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He has the maturity of a 14 year old...

I have a son that just turned eighteen this past May, but due to my parenting, he has the maturity of a 14 maybe 16 year old. He has been through a lot from my perspective, although no physical abuse, emotional. I also know there are a lot of kids that have had it much worse.

Over the course of the last two years I have learned a lot. I have been over protective and because I was trying to advance my career, I wasn’t paying attention to his needs. Now I keep praying that it is not too late but listening to him, it is. He says he hates me, what little time he does come home.

He feels he is socially retarded (his words) and says that I did not teach him anything. He is so angry that he will not give me a chance to do anything now, which I guess I deserve. He barely went to school this past year and was late enough times that he lost credits. He should have graduated this year but because he does not have enough credits, he has to go another year.

This is a kid that got an A on a final but failed the class due to no daily work turned in. It will be extremely hard for him to go back this fall and I am concerned that even if he does start, he will not finish. We are at the point if I say anything, he just does the opposite. He is not thinking anything through. He says he doesn’t care about anything. I know this is not true but it is the way he acts.

I had talked to someone at the church I go to but got no help. I joined a small group from our church for prodigals and one of them had requested help from our church with the same response, sad.

My son’s father died just before his third birthday, so he has never really had a father figure. My father died when he was seven, which was the closest thing he had. I feel he just needs someone like that to spend time with him, help him learn some things, give him some confidence about himself and about life so he will realize he does care.

He met a girl, in April two years ago through a friend at school, went to her birthday party and fell madly in love. In July, She convinced him she was running away with or without him, so he took her. He had gotten his first car in May, when he turned sixteen. It was not the best car so he was afraid it would not make it very far. She wanted to go to North Carolina where her real mother was. They came back at the twenty four hour mark so they thought they were ok. Her parents had called the police.

Prior to this he had been smoking marijuana for a few months and missing school, so I had him taken to the juvenile center, I thought maybe this would wake him up. It made him even more angry with me. He was put on informal probation for three months, no charges. Things were getting better while he was on probation. One of the requirements was that he look for a job, he did, he got one, and after probation was up he gave up the job. The girlfriend moved to Evansville which just created a new set of problems and the relationship has since ended.

In February of this year he threatened suicide one night, in one of his angry outburst I guess he was loud enough the neighbors called the sheriff’s office. When they came, the deputy suggested Harsha Behavioral Center instead of the juvenile center so he didn’t have any charges, so that is what I did. He spent a week there and nothing really changed. He said it was a camp with meds. He was diagnosed with depression but would not take the wellbutrin after he came home. We did counseling for a few weeks until he refused to go anymore. This past April, he and a buddy were caught with marijuana residue. We have not heard from the court yet.

I was searching for anything to help, heard about these camps and different programs but when I looked them up, they cost more for a few months than I make in a year. If I could pay it somehow I would.

I want to help my son. He and counseling have made me see that I could have done so much more had I paid attention then. I did not realize what I was doing or rather not doing. The guilt is not helping me make decisions in his best interest, I just want to give in. Is there anything, any options I have at all to help him with him being eighteen?

He will continue to receive his SSI due to his father dying, for the next school year, as long as he stays in school. It started coming directly to him as of June this year since he is eighteen. He blew it all by the middle of the month and feels he should not help with the bills of the household. He has done a little better this month (he still has some as of today), but he says he wants to move out on his own. We have discussed it , argued it, and he does realize he can’t make it without rooming with others, which he doesn’t have. That angers him at me also. If he were more mature, if he had a job or cared to get one, if he cared to save to get another car (his first one quit several months ago), I would not have a problem with him moving out. My biggest concern is that he will not finish high school if he does move out.

I realize this is not the worst scenario of a young teen/adult. He is not a troublemaker, he doesn’t steal that I know of etc., my concern is where he could be headed. I don’t think he is smoking marijuana or anything right now (I could be wrong) because of knowing he has an upcoming court date from the incident in April. He is very disrespectful and hateful to me, but I feel it is just the hurt inside of him that he holds me responsible for and to some degree, he is right.

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