Online Parent Support Chat

26.11.10

My Out-of-Control Teen

We're going through daily and nightly hell with our son.

We're out of consequences.

Even if there's a consequence he will agree for the sake of getting what he wants and then give hell when he doesn't get it. Every single time. Whether it be computer time, phone time, or going out, or anything lse. Agree a time limit with him He will go over it. Give him warnings. He'll say " in a minute" - we pull the internet cable out but he'll repeat it and repeat it and repeat it - there's no end. He will demand the internet time as of right because all his frineds have it and because it's his human right as he sees it

My husband is ill and about to drop dead at any minute - literally ! he has ulcers and all sort of complications and I just keep expecting something to burst at any minute.

Our son won't even be ready for school on time. We've tried " if you're not ready by 8am, get yourself there" but that reusts in days and weeks off school ! He doesn't care. It's like we're playing straight into his hands.

He is currently without a phone and computer privileges and as far as he's concerned we are evil for not giving him for what everyone else has. We try to reason with him - show him him that when he has these things he abuses them, that that results in detriment to health, including mental health but reansing is not the way to go with him. He will give hell.

Previously we would take the phone away fro limited periods - and give it back knowing he will abuse it , then confiscate it again. Currently there is no date for getting the phone back - because he has been so rude and abusive to everyone in our household constantly and partiuclarly last weekend, so the decisison rests with us.

His demands are these

he should have his mobile phone 24/7 ( we've tried time limits -- hand over at 9pm each day/ or it will be confiscated if you use it 2 hours + / but he will deny he is abusing it and yet be on it ALL day EVERY DAY if allowed - and he will deny IT ! )

he should be able to get on the computer when he wants ( afcebook chat 24/7 - but says he is working - denies he has a problem)

he should be able to go out at the weekends when he wants ( gives hell when grounded and pushes to go out the next day - will push at any random time to be allowed out whether agreed or not)

he should have his X box cable becuase its his property

As far as he is concerned the above things are his human rights and we are the evil monsters running Guantanamo Bay for witholding them.

We do sometimes try to give him other things he wants - to make him feel we are not deproving him of everythgin and often as an incentive to behave better or as a reward for doing somehting good ( even for being honest)

But he will not give in return. Nothing.

We ask :

manners - stay calm when speaking/ do not raise your voice/ listen / show respect

do some work ( we pay for private school and he is not working and can't be bothered to get to school on time or at all ) ; we are considering not paying fees for the last term and have told him but that means he will find a state school and repeat a year ( according to him) which he is prepared to do......he knows he won't do well because how can a person do well when they don't work? So it suits him in some ways if we don't pay the last term because then it was out fault he could not take the exams, and he gets to repeat a year

sleep at 10 pm - what a joke ! he pushes to the early hours, disturbs his sister every night ( shared room/bunk beds) ....sister works hard and cherishes her sleep and suffers as a result; sets his alarm for 5 am but never wakes up - this disturbs sister + us. Too tired ot get up. Doesn't admit it. says someone was in the bathroom so could not go to have a wash then fell asleep again.

be ready at 8am for school - never ready....we have to yell and scream by 8.30pm and treat him like an animal because he behaves like one.

We're sick and tired - ready to die.

We've come tp a terrible state Mark and don't know how to handle this anymore.

We've tried calm/ talking/agreements - it gets us nowhere.

We've tried telling him he will be kicked out ( and by the way if he goes out wihtout pemissionwe will lock the door and he can stay out) - he says it's his houise and he will not leave ( its parents house and we share)....he says we have no rigths because its not our house; they are sick and tired of endless arguments as well and my father has said he should leave....then we all calm down and wait for the next eruption

What do we do?

We've found out he smokes pot - he says occasionally....may be so or may be a heavy smoker we don't know; we are testing him ( did a test last night) and plan to test every week.

2 nights ago he had someone's credit card in his pocket -s aid a friend gave it to him. We confiscated it. He sees it as a joke. We don't think he would have used it - one thing about him is that he would not steal money from anyone ( he is actually generally honest and very clever about being dishonest - you get distorted version of the truth rather than outright lies)

Everything has deteriorated into one big circle of hatred. We hate him; he hates us.

