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Parenting --Teens/I have lost my son not to death but from our life .

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I have 4 kids the age range is from 3-16 I am a stay at home mom so my kids are my life. My oldest son started getting in trouble at school an with the police at age 15 . His father was never in his life . Because I was protecting my boys from his weird ways in what he thought was teaching the boys things I didn't agree with the way he discipled them at there age of 1-3 it was mentally an physical abuse.  He also done this to me until I was brave enough to leave.  I raised my boys alone until I was married in 2010 an had to more children after that. I didn't treat any of my children different.  My smaller children starting acting out from watching my oldest son hurt an just plain act lk he hated his brother.  My 13 year old came to me begging me to make his brother stop hurting him . I new somethings had to change I tried to help my 16 the best way I could nothing I did changed or helped anything. I taked to my 16 father an he said he would take him for a month to see if that would help. But now he has let him quit school an continue doing the things I was putting a stop to. He doesn't see or talk to me an I am not aloud to tell him what to do he says he's a adult.  I really awful just like I raised my son just to hand him over to the person I protected him from an now he has turned on me as if I had done a terrible job being a mother to him . This is killing me I have 3 children still with me but I miss my son but when I do run into him its not my son anymore.  This is affecting my life an I no its affecting my ability to be what my husband and my other children need me to be. I am stuck idk what to do now.

Answer
Melinda,

I can hear the heartache in your email. I am so sorry you are going through this. Being a mom never stops. The worries and love are forever ours to deal with when it comes to our children.

It sounds like you have already had an incredible life journey and are in the place where you need to be. That being said, I think you nailed it with your subject tag line "I have lost my son...", you are definitely grieving this loss.  Unfortunately, this is really out of my area of expertise. However, if you were my friend, I would tell you that the best thing to do for you and for your family is to find a counselor who you can process this with on a regular basis.  While we think that family should be able to handle it, everyone processes it differently and sometimes we need someone outside our circle of friends and family to help move us forward.

From your email, I can't see a whole lot to discuss about the ex husband/father except educational neglect and a parenting style of someone who doesn't have a lot of experience. If you worry about safety make sure you report it to someone. If not, then take this opportunity to; really process your grief, learn how to reconnect with your son and how to continue to focus and build strong relationships with your other children and husband.

I wish you all the best. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Parenting --Teens

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Penny K

Expertise

I enjoy assisting parents in parenting atypical teenagers that do not respond well to normal parenting techniques. I am able to provide parents with a straight forward behavioral approach that has proved to be successful.

Experience

My husband and I have raised 31 daughters, 29 of our children were foster teens who ranged in age from 11-18. I was a site director for a local group home for adolescent girls, an Executive Director for the Children's Policy Council and the Executive Vice President for a residential treatment facility that specialized in alcohol and drug treatment for adjudicated adolescent males and provided comprehensive assessment to adolescents in the custody of the state. I have been a staff trainer for the Boys Town Model of Care and for the past 10 years I am the lead facilitator for the Parent Project parenting class in my county. In the past 20 years of my career I have assisted over 2000 adolescent youth and their families.

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Boys Town Behavioral Management Trainer Parent Project Facilitator

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