Teen Bravado or something to be concerned with?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tessaturtle, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    Morning everyone! Looking for some thoughts on this one~ OK, before the question, bear with me through the set-up:

    difficult child tends to not be able to make or keep friends - the ones he does make, the friendships usually do not last more than week due to difficult child being too controlling, raging in front of them, being mean to them, or simply obsessing about them and burning them out! For the last 6 months to a year (!) he has maintained a pretty good friendship with one boy in our town who his age. In his honest moments, difficult child has even said this is his one friend. Well, the past week, difficult child has met another local kid his age and, well, has become obsessed with spending time with him. difficult child completely dissed his only long time friend all weekend due to spending every free moment with this new 'friend'. We even tried to talk to difficult child about it, why you should balance time between the two, not to burn the new one out, how to balance the time - it fell on deaf ears. After promising us he would be spending time with both (and even telling us he did), his text messages tell a different story - he stood up the old friend in order to spend time with the new friend.

    We know nothing about this other kid, he came over for a few minutes the other day but didn't say a peep. We know his name because difficult child told us. Normally we don't allow the kids over to someone else's house unless we have met them, but difficult child, despite being told to keep us informed of where he was going, went over after telling us something different. Yesterday evening he stayed out past his time he was told to be home, despite having us call/text him 4 times in an hour to tell him he needed to leave the friend's house and make his way home. When he was told by husband that he was ground from going out the next day, he replied "I don't care" and then proceeded to give husband so much attitude that he husband ended up giving him a week of grounding. He reeked of maple syrup for some reason so we were naturally curious as to why he smelled like that (he literally smelled like he bathed in it!!!), but difficult child lies so much there was no way he was even able to answer that simple question.

    Anyway - to the point of my question - since we don't know this kid or family, I checked facebook. The kid has two pages, both open, one that appears to be a normal page with family on it, and the other is filled with rantings about staying up all night and rolling joints, smoking pot, having his mom confiscate his things, etc. etc. It is the same kid, just two separate pages - oh and difficult child is mentioned by name in the second page that is filled with questionable things. Is that second, pot filled, page something to be genuinely concerned about or is it just a teen trying to be "cool"?

    Unfortunately, we do have to snoop around like this because difficult child has forced our hand in this way after so many episodes of stealing, lying (about EVERYTHING!), internet porn, etc. etc. etc.

    Thanks for taking the time to read, and any feedback is greatly appreciated!!
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Wow, does THAT sound familiar! When my difficult child chews strong spearmint gum, I get suspicious!
    We spent 45 min yesterday hunting down difficult child, who couldn't tell us where he was and made us crazy.

    I have no idea what to tell you. I do know that our difficult child said he tried weed but did not plan to do it again. He wanted to fit in. Now he does, I guess. We no longer give him cash. :( Why don't you say something to him about his new friend's FB page? Our difficult child usually tells the truth when he gets angry and explodes, and stuff comes flying out of his mouth that he didn't plan to say. Some of it is angry stuff and some of it is the truth (It's none of your biz if my friends smoke weed!) ahahaahhhha! Bingo!

    Best of luck.
  3. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    "Is that second, pot filled, page something to be genuinely concerned about or is it just a teen trying to be "cool"?"

    Yes it is something to be genuinely concerned about. My difficult child had two MySpace pages when she was 15 - one that I had access to and another that I didn't. When I pushed her to have access she gave it to me and went to delete everything, but not before I saw it all...OMG.

    Your son has given you good reason to be distrustful and to snoop on him. Keep your guard up. I agree with Terry - ask him about his new friend's page and see his reaction and then go with your gut. My difficult child LOVED living on the edge and desperately trying to be cool even when it was way beyond her ability.
  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hearts and Roses has a good point: being friends with-someone like that may be beyond you difficult child's ability. Once he's in too deep, he has no idea what to do.
  5. I would definitely be worried about the second page. This is what kids do. They create one page for their parents and family to see and another 'real' page that is more true to who they are and what they are up to in their lives. This is the page they have all their friends on.

    I agree that you should confront difficult child about this pot smoking friend and see what comes out. My difficult child's guidance counsellors have told me that kids will often admit to drug use or associating with kids who use when pressured - more as a defiance thing than anything but they do say they'll admit to it when pressed.