My Out-of-Control Teen

17.11.10

He is now in grade 12 and failing his first semester...

My son has never been diagnosed with Aspergers but there are some traits/symptoms that I do recognize in him. My son’s name is Alex and he is 17 years old. He was a happy child until he reached grade 7 where he started feeling that he did not fit in. Because he was bright and identified as gifted we sent him to a private school where the discipline was paramount. He was happy at first then started coasting. At the end of grade 8 he decided to try for the International Baccalaureate program at a nearby school. He got in despite the rigorous competition. At the end of grade nine it was obvious that the program was not for him. Since then it has been a progressive decline in academic standing but mostly in his happiness….his self-perception, the way he relates to others. We have watched in desperation as our once happy son has turned into a sullen and unmotivated young man. Last year in grade 11 he failed 4out of 8 courses. During the year we worked very closely with the school in trying to provide him with all that is necessary for him to succeed. We found a counselor who worked with him for a while but decided very quickly that the boy was fine and was just being a teenager. Alex is very bright and knows what to tell people to make them happy or to convince them he is fine. He saw a doctor because he expressed that he was feeling depressed and overwhelmed, a state that is understandable for anyone who has let his work slip so much that he knows he will fail. He was on antidepressants for a while but dropped the medication because he said it made him feel detached. My husband and I have tried different approaches, a mistake from what I have read in your manual. I tend to be the disciplinarian while my husband favors a softer approach. This I believe has contributed to the problem. We have been working together to come to some form of solution. I would lie if I said we were not desperate.

Alex does not have many friends but he does have a girlfriend and the two of them get along very well. We know her father and we try to stay as involved as he will let us. For the better part he sticks to the curfew although he has snuck out for the night on a handful of occasions. He was grounded. As a family we are very close despite the strain this is putting on us. Alex comes home but tends to keep to himself. We have dinner together at the kitchen table almost every night and try to engage him as much as possible on a variety of topics. Sometimes we are successful other times he will not participate. But the routine lives on. Whenever there is a confrontation he will reproach me for all the lecturing I used to do when driving him to school ( it was impossible to get him ready on time and we were stressed every morning). He said that it frustrated him so much that he was unable to relate to his peers. I have invited him to discuss this with me alone or with a psychologist but he refuses, saying there is nothing to discuss. Yet he reproaches me every chance he has. I have to add that as a child he had friends over all the time or was invited to his friends’.

He is now in grade 12 and failing his first semester. He started off well or so it seemed but by October it was abundantly clear that he was not meeting his obligations. We have been in to talk to the school repeatedly. We cannot reach him. If pressed he simply flees. He is angry. Unhappy. Does not want to go see the doctor. Despite all that, he is working with the tutor while he is with him but is not capable of handing in assignments or working independently. Truancy at school is becoming more and more of an issue. The school has mentioned that they might expel him, to which he replies “maybe that is what I need to get myself together” or “I will be out of your hair soon enough”. I am sure that you have heard this many times before, but my husband and I don’t know what to do.

My Out-of-Control Teen

7.11.10

She has suffered for years with self destructive behaviors such as bulimia, cutting, drinking, drug use, stealing, lying ...

My name is Rene and I'm writing to see if you can give me any guidance or leads for social services and/or any other type of programs that we may try to help my partner's 19 yr old. She has suffered for years with self destructive behaviors such as bulimia, cutting, drinking, drug use, stealing, lying and most recently arrested for DUI. She has recently gotten a job but is now faced with the possibility of losing it. Her parents are divorced and she is not welcome to stay at her mothers, has been staying at her fathers but was kicked out this weekend. We would like to offer her to come back home but with strict guidelines, with some form of therapy or counseling a must. We just don't know where to start and aren't sure she will participate. With her being 19, going on 20, do we have any legal force to make her participate in a program?

What are your suggestions for us to begin looking at programs that she could participate in but yet still keep her job, which we feel is important to helping her learn to be self-sufficient and responsible. She has shown absolutely no responsibility, respect or concern for anyone, including herself; although she always puts her own wants before others.

We are open to any suggestions you may have. Her mother works at a highschool and I'm assuming would have access through her insurance to some mental health programs. Would you suggest we start there first? Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciate.

My Out-of-Control Teen