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



 

HauseMan's picture
HauseMan

Pot, eh ? That's a big sign right there. I saw several boys like this as a Juvenile Corrections Officer. I hate to say it, but at 17, you're just going to have to let HIM AND ONLY HIM, learn the hard way. It may take a trip to jail, or, regretfully, the emergency room, to wake him up. He's doing all the wrong things that seem so right at the time, but those things will eventually force him to face reality. We all go through our own version of "face the music".

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.

singledad_344's picture
singledad_344

I have read your problem and I have been there myself. My son is now 23 years old and past his "problem phase" . I raised my son as a single father from 3 years old. I was a police officer for a good part of his years until he was 16. My son was a follower and constantly connected himself with "wild kids" that loved the thrill of doing mischief without getting caught. In my police job I had a very good repore with kids who were running the street due to failed family structures. Most of which spent most of their time in correctional facilities and foster homes. Infact for a 5 year period I also was a foster parent specializing in kids that were designated "foster home runners" so I have seen it all. The one thing that I can say to any parent dealing with a teenager is "don't lecture" but connect instead. The very simple way this is done is most teens are looking for an adult mentor whether they admit it or not. As a parent you set the style of parenting at a very early stage. The fact is spending time with your child and I am not talking about 6 hours per week...but really spending time with your child --- allows you to connect and share interests. Now there is a catch to this . If you all of a sudden spend time with your child after years of not spending time ...they are not stupid and will block you out. Kids can sense your honesty. They can tell if someone has a genuine interest in their life. My son and I had a close relationship where his friends and him use to like hnging at the house on a friday night because I would join them for for such things as movie nights, tell jokes and laugh with them. When they displayed inappropriate behavior like discussing topics like where to score weed... my approach which worked was open a discussion about people you know who got hooked on various drugs and how they started... they would begin to share their stories of people they knew and over time they felt they could discuss this topic openly. The thing is, if your child is popular or has popular friends they will always try to push the limits. If a child does something like have a party when you are not home.... the best way to deal with the situation is having a one on one with the child and tell them that this behavior from the child is "disappointing" and tell the child that by doing this behavior a "trust factor" has been broken. Also explain to the child that you understand why they might have done this IE perhaps he or she was trying to impress their friends. The most important thing to tell your child is that by doing something like this places the parent with major liability such as if a child leaves the party impaired by drugs or alcohol and that all the parent has worked for could be gone in a flash. The child begins to really understand the far-reaching implications. I had an incident with my child when he was 13 where him and his friend stole 30 commercial boxes of trading cards from a store. My child did not get caught by the store but by me. He stored them in his bedroom closet. They had opened all the packages. The value was approx $400. I spoke to my child first and got his story. I then spoke to the other parent who refunded to believe their child would be involved. This upset my child as he stated they both removed the boxes. I knew his friend well as he came over all the time. I told my child that I would be speaking to the store owner. I suggested to the storeowner that I would pay him for the boxes and that I would like my son to work on the weekends in the store for the equivalent amount as he stole. He agreed. 16 weekends later my son finished his time but stayed on partime earning money. They loved his work ethic. He learned about responsibility and eventually used the pace as a reference for his next job when he got older....things don't always end up this way but if your part of your child’s life ...I mean really part of his or her life. Mutual respect will be part of your relationship.

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!