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Family Relations/Problems with my son...


I will try to keep this brief and to the point. My son (who just turned 17) has been in a slew of trouble over the last 3 years. He has been in and out of detention over drugs, violation of probation. He gets out tomorrow after doing 30 days. He tells me things are differnt now. He doesnt want to go back again and hes ready to straighten up his life. His father lives about 20 minutes away in a different city and i have decided to have him live there with him. The problem that im facing now is that his dad has always been the fun weekend dad and thinks that making him live there, that hes going to have to go to a horrible school and live in a bad neighborhood (he does live in a bad part of town). I on the other hand have a decent house in a decent neighborhood (im now married with a 3 yr old girl)..but yet all his bad influences live near me and they are notorious for drug use, vandalism, theft etc (all things my son has participated in). I have been the one for the last 17 years to have all responsiblity for his upbringing and dealing with all the ins and outs of the issues he has gotten himself into. I have paid for all his fines, lawyers, psychiatric visits, meds, clothing etc. His dad has never helped out because of being "down on his luck" and I never went after him for child support. Yet all these years I have kept him as a part of his life. My son is telling me that he cant go to school there because he will be picked on and will end up standing up for himself and doing something stupid (like fighting). Which he says he will wind up back in detention. So I have both my son and his father making me seem like the bad parent for sticking to my guns and not allowing him back in my house. Am I wrong for doing this? Should I remain the one to have to take care of all of this just because he doesnt want to go to school there? I feel like I need to save my sanity but im being made to feel horrible for wanting to do so.


When something doesn't work it doesn't make sense to keep doing the same thing over and over. Having him move to his dad is an attempt to do something different which I think is completely appropriate with the limited knowledge I have of what's going on. Your son is at an age where he can make the choice to do things differently. If he chooses not to then he will continue on being in trouble with the law. I think forcing him to be in a different situation can bring out some things in his life that can create opportunities to change.  

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Dr. David Simonsen


I am a licensed Marriage & Family therapist with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I work primarily with teens and families on a weekly basis. You will get the straight truth. I will not pull punches.


I have been working daily with teens and families for the last 10 years.


M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

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