when does full trust begin?


New Member
My 13 year old difficult child had a sleepover in a tent this past Friday night. I allowed it because he earned it with good behavior the week leading up to it. One of the boys brought a tent over. In the middle of the night, my son and 2 other boys came in the house, saying they got in a fight with the 4th boy and, because he was asleep, came in to avoid him.

In the morning, I went out and discovered the 4th boy gone. I figured he rode his bike home, which he did. I proceeded to clear out the tent (I wanted to bring in the TV that they used). I looked into a book bag that was there to discover a bag of something that smelled very sweet, 3 lighters, and an empty pen tube that looked singed. I called the mother of the boy who owned the tent because, unfortunately, she confided in me that an older son of hers is currently in rehab. She came over and confirmed the bagged stuff is, basically, tobacco used to cigars. I guess kids take it and roll it and smoke it. My son assured me he did not smoke it.

I went over to the 4th boys house with the mother that came over. This 4th boy, who is very destructive, admitted rolling it and smoking it. The "tent" boy admitted trying it, and my son (who sometimes lies) said they only blew the smoke in his face.
This was a new tent (BRAND new) and one of the boys took a lighter to a flap on the doorway because it was stuck in the zipper. Apparently, this was my difficult child's idea, but he said he did not do the lighting. Plus he didn't see the potential for danger in his suggestion.

Obviously, sleepovers are done for the summer. My difficult child is trying to behave, and I am trying to believe him. I have grounded him and also have forbidden him from seeing boy #4. He keeps after me because he says he did not do anything wrong. He said the reason the 3 boys came in the house during the night was because the 4th boy was doing this smoking thing and they decided they didn't want to.

I'm proud of his decision and he is well aware of my feelings (that I am proud of him). He is still questioning, though, my desire to ground him to the house for a few days. I want to believe him, but every time I give in, I regret it. This child is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. He thinks the "bad" kids are cool and this always gets him into trouble.
I need some guidance--do I continue grounding him to the house? My husband (his stepdad) is fed up with all the trouble he gets into. It really isn't a lot--it just appears that way. The 2 of them don't get along, so I am now 100% in charge of discipline. I am much fairer(maybe too lenient). I am softer and not as firm as my husband. If it were up to him, he would never listen to any reasoning from my son. He would probably empty his room.

advice please!!!!!!!!!!!


New Member
Did the other boys agree with what your son said, that he didn't smoke, but they blew the smoke in his face? I think I'd want to hear all sides of the story seperately and come to a conclusion then.

I think I would have grounded my son too. I'm not sure I would ground him from seeing boy # 4 though. Not because I don't agree with you, but because I know when my mother did this to me as a child, suddenly that friend went from being the friend I only called when no one else could play, to being my best friend. So I just snuck around to see her, made up a name of a new friend and said I was staying there. Mom never knew. Its a rebel thing at this age.

If you get all sides of the story and your son was being honest about it all, this gives you an out to let him choose his own friends. He didn't like what the kid was doing and left it, thats a great choice. I wouldn't want boy # 4 to become the "forbidden fruit".

Mrs Smith

New Member
Not having proof of what actually happened over the last sleepover, I'd assume they were all equally guilty. Make guilt by association the rule. Hold him accountable for the bad decisions his friends make. Maybe that will help him think twice about his choice of friends. Besides, I don't think you'd get a straight answer if you interviewed them anyway.

Once grounding is over, I think I'd tighten the reins on supervision for a while - one friend at a time and stay in the house for sleepovers. Gotta prove you are again responsible enough to be left unsupervised.

The friend issue you have no real control over unfortunately. He'll have to figure that one out himself but if he's held accountable, he should make better choices. Don't you wish you could hibernate through the teen years?



Trust will wax & wane, at least it does with my difficult child. He's 16 & still on a very short leash. He has a very difficult time telling the truth & accepting responsibility for his actions. His feeling is, "I blew it, I apologized, it's over, now you should trust me." Yah, right!!!

I don't know what it is about some difficult children & truth telling, but my rule of thumb is to believe conditionally but verify.

Good luck with your guy.



I agree with "guilt by association". The one thing I know about adolescents is that they almost unanimously try to downplay their guilt. It's not that they won't admit it, it's that somewhere in their little growing brains they sincerely believe in their innocence!! Go figure... Good luck!


Well-Known Member
Staff member
For what it is worth ~ "camping out" during the teen years usually leads to no good. I know that my difficult child went to some unbeknownst to me and there was drinking and drug use.

I also hear my students talking about camping out. Trust me ~ they don't do it to sing campfire songs and eat smore's.



Well-Known Member
I also agree with the guilt by association rule. Unfortunately, that's how the world works. Better he learns that now rather than later.


New Member
thank you, everyone. I fully agree with each and everyone's opinion and advise. I spoke at great length with the mother of the boy who brought over this tobacco stuff. She actually gave her son a drug test because her 16 year old son is in rehab and doesn't want this other son to follow in his footsteps.

We both agreed that the boys made a good choice to leave. Boy #4 really is a bad kid, even at school (he head-butted another student and the child lost 2 front teeth! He also kicked my difficult child's friend (the one who brought over the tent) in the privates so hard, he bled when he went to the bathroom. I feel completely justified in forbidding my son from seeing this out of control kid.

I just started my difficult child on Concerta today. Hopefully this will help with his newly diagnosed ADHD.