Online Parent Support Chat

27.10.08

Sixteen year old has been a handful since he turned 2 years old...

My husband and I have been married for 23 years and have 5 children. We are a Christian family. We have great kids. The oldest to youngest are girl 22, girl 21, boy 20, boy 16, girl 13. The three oldest have been fine. They all work full time and have held steady jobs since leaving school. Our youngest is no problem at all.

The sixteen year old has been a handful since he turned 2 years old. His school years have always been a struggle, his high school years were a nightmare. We tried different schools, then went back to a school he had originally gone too. It was 2 weeks into the school year and he was expelled already. He had taken marijuana to school.

He is a very well liked person, and has a great sense of humor, and he has leadership qualities. But at that time he was leading a lot of peers down the wrong path.

As a parent I was glad his school days were over. But he ran away from home. We rang the police and filed for a missing person. It was the next day that our boy ran from a pay phone and I picked him up to take him home. We found him work as a roofer. He worked hard and stuck with the job everyday 5 days a week for about 8 weeks. Then our boy had an issue with one of the workers, didn't know how to deal with it, and the next day wouldn’t get out of bed. I reacted and said we would not have bums laying around the house with no work, and that he had to get up. He did get up, next thing I knew was he had packed a bag with very few belongings and ran away again. This time it was 2 weeks before we heard from him. Actually it was that I found out where he was staying from someone else. I wrote him a letter and told him that we loved him and a whole lot of other things, and invited him to come back home under certain circumstances. He did come back. His old boss was prepared to take him on again, because he was a good worker. But our boy still didn't want to. It's not that he didn't want to work, it's the job wasn't for him he said. Well as parents we thought different, but did out best to stay calm about the situation. I have found him other work, in a motorbike shop and then on to a farming job. When he is busy he has less time to get into trouble. Things were settling down and he was happy with his farming job and his bike job.

The problem I have is he comes home from work has tea. Then he is away on his bike back to the place, which was his abode when he ran away from home, it's just 2 blocks away from our home. How do I stop him from continually going to this person’s place?

This person has no rules, allows him to smoke there. Allows drinking there. Other problem teens come and go from her place. I thought work would be the answer, but that has blown up in our faces now.

He dislocated his knee badly and can't work physically. He will need surgery, which could take about 2 years on the waiting list. How do I keep him on the straight and narrow now? How do I influence him into better friendships?

My Out-of-Control Teen

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