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15 year old nightmare

(38 Posts)
ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 19:54:05

Hi all.
I've changed my username because I'm scared and expecting some awful feedback. This is a long post, just trying to be honest about it all.

My 15 year old is generally a sweet, popular, funny, smart boy (to strangers, his family or my friends) However he is also spoilt, selfish, extremely vindictive and has a bad attitude at school and home.

I am a single parent with no support whatsoever. I have struggled but have worked hard and he has everything he wants or needs and then some, the best of everything with regards to material things. I try very hard to be empathetic and give him emotional support but he actually just doesn't care and is just so mean to me, it breaks my heart. He sees/contacts his dad whenever he wants to but his dad doesn't show much interest. I haven't spoken to his dad in years because all I would get is abuse so now I just leave them to it. His dad has never supported us/me emotionally or financially. I try and talk to my son everyday, we spend a lot of time together, have holidays and days/evenings out doing things to try to engage him and keep him happy. I tell him I love him and my life literally revolves around giving him a good life. I've tried to give him everything I didn't have emotionally or financially but he definitely doesn't acknowledge this.

At the age of 14 (a year ago) he was finally diagnosed adhd, which explains a lot and I've really tried my best to educate myself and change my parenting to accommodate his needs. I changed his school as they were unsupportive. His new school is better although I think they just ignore a lot and there is no communication with me. I used to think it was a 'pick your battles' senario, now he's doing his GCSE's I'm not so sure.

Tonight I've had enough, he is just so shitty with his attitude, calling me a bitch, saying 'what do you want' 'I don't care' 'whatever' constantly, that's putting it mildly. I have now stripped his bedroom, literally everything has been removed apart from his bed, an uncovered duvet, pillow, uniform, school books and x2 underwear. Even down to the pics on his walls. All he has is apart from this is the clothes he is wearing and his phone because he refuses to give me that. I have said I will cook him a meal every evening but he needs to wash his clothes for himself.
He is smoking weed and vapes, our home constantly smells of it but he just blames it on the neighbours. He uses his deodorant as air freshener so I have thrown that away too and tomorrow will put a lock on his sash window so it barely opens.
Whilst clearing his room I found a huge amount of lighters, Rizla, vapes, vape juice and even balaclavas. I stopped giving him any pocket money about a year ago and just started putting it into an account instead (£10pw if he behaved) so he could buy himself stuff online if he wanted. He is supposed to do chores for this but that rarely happens. His friends get around £30pw so he doesn't even care about it even though I tell him he has now £150 to spend.
I am worried about gangs. I am in south london, he already had bragged to a friend in front of me that he was approached for county lines, offered £600. Tbh I think he was lying, to look big. Although I can't be sure, i don't mix in those circles, I don't let him out in the evenings, he is always contactable by his phone. He is very streetwise but I'm terrified that he sees gang culture as quite cool. If it means anything in this, he is mixed race. He definitely identifies as black and thinks it is the best thing ever! Which is fine of course... I hope I'm not being misunderstood here.

How the hell do I turn this around? I am having extreme guilt after removing his stuff but at the same time wish I could be stronger. I threatened to sell his newest and most expensive stuff (tv, Xbox, Nikon camera, trainers etc) can't see myself doing that though,.. should I really follow through?

Please help but be kind...

Ukholidaysaregreat Tue 14-Jan-20 20:05:05

I think you need to ban smoking in the house. It is very bad for mental health. Also he will be making bad / drug contacts when he is buying. Sounds very difficult - good luck!

blubberball Tue 14-Jan-20 20:10:02

Sounds like a really difficult situation, and tbh it sounds like you need more support. Are there support groups you could get in touch with, or any youth centres? I know that a lot have been cut.

You're the one paying the bills and financing everything, and it is your house and your rules. Don't feel guilty for removing privileges when he is not showing you any respect.

Good luck. Hope some one with better advice comes along soon.

ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:10:09

I guess I didn't make it clear. I don't allow him to smoke. I know he is doing it but without my consent, he just denies it.
This is why I've stripped his room, so he can't hide anything and I am going to lock his windows and stop buying him spray deodorant

Serin Tue 14-Jan-20 20:10:40

What is he like at school?
Can they offer you any support?

