My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

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Casual scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

@Taylor-RO, I think we have seen some benefit from the therapy, perhaps mainly due to meds, though.  She has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and also high functioning Autism Spectrum.  Her psychiatrist suggested that the Autism is what prevented therapy from being very successful.  



Casual scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter


I think this is a positive step.
I really relate to where you are. All we can do is keep trying and try our best.
Thanks for sharing your experience.


Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

I am having issues with my son( refuses to go to school) , I would love some advice 

Prolific scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hello @Katwoman and welcome to the forums Smiley Happy


I'm sorry to hear that your having issues with your son. You mentioned that he's refusing to go to school, is that where the issues are coming from? Is there anything else going on that could be contributing to the issue?

ReachOut has a fantastic article over here on how to help a teen who refuses to go to school. It suggests things like talking with your son and talking to the school. What do you think? 


I've tagged in some of our other users to share their advice @Moggy3kids @taokat @Bren-G_ @Happy @PositiveWhisper @LostInUtah @sunflowermom @Orbit64


Parent Community Champion

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hi @Katwoman

Its so frustrating when then kids are refusing school and we don't know the root of the problem.  Will he possibly talk to a therapist or is it possible he will open up to you?

I agree with @Jay-RO talking to the school counselor might be helpful- at least keeping them informed about the situation can help you in the long term.  Maybe your son would consider an alternative schedule?  My daughter goes to only 5 classes per day at this point.  And it seems to be working for her.


Prolific scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Update on my son. A few weeks ago he requested an appointment with our family GP for an updated mental health plan. Good step. 


I booked a separate appointment a few hours before my son and met with the GP. My son has just turned 16, so he can ask for me to not be present which he did. This was worthwhile to make sure the GP understood all the issues we have and continue to experience with our son.


Out of this came an appointment with a counsellor and a Psychiatrist. I found a counsellor with lots of experience with teens, by talking to the manager of one of the housing services that has a great program for teens with trouble in their lives. He provided the contact which I then provided to my GP. 


There was a session with the counsellor on Monday a couple of weeks ago, followed by an appointment with a Psychiatrist the next day. My son was very focused on getting some types of antidepressant medication, which makes me very concerned and suspicious, based on past experience.


Fast forward two weeks and my son claims he took a months worth of the medication on the second night he had it. He met again with the Psychiatrist a few days ago, who showed great concern, however was very firm and clear in advising my son that if did this or claimed he did it again, he would involuntarily commit him to the public mental health system. Neither of us believe he did take it all, as the Psych says that dosage would have put him out comatose for several days. So there are three possibilities. 1. He took it and it did not affect him as the Psychiatrist says (improbable). 2. He did not take it and sold it (likely). 3 Any other number of possibilities as I am done guessing.


Once again, my son appears to make some progress and baulks at really doing anything that would provide him concrete results.


There is one good outcome. I was so impressed with the counsellor, that I made an appointment for myself. I am an Engineer and I love to have my mind occupied working out how to fix things. This can be technical, strategic, business systems, difficult teenage son, what ever. The upsetting thing is, all my efforts to help my son, have been to no apparent worthwhile effect. This is completely disheartening and just saddens me to the core. I do at times feel like giving up. Maybe it is time for my son to just take the consequences and realise that the only person trying to help him has finally given up?


So I went to the counsellor, to re-fill my box of tools. Ones that he is skilled and experienced with. It did give me a new perspective and several ideas how to help me to influence my son in positive ways. There have been a few positives and small improvements in communication in the last week as a result. 


However I have the nagging feeling I am being played by my son once again. So I hesitate to get any hope up, as it has been dashed so many times in the last 3 years. I have another appointment with the counsellor early next week. I booked this, as after the last Psychiatrist appointment, I was genuinely despondent and felt there as little point in continuing to try and help my son. I still feel most of the time that my emotional bucket is just totally drained and in severe drought. 

Parent Community Champion

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hi there @Orbit64 - thank you for the update. Wow a lot has happened for you in the last few weeks. 


