07-12-2017 03:32 PM
That's really great to hear @Orbit64! I'm so glad the coach was able to work with you to get a plan worked out. Having a plan written down is so helpful to refer back to as we don't always remember when things start escalating.
Thank you for sharing with us. I hope you have an uneventful weekend and start to the school term.
07-12-2017 05:16 PM
@Orbit64, I don't have much to add at this point but I just wanted to say that I'm excited at the fact that you have support and goals and I'm cheering for a fantastic result. Here's to dull & boring weekends
07-14-2017 10:06 AM - edited 07-14-2017 11:38 AM
I have said to several of my friends and colleagues that we are living a new norm. If we rate our son's impact on our life and say that 0 is great and 100 is extremely bad, we got to 130 a few weeks ago. Then things calmed down a little (no extreme violence or aggression in the house) and we went down to 95. When things improve by 35 on a 100 scale that feels good. However, we were still at 95. With our son away for 10 days learning to snow board, us getting some time out, getting our first coaching under our belt we were starting to feel a little sane. Lets say 50/100 on the TBBS (Teen Bad Behaviour Scale) He arrives back home today. So we have been preparing for a calm low key welcome and a quiet weekend, aiming for 20/100 TBBS.
Then there was a small blip 1 day ago (small on the new scale of 100?!), as I had a call from my son, explaining a whole series of events, and the police had tracked him down and he needed to call me to formally receive a verbal caution. It is a complex and long story; however in a nut shell, my son and a girl friend (not girlfriend) went to purchase three second hand shirts for $ 120 on behalf of another boy about 12 days ago (we did not know this). Instead, they stole them, with the Uber driver being the getaway car! The boy selling the shirts held onto them through the car window and was injured as the car drove off, not wanting to have his shirts stolen. Again, 3 months ago, this would have been 150 out of 100 TBBS on the Extremely bad teenage behaviour scale. So we have had contact with the police and direct contact with the mother of the injured boy. We were shocked, horrified that the boy was injured. The description of our feelings on this could go on and on. Still, last night my wife and I were discussing how we would handle this calmly and sensibly when he got home.
On top of this, Corrective Services have made contact and will see him on midday Saturday. We think this is great as he will get a clear understanding what his actions are resulting in, and could lead to.
Then we had an incredible shock. We found that our son had connected an Uber account to a rarely used credit card. We keep if for emergency situations, so rarely check it. He has run up a bill in excess of $ 1200. While he has been away, there is over $ 200 run up locally as it looks like he has shared it with some friends. Uber trips, UBER Eats etc. We are gobsmacked by this.
So while he has been away learning to snow board, with us getting our first coaching, planning for a nice return home and a calm weekend, this hits us. All the calm feels like it evaporated last night.
A new day:
We woke up this morning, have gone for a walk with the dog, cleared our heads and we are setting about a Cunning Plan. Don't quite know what is it yet, but anger and aggression is not going to solve this one.
I'm not so sure about the calm and boring weekend now though.
07-14-2017 07:34 PM
Hi @Orbit64 Looks the quiet week end is off the cards, which is unfortunate. Hope you are able to try and put some of the coaching steps into place, and the TBBS stays reasonable.
07-14-2017 09:55 PM
What a rollercoaster for you @Orbit64. We've talked amongst some of the peer supporters about how our lives are a new norm - one that many wouldn't understand, but because of circumstances, this is how it is. I do really like your TBBS - such a fantastic way to describe the stress levels.
You must feel awful about the other boy getting hurt. I can imagine the shock you must be feeling about the entirety of the situation. I'm glad for you that Corrective Services are going to have a chat to him. As he get older the consequences only become more serious. I was once a bit of a juvenile delinquent, and my parents reported me for stealing after finding the item in my room. I spent 3-4 days in the local police cells, then was flown down, handcuffed and with a police escort, to Sydney for a 5 day stay at a Detention Centre. You couldn't shower or go to the toilet without an officer there. At night you're locked in your cell. I was then fostered out until my 18th birthday as my parents had given up. The whole experience shocked and scared the life out of me, and smartened me up quick smart! I was a bit older at 17, but I hope Corrective Services can get through to your son that it's not going to end well for him if he continues on this path. Feel free to share my story with your son if you think he might listen.
Good luck for the weekend and your Cunning plan. Let us know how you're getting on.
07-14-2017 10:06 PM
We have had a discussion with the Corrective Services Officer that is visiting tomorrow. The advice from him regarding the fraud is take it straight to the police. Discuss options and consider charges.
07-14-2017 11:22 PM
I really feel for you all in this @Orbit64, including your son. Your position is not one any parent wants to find themselves in, and as I'm sure you do, wish there was a magic answer.
I hope you and your wife acknowledge to yourselves the amazing job you are doing as parents. Reaching out for and accepting help when you're lost is a huge thing, and not all parents are able to do it.
Best of luck for tomorrow.
07-15-2017 09:12 AM
Thanks for sharing your experience with me. Unfortunately the hard won experience of others is not something that my son is open to. We have worked hard to ensure he understands action and consequence. It means nothing to him, even more so if the advice comes from us.
It is going to be his own journey and the consequences of his actions that we hope he learns from.
We will do everything to assist in guiding him though. Only time and patience will tell.
Orbit64 (hopefully not going into space today!)
07-15-2017 01:35 PM
My pleasure @Orbit64, and I have no doubt you have worked hard on trying to instill understanding around consequences. Teenagers can have a disconnected view though, feeling like they are somewhat invincible and 'that won't happen to me'. As you say, it's his own journey and he has to learn the lessons for himself. Hopefully the corrections officer may be able to get through.
And that's all you can do at this stage I think, is support him as he goes through these experiences. My parents didn't have access to the supports we have now, and I congratulate you on perservering. One day your son will be grateful, because as much as he is pushing the boundaries and acting out now, he does really need you.
Time takes care of itself, but we are here to keep offering an understanding ear, and support you in trying to remain patient. And keep you out of space!