What Do You Do About the Bad Peers Who Are Instrumental in Your difficult child's Descent?

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by mrsammler, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    A question for parents of teen difficult children: what do you do about the druggy peers who are instrumental in influencing your difficult child toward the darkness? I've often thought about cornering them, one by one as they come by to visit the difficult child, with this declaration: "Look, my kid is obviously smoking pot and getting into trouble, and he seems to be doing this in league with you. Let me be very clear: if I have even the slightest hint that you are involved in his drug use, either as supply or as cohort, I will do all I can to bring you to the attention of your parents and the authorities (and not necessarily in that order)--period. I'm not playing--if you can't deal with this, best to stay away." The difficult child will hate you for this, of course, but he's going to claim to (or sincerely) hate you anyway for anything you do to combat his descent, and in my opinion it's a pitched battle with the forces within him and without him that can lead him to ruin or even death, and I'm not inclined to leave any weapon on the shelf for the life of my child.

    A difficult child doesn't become a druggy difficult child without some help from friends. Yes, we hold our kids accountable for what they do, as well we should. But that druggy friend of his who comes over all the time to visit? Grrrrr.....Is there a pond I can throw his worthless !@# into? I can at least bar him from the premises, right? What do others do?
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think a lot depends on the age of the difficult child.... in my experience telling your kid who to be friends with doesn't really work very well.... sometimes its better to kill them with kindness!! So set limits on where they can go, what they can do, make sure parents are home etc. My son was very very angry with me when he was a younger teen because I had rules that I needed to know parents would be home when he went to someones house... and I wouldnt drive him and drop him off at some teen gathering at someones house. We live a way from the hs and where a lot of his friends were.....but he was angry because it cut down on his social life.... I knew given who he was that these gatherings were unsupervised parties and I was not about to let him go. However i learned quickly not to make it about the other kids being a bad influence etc. because that just made him mad and would send him underground in terms of hanging with those friends.

    Also I learned at least with my difficult child that blaming the friends for his behavior is kind of a smoke screen... fact is he was a difficult child all on his own.

    As he got older I interfered with less, the friends got worse and he had to learn you hang with people who are trouble, you get in trouble.

    Funny thing is I have way fewer rules with my daughter because I trust her....she makes good decisions and doesn't do difficult child stuff.

    So my recommendation is look at the boundaries for what you want your teen to do or not do and set those.... don't make it about the friends.

  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Yes you can. You can take it a step further and file a 'No Trespass" on them. I'm sure each locality has it's own requirements for it. Here, all that you need is to be concerned about any illegal activity. The catch is that the perpetrator has to be there to sign acknowledgement. My neighbor tried this on his step daughter's abusive DF, but made the mistake of 'letting' the guy know he was there so the kid kept bolting before cops arrived. A local supermarket got one against ALL middle school students until 6pm. The store is walking distance from the school and I'm just guessing there were many shoplifting/rowdiness issues. Essentially this made it ILLEGAL for me to go shopping there WITH my son before 6pm. Obviously all the students did not sign acknowledgement, the principal signed on their behalf. Just dawned on me that this could legally have been argued since principals have NO jusrisdiction over students outside school hours, but whatever, never became an issue for us.

    But anyway it can and should be done.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I did everything possible to eliminate the "friend" from easy child/difficult child's life. Not! Once they bond with troublemakers they have crossed the line into inappropriate choices. Peers are more important than family even when they are totally respectful and loving to family as our boy was. I visited parents. I only allowed visiting with kids that I believed were ok. I never once went to sleep until he was in the house and I was then 60ish. I am known, and respected, as X's
    Gramma in all social economic levels. One bad friend begets more bad frriends and the battle, in my humble opinion, can not be won by parental perseverance. The only valuable actions either come from the difficult child (rarely happens once they are in a pattern of poor choices) or on lucky occasions from residential substance abuse treatment. I know this sounds very negative but in my humble opinion eliminating "a bad friend" isn't going to change the pattern BUT I really, truly wish you better luck than I had. I have the tenacity of a bull dog and I lost the battle. DDD
  5. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    "I have the tenacity of a bull dog and I lost the battle. DDD"I second that. It has to come from them. But, you do not have to accept it. I would not allow these kids in my home or my daughter to go to their home(she did anyway-in very creative ways). I turned a group of them in including my daughter when I found them smoking pot. Intresting enough, it was their parents who were the most angry! Court was a real pleasure (sarcasm). After that, I decided not to give my energy to any of them as my daughter was the one who needed every inch. I don't think is one answer. I think what ever you do, you do it to be true to who you are, and you stick to your rules in your home no matter what.
  6. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Mine are no longer teens but when they were we would often get to know the other difficult child parent's.
    We once held a "meeting" at our home with at least 4 other sets of parents. We all expressed our concerns to the kids and exchanged phone numbers info etc. At least we knew where to "look" first next time they got in trouble. This actually helped when they were younger before cars and "far off" friends.