    And the maple syrup? That's very weird. Possibly eating it because they were high and had the munchies? I have no idea. It's odd though.

    I wish you well in finding out what is going on and helping difficult child get back on track with his other friend.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    As one who had a child who used drugs, I'd be very scared. And I'd wonder if my child were also doing similar things. Birds of a feather...
  7. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    Thanks for the feedback already - its always nice to check my gut reactions to make sure I'm not going overboard! This all happened this weekend, so I just checked out this friend's FB this morning. I have the day off work - who knew I would be spending part of it doing this!? but such is the life of a difficult child! So I have had no opportunity yet to ask difficult child about it - I haven't even told husband yet!

    I would be shocked if difficult child were trying drugs...he has always been so adamant that he would never smoke, drink, or do drugs because of his medications. BUT then again, it is difficult child and he has been getting worse and worse....there really is no telling.

    And I agree with you guys that this may be way beyond his abilities...his chronological age may be 15, but everyone can tell you that he is more like an 8 yr old emotionally and socially.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I would be worried. Esp. living with a difficult child. His judgement is not great and he is so obsessed...this kid could probably talk him into anything. Just a guess, but that is what hit me.

    Hope he can connect with his true friend a little more. It is such a sad part of difficult child-dom when they dont have many friends, but want them desperately.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Trust your gut. ALWAYS. It won't steer you wrong no matter how often your kids/husband/therapist/psychiatrist/whomever tells you it is wrong. Esp trust it when it says a difficult child is in trouble. Your gut instincts are a gift from whatever you believe created us to ensure the survival of the species. It does not lie, and it especially does not lie about your kids. Period. Ever.

    That second page is far more likely to be the truth and something the parents know nothing about. Before you confront difficult child and he calls to tell his friend, print out the posts and take a copy to the friend's parents. If they get angry with you and difficult child, well, they won't want their precious child to hang out with difficult child. If they believe you and appreciate it, then you have an ally who will help you thwart the kids' efforts to be delinquents. Hopefully. difficult child will be angry, of course, but tough luck. He and his friends should not do things they don't want people to know about nad maybe this is a good lesson in NEVER putting anything online that you don't want people to know about. Esp as many employers check facebook and other social media before hiring and can/will/do fire people for things on their social media pages.

    Second, the maple syrup smell. I did some googling and came up with 3 things. One is maple syrup urine disease, which since difficult child is over 3 you don't have to worry about. It is a disease wehre the body cannot break down certain amino acids because of a lack of an enzyme - it is very serious but it is there from birth so there is NO way difficult child cuold have it and you not know about it by now.

    Some protein powders do give off this odor, according to quite a few body building pages I saw. Something in the type of amino acids (protein) in them has this distinct smell. I do remember it from when I was experimenting with some a few yrs ago. It comes out through your urine and sweat with these.

    The last possibility, and probably the most probably one, is fenugreek. It is a plant, used as an herbal supplement for many things including increasing the flow of milk in nursing moms. I have known lots of people who use it and it is quite safe. I used to know some people who sold drugs. Odd relationship as they lived in my apartment complex in college and thought I was their little sister. Used to warn me when not to be around if they had something big happening and often threatened to kick my tushie and the cajones of anyone who tried to sell me drugs, which I found totally bizarre, Know what I mean?? I always used to bring that out in guys - the little sister protective thing - drove me NUTS with some guys but I never would have dated these guys anyway. I just always was baking and they came around sometimes. Easier to pass out cookies/brownies to the neighbors than to ignore them.

    ANYWAY, they would often cut weed with any crumbly herbal substance. I am willing to bet that someone told the boys they could get high if they smoked some of 'this' and the 'this' they gave the boys was fenugreek or else pot cut with fenugreek. I dont' know how expensive it is, but they would probably use anything to cut the weed - few dealers really care what they are cutting product with. Eating a lot of fenugreek results in it coming out through sweat/pores and it smells like maple syrup due to some chemical in it. Explains why a guy I dated had a mom who reeked of maple syrup. I thought it was some weird perfume - she was really strange and I didn't really want to ask what it was. I was afraid she would tell me, Know what I mean??

