Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by emma123, Mar 17, 2008.
I know his situation with your in-laws isn't good, but do you think it's safe to bring him home? He doesn't seem willing or able to follow rules or control his violence. How do YOU feel about this?
How long should you give him for what? Two weeks out of the house mooching off of friends and family to a 16 year old is all grown up and self-supporting. If I were you I'd stop taking him out to dinner and buying him things. He'd either be a part of the family or not.
Did you and ex-mother in law come to some sort of agreement as to his staying there, putting some of the onus of his actions on her? If not, have you reported him as a runaway? You're in an awfully precarious legal position if you have not. He's out running wild and you're legally responsible for any damages he causes. I would also contact the school and let them know that he is out of your care and out of control. Is he in public or private school? If he is in private school, I'd stop paying tuition and take him out. If he's in public school I'd report him for truancy.
If he's stealing, I'd call the police. If he's damaging property I'd call the police. If he's beating someone I'd call the police. He doesn't have any rules outside of the house, but are there any real consequences in your home? This is actually a question rather than finger pointing. I'm just not clear what consequences you have given him for these behaviors.
I'd let him stay away until he asked with no provisos and an agreement to follow the rules at home. If things were so great, he wouldn't have mentioned he wanted to come home. He's trying for the proverbial cake -- come home but no rules.
He may be "accustomed" to not having any rules but that doesn't mean he really likes not having a home. Sometimes our kids have to hit some sort of bottom before they realize how good home can be. It sounds like he is getting there. Just a few more little falls.
I know how painful it is. But I learned the hard way that if I just opened the door for her return, it would be on her terms. That works for no one. She did leave (again), she's now back but she's also very clear on the fact that she's back strictly on my conditions and if she doesn't like those conditions, she's free to leave and, if necessary, I'll help her out the door.
If he's beating your younger children, being verbally abusive toward you, breaking house rules, AND he's been living elsewhere for the last few weeks, I would think very carefully before letting him come back, even if he does ask without prompting and agree to follow the house rules.
Last summer when my difficult child was still living at home, things were so bad at one point that I had to send Little easy child away to stay with relatives for his own safety. Even though the law and CPS may not agree to prosecute your difficult child, you might still be liable if something happens to your younger children as a result of difficult child's behaviour.
Aside from questions or liability, your younger children deserve to live in a safe, chaos-free environment, as do you.
Having difficult child live elsewhere has been the best thing for our family.
I'm not sure how the laws work in Michigan. Is there a way to manage things that doesn't require that you sign over guardianship? Other board members have referred to a CHINS (Child In Need of Supervision?) and a PINS (Person In Need of Supervision?), and I'm wondering if you can put either of these in place. If I recall correctly, the CHINS or PINS lets you report your difficult child as a runaway who needs to be looked after for his own safety and that of others.
If your ex-mother in law is using, and you're allowing your difficult child to stay there, are you liable for anything bad that happens to him under those conditions? I would also worry that signing over guardianship to a known user might be troublesome, for you, for your difficult child, and legally.
I do think that the rest of your family can benefit from having difficult child out of the house. And I think difficult child can benefit from being out of the house. If he's sponging off friends and relations, they will be less patient and eventually he will wear out his welcome. At that point, he may be more amenable to coming home and following the rules.
I'm sorry that your daughter is pulling away from you. It's hard for teens to understand, sometimes, when there is family turmoil. They just want to smooth things over and make the peace so that everything will be "normal" Perhaps you can explain to your daughter that "normal" just doesn't exist, and this situation is what your family needs right now.
That's a tough nut. I'm sorry that you're having to deal with it.
In response to you asking, are you really being a parent if you don't let him come home:
Remember, you are being a parent to your two younger kids. A very good parent. You are keeping them safe.
My opinion (remember, on this board, take what works for you and leave the rest) is to let him stew for awhile. I would not beg him, not one little bit. I would not buy him shoes or dinner. I hear your reason for buying the shoes. OK, now he has them. Don't buy him anything else. I would have let him run track in whatever shoes he already had. Dinner? No way. Go somewhere and get a pop (or soda, or coke). This is to send him a message, not to be cruel to him.
If he asks to come home again, I would tell him, certainly. I would like you to sign this. And I would have something ready for him to agree to. And I would not entertain his return to the house until and unless he agreed to it.
Him returning to the house is equivalent to his returning to the family. If he cannot or will not function as a member of the family, then he cannot stay in the house.
Again, not to be mean to him. But to let him know that his actions effect the entire household. And the family is not going to tolerate it anymore.
Hugs and prayers.
It seems like you are not ready to make a decision, so it might be best for you to take some time and ask a professional for some guidance. There are reasons to get him home, and there are reasons to keep him gone. I hope you will talk to a therapist or lawyer or other professional for advice.
by the way, mine left to live with a friend's dimwit mom when he was 17. We all signed a paper that agreed that he was there against our wishes and if he were to remain we would not be held responsible for any damages to her home or property. She understood that if she had problems with him we would report her for endangering the welfare of the child. I suggest you do the same.
Hi there -
What is it that he is doing at xmil's that is of concern to you?
He is off the street.
He has stuff to eat.
He is going to school.
If he gets into trouble IRREGARDLESS at 16 in Michigan he is considered an adult. If he would go to court - he would get tried as an adult, and more than likely be held in a juvenille section of an Adult county jail. I don't see where you could be held liable for any of his 'alleged' misbehaviors.
I'm not sure I follow what you are trying to accomplish by having him come back home. He isnt' going to change unless he wants to and now that he's had that "teenage being grownup" thing for 2 weeks - it's going to be harder to get him to comply. And he won't - so stop trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. It will ONLY frustrate you further.
If you miss him and feel you have to have him back home after what you have described - I'd seek a therapist out to help me formulate a plan. But absolutely no more "treats" of any kind monitarily or otherwise - if he's on his own - he is ON his own.
Sometimes tough love seems harder on us parents than it does on our kids -but if you really really and truly let it happen one of 3 things will occur. Either he'll get so tired of doing it his way - he'll ask to come home.
He'll never come home and have a life of living off others.
He'll not come home but mature and support himself.
But if you try 1/2 Tough love strategy on him and give in when it's too hard for YOU (because sis I guarantee he's not hurting like you are) then it all goes south - and nothing is accomplished.
Time for some what do I really want? What can we practically do? Talks.
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