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HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Prolific scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi @Sandee,

What a great move from your hubby. Sounds like something we need to do too. I hope tomorrow goes well and I’m so glad you were able to get in so quickly.

Crying is a release but its awful when you can’t stop.

I’m so sorry your son wouldn’t talk. I’m glad he’s at home. I feel like we are sitting ducks, just sitting and waiting to see what happens next. The sickness feeling in our stomachs is so bad for us!

My son said just an hour ago (first time he’s surfaced today) that he wants to go to Melbourne (interstate) with his friends. I said I’m sorry, no, not until you’re 18. He kicked off telling me how controlling we are and to just leave him alone and it’s not illegal and how we are the most annoying parents. Most he’s spoken. Told me I’m a joke by calling the cops if he leaves and having the door open for when he comes home. Told me I’m trying to trap him. I calmly say I’m sorry you feel that way and he kicks off saying telling me I’m not sorry and to stop talking s***

My husband wants to go the hard line as he’s had enough. He says the understanding compassionate approach isn’t working. I agree. I believe the hard approach will drive him further away and lead to a worse situation but can it get any worse?

I brace myself. My current coping mechanism is to prepare for the worst. Police call, hospital call so that I won’t be in shock when they call.

This is not living! It’s such a struggle to live like this. I keep hope for coming out on the other side of this but each day it diminishes that little bit further.

Please let me know how tomorrows visit goes. I wish you all, all the best!
Prolific scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi Sunshine 72
It breaks my heart hearing this I dont know why they think that 15 & 16 means they can just do what they want when they want.
I would say no too and at least he cant just go as who will pay for it.
Im sorry he says those things to you i know how much it hurts but you did well not reacting thats amazing and shows strength even though you feel like crumbling.
I have no words on why our kids are a ting out
Ill let you know how we go tomorrow.
Its so hard to know what to do if we we t in hard he would leave and thats hard on us mums
Thinking of you x
Prolific scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

I agree. I’ve read a lot about their brain development and their ability to reason is less than a 2yr old so I keep reminding myself of this but it certainly doesn’t improve the situation.

My son is so desperate for money he got a casual job delivering food and now has $$$ which concerns me too.

He told me it’s not illegal for him to travel interstate with friends and to get off his case.

I’m triggered by Facebook posts of missing teens everyday and fear it won’t be long before it’s our son. Maybe time for me to get off socials. That and perfect families.

I hope you get some sleep tonight. I’m sorry we’re both going through this and I know sadly we’re not alone. Sending you a big warm hug.

Also thinking of your mum. Hope she’s okay. Xx
Active scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

School does not help beyond certain limit

Even psychologist wont disclose everything

Calling Police backfires as you mentioned

Govt does not help

do parents have to wait till something really bad happens!

and the evil of social media




Active scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

I have sympathy for you but no answers as experiencing the same thing

Feels like things are stacked against parents

All the theoretical help for parents is hard to implement.. WHEN THE CHILD DOES NOT WANT TO COME TO NEGOTIATION TABLE  


Prolific scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi @Sandee,

I’ve been thinking about you all day. I worry and feel for you with everything you’re going through. How was your husband and your visit with the psychologist today? I hope it was a good start.

Every day, I hope that things get better for all of us. It is a tough situation, especially when our kids are so irrational. If only they knew how much love and care we have for them and Knew our intentions are from the heart.

Hi @mmjmmj,
I’m sorry that you’re experiencing such a hard time too. Clearly, with so many support services there are many of us in the same boat. I know we’d all like a magic wand or to be able to resolve the situation quickly, but sadly for us all it doesn’t work that way.

I also know that we are lucky to have all the support services, but I’ve come to the realisation that if we the primary parents/caregivers can’t fix things then how can anyone else. It purely is our responsibility and I agree it’s so hard accepting that until they come to the table, or talk with us, or someone else, that moving forward feels impossible.

Active scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

moving forward feels impossible.

It is actually impossible

All consultants say yield to some demands /  set boundaries..etc as soon as you say "B from boundary.. things go off

what you do when a child threatens to walk away at middle of night

Social media is one worst culprit / device dependency is another

Yah there is a part solution a strict society like Singapore or Japan..fear of authority ... stop  too much liberalization ....but I am venting the frustration sorry....

Prolific scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi @mmjmmj

Don’t ever be sorry for venting! You have every right to vent your frustrations. I am super frustrated too. We are all feeling it. This is a safe place to do so.

Yes the boundary conversation. I agree it doesn’t work. Our son took off last Sunday night after we said we’d turn the internet off (the only consequence we have ) and yes he left home. Great worry - when he was out - who knows where he is who knows who he is with. Refused to come home.

It’s Approaching midnight.

Only option to call police or turn on internet. Yes the internet won.

Fighting what feels a losing battle. Too late and not an option anyway to move to China/Japan/Singapore.

Social media and device addiction - no words! Just sadness.

Prolific scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hello Sunshine 72 and @mmjmmj 


Sorry I have been MIA just trying to deal with alot as im sure both of you can understand.

@Sunshine72  I have been thinking of you and hope that you may have had a few better days x

@mmjmmj Im sorry to hear you are also going thru this it is so hard and extremely frustrating.


Sorry long post

On our front things have been good and not good. My husband and I had a light bulb moment last night that may explain a few things that have been happening.

For years I always believed my son had ODD , he appeared to display all the signs and when alot younger we tried to have him assessed and the dr said he is on the border of the spectrum but I never pushed it and I should have.

When we saw the physiologist and we told him what had been happening and that I had always thought my son may have some sort of ODD he said that it maybe time to stop thinking of him as being a pain in the **bleep** teenager and take a step back and try and see what is triggering these reactions. And if we think he maybe ODD then giving him ultimatums or trying to push him to do anything will only result in him pushing back harder and fracturing our relationship even more.

