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At what point do you admit defeat and give up on your child?

(73 Posts)
LucyDontLockIt Fri 14-Sep-18 13:13:52

DS is almost 18 and has done nothing since leaving school 2 years ago. He managed to get a job at McDonald's and lasted a week before he was sacked for gross misconduct. Under pressure he's joined training schemes which are basically two days a week doing English and maths but half the time he doesn't even do that. He stays in bed until 3pmish and then goes out with his druggy stealing mates, sometimes all night.
He's been arrested once for assault but has basically been lucky in not getting arrested for other stuff he's done including trespassing, stealing, drugs and other assaults.
Everytime I think he's making an effort (signing up to college, applying for a job etc) it's only a matter of days before he goes out and gets smashed on drugs, gets into a fight, gets into trouble etc.
I've got him drug counselling, got him referred to cahms, got him counselling with them, tried to talk to him about aspirations etc etc, nothing gets through. His dad is useless and DH is passed caring (he's assaulted him and stolen from him too many times).
Most of his mates live in hostels. I've thrown him out before but always took him back as he had nowhere to go.
Now I find out he's getting involved in dealing. He and his mates are getting drugs from other parts of the country and selling them in our town. I also suspect they're stealing clothes as DS always seems to have clothes on him that I've not bought him and he has no money. Designer stuff.
To our faces he's nice, keeps himself to himself when in the house but all this other stuff is going on in the background.
I feel like I've done everything I can. At what point can a parent say "I tried"? I'm exhausted by it all.

Faster Fri 14-Sep-18 13:15:30

I’d be seriously considering reporting him to the police if I knew he was dealing drugs.
Horrible situation for you to be in x

Alpacanorange Fri 14-Sep-18 13:17:55

Do not give up. He needs you. He is in the shit right now, however he clearly cares what you think on one level because as you said, he is nice to your faces. In your circs, I would lay down the law, tell him your (& your dp of appropriate) expectations. He needs reining in, now, not giving up on.

Alpacanorange Fri 14-Sep-18 13:19:57

Also agree with faster I would call the police about the drug dealing. (Anonymously, I’m a coward).
He needs to get the fuck away from his cronies, college with family maybe???

SittingAround1 Fri 14-Sep-18 13:20:06

You might need to give him a notice period to leave and find other accomodation. He's an adult and should stand on his own two feet.

I'd say to him that you're always there if he needs help and advice but you can't support him living like this anymore.

recklessruby Fri 14-Sep-18 13:21:35

Was fully prepared to come on here and say you never give up on your dc but it sounds as if he s done this once too often and you can't take anymore.
Consider throwing him out. I know it's harsh but the reality of no money and sleeping on his druggy friends floors without decent washing facilities or food (if they are druggy it's likely to be squat type place) might make him realise what he s lost and wake him up to what you did for him that nobody else will.
Sorry you are going through this. 18 is a horrible age even if they are supposed to be considered adults.

FissionChips Fri 14-Sep-18 13:21:49

How can he be nice if he’s assaulted your husband?
Kick him out and don’t allow him back. He’s a horrible shit who doesn’t mind fucking up other peoples lives by supplying them with drugs and or assaulting them.

AamdC Fri 14-Sep-18 13:25:36

Horrible situstion Op but he is only 17 i wouldnt give up but i wouldnt be making life easy for himne either by giving him money etc, somone very close to me had a troubled adolesceny and by his 20,s was into drugs , he endrd up going to prison but fast forward 20 years hes a commited family man woeks hard etc i guess he grew up.

laurG Fri 14-Sep-18 13:33:27

Throw him out! You don’t need to give up on him but he needs tough love. My mum told me I was only allowed to stay with my parents past 18 if I was in full time education, temporarily unemployed or ill or saving for a house. Otherwise I was kicked out and it did me the wold of good. Change the locks and be rid of him. Always welcome but certain behaviour is not acceptable.

MatildaTheCat Fri 14-Sep-18 13:39:03

Do you have any family who live some distance away and would be willing to take him in for a while and have a fresh start?

If so I might tell him that you know about his criminal behaviour and outline what life in prison will be like including the risk of assault and intimidation. Offer him the chance to get away, start working or going to college (just about in time?) or you will need him to leave and peruse his chosen life of crime.

So very difficult. Don’t make empty threats though.

DancingDot Fri 14-Sep-18 13:41:23

So what happened to him? Why is he like this?

