We are very desperate...
Both myself and my wife are in a dilemma regarding our son. He is 15 going on 16 years old, and is causing us a lot of trouble for us both at home and elsewhere. Over the last number of months he has become extremely difficult to manage. He refuses to go to school, when he does go he causes serious disruption there. He has started abusing solvents (gasoline), drinking alcohol, shoplifting, and being extremely abusive at home.
He will not heed curfews, when he's grounded he ignores this. He fails to come home until we find him at night and encourage him to come home. He has repeatedly stolen money from us. Sometimes he self-harms (cutting his arms etc).
When we remove privileges from him he carries on without them. He tells us he has nothing we can take from him, that we mean nothing to him. He is a danger to himself …he is very easily influenced by others. We despair. He needs to take responsibility for his actions. He has been to counseling a number of times over the last few weeks but things have not improved, they have gotten worse. He is pushing the boundaries to the very limit. We are very desperate, could you advise us on a strategy that might work.
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Posted by Mark Hutten, M.A.