    I think it's important NOT to blame other difficult child's or their parents. One thing we found is that our difficult child's could find other difficult child druggie "friends" EVERYWHERE...Including Rehab's they were sent to, hospitals, EVEN AA Meetings were "breeding grounds" for finding other difficult child's who wanted to use.

    It's very hard to not want to blame and condemn the world around our difficult child's but I also think it's very important to allow for conversation with other difficult child parents.

  7. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    Amen to that. When my son got in some major trouble with some other boys I met the other parents in court... and it helped because they were also good people with sons who were out of control. We did talk and support each other a bit and there were a couple of times where we needed to call each other to find out what was happening. They did not become good friends but it was good to know the other parents when things got bad. What you say is so true, difficult children are attracted to each other and wil find each other wherever they are. We want our kids to be with kids who are a good influence but the fact is most good kids don't want to hang out with difficult children!!!
  8. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I think it's important to remember that they're not looking for friends...they're looking for drugs. Addiction is an Individual problem in my humble opinion...there is no one else to blame.

    One time my young difficult child's new girlfriends parents showed up at our door. They wanted to blame my young difficult child for the trouble their daughter was getting into. LOL, we were holding a church group lesson at our house at the time. husband and I stood at the door and shared with them all the interventions we had been involved with...they were shocked at all we had tried to help our difficult child's.
    I later saw their difficult child at an AA meeting several years down the road. She had obviously continued on with bad behavior and drug use despite no longer being involved with our young difficult child.

    husband and I moved from our "dream home" in the mountains of Colorado when our difficult child's drug use first started. I thought "If only we move back to where we used to live THAT will stop it"...Nope, we were wrong and within a year of "moving back" both of our sons were in Drug Rehab.

    It's nobody's "fault" but theirs. They will use anyone and everything to get to the drugs!

  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I was on a one person mission to let every druggie who hung with difficult child know that I would not hesitate to call the police on them or on my own difficult child if I found drug use or alcohol use. I never got any cooperation from any of those parents because most knew their kids were using and they themselves were. I ended up calling the police on a group of about 20 kids who cut school and went to one of their houses with difficult child and I found out. I sat in the drive blocking any cars from leaving untilt he police came. It ended in my difficult child and the two boys who lived their having to go to juvenile court.

    I also went to a drug house two summers ago and demanded difficult child come out or I would call the police. The boy who lived there begged me to be quiet so the neighbors wouldn't hear and promised to send difficult child out. She did come out and we had a big argument on the way home. I threatened to call the police if she ever went back there again. Then I printed facebook pictures of all the kids who went to that house every day and sent it to the juvenile officer in our suburb. The house was in foreclosure and the dad was arrested on forgery charges and the mom was off with her new boyfriend.

    I told a neighbor boy that I knew he gave difficult child her first joint at the age of 14 and if I ever found out he did it again I would report it to the police. I just recently filed charges against the druggie down the street who let difficult child live there for three months because he has been criminally trespassing onour property and damaging our door. We go to court on Aug 22.

    Did any of that stop difficult child from becoming an addict? No. But I also couldn't stand by and let these hoodlums get away with it. Obviously their parents didn't care what they did but I cared. It is true they did not force difficult child to drink or use drugs but someone has to stand up to them. And it is also true that druggies look for other druggies to hang with, they don't want friends, they want drug contacts.

  10. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    Nancy, you're my hero! You did all of the things that I would do in the same situation, and for the same reason: not out of a naive belief that it would positively impact your difficult child, but because *it's the right thing to do* and those thugs a) have got it coming to them and b) need to understand that they will be resisted at every turn by at least one adult in the community. Imagine what would happen if *every* adult in the community responded to them in this way.

