12-16-2020 10:52 AM
I am new to reachout.com today. I need help with my youngest teen. I am a single full-time carer of two teenage boys (their father has not been in their lives for 6 years). The eldest who is 17 doesn't cause me very much grief at all, my youngest 16-year-old son is pushing every extreme and has been for the last 18 months. From stealing at the local shop so many times the police were involved to drinking and smoking pot and now cigarettes. I'm walking on eggshells around this kid. When he gets angry he breaks things and trashes the house. He was caught on the phone bragging about smoking pot with a friends mother 2 weeks ago and punched the desk and broke his hand. His friends are now encouraging him to run away and at 3 am this morning I discovered he had left the house. He admitted he had been doing it for 5 nights already and that he was at a girls house. He has done this before too. His mates are starting to have sex and many of his friend's parents supply alcohol and probably pot and cigarettes too. He likes to put on an act that we are poor and like he doesn't get things when in reality I may not have much but he has everything he needs and wants. People even give him money. I have no idea what he says about his brother and me to achieve these scams. its how he pays for his drugs and alcohol unless he is stealing money or alcohol I had in the house for cooking. I don't drink or do any drugs. I don't smoke. I'm very reclusive as going out costs money and id rather make sure my kids have what they need. I've hit a brick wall. He is about to start year 11 at school and he is going downhill fast but he use to be a great kid, he has always been quiet and isn't into sports or any team activities. He like electronics and guitar and piano. I try to encourage these things. His older brother has never done any of these things. I myself was homeless by the age of 16 and grew up in a very abusive house and was sexually molested by an uncle at 16 which turned me to a self-destructive life. I don't want my kids to suffer the way I suffered. I am strong in my faith and don't have family support as my parents are already helping my sister who suffered a terrible medical trauma in January this year. I'm sure many others can relate any advice is appreciated. He refuses to speak to anyone and won't let me get him help. I have taken him to a child psychologist in the past and counselling after his father and I separated. I've even tried to get my father to talk to him man to man but that was horrible for my dad as my son is beyond rude and spoke to my elderly father in a disgusting and rude manner. I'm ashamed that things have gotten this bad. You think you are back on the right track with him but he gets better at lying and covering up what he is really doing. I don't know how to parent him alone.
12-16-2020 03:02 PM
I'm sorry you have had to go through so much with your son, this must all be incredibly overwhelming, I'm glad you've reached out for support. Its really great that you have tried to engage your son in supports like a psychologist and talking to his grandfather, I'm sorry these options haven't had the positive impact you were hoping for. I'm wondering if his school has been able to offer any support or guidance? Sometimes schools are able to offer some advice or support with engaging students, particularly when they are heading into their senior years.
Here is a link to a page from the Raising Children Network about teens using alcohol and other drugs. It suggests positive role modelling as a great step in helping your children, which is something that you are already doing There are some other great tips in there that you might find helpful as well around where to get help like a GP, is that something you think could be useful?
I also want to highlight that it is so amazing that you are managing all of this on your own and that you deserve to have support as well, is there anything that you do to look after yourself? If you wanted to have a one-on-one chat with someone about what you're going through I can suggest calling Parentline, they offer phone counselling to parents and are available 8am - 10pm. I hope this is helpful, let us know how you get on