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Parenting --Teens/18 yr old packed up and left


Several yrs. ago my 18 y.o. son was diagnosed with ODD which I was told there was no medication for, so he has been on ADHD medications which has helped slightly. He has shown pretty extreme disrespect for me, his mom, since about the age of 2. He apologizes profusely, then a few weeks later its right back to the same attitude. Most recently, he has been trying to persuade me into allowing a 16 year old 'girlfriend' to move in with us, and after several arguments he still cannot seem to accept the word "NO" and finally called me the "C" word, packed a bunch of stuff and left. I texted him and told him that since he left, at this point he is no longer welcome back home and I stripped down his room and started putting things in boxes.  He is just months away from graduating in May and now that my anger is wearing off, I feel devastated. I do not know where he is or what he is doing.  I don't know if I have done the right thing, which by the way, my husband agrees with 100%. We have given him chance after chance over the year and nothing ever works. I am scared for him now, that he will make further mistakes being out there with no job, and I cant even be sure he will show up for school.  I don't feel like I can ask him to come home because that would be giving him power that he will think he can get away with anything and there are no consequences. Please help me if you can because I don't know what to do now.

Hello Sharon,

 You were doing fine until your text telling him he wasn't welcome home. Of course, you can't just tell a teenager he's never welcome back in the family just because he made a mistake (okay, it was a pretty bad mistake, but that's his pattern when he's angry#.
Telling him you are sorry does not either excuse his name-calling or suggest that you condone his behavior. If he chose to return home, you would still have to continue to set rules and limits #for example, this girl cannot live at your house#. But your apology #for telling him he wasn't welcome back) may help him apologize, too.
Any questions?

James Windell  

Parenting --Teens

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James Windell


I am a parent trainer, psychotherapist, and author specializing in parenting issues.During the past 40 years I`ve worked with parents with discipline problems and challenging children. I give frequent lectures and workshops related to discipline, social skills, and aggressive children. I consult with various agencies and schools where there are child behavior problems. I am listed in the American Psychological Associations` media panel as an expert on parenting and am frequently quoted in leading magazines and newspapers.


I have worked in a juvenile court as a clinical psychologist and as a psychotherapist in private practice. In the Oakland County (MI) Juvenile Court, I developed an award-winning parent training program for parents of adolescent delinquents. In addition I have done group therapy with adolescent delinquents using a social skills-building model. I have consulted with courts, schools, churches, preschools, and domestic violence shelters in areas of parenting.

I received my BA with a major in Psychology in 1963 from Wayne State University. I got my MA in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University in 1972.

I am a member of the American Psychological Association and the Michigan Psychological Association. I have written pamplets, newspaper articles, and professional journal articles. I have been the Coping With Kids columnist for several newspapers for 26 years, and my columns appear weekly in the Staten Island Advance. I have been the author or co-author of 16 books. My books include, 8 WEEKS to A WELL-BEHAVED CHILD, CHILDREN WHO SAY NO WHEN YOU WANT THEM TO SAY YES, 6 STEPS TO AN EMOTIONALLY INTELLIGENT TEENAGER, and THE FATHERSTYLE ADVANTAGE. My most recent parenting book (2012) is THE EVETYTHING CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT BOOK. I have appeared on over 180 radio and TV shows related to my books and parenting. For more information about me, my books and columns, go to my website at

I have an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Oakland University.

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