Parenting --Teens/15 yr old


We have a 15 yr old son who thinks he can do what ever he feels like doing without any regard to what we say, such as takes off at random times and doesn't come home till 1 or 2 in the morning. Not letting us know where he is.  He doesn't have a phone as he lost it and we are not getting him a new one. We have two older children who never did this and grew up to be successful adults.  Our son pretty much failed 9th grade and even didn't finish summer school.  we are wits end and do not know what do to. He's drinking and smoking pot.  I feel he needs an intervention of some sort, but if he knows it coming he will take off and not come home and will make it so where can't find him.  my husband want to bring in social services, but i'm not sure that will even help except for to take him out of our home.

Hi, Conni-

This problem is more common than you might think. Often when older siblings excel, the youngest soon realizes he will never be able to compete or do as well. Instead of finding a different positive direction, like sports, music, auto mechanics, theater or a specialized academic field such as astronomy (wherever their interests lie) they take the "easy" road. They find "friends" who really don't care about them, and only want a buddy to justify their own bad habits. Trouble is, as we all know, that road leads only to dishonor, and maybe even a far-too-young death. It is not at all easy, and each time they take it, their self-loathing grows. Even in states where pot-smoking is legal, companies still won't hire drug users. The first man in line to buy legal pot in Washington state was fired when his boss saw him on TV.

Depending upon your state, social services can usually do nothing truly helpful; things can quickly escalate from bad to worse.

If you had a good relationship with your son, I would suggest tasking him out for a nice meal somewhere quiet and discussing his future. Without judgement, I'd ask him his plans for completing school, going on to college or into technical training. I'd remind him you are only responsible for him for the next three years. After that, he will need to be able to fully support himself. He has already screwed up too much for the military, and nearly every job now requires drug testing. His future from where he now stands, looks bleak. Sadly, I think it has gone too far. He does need an intervention.  

There are many programs available. I'd suggest starting here: None of the solutions are cheap, but only you know his true worth. If he can be turned around, he could become the light of joy in your lives. This may be your last shot to help him. Sometimes, your insurance company may pick up at least part of the tab. We are talking about a life here; you've got to do whatever it takes now before he's lost forever.

Good luck, Conni.

You's a thought...does your son like his name? Some people get tattoos as a form of change; a name change also works. Maybe he's not at a point yet where he wants to change, but if he ever gets there, you can suggest he leave all the bad stuff behind and become a new person, even changing his name to something that may make him feel more like a responsible adult. A new philosophy or baptism into a church can help, too, as one leaves evil for good...but first he needs to SEE it is evil. That's hard at his age and maturity level.

I think as you look through the programs available, one of them will be able to assist you in getting your son there. It may be as simple as having you drive up with him. I have heard many success stories over the years. I hope your son is one of them.  

Parenting --Teens

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My own dysfunctional youth in an alcoholic family helped me decide to raise my children with love, acceptance, and honesty. It must have worked. We`ve got terrific kids. Those I've answered on this site usually feel I've been helpful in their unique situations. Our world is so much better when we lift instead of crushing. Every child is worth more than any bank can hold. If I can help at all, it will be in teaching both parent and child of their own personal value to humanity, and how to punch through the noise of the moment to find their greater purpose. Together, we can all make a better world.


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