Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

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Super frequent scribe

Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

Hi
My 14 year old son was just brought home by the police. This is 2nd time in less than a month that he's been in trouble with the police.
I could smell alcohol on him.
He's been hanging around older teenagers 16-18 who have their own problems but are making poor life choices. My son is making those choices with them.
He has said it was his mental illness (he has depression) that made him do what he did tonight. He said something triggered it. I said it was all the drinking but you can't reason with a teenager who has been drinking & thinks they know everything.
He apologised for what he did but he keeps making the same mistakes.
He thinks he can go on centrelink & move out of home.
I don't know when he'll realise he needs to make some serious changes.
His attitude towards life at the moment to me seems like it's all about having a good time & that he doesn't care about himself or his future.
He's on medication for depression. I got him into Headspace but he's only seen the psychologist once, he missed/ didn't want to attend his last 2 appointments. I hope he goes this week. He really needs it.
I don't know how to help him because how can you help someone who doesn't want to change. I can't force him to make wiser choices, I can't stop him from hanging out with the wrong people, I can't even get him to go to school.
Parent Community Champion

Re: Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

Oh dear @Nikkita this is such a troubling time for you. I can only imagine how worried you are. 

 

Without knowing all the details, my initial thought was that this is risk taking behaviour. Teens now a days are take risks in different ways to predecessors especially in cities. Dr Ian Lillico from the Boys Forward Institute in WA suggests that all teens are encouraged to partake in safe risks regularly - scouts, mountain biking, rock climbing etc. Of course mild mannered teens may see risk in less dangerous activities. 

Have you read the Reachout article on risk-taking?

There are some other interesting articles on The Conversation , Kids Helpline   or Raising Children

 

I am sure there is someone on the forum who may have better suggestions. I hope they can share some ideas for safe risk taking activities as well. 

 

Good luck, big hugs and please let us know how you go. 

JA
Community Manager

Re: Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

Hi @Nikkita,

I can imagine having your son brought home by police would have been overwhelming Heart Your son's friends are also that little bit older where there is access to more risk taking behaviours- it must be really hard to watch him make these decisions and know they aren't what you want for him.

You've mentioned your son hasn't been going to his appointments with headspace. On the days he doesn't go, I would really encourage you to keep the appointment and go yourself. I have seen a number of parents who attend their children's appointments when they don't want to go, and having the space to work through some strategies to manage these challenging behaviours with someone who has worked with your son might be helpful. What are your thoughts on this?

@JAKGR8 has listed some great resources here- would love to hear your thoughts after reading some of these Heart
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Super frequent scribe

Re: Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

Hi
I've tried for the last 2 years to get him to do any kind of physical activity. He went to the gym for a short while but gave it up. He's not interested in doing any physical activity.
I've read a lot of parenting books. I'm aware of the risk taking etc but when you can't get your teen to participate in anything you can't do much else to help them. I've offered & offered.
He came home so drunk tonight that he fell over in his room & urinated on a pillow & blanket on the floor.
I hope he attends an appoiment we have on Friday with support services. He cancelled last week because going out with friends was more important.
Thank you for your reply.
Super frequent scribe

Re: Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

Hi @JAKGR8
Thank you for taking the time to reply.
Yes I'm aware of risk taking. Unfortunately I can't get my teen to participate in anything. I've offered countless times to pay for anything he's interested in doing. He would rather hang around with the wrong crowd.
Thank you for caring enough to reply.
Parent Community Champion

Re: Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

Hi @Nikkita,

Ohhh, it's so hard. I really feel for you.

Probably not the best advice, but what may have helped me with my son (we had similar experiences last year) was to stop trying to help.

He new the expectations we had in the house and it was up to him to participate in the family or not. I no longer tried to find ways to get him to "help himself".

Now I cant say his improvements were due to my change in parenting styles, but it could have played a part.

I also dont think it's the best advice most of the time, but for me it was all I could think of doing (after throwing everything at it for 9 months and coming up with nothing positive).

It's such a hard situation and you will find your own way through it. Keep is posted and good luck!!!
Super frequent scribe

Re: Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

Hi @Dad4good

Thank you so much for replying & sharing. To hear someone else has been through what I'm going through helps me to not feel so alone.

Yes I think your strategy may be useful at times! As I finally gave in & told him he could go to court on his own last week (after repeatedly offering my support & being rejected) & then 5 minutes later he asked if I'd meet him there.

Things just seem to be getting worse. He's avoiding me & hardly talking to me.

Thanks again & so glad to hear things have improved for your son & you & your family. There is light somewhere down that dark tunnel, it just takes awhile for teenagers to find & see it!
Highlighted
Prolific scribe

Re: Trouble with the police, refusing to attend school, drinking, talking about moving out

Hey there @Nikkita, it's been awhile since we last heard from you, how have you been recently?

 

I'm glad that the strategy from another parent was helpful to you! Did you son end up going to his appointment with the services? 

 

Thinking of you Smiley Happy