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Teen engaging in criminal activities

Teen engaging in criminal activities

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Active scribe
TiredMumof4

Teen engaging in criminal activities

I am after some advice on how I engage with my 15yo son. After running away 3 months ago, he has returned home as part of his bail conditions. This is his first time offence. He is showing no empathy or responsibility for his choices and the consequences that are affecting our whole family. I am trying really hard to remain calm when talking to him and not get riled up by his responses but man it is hard when he is apathetic to the whole situation. Any advice gratefully received.
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Matthew-RO

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

Hi @TiredMumof4,

 

I want to say first that I cannot imagine how stressful and heartbreaking it must be to experience the arrest of your child. What supports do you have for yourself though this?

 

May I ask what your son was changed with? Did they tell you why they were running away?

 

It must be frustrating to have such a disconnect between your perspective and your son’s perspective of his crime. Where do you think his apathy is coming from? Has he explained why he doesn’t care about this process?

 

Active scribe
TiredMumof4

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

It’s pretty challenging. I have a good support network around me who are helping me.
He has been charged with stealing and robbery currently waiting to see a lawyer for some advice.
He says he ran away because I try to force him to do things- go to school, look at getting a job, playing sport and helping around the house. I wouldn’t buy him a play station and tried to set boundaries. Where he stayed allowed him to do what ever he wanted, not go to school, smoke drugs etc. He tells me they treated him better.
I’m not sure where the apathy is coming from, he just doesn’t see the big deal. My eldest son assures me I taught them right from wrong (which is comforting) and he just needs to time for his brain to catch up and sync with what he knows.

He doesn’t see the consequences are that bad- all he needs to do is tell the judge he’ll do a program and he’ll be fine.
Mod
Matthew-RO

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

Hi @TiredMumof4,

 

From what you have told me it sounds like you have set very clear boundaries around what is acceptable and have tried to look after his best interests. I am really glad to hear that you have a good support network.

 

Did you report him going missing to the police when he ran away?

 

At a certain stage, if you are doing all you can to help your son, nothing is working and he is not taking any action to help himself, he is now accepting total responsibility for his actions. Consequences and boundaries must come of these actions regardless of what his attitude is at this moment. While he may have no issues now with his first charge, if he continues, that will change quickly for him. My advice would be to continue what you are doing, setting strong boundaries and tolerating no drug use or criminal activities in the house. There may be some compromise on expectations of his behavior around work/chores etc so he feels less motivation to break the conditions of bail in the short term. But setting some clear non-negotiables around him staying in the home is key. I think you have done an excellent job of this so far.


That doesn’t mean that you can’t support him or show him that you love him and are there for him. But you cannot bare the burden of his choices.  

 

I would also recommend getting him connected to a counsellor or social worker (if the court isn’t organising one), so he has someone outside of the household to talk to and provide him with another avenue of support/reinforcement of staying on the straight and narrow.

Active scribe
TiredMumof4

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

Thank you.

I reported him missing to the police and when they located him the adults in the house said he was staying there. So they couldn’t do any more because of his age. I also reported to the local child protection services who told me all I could do was wait for him to come home.
I have tried to link him with a local youth at risk program and they tried to locate him and provide supports but he had switched off his phone so they were unable to contact him. I will try to re-engage them again now he has to be at home as part of his bail Conditions and curfew.
I have spoken to him about going to the GP and seeing if we can link him in with someone. He has agreed- hopefully he will follow through this time.

Thank you for your feedback- sometimes you just need to be reassured that you are doing the right things.

Hopefully we can get back on the right track without too much of a detour
Community Manager
Philippa-RO

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

Just wanted to touch base to see how things have been going @TiredMumof4 ?

Was your son able to link in with some supports or the GP?

Active scribe
TiredMumof4

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

Hi Philippa
Thanks for reaching out. I was able to get him linked with a youth at risk program and a mentor, enrolled in a flexible school option and an appointment with a specialist in January. Unfortunately he hasn’t managed to stay out of trouble and has breached his bail and is currently MIA and having no contact with me or his two older brothers.

Getting back into school took longer than I had hoped (he still hasn’t had an induction scheduled) so it has left him with no structured activity during the day to keep him occupied and open to linking back in with the people who he had gotten into trouble with.

Currently waiting for him to get picked up for the breach of bail and we’ll start again. The breach may mean he is remanded in custody until his next court date though- although he doesn’t seem to think that will happen or is an issue.

I am of course very disappointed as we had a couple of weeks with some real progress in both his attitude and behaviour. Now it’s a waiting game to see what happens next.

Mod
Adam-R0

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

Hi @TiredMumof4 ,

Thank you for giving us an update. That's concerning that they've gone MIA. I can imagine it feels pretty difficult waiting for him to get picked up for breach of bail and trying to start the process again. That disappointment you mentioned is understandable. You've been really, really trying to turn over a new leaf. 

 

It's hard to be in the position you're in. I wonder, do you have any supports that are heling you out through this?

Active scribe
TiredMumof4

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

Hi Adam

Thankfully I have a very good support network of friends and family. I also have an amazing manager at work is very understanding and flexible!

I have also been talking to a professional as well.

I have 3 other children, one who graduates from high school this week, so it’s important that this doesn’t take over our lives. So I am really mindful of being present in their lives and celebrating them.
The two older ones really tried hard to bring their little brother back into the family fold and spend time with him- so I’m also talking with them so they aren’t feeling too negative about him.

It’s a constant juggling act- but I make sure I have some me time each day, talk with my friends and family - no one can pour from an empty cup!

We are just taking things each day as they come.
Mod
Courtney-RO

Re: Teen engaging in criminal activities

Hi @TiredMumof4 Thank you for getting back to us and updating us with what's been going on for you.

 

Firstly, I just want to say that this is such an awful situation for any parent to be put in, so it is so good to hear that you have such a great support system behind you.

 

Secondly, I wanted to acknowledge the importance of self care and say well done for making time for yourself and talking to a professional. It seems like you have some really good coping strategies in place right now and things are starting to look up. How are you feeling with everything going on currently?

 

We would love you to keep us updated, whenever you're comfortable.

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