LakieLady Tue 14-Jan-20 20:18:33

No advice (save maybe sending him to a boarding school in the most remote bit of countryside you can find, which really isn't very practical, let alone affordable) but my heart goes out to you, OP. You must be worried sick, and feeling quite powerless.

I so hope he emerges from the other side of this phase unscathed.


thejollyroger Tue 14-Jan-20 20:22:26

I have now stripped his bedroom, literally everything has been removed apart from his bed, an uncovered duvet, pillow, uniform, school books and x2 underwear.

To be honest, I can’t see how this is going to help. He’s just going to see you as the bad guy and, as you’ve taken the bedding off his bed, not without good reason. What problem does that solve?

And with regards to his phone, taking that is really important. If he’s smoking weed and getting involved with the local drugs scene, he’s not doing that without his phone.

I think removing his X box and expensive items he doesn’t need is fine and I don’t really understand why you would take his bedding but not his x box.

ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:22:34

I think he is doing better in his new school. Academically he is ok, excelling in subjects he likes, poor in some , worryingly maths and science. I think this is more to do with not enjoying these subjects. He is a bright boy but he could achieve so much more.

ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:29:01


I've done this because a book I've read suggests this. It's also so he has no where to stash anything.
I would take his phone but he refuses to hand it over, I have parental restriction on his phone so no apps but he can text and WhatsApp. He deletes them daily so I don't find anything.

I want to remove it but he won't hand it over, I can't fight him for it. I also want him to check in with me when he arrives to school.

danni0509 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:31:13

Is he medicated for his adhd? To you see a consultant of any kind or have any other outside medical support or services?

thejollyroger Tue 14-Jan-20 20:32:17


Right, so the fundamental issue you have is that he is defying you. Who pays for the phone?

itsgettingweird Tue 14-Jan-20 20:35:03

Can you remove phone charger and put password on WiFi? I agree with above poster the access to the phone is most important.
School could send a quick email, text or something when he arrives? I know they are busy but as a student with send and at risk of safeguarding (drugs etc) I'm sure if you asked they be accommodating.

Ukholidaysaregreat Tue 14-Jan-20 20:36:31

Maybe take his phone once he is asleep?!? And with good behaviour he could earn stuff back? Are there any sports clubs or something like that he could join?

ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:39:44

Yes (unfortunately) he is medicated. It has made a huge impact for the best with regards to his learning. I think this is more a teenage rebellion issue because I don't think this is stuff he can't help. Cahms have closed his referral.

brittabot Tue 14-Jan-20 20:40:06

Can you contact his school to see if they have any support re county lines/gang involvement?

Also do you currently have any social service intervention? Maybe you could see if there are any youth support groups in your area?

I’m so sorry you are experiencing this, but there is help out there.

ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:41:09

I pay for his phone

thejollyroger Tue 14-Jan-20 20:41:51

Then cancel the contract. Tonight.

ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:44:11

Next up is asking school for more support tomorrow

I actually don't think removing his phone is the biggest issue. ... as much as I want to.
I think the weed issue is going on inside school. I have already told school about kids I'm concerned about and given them screenshot proof but not a lot has happened.

Namechanger212333333333 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:44:39

There are quite a lot of gang intervention charities out there... a lot are run by ex gang members who have gone to prison and come out the other side.

the idea is diversion... have a google in your local area if that’s a concern.

Raise the concerns with school so they can keep an eye on any signs as well.

They might be able to spot any indications of county lines... it’s so easy to get sucked in and hard to get out so best to nip it in the bud quickly.

OhWhatFuckeryIsThisNow Tue 14-Jan-20 20:45:48

Even if he’s joking, mention to the safeguarding lead at school about County Lines. If you’re paying for the phone, I think, and I may be wrong, but you can contact them and suspend it. But if he is involved then he’ll have a burner somewhere.

thejollyroger Tue 14-Jan-20 20:46:55


It’s absolutely the biggest issue. He is refusing to give it to you - why? Because he doesn’t respect you. If you cancel it, he will know you mean business. If you let him get away with this, you’re letting him stick two fingers up to your authority as his parent and the rest is predictable enough.

ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:48:12

It has little data to try and keep ahead of things although of course there is WiFi at home which I suppose I should look at changing