    I am reminded of a 1973 TV movie-of-the-week that I saw when I was a kid: "Outrage," with Robert Culp as a middle-aged father who becomes so enraged at the thuggery of a bunch of teenage punks in his neighborhood that, after enduring as much abuse as he could stand and the craven impotence of the rest of the adults on his street, finally takes a baseball bat (iirc) and....well, watch the movie on YouTube, where it's available in full in 10-minute clips. The ending is very satisfying: no one is harmed, but he drives home his point very emphatically, using the teen punks' cars as the object of his fury. As should we all.
  11. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Yep, love it Nancy! I think when you see illegal things going on you have to act. When we give away our power by turning a blind eye be give the illegal things wings to fly. We have to do what allows us to sleep at night. This is my house, my daughter and my neighborhood. My rules in my house. My rules for my daughter. My stand on a drug free community and my helping hand when I have information. As for trying to get the druggie parents on my team, it was a big "not so much". When they stand up in court and tell the judge I'm not telling the truth, that it was just my daughter (when I saw all three of them doing it), when they them selves have known drug histories, and throw the F bomb at me in front of my principal as they try to weezle their kids out of charges, I have to say, " If I catch 'em again, I'll do the same thing". But, I won't be trying to befriend them. My child needs my energy.
  12. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I hear you exhausted!!!!! You know if more parents had that attitude maybe our kids would be better off. When we grew up if we did something wrong and one of our friend's parents found out they would be on the phone telling our parents and we woud be in double trouble.

    I have talked to most all of the officers in our community over the years, including the school resource officer. All of them have told us that they wished more parents were like us and they get so frustrated dealing with parents who either deny there is a problem or have a problem themselves and just don't care. It must be very frustrating for them. I have had officers tell our difficult child that she has no idea how lucky she is to have parents who actually care and that it is probably because of us that she is there talking to them rather than being in jail or dead.

    I have always lived my life honestly and within the laws. I have nothing to hide. I have made mistakes and I may have not always handled things in the best way, but I cannot stand by and watch these hoodlums get away with breaking the law and polluting our kids. After we had the neighbor druggie arrested, he defriended our difficult child from facebook and so did all his friends. I couldn't have been happier. I have already decided that if he gets away with damaging our property and doesn't have to reimburse us for it, that I will file a civil lawsuit against him. I am a firm believer in taking responsibility for your actions.

  13. allydem

    allydem New Member

    I just discovered drug parapharnelia in my son's room. After confronting him, he claimed to have only tried it once, to which my reply was 'yes, and every year I dress up like the Easter bunny and deliver chocolate eggs to children.' When I asked him who he was buying from, he did not respond, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to guess who the users are of all his friends. I forbade them from coming to my house years ago for destroying my property without so much as an apology let alone an offer to repair damages. Sadly, my son continues to hang with these thugs, and clearly he's extremely loyal to all of them. He's 20 now and there's nothing I can do other than continue to keep them off my property. Unfortunately, it doesn't stop him from using elsewhere. I feel that his choice to continue his friendship with these people stems from extremely low self esteem. He went to a very good high school, in which a high percentage of students were high achievers, yet there's that 1% that scrapes the bottom of the barrel, and he chose to attach himself to that crud. The hammer will come down this weekend as he returns from a work contract in another city. He will not have the opportunity to take off his shoes before he gets escorted out the front door. I wish I can offer you a solution to this dilemma. Is there a way in which these lost souls can increase their self esteem? And if they do, will they have the strength to walk away from those that have been acting as an anvil in their lives? I can't answer that. All I know is that once confronted with this dilemma this weekend he will be given a choice: he can continue his relationship with the dregs of society, or he can repair the extensive damage he's created within the family. Either way, he has to come to that decision on his own. Until then, our texts will consist of superficial chit chat about the weather, and upcoming storms. I wish you the best of luck. I feel your frustration. {{{{{hugs}}}}}}
  14. mrsammler

    mrsammler Guest

    A kid's choice of peers is such a dicey thing. You'd like to think it's all about self-esteem, etc, but luck plays a large role as well. I moved from southern CA to a small southern town in NC the summer before 9th grade, and because I didn't know anyone, I hit the books and became an outstanding student. Eventually I made friends with a kid who was deeply into tennis, so I became a tennis addict too, and spent almost all of my free time playing or practicing it throughout high school. So my high school experience was marked primarily by being a top student and a top varsity athlete. In college, however, I played varsity tennis and fell in with the tennis player fraternity, and they were mostly druggies, so I gradually became a druggy too, which led to a couple of years of druggy loserdom before I dropped out, enlisted in the army, and got my life back together.

    You see my point: peer selection, and its positive or negative effect upon a kid, is a pretty dicey matter. Most good kids get lucky--well, like the rest of us, they make their luck, and good habits generate good "luck." The opposite happens with "bad" kids.
    Lasted edited by : Sep 2, 2011