10-20-2021 03:35 PM - last edited on 12-08-2021 04:08 PM by Philippa-RO
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.
10-20-2021 06:03 PM - edited 10-20-2021 06:05 PM
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?
10-20-2021 06:24 PM
10-20-2021 06:55 PM
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.
10-20-2021 07:04 PM
11-17-2021 05:06 PM
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?
11-17-2021 06:21 PM
11-17-2021 10:06 PM
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?
11-18-2021 07:58 AM
11-18-2021 11:26 PM
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.