summertime nightmare already


New Member
<span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'> </span> My 13 year old difficult child is so defiant it is unbelievable. He truly thinks that, since summer began, he does not have to come home at all and can roam about and stay at friend's homes all summer. He was diagnosed with ODD which truly came out last night. He called me at 9:15 last night after leaving at 8:30 yesterday morning for the day. He told me he was sleeping at a friends house. I said no, that we have a law that he needs to be home at 9:30 and he needed to come home immediately.

It was a shouting match to the bitter end. He did come home, but says he hates me and I'm ruining his life by making him come home every night at 6 for dinner and 9:30 for the night.

He thinks I'm being unreasonable, that most parents of kids his age let them stay away and do not make them come home for dinner or for the night to sleep. He keeps saying he wants to live with his dad because there are no rules, that his dad will let him come and go as he pleases.

I work full time but am home by 3:50 in the afternoon. I do have a girl come to the house to make sure things are ok. the 13 year old fights so much with his younger brother (11 years old). Unfortunately, the 11 year old is much more mature and trustful than the 13 year old.

Am I unreasonable in my rules of coming home? Do all these kids nowadays tell parents what they are doing instead of asking? How do I get my son to cooperate, short of calling the police (which I was about to do last night--put a little scare into him).

I don't want my son to go down the wrong path in life. He hates school, me, his step dad, his brother. He likes his hair and his friends and that is it (or so he says). He said he would rather live in a cardboard box than with me. He says he will cut grass for money and live off this.

He has hurt me beyond words, but I am seriously concerned about his mental state and the fact that he doesn't care. I feel like I will be bailing him out of jail shortly; this feels like the path his life is going.

any help/suggestions are appreciated. We have a therapist, but my difficult child just sits there.


I hear the same thing from my difficult child and have for several years, e.g., "all the kids do it."

As I've pointed out to him previously that's not true -- he doesn't and his friends don't. I no longer explain; I just remind him "we've had this conversation before."

I think part of this may be "puberty" (you have my sympathy).

Actually "all the kids do it" came up yesterday. There's a club that has a "teen" night once a week during the summer and difficult child wants to go. Not a chance that I'd drop my 13 yr old off there with the loose supervision..... :smile: I don't think it's a good idea for him to be socializing in this type setting with 16 - 18 yr olds either.

If your difficult child has inflexible thinking as mine does, "puberty" is not a good mix. Sigh...

So, no, I do not think you are unreasonable.

I don't know much about your situation, but it seems like your difficult child is very unstable right now. You are definitely not being unreasonable in making him come home for dinner or to sleep!!! In fact, in my humble opinion, your difficult child can get himself into some very dangerous situations without adequate supervision!!!

If it were me, I would call the police when he doesn't show up. Unfortunately, this is the only way we were able to get help for difficult child 1 in the past. I know it's hard calling the police on your own child, but, in my humble opinion, sometimes it is necessary.

If difficult child 1 refuses to cooperate and safety issues are involved, I think you should call his therapist. Has difficult child been re-evaluated lately??? Do you think medication might help??? I know that without medication, all the therapy in the world wouldn't help difficult child 1!!!

I'm sorry you're having such a rough time!!! Sorry I can't be of much help. However, I do know how you feel!!!

Sending lots of cyber hugs... WFEN


New Member
get this now: my husband happened to be in our neighborhood to drop something off at home and sees my difficult child riding his bike in the middle of the street without a care in the world.

I am so worried about this child.



New Member
He's 13. He's going to be a jerk. He's 13. He's going to be a brat. Worse yet, he's going to get older and become a bigger jerk and a bigger brat. One day, he'll grow up and maybe, if he hasn't gotten himself into major trouble, he'll become a human being again. Until then, he's 13, 14, 15, 16 .....

You're not being unreasonable. Notice that he did come home. He didn't like it, but he came home. So, for now, he is still complying. As to his words, trust me, they will get much worse. Now is the time to start developing that rhino skin. You're going to need it. Again, when he truly grows up, he'll kick himself for every mean, hateful, cruel thing he had said and done but he couldn't very well regret them if he didn't say them. Right?

I wouldn't involve the police quite yet unless you think the kids are doing something illegal. If he calls and says he is staying somewhere (and, yes, many tell, don't ask today) and you say no, call the parents and let them know you'll be picking you son up and then go do so. When he quits calling and just starts staying out, then you'll have to involve the police.

Puberty sucks! Puberty plus a child with emotional problems really sucks! Puberty plus a child with emotional problems with ODD really really sucks! It is not a fun time for any of you. So, gird your loins, develop that rhino skin and put on your armor. You'll need it. And remember he'll be 18 in 5 years. You can survive til then. :wink:
Shar, I also have a 13 year old son and he tells me the exact same thing. He says that all teen-agers do these days is just "hang around" all day, with no supervision at all. You have every right to expect your son to follow the basic rules of your house. I know exactly what you are dealing with, because my son tries to make me feel guilty for being a concerned parent. Then he tells me that all of his friends think I am hovering too much, because I want my son to call me when he goes from place to place. Can you find a camp or program to enroll your son in during the summer? I am trying to find sports camps that will keep my son busy for several weeks,so he can's just run around all the time. My son doesn't want to go to do anything buy hang out with his friends, but I am going to make him go to something structured, where he will have to follow rules. Hang in there, I know that this time is not easy at all.


New Member
Despite all the statements they make to the contrary, teenagers really do need rules, structure and supervision. They will tell you they hate you for it, but without it they will inevitably feel unloved and not cared about--Which can lead to much more extreme behaviors.

Even though teenagers are trying to find thier independance, they require just as much supervision as you would give a younger child simply because of all the high risk stuff they can now easily get into-drugs, alcohol, sex, stealing, etc. I can only imagine how hard it must be but being consistant and firm will be the best way to go. In my job, I see so many kids whose parents are really trying to do the right thing but get worn out and give in to thier teenagers tantrums. And before you know it the kid is completely out of control and ruling the house.

I agree that calling the police should be a last ditch effort. That can sometimes go the wrong way, ie they don't recognize the kid has mental health issues. Are there any summer programs you can enroll him in? Some let teenagers be "junior conselors" That would give him the independance he is craving but also provide structure and supervision.

Also, if he does not engage with the therapist, it's time to find a new one. Does he have an individual therapist?

Just my 2 cents...

Hang in there!


Well-Known Member
When my kids said that, and most of them did, I just said, "Well, NOT every child can do what he wants, and you're one who can't." "But all my friends--" "You're not all your friends. I know OUR rules and I'm not really interested in theirs." Yeah, it's a pretty typical teen thing to say, but in my opinion you have to hang tough.