The main thing I want to say is just how incredible you've been to continue to support you son, and be so proactive in getting the right supports in place. I'm really blown away by your wisdom and discernment around what's going on, and the way in which you've been able to link him in with the counsellor - who sounds great. 


Huge well done on deciding to see the counsellor for yourself and add to your own tool box - sounds like you really need the support at the moment, and I'm not surprised that you feel so drained considering everything you've been carrying. 

The good thing is you've got a few more people in your support network now - for you and your son. 

Please let us know how you go with the counsellor.

I hope you find some other ways to keep adding to your bucket as well

Thinking of you  Heart

Parent Community Champion

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hi @Orbit64

You are doing an amazing job!  I think having a counselor for ourselves is so important right now.  You are going to the same one as your son?  I think that's brilliant because they really hear both sides and they can give you incredible feedback on your sons progress.  It sounds like you keep looking for the positive and trying to be proactive.  

I understand that uncertainty of feeling like you are being played by your teen.  They have done so much to break our trust and its nearly impossible to always be 2 steps ahead of them.  I often feel guilt for not trusting my daughter.  But my blind faith days are over its hard to hope and believe everything she says.  Maybe its good that we still have reservations about their actions, its less devastating to us when they make a bad choice.  My bucket also feels like it has a big hole in it.  But we keep seeking to press on.

Prolific scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hi @sunflowermom


Thanks for your words of support. I hope things are moving more forward than backward with your daughter. 


I made the toughest decision today that I have ever made. My son called me asking/pleading to come home this afternoon for the first time in 7 months. Something really serious has happened where he is staying with his girlfriend. Some kind of blow up with her grandmother and now the grandmother is accusing both of them of being violent. He claims he did nothing other than comfort and calm his girlfriend. His accommodation options have borrowed once again. 


Talking to him though, my son still refuses to even acknowledge what has happened and any part he has had in it. I feel he will walk back in simply doing all the same things as he did. The outcome would be predictable. Extreme disrespect and aggression from him toward my wife, me and my daughter, leading to dispute then raging abuse and likely violence from him. So I can’t let him come home. 


I said he could come home, but we had to rebuild our trust and family relationship first. I said that I did not understand what had happened, or why, and most likely he did not either. However, one way to rebuild trust was that he could attend counselling with me to work out a way to rebuild our relationship and trust so that we could feel safe in his presence again. I said I have an appointment on Monday afternoon. I said I had no ideas how to do this and I’m sure he did not either. So we needed someone to help. 


He he did not respond well, as he was already really upset from what has transpired with his girlfriends grandmother. So, it was left there with nothing more said. 


I followed up with several text messages with no response from him.

Who knows what the next few days have in store for us all. 


All he wants is a safe place to stay. But he still does not appear to have any ability to acknowledge that he has a functional part to play in being a family if he wants to come home. Until I see some kind of understanding or even recognition of this from him, I can’t let him come home. It would destroy my wife’s mental state and mine too.


It still tears me apart making this kind of call though.  


Parent Community Champion

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hi @Orbit64

My heart is breaking for you- I know how excruciating it is to make a decision to not just allow him to come right back today.  I know our kids always expect us to let them just fall right back in where they left off.  But that makes us enablers for them to continue those unhealthy behaviors.  Keep reaching out to him- he will eventually respond.

Can you say you want to meet him ( and probably his gf) somewhere for a hot meal?  And just talk for a couple minutes? I was thinking what I might do in your situation.  I think the counselor meeting is a great idea, you have to set those boundaries  and rebuild.  Can you finds another place for him to stay for a few days?  A trusted family friend or family member?  How about getting him a room for a couple days or a hostel?  If he agrees to a meeting with you maybe you could have a couple ideas for temporary shelter ready for him   Also, he if will meet with you over a meal or coffee you know he is willing to try to take some ownership and change his situation.

This trust rebuild thing take a long time.  My head automatically always jumps to the worst conclusion with my daughter.

Do you already have safety precautions in your home that might bring you and your wife some comfort when he does come home?  Alarms, cameras, locks on everything?  

I'm keeping good thoughts for your family today.  Hopefully you and your wife could do something for distraction today and for your own mental health.