NewUserNameTime Fri 14-Sep-18 13:42:33

How awful. Are there other children? I think that would affect my decision of whether he could continue living with you

PenguinBollard Fri 14-Sep-18 13:45:14

Can you go and send him to live with his Aunt and Uncle in Bel Air?

Though I use that phrase lightheartedly, there is some sense in that approach. Do you have family you trust that are far away from this lifestyle he's leading who would perhaps take him under their wing for a while. Break him out of the mindset?

Babymamamama Fri 14-Sep-18 13:46:22

He is still under 18 so he would struggle to access housing and couldn't claim housing benefits etc. So it's good you're not making him homeless. Would you consider accessing family support services eg via your local children social care. He sounds like he needs some intense targeted support to get him on the right track and stop him slipping further into offending behaviours. Or alternatively a charity such as princes trust maybe they could allocate a mentor. Hope this is a passing phase and he can get on a positive track.

Theknacktoflying Fri 14-Sep-18 13:46:54

You are not giving up on him - you are not prepared to put up with his behaviour or carry on supporting and financing his bad decisions.

SoupDragon Fri 14-Sep-18 13:49:46

Did you mean almost 19 if he left school 2 years ago?

Anyway, I wouldnt have a drug dealer in the house' that would be the final straw for me.

SossidgeRoll Fri 14-Sep-18 13:49:59

the bit that jumped at me as an impartial reader was: His dad is useless and DH is passed caring (he's assaulted him and stolen from him too many times)

I'd start with those relationships. What went on? Can it be salvaged? What impact has this had on your DS - being completely honest?

Gersemi Fri 14-Sep-18 13:50:51

So what happened to him? Why is he like this?

I think the clue's in the word "drugs".

DarlingNikita Fri 14-Sep-18 13:52:22

I agree with SossidgeRoll.

Agustarella Fri 14-Sep-18 13:53:01

Can you stop him from going out and seeing the druggy friends, as a condition of staying with you? That would be a good start, if he only went out to go to college and to any work that he gets, and then came straight home. Of course, if he wouldn't or couldn't stick to this, you might have to ask him to leave, which would be a horrible dilemma. You've probably already tried all this, though.

What a society we live in, where the only incentive to be decent and law abiding is the freedom to live with your parents and get a shitty McJob. No wonder crime and drugs look appealing - not that I'm condoning his behaviour, obviously.

So sorry for your difficult situation OP. My son is the same age and doesn't really have any goals in life (though he isn't causing any trouble) so your post struck a chord with me.

Coffeeonthesofa Fri 14-Sep-18 13:54:20

Okay I've been where you are (similar at least, not the drug dealing though) and had to get my son to leave. People will judge believe me, but not the ones who know how much you have gone through, no one knows the full extent of what me and his dad have endured.
In our area the provision for homeless under 18's is better than for over 18's which may help you in making your decision.
We are still in touch with our son and see him regularly (and provide financial support) but we just couldn't have him staying at home any more.
PM me if you want to talk freely

Belletower Fri 14-Sep-18 13:56:13

He need's to be careful because there is a huge crackdown on County Lines drug dealing going on at the moment, and if he is caught he has effectively fucked up his life.

It sounds like he needs a real kick up the arse OP, something to scare him into realising he is making huge mistakes. Perhaps kicking him out would do it, but where would he go? Straight into the waiting arms of his druggy mates I expect sad

PermanentlyFrizzyHairBall Fri 14-Sep-18 13:56:23

I would never ever give up on my child but the support you give them would obviously change. It may be that removing him from your home is the best course of action at some point. If he does leave the house I would make sure you keep in contact and that he knows he is supported and loved but that you can't condone his lifestyle.

juneau Fri 14-Sep-18 14:08:54

Please report the drug dealing to your local police force OP and give them whatever information you have. Do it anonymously, if you can't face naming your DS, but tbh you might be doing him a favour to report him to the police. If you are aware of specific criminal actions by him then you should report those too. You are doing no favours currently by enabling his criminal behaviour and brushing it under the rug because he manages to be 'nice to your face'. He's a menace to your local area - by your own admission he's stealing and dealing drugs - FGS do the right thing.

beachysandy81 Fri 14-Sep-18 14:16:15

I think you should report him to the Police too. If he gets into trouble now it may be enough to scare him into sorting himself out. Don't chuck him and do it without him knowing. Sometimes you have to do difficult things to help people that you love.

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