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My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

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My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter


Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

hi @barbedwire welcome to reachout Parent forums


That sounds like you are in a really tough situation - for you, your son and the whole family.


What kind of support networks have you got around you?  Has he seen any sort of professional? Are the school doing anything to support him?  Has he got friends?


Its wonderful you are continuing to show him love and encouragement even though I am sure if feels so hard to do at times - its probably what he is needing most. Has he ever talked to you about what is going on for him?


Is school maybe not the right environment for him? Is he maybe better of in a different learning environment?


Its so hard when we don't know what is going on for them

Casual scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

hithank you for the reply. Yes it is beyond hard. he was doing a weeks worht of work expereince last week. We took him there, supported him in it. Then we rang the company yesterday afternoon up to ask how he got on and he was ont he phone telling me that he was on his phone constantly, going for smoke breaks every fifteen minutes and showing little enthusiasm., So they fired him. 

I was so annoyed and angry with him and wasnt even prepare3d to hear his side of the story because its the same old story. He got drunk last night with is freinds and told me that his life is always goiugn to fail, ever since the infants, he has got into trouble and has failed, (He has adhd). He says the coming year wil be the same, because he doesn tfeel he has a choice in how he behaves. 

He smokes, drinks and never washes or brushes his teeth. 

I think i might contact mental health professionals on monday, as nothign sems to work. Has is motivated by nothing.

Casual scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

there are no support networks, unless we call social services and i dont wnat to go down that route. The childrens society take hime out foir an hour each week to talk.


Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

@barbedwire that must have been disappointing for you that he didn't make more of an effort at work experience.  Sounds from what he said to you he is certainly suffering from depression and low self esteem. What does he get enjoyment out of? Is there anything? Computers? A sport? music? Something that makes him feel better within himself?


I looked up the Childrens Society as I haven't heard of it and you must be in the UK?  Im not familiar with them but sounds like a pretty good service.


Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

I am living in the USA and I resonate with this thread. I am supplying "all of the above" for my rebellious teenage daughter (16 yrs old) and she is tethered to her iPhone all day. She is disinterested in doing her home work. She skips school. Although I am providing food, water and shelter (conceptually speaking), I am not able to figure out how to mindfully change the game where she wakes up to the reality that she cannot take her privileges for granted. To be specific she trashes her room, leaves uneaten food in her room, does not respect common sense ground rules such all food should be consumed in the family/dining room.


While courses or books such as "becoming a better parent" are highly useful, I am running out of patience. I am looking for some practical legal advice and/or extra lift to figure out a go forward plan to resolve this challenge. 




Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hi @Roundell12, I have a very similar situation with you. I was wondering if anything has worked with your daughter. I am out of ideas and exhausted. I hope to hear back from you. Thanks!
Prolific scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Gosh, I can chime in here. My wife and I have been struggling with our 15 yr old son for 18 months now. 

We completed the Reachout online parenting. It was fantastic. However, everything we have done, our son develops a strategy around. 


His current behaviour:

  • We got him into a new school this year, based on him saying he would get back to working hard. He attended 50 % last term and is effectively failing subjects due to lack of work and or attendance. Worst is he is very smart and able to get A B marks easily. 
  • He may stay at home 1 or 2 nights a week.
  • He goes out without letting us know where he is, who he is with or what he is doing. 
  • Zero effort around the house on most fronts. Washing, clearing dishes, everything.


  • He does clean his teeth. 
  • He can get stinky, however will wash if asked to
  • He continues to train and play hockey


My wife had to go away for two weeks during the school holidays for a mental health break. 


Before the school holidays he was particularly obnoxious, especially to my wife. 

  • For example: Extreme bad language and abuse if asked to put a load of clothes washing on.
  • This has then extended to aggressive abusive behaviour, slamming doors, thumping through the house with heavy foot steps, threatening close physical proximity, yelling etc. 

While she was away things got even worse. 

