09-25-2023 11:29 AM - last edited on 09-25-2023 02:34 PM by Stormy-RO
After some advise!
My 16yo decided to chuck his job in today as it was too much to get out of bed.
He is ADD, ADHD and ODD, medicated
He has been in a apprenticeship since Nov last year and loves it, but has found a new group of friends of late that are 14-16yo school kids that park hop getting drunk and stoned and this is now taking over.
He is rarely home, can't remember the last time he ate a meal at home, staying out late all week and now not even coming home some Fri/Sat nights.
We believe he is smoking pot 7 days/week and even getting into MDMA, we are very concerned where this may go. He comes home stoned most nights lately.
Have tried to talk to him but he doesn't think he is doing anything wrong.
Had a big blue with him this morning when he said he was going to give is job away and he has took off now.
Really need some advice as to where to go to now???
Any recommendations for a family councilor?
09-25-2023 04:10 PM
Hi @speedy_1 and welcome to the forums.
I'm sorry to hear about what's been happening with your son. It sounds like your son's behaviour has completely changed with these new friends where he has replaced his work with drugs. I can hear how worried you are for his future as he loved his apprenticeship and has now given it away. Having your son surround himself with these new friends and coming home stoned is something that is difficult for any parent to go through. It's understandable that you are concerned as you don't know what exactly he is doing and are concerned about where this will go.
I notice that you've been trying your best to talk to your son but he doesn't believe he is doing anything wrong. I can see that your conflict with him this morning has left you wondering where to go now. It can be hard to talk to teens about risk-taking behaviour as a parent, but I wonder if he knows how much his behaviour is impacting you? Maybe having an open conversation about his work and friendships in a time that you are both in a comfortable space could be meaningful and help you both to understand what has been going on. We have an article here with tips on having a difficult conversation with your teen which may be helpful, and an article here on how to talk about drugs with your teenager.
A family counsellor sounds like a good idea, it may help your son to realise the impact that his behaviour is having on your whole family. Relationships Australia has a search option to find a family counsellor near you. I also wanted to draw your attention to some of the drug and alcohol services which you or your son could use. Headspace is a service for young people and their families where they can access one-on-one support via phone or webchat. The Family Drug Support helpline might be useful for you too. I also wanted to bring your attention to ReachOut's one-on-one coaching support service, where you can access several free coaching session to help you as a parent look after your son. Do any of these sound like they could be helpful in this situation?
Finally, I'd like to ask what you've been doing to manage this stress for yourself. Have you been able to seek any supports in your life already?
We're also going to send you an email, can you keep an eye out for that.
09-25-2023 06:25 PM
Thanks for your reply.
We have tried Headspace, and the Family Drug Support, but unfortunately as he is 16 he has to agree to the help and come voluntarily, which at this point he wont even consider as he thinks he doesn't have a problem.
I was even considering a mental health assessment, but same as above, he has to come voluntarily.
My Wife and I have had one session with your one-on-one coaching using her username, we have our second one later this week.
I will check out Relationships Aust, and the links to the articles, thankyou.
I tried one family phycologist today and the 1st app. I can get is November.
He doesn't believe his behaviour is impacting us at all, he is behaving very self centered and only considers himself.
It is now 6.21pm and he is still not home and not returning our calls or messages.
We are very concerned.
We have organised to speak with a Youth Liaison Officer this week too, we are trying as much as we can think of.
09-26-2023 12:10 PM - edited 09-26-2023 12:11 PM
Thank you for updating us about what has been happening. I can hear just how concerned and worried you and your wife are about your son, which shows just how much you care and love him. He is very lucky to have you both in his life.
I can also hear how hard you have been trying to help him, and I want to acknowledge how much you have already done by gathering as much information and trying to find as much support available to navigate through this. It sounds like you are doing everything you can right now.
This must be a lot to be going through and I was wondering how you are your wife are going? It sounds like you are accessing some professional supports, but I was wondering if you have any other supports at the moment through friends or family or if there is something you can both do to prioritise your own wellbeing? It is important that you are also taking care of yourself as this is a lot for anyone to be dealing with and you deserve all the support available to you.
I also wanted to check in with how things were today. I know you mentioned that your son hadn’t come home last night when you posted, have you heard from him since?
We want to remind you that if there is ever a time where you haven’t heard from him, and are worried about his safety and where he is, there are options available such as calling the police.
Please remember that we are all here to listen and support you as much as we can.
09-26-2023 01:14 PM
No, he did not come home last night.
We used find my iphone to see where he was and walked in MacDonald's as he was leaving, but he bolted and would not speak to us.
He then turned off find my iphone.
We then went to the police and reported him as a missing person.
His boss let me know that he did not come to work today.
Another issue we are worried about is that work will owe him about 3 weeks Holiday pay, and are worried that when he is terminated and that payment comes through, he will think its christmas and buy more drugs with it.
He has been using his whole weeks pay in about 48hrs and then texting us for money saying that he is hungry, which we have not given him as we are not convinced that he will buy food with it. We tell him to come home and we will cook you a meal but he never does. We have topped up his opal card directly as he cannot use that to buy drugs.
It seems we don't have any options and can't get that money stopped and the employer is required to make the payments at the appropriate times.
We have been talking to parent helpline and as stated have another one-on-one session in a few days, but not too sure on any other options to help us.
09-27-2023 02:17 PM
I wanted to check in to see how things were going today. Have you heard from your son?
I can only imagine how incredibly stressful and worrying this must be for both you and your wife. Were the police able to provide you with any support?
How are you both coping with all of this? I know you will be having another one-on-one session this week and I really hope that this will be helpful for you.
It really sounds like you are doing everything you can. This is a lot to be dealing with and trying to navigate through, and it is very clear how much you love and care about your son. He is very lucky to have parents who are trying so hard to help him through this, and who are doing everything they can. Remember to be kind to yourselves and continue to take care of yourselves. You both deserve all the support available to you right now.
Take care and we look forward to hearing how things go.
Remember that we are all here for you.
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