    Unless difficult child spilled a lot of syrup on himself, these are probably the main reasons he would smell like maple syrup.

    Drug test him. That should be a consequence for being somewhere he won't tell you, and with a kid with a facebook page bragging about that koi. But make sure you hve a printout of the page put up to show his mom and dad BEFORE you tell him.

    Just because he said he would not smoke/use means NOTHING. Once they are teens they totally lose any bit of sense they ever had and they start doing even stupider stuff. You also might consider putting one of those tracking thingies on his phone so you can know where he is by logging on to his phone. Technology can be a good thing sometimes, esp with a kid hwo keeps lying.
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    My now 30 year old nephew was a proud member of 'Straight Edge', a group of young people who are adamantly against drug/alcohol use of any kind. Flash forward to him being an 18 year old....drug central. He has been clean for two years, but it took many many years of drug abuse to get him into a facility. Seems many of the kids adamantly against something usually try it at some point. Don't be fooled. Also, my difficult child ran a campaign at school while in Jr. High. Two years later she was smoking nearly a pack a day.
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    H&R, that is totally the way teens work. Every girl I knew in high school who SWORE she would be a virgin until her wedding day and took the "promise ring" ended up pregnant before graduation. Seriously, every single one. Most were also drinking and drugging heavily too.
  12. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    @ Susie - Thank you for googling that! I didn't even THINK to try that, and I google everything! LOL! THat is really interesting what you found re: the fenugreek. Because, I tell you, it WAS so strange to have such a strong odor of maple syrup...even husband commented to difficult child about it and asked him about it. difficult child had put his sweatshirt immediately in the laundry when he got home, which is how I first noticed the smell, but he still smelled strongly of it because he was still in his tee and jeans. When we pressed him on it last night, the answer he finally gave was he ate a small pancake while at this friends house. Now looking back that doesn't make sense, because when he eats that here, he certainly doesn't carry the smell around him like he is wearing it....but I think we were too exhausted at that point with him to even question it.

    I have never checked difficult child's eyes when he gets home in the past, but now I guess we need to if things keep going on like this. Although he is grounded all week, so we have some breathing room - sigh.

    His therapist is coming over today just to talk with husband and I to ask about difficult child history, and she will be back tomorrow to meet with the whole family, maybe a good topic of discussion for her.

    Good idea about printing out the page. We don't even know this kid's parents - again, difficult child took it upon himself to start going over there despite us not meeting them yet.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Well, if he smoked fenugreek he would not have gotten high off of it. But it seemed like the most likely thing, esp with his clothes smelling so strongly. I don't think eh got it by eating anything with syrup. I never smelled like syrup and I used to like a little pancake with my bottle of syrup as a kid. I also worked at Bob Evans for several years as a mgr and I didn't ever go home smelling like syrup. Not even on Sundays when we went through a few gallons of syrup.
  14. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I asked husband about this and he suggested that difficult child might be showing the 1st signs of diabetes. I looked up maple syrup smell diabetes and it does check out that sometimes the first sign is a maple syrup smell.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... If Liahona's husband is right - and I've heard that before - then it might pay to initiate a medical check-up. If there is a medical issue, it may explain all sorts of things. If not... you're closing in. Can't hurt to take a "medical" approach...
  16. tessaturtle

    tessaturtle New Member

    THanks for the suggestion re: the diabetes, but he actually just had a blood work up done and all was clear, in addition, he doesn't smell sweet on a regular basis.

    We have confronted him about this and the friends' FB page, he of course claims not to know anything. One of my friends whose husband works with kids in a day tx program said it may be "maple syrup" chugging. Apparently this and the cinnamon thing are the new fads amongst teens to get a legal buzz....

    Either way - he is heading down a road that he shouldn't head. Other things are going on with him too - but those will be for another thread..... :(
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Apparently there are a lot of youtube videos about maple syrup chugging. it won't get you buzzed or high, but it will make you vomit. The cinnamon challenge is stupid. It lookslike it hurts from everything I have seen of it. Who thinks up this stuff? Must be idiots, in my opinion.