  • He went into a rage for about 6 hours, ransoming objects around the house, determined to have me buy him replacement clothes that had been stolen from him. I attempted to calm him, but refused to cave into the threats. In response he started smashing firstly a large glass vase with a hockey stick. Once I cleaned it up and made dinner, he smashed the bowl of food against the wall. 
  • Later in the evening it extended to smashing a large kitchen window (into the house). Once the bulk of the glass was cleaned up, he smashed more glass in the broken frame. 
  • I got a glazier over to fix the window (Saturday evening). Once fixed he attempted to smash it again. 
  • Then he took my iPad and totally destroyed it. 
  • After this, he started smashing my bedroom door with a hockey stick. I was barricading myself and the dog in the room. The police had already visited twice in the evening. During this event, I was genuinely scarred. He was out of control. 
  • The police came during this final episode and took him away. 

He came back the next morning (Sunday), and I took him to hockey to play a game. 

He behaved with no apology or any apparent remorse. The only evidence was that he was pleasant to me for the first time for a whole day. 


My wife arrived back from her holiday and he started up again. This extended to threatening her on Sunday afternoon as he was leaving for the evening that "she was lucky he had not smashed the house up again". This threat spurred her into action the next day. She visited the police and several courts, finally finding that she could get a Restraining Order against him in the Childrens Court. This was granted on Monday. 


In the next day or so, he will be served with this Restraining Order. He will not be allowed to come within 100 metres of our house or her work. 


It is tearing both of us to pieces. However I know that he cannot be allowed to think he can carry out such extreme violence and threats without consequence. 


We have had to go for the NUCLEAR option. 



Star contributor

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hey @Orbit64 this is really emotionally taxing stuff you're both up against. I am so sorry to hear about these challenges. Are you and your wife seeking therapy together? I know it's annoying to budget in therapy but I think given the nature of these events it would be good for you to gain some support as a unit around this issue with your son. Estranging from a child can have really powerful effects on your self-worth and overall wellbeing, as well as your Son's (even though he may be non emotive and angry right now).


These positives are good - 


  • He does clean his teeth. 
  • He can get stinky, however will wash if asked to
  • He continues to train and play hockey

Well done for acknowledging, it sometimes can be easy to forget any pro's in situations like this, the window smashing sounded incredibly anxiety provoking, really feeling for you both.

Your son's brain is far from developed, and won't be done with the chaos of hormones and brain development until he is 25 according to studies. Who is he staying with whilst he is not allowed near the house? How is your own self-care routine and your wife's? I will tag some of our parents for insight as well as other mods.




@gina-Ro @taokat @sunflowermom

Parent/Carer Community Champion

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

Hi Orbit64
I am so sorry to hear what you and your wife are going through. My heart goes out to you. I know it must have been a heart breaking decision to get the restraining order. I would have done the same thing.
When things cool down a bit can you guys have a family meeting to discuss his behavior? Maybe meet at a resteraunt where he won't be tempted to smash things?
Keep us posted! We are hear to listen.
Prolific scribe

Re: My legal obligations towards my 15 year old daughter

He has not been served the notice by the police yet.


He actually said "bye mum" to my wife when leaving for school this morning. Once in a while there are little things like that that perk you up. However with what is coming, that will not be possible. 


I'm a typical fixer, so I am trying to put as many things in place indirectly to support him.

  • I've met with the Year 10 and student services co-ordinator and Youth worker at school
  • Have put a tab on at the School canteen so that he eats (we do not want to give him any cash). He has used it this week.
  • I have spoken to a previous Counselor he knows and put the Youth working in contact with her. We have confirmed we want her to help him with the ultimate aim of getting a family counselling program going. (we did individual and a group session with her last year, and my son refused to proceed to the next step)
  • I have put the Youth worker in contact with a housing facility that has interviewed my son and understands his situation (he refused to go there too)

The biggest problem we face is that we have the means to support him, just an attitude from him that he does not want anything to do with or be supported by us at all. He does not want any rules. Any place that will take a 15 year old has rules. 


We will see how long couch surfing lasts for him. Previously he has stayed away for days, comes home, has a long sleep, washes etc. He won't be able to do that now. Grim times for him and for us. 

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