tamz's picture
tamz

Looking for Wisdom - Boy (17) consequences

My son is 17.  I posted a discussion on wheather to leave him home on Easter because he is so disruptive.  I did leave him home , but got him a basket and called to tell him I love him and would love it if he could respect the other family members and me.


 


I am asking for advice now on consequences for  his behavior.   


 


I would like some suggestions on consequenses and restitution (our most recent therapist told me he should make restitution every time he does wrong) ... He does not have anything I can take from him.  He had a game system, but he sold it for pot.  All he has is clothes,shelter and food.  His violations are things like:



  • Stealing from his brothers bank (did that today)

  • punching hole in wall

  • Breaking into my bedroom

  • laziness

  • eats everyones share of food items

  • drastically messy

  • smoking cigarettes and pot

  • drinking alcohol


tamz's picture
tamz

I guess nobody would know what to do with a boy like this one.  I decided to print him an invoice for the stolen money, hole in the wall, the worthless door lock and the bent knives.  The total came to $50.00 (considerably less than the acutal damage.) I was trying to force him to make restitution.  He left the house and has not been back.  He will return, like he always does, to tell me I was "trippin" and that's why he left with no permission.


 


I'm still trying!!! 

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad


At 17 what can really be done? You try and make him accountable, but he leaves. Punishments you have tried have obviously not worked. Your son is self centered and the only one who matters to him, is him. Like the alcoholic who will not change, your son is on a path of self destruction. As with most people like him they need to hit rock bottom in order to begin to want to change. Since he has no problem stealing from his own family I would venture to say he would have no problem stealing from anyone. He’s a thief.



The home he lives in, the home you have worked to provide, he uses as a punching bag? This is done as a way of expressing his anger, it is also done as a way to get what he wants. It’s called a tantrum. Even in your “punishment” you do not let him know the actual cost of the damages he has created. This young man, because he is no longer a child, has been babied for too long, and this is the result of it. Long ago I would have had him declared as “Unruly” with the juvenile courts. He would have gone by the rules, or gone and sat in a cell. Your son acts the way he does because he has been allowed to do so.


tamz's picture
tamz

Thnx SnglDad - I'm sure you are right


 


I am a pretty gentle person and I have still had success with many young people, but this one needs less pardon and more punishment;  It's not my strength.


 


I have given him too much pardon because I felt guilt for the things he did not have such as a father. I already knew all this, I wanted an idea of what to do now. 


 


Thank you again for your suggestion on declaring him "unruly" it's not an option in my state.  I also appreciate your insight on the invoice vs the actual damage.  My thinking was if I took all his money he would not see a reason to keep his job.


 


I'm still kinda lost with things but it's always nice when someone offers another perspective.

greenwave's picture
greenwave

hi tell him he needs to cach up with it



 

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

tamz,
I'm sorry to hear you're going through such a tough time w/ your son. Unfortunately, I think, HauseMan is right. Your son has to learn the hard way. I know that's difficult to hear, but obviously nothing else is working. Please don't feel guilty. I'm sure you did the best you cld under the circumstances. Continue to show your son how much you love him, but let him face the consequences of his actions. Until he does, he may never learn.
Also, your son's just 17. Can you force him into rehab w/out him having to consent to it? I always thought 18 was the age that a person can refuse treatment if he/she doesn't want it.

tamz's picture
tamz

I posted this challenge 6 months ago and I appreciate those who offered advice. I think all the advice given here is sound. My son is now forced to take responsibility for his own actions. I kicked him out of my house on June first. He is now living with his father, who took zero responsibility for him for the last 13 years. My home is calm, clean and happy now. I do not feel guilty for kickig him out bacause I gave him many many opportunities to change his behavior.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

tamz,
I'm happy you came to a decision about your son. I believe you're doing the right thing. I wish you and your family all the best. I hope your son's situation turns itself around, and I hope you can all be close again as before. Best wishes always.

tamz's picture
tamz

That's awesome singledad. I hope this helps any parents who are having trouble with a challenging kid. The path you are suggesting is not easy and it takes a lot of dedication, time and energy. This would only be for those parents who are serious and not too selfish to stick with it. Also, it won't work for all kids because some kids don't want to be saved ... that is they like the troubled lifestyle that brings them instant satisfaction. Thanks again!

tamz's picture
tamz

I understand your percieved obligation to your son, but you have an obligation to your other two children as well. The best thing I have done for my son was to let go and stop making excuses for him. For the longest time I forgave his behavior because I thought it was my own fault for the way i raised him. The hardest part was that I did not think the people who told me to give up on him understood. I wanted to believe, every time there was a major incendent, that he had learned his lesson and would improve. Your son is 16 and he is accountable for his own behavior. I would insist on two things immediatley: 1. He must get a job 2. He is not allowed to bring drugs anywhere near your home. You give this kid grace but at the same time do you realize you are sacraficing you other children? You are condoning his immature behavior. I would tell him that is he violates one of the ONLY two rules, he must go live with his father. Regardless of wheather he is close to his daughter or not. Honestly, his daughter is better off without his drunken, drugged and jobless behavior in her life. You have to get tough teerace or you are doomed and you are allowing him to indirectly abuse your other two kids. I know this first hand and it took me so long to take real action because I had so much hope that he would imporve. If you allow him to behve this way he will continue forever and then you are partial to blame for the influence he has on his daughter and your own kids. 16 is old enough to suck it up and act like a man!!!

tamz's picture
tamz

I REALLY DO understand how you are feeling. Kyle was so selfish and I felt like I NEVER had anything good to say. I used to find things to praise him for. Even if he picked up his own socks I would thank him as a way to say SOMETHING positive!! Kyle was also diagnosed with ADHD and, in my opinion, that is used to excuse bad behavior too. Kyle loved his littel brother (i have a boy 8 years younger than Kyle) but he is still a bad role model for him by not taking responsibiilty for his life. Your daughter loves your son with all her heart and when you love someone so much and your so young you think what they do is okay. I'm sorry if I sound hardened, but I was not effective in my son's life when I was easy going. Of course your son is a good person and I'm sure he apologizes when he messes up, but he will continue to mess up and then fix it with an apology as long as you let him. I KNOW THIS. My son has a good heart and he loves his momma and he is so young and he just needs a little help and once he gets older he will be better and so on and so on... You won't get what I'm saying just by reading this post (God I wish it had been that easy for me!!!!) But you will understand when you finally let him go. You must force him to comply and meet certain expectations and timelines. When he does not, he must endure the consequences. If you go to pick him up and he is drunk then go home and refuse to participate in excusing his behavior. If you kept him away from his daughter because he was drunk then was he really fathering her??? The answer is no and you know that! Stop allowing this it's the only way to help your son. YOur not helping him now, your hurting him.