Update on my wayward difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by welcometowitsend, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone,
    First let me say thank you so much for the words of support over the past couple of weeks. It has been a lifeline for me.

    After difficult child moved out last weekend I went to see his guidance counsellors on Tuesday. I wanted to find out who told my kid it would be a good idea to go on student welfare and move out. Anyway, I thought maybe he might be b.s.ing a little so I played it cool. difficult child had the option of being there for the meeting and decided to say just for the 'entertainment of hearing what I had to say'.

    Anyway, there were 2 guidance counsellors, difficult child and myself. Seemed to go pretty well although he still said he wasn't coming home and had no plans to go to counselling. Was planning on getting an apartment with a difficult child friend who is couch surfing with relatives right now. The guidance counsellors let him know that welfare was not going to even cover bare minimum living expenses. The max they can get is $535 a month and a basement bachelor apartment is no less than $600. So, he'll have to get a job and barely scrape by with food, etc..

    I also found out his marks have dropped a lot. His science teacher nabbed me in the hallway and said he would fail if he didn't start coming to class. Great. So, I called the head of the Arts Dept. (he's in the arts program) and requested his get his marks and sit him down and have a talk with him. If he gets kicked out of the arts program for bad marks it's going to go downhill in a huge hurry. I called all of his other teachers and not one of them has returned my call - seems they don't really care.

    Now we get to Thursday.... husband and I ask him if we can meet for coffee. We take difficult child and his girlfriend (who is a nice, level-headed girl - or so she seems) out for coffee. We tell difficult child that we realize we are not perfect parents and we have made mistakes. We want us all to get into counselling so we can get along better and improve our relationship. He's thinking about it. Wants husband to take anger management classes - husband agreed which kind of surprised me. husband said something funny when we got home - he said can I bring the source of my anger to class with me and ask them to fix him?? LOL.

    difficult child then asks we will support him if he chooses not to move home? No, we can't afford that. (wouldn't anyway). His girlfriend is looking at him like he's nuts and says "I think your parents are being pretty reasonable." I had a mature chat with him about having to handle all the responsibilities of being an adult on top of going to school and having to work to afford food. I probably would have been more productive to talk to my dog about it but I tried.

    So he had a meeting with a youth counsellor at school on Friday to see about applying for student welfare. I think he's just playing games now. It's unlikely he'll be able to afford to live on his own or that he'll even qualify for student welfare - he has a home to live in. He is hoping to move in with this other difficult child friend but his girlfriend says that the other difficult child is likely moving home at the end of the semesters. Wouldn't surprise me if my difficult child holds out until he knows for sure that is what she is doing.

    I sent him an email yesterday (this is the only way he wants me to communicate with him) and said I was glad we met, that we hoped for good things in the future and that we could all work towards a better relationship. Keep in mind difficult child has not admitted any of his part in this, not offered even an inkling of an apology for how he treated us, nothing. But we're being patient. So, I finished the email - told him I loved him and would he please let me know how his meeting went.

    I got an email from him at 2am saying his meeting went well and he'll email me sometime soon but he's going to be fairly busy this weekend. Then he just signed his name. Kind of ticked me off. So I emailed him back and said I hoped he was having a good weekend... that I knew he only wanted to email back and forth but that I am his mother and I deserve better than that.

    Not sure how this is going to go - guess we'll have to be patient. I felt good after our get together on Thursday but am not sure how to take his response in that very short, curt email.
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    WOW! Sounds like you are handling this very well.

    Loved husband's comment about anger management, and it's good that he wants to communicate through email - it's all documented. No chance for anyone backtracking and claiming something else was said.

    I can't even imagine how difficult it is for you both to be so patient, but it seems to be the best course of action (inaction? lol). Hope he comes to his senses soon.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I agree with Keista. You're handling the situation perfectly. We don't have such a thing as student welfare which is probably a good thing or I'd be in your shoes soon. Keep/print the emails for future reference. You never know when you might need "proof". As for an apology, don't hold your breathe. It sounds like he's one of our "never wrong" kids. I have one of those and it causes arguments all the time. It is tiring.