My husband and I did some research and all the signs point to ODD. It was even more apparent last night. My son was going to a concert that all his friends were going to and he had been looking forward to it for a long time. He had told me the day earlier that he had sold his ticket to buy food as in his words because we had starved him and wouldnt give him money for food. We clearly hadn't starved him we just weren't giving him money or funding his social life as he we was refusing to go to school . We had told him there was food here at home and even offered the whole weekend (previously) to go and pick him up feed him then drop him off.Anyway yesterday he said that he hadn't actually sold his ticket but he was going to  because we had starved him. So I didnt react and then his mates came here and my husband drove them to the concert. The concert was 1 hour away so my husband had to drive them there come home then go back at night and pick them up over a 4 hour return trip.,which he was happy to do as we didnt want them going on public transport.

In the car on the way my son couldnt find his ticket. He went from 0 to 100 in an instant . Calling me swearing not at me but swearing having a complete meltdown in front of his friends and blaming us for starving him.I calmly told him to not speak like that and I would look on internet to buy another ticket as we had all the other kids so no choice really but there was no settling him down. Even his friends were trying. Anyway eventually one of his friends grabbed his phone and found his ticket.

Instantly he was back to normal. A long winded story but trying to explain that when things dont go his way or he is forced he has no control over his reactions and has a full blown stress response ( like a tantrum) . It also doesnt matter who is there either he just cant stop.

Symptoms of ODD may include: frequent temper tantrums excessive arguing with adults active defiance and refusal to comply with adult requests and rules deliberate attempts to annoy or upset people blaming others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior often being touchy or easily annoyed by others frequent anger and resentment mean and hateful talking when upset seeking revenge

I am no expert but my son fits all of the above 

Alot of his friends are younger than him and again I feel that this is also linked to ODD as because they are younger they look up to him and give him validation whereas most of the kids his age probably dont understand when he has an outburst.

There are lot more things but I could go on for ages but he really does fit into this pattern. My husband and I are both very organised and I would say like things in control which is the exact opposite of what my son needs. 

My husband and I have tried the hard line approach and its not working it just makes things worse so we are trying to change our parenting style to a more guidance rather than you have to ....

It's not easy and we are still going to restrict the amount of money we give him but word it in a more guiding way rather than a punishment or ultimatum. Hope that makes sense.

It's not going to be easy and it will probably take my son a while to get over us " starving him" as he says but we have to try. I am looking at finding some parenting course for kids with ODD as well to help better educate us. And I also hope that its not too late to rebuild what is clearly broken.

I would love to get a formal diagnosis but at my sons age I cant force him to go and see someone it has to be his decision and with ODD I also dont want to label him as this would just lower his self esteem even more.

We both need now to focus on trying to rebuild our fractured relationship which I know wont be easy but 1 step at a time. We now know we can set boundaries but just not telll him they are boundaries if that makes sense as as soon as he hears boundaries or consequences then he pushes back so it needs to be guided and focus more  on the little positives that we may get  and acknowledging them .

My husband and I talked thru a small plan re giving a little money even though he isnt going to school but not enough so that hopefully he may reconsider himself down the track or even think about getting a job. This way it's almost like a bit of a compromise without the lecture. Again hard to explain and far too long to write out here. We are also going to contact the school nd see what we can do to get him to pass year 9 again it may not happen and we need to accept that as he is more important then school.

Im not saying our issues are fixed by any means but I feel better knowing what im dealing with just wish I had known earlier.

Its a long road ahead but we have to try.

Sorry this is all about me but I am thinking of you guys

Take care x

Prolific scribe

Re: HELP! At a loss and super worried.

Hi @Sandee,

Apologies for my delay in replying. My hubby is away for work and as usual it's all happening here. Have lots of anxiety at the moment but then reading your message and you so kindly being so raw and sharing your experience has been so wonderful to read.

I am so extremely pleased you had a lightbulb moment and that the visit with the psychologist went well and that together you have a plan for moving forward. I know, like you said there's no quick fix but it's very inspiring to read your message.

What you're doing makes total sense and I love how you're looking at rebuilding your relationship. I hope you have luck with contacting school and they are supportive.

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a long response and I really really really hope it all goes well for you. I love your updates so thank you for sharing.

I know it sounds wishy washy but I honestly believe the universe connects people for a reason. I feel we were meant to contact (especially considering our situations).

On our end the paediatrician we've been dealing with interestingly enough told me that she thinks our son has ODD and displays CD (Contact disorder). She knows he also suffers with anxiety and low self esteem and had prescribed him anti anxiety medication but he is reluctant to take this at present.

I am concerned about these meds as she advised me:
1) they have a chance (small but there nonetheless) of heightening suicide tendencies behaviours.
2) do not mix well with alcohol or other drugs. (which we know he is experimenting with).

Anyway I am not comfortable with the take away EVERYTHING approach and we had to end the consultation as she had her next appointment. Interestingly enough though she then sent me an email a few days after to forward the school (which I have not done yet), to state that he suffers from anxiety, low self esteem etc, and that he has ODD and that school should use positive reinforcement rather than punishment which he will just rebel against. She stated what a troubled child etc and goes into a lot more detail.

I have two thoughts on this.
1)This contradicts what she told me but definitely sits better than her initial reaction.
2) The letter has a lot of detail and I am not convinced of the school's support. They don't keep things as private and discrete as I would expect.

So there's our conundrum at the moment. He had a terrible day today so things are not in a great space at the moment. I am trying hard to support him and listen so that he feels he can open up. Tiny snippets but no real luck.

One step at a time.

Wishing you all the best. X