just had to do, so he seldom gambled during day time. He didn't sleep a lot, though, expect at school during his classes (but that wasn't anything new, if he is bored, he tends to fall asleep...)

    I'm of course not saying that WoW is the main problem with Sumrfegurl's son. And asking him to agree to drug testing is a good idea. I was just bringing up one thing that could be part of the problem. WoW is time consuming and engrossing game. Many use a lot of their time to it. Many use too much and many are addicted. It can intervene with other activities. It can also be an escape, if life feels too hard and person has difficult time to get things done (as often happens in depression.)
  9. smurfegurl2

    smurfegurl2 New Member

    Thanks everyone for your responses. I have thought about other learning disabilities/disorders and discussed with him that we need him seeing a counselor and getting tested. My family has a million and one psychiatric issues so it's not a stretch. I can see depression...he was a great basketball player then his younger brother (that wasn't as naturally talented) started playing, worked hard (the oldest stopped working at it) and now has a scholarship at a private HS for basketball. People frequently compare him to his younger brother and it sucks but we've discussed how to handle/move past it. I was racking my brain last night looking for things (in addition to job corps) and ran across bipolarism in children. While I didn't have much time to research it, he has always had terrible sleep patterns, has always been hypersexual (even for being a cute kid) and used to swear he saw ghosts in one of our old houses. All he can tell me right now is he hates working for something and still failing. As a parent I know that you can't put forth effort only at the end of the race and always succeed but since this has worked for him for so long, he can't get past it. He lies ALL THE TIME, even when he knows I know the truth. Conversation "me:I'm going to call the school tomorrow and have them send me your report card. Him: ok, Tomorrow is did you get a report card him: yes. me: is this a real report card, and remember I have told y'all many times, if I ask a question I probably already know the answer he pulls out a non failing report card...then i pull out the real one. He just shrugs. Last week he told his teacher he couldn't do afternoon classes because i was being discharged from the military for medical reasons and he had to help with his siblings. Teacher said well let me talk to mom...tells teacher I am in Maryland so he will talk to me and tell me to call. That very night he gets home (I have already spoken with the teacher but she didn't mention the Maryland part until later) and I ask him what this is about me being discharged and he has to help at home. He says while I was away earlier that month he did have to help but the other medical stuff just came up, he never related the two. and oh yeah mom for some reason I thought you were still in maryland when i was talking to her????

    I hate not knowing what to do to get thru to him/understand him/heal him...whatever. It sucks. I'll check out the other board as well but please do continue with your advice because I have no idea where to go or where to look. I don't want to lose my son.