    Hang in there, you're doing great. He wants to be an adult, he needs to accept responsibility for ALL his choices now. Why isn't he going to Science class? Is he skipping school? Keep us posted.
  4. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    WTW, you're doing a really good job! Hang in there. It reminds me of a plaque I bought and hung up for my daughter when she was a teenager, it said, "hire a teenager today while they still know everything."
  5. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I was thinking the same. Well done in a situation where I would be tempted to go off...he is being so manipulative but of course yelling and going off on him is not going to get anyone anywhere.

    I also think the email thing is controlling and cold ...BUT, the thing is, you have proof of your words and he can't twist anything when you show professionals who say you should have done differently or that he has no where to live because you kicked him out or anything like that. In the end it probably protects you and will bite him in the behind.

    You are doing well in a really tricky situation. I am sure your great kid is still there, he is just really going through something and some of us need to learn the hard way....darn that it takes others down to some degree in the process. You and husband both have really stepped up and he is a lucky lucky boy.
  6. lonelyroad

    lonelyroad New Member

    I am assuming then Guidance Counsellors didn't recommend he go on student welfare, lol...

    We know a 17 year old who has done that and brags how great it is, yeah sure....my guess is he is just scraping by....

    Hang in there, sounds like you guys are doing everything right and hopefully your son will soon realize that!
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I think you and your husband did a great job. Had to sadly smile at the email signature. Back "in the day" before we had such modern conveniences one of my easy child sons started signing his letters simply with his first name. Same thing when he called and had to leave a message.

    That was.....ummm....thirty years ago. I stopeed signing "I love you, Mom" and simple changed it to "as always, Me". Thirty years later I still sign emails, letters and texts "as always, Me' when communicating with any of the eight children. It all began with a PIA teen but I quickly grew to love it and that's how it's going to remain.

    Fingers crossed things settle soon. Hugs. DDD
  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Don't take the signature personally, it is all about control. He is controlling your emotional response to him.

    Repeat: don't give that another thought!
  9. Thank you again everyone for your support.

    He is definitely being cold and manipulative right now. I have had no phone call, no email from him all weekend. And I know he's been online because he was posting on my daughters FB off and on yesterday. Busy busy weekend when you sleep till early afternoon and then spend the rest of the day surfing the internet. Too busy to call your mother - but whatever.

    I'll be interested to see what happens with the student welfare people. Not sure if he will get welfare or not. He's a smart kid and I know why he asked if we would support him if he chose not to come home. If we kick him out we might be forced to support him but if he chooses not to come home we don't have to. Welfare will require us to be part of the process of him getting welfare - which would mean he doesn't qualify.... unless he convinces everyone that we are abusive parents and then they won't even contact us. I'm sure he's researched this online (probably on one of the days he skipped school).

    I swear if this kid follows this route and causes problems with Children's Aid for us with our easy child (13) I don't know how I'll forgive him. We have never been abusive parents. Of course, he feels like he can do whatever he wants and say whatever he wants and we're just supposed to roll over and let him do it.

    And he's living at Club medication at his girlfriends place. They skipped school (missed the bus) on Wednesday and stayed home together alone all day. Then the mother came home from work, drove them into town to meet their friends and gave them both money for dinner. Ugh!

    Great advice from all of you. I will print the emails off. I have been keeping running documentation of everything that has been happening as well. And maybe, I'll just change my signature to 'ambiguously yours', Mom. LOL. I could spend some time coming up with some fun ones, I'm sure. Any ideas??? :)
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    Hmmmmmm He's looking to apply for STUDENT welfare? I would just venture to guess that he would have to be a STUDENT to qualify for STUDENT welfare? (see where I'm going yet?) If he's skipping classes, won't that disqualify him for STUDENT welfare?

    Keeping fingers crossed all goes well for you.
  11. keista

    keista New Member

    by the way a signature idea? I'd keep it on a positive note. You don't want to be stooping to his level especially before anything gets settled with involved agencies. It could still give a dig like "Still your mother", or "Still your home"
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Me too, dont lend any credence to his claims that you are the cause of his issues....
  13. Buddy and Keista,
    Thank you. I will keep it clean with my signature. I would anyway - I'm not going to stoop to a low level.

    Hmmmm.... he just called. Going to take him out for a coffee. Will let you know how it goes. He was using his soft, quiet, I'm intimidated by you voice. Must have had an audience.
  14. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    <<<hugs>>> sounds like difficult child needs to try and fail, and if he's like my eldest (21 and surfing on couch #9) he may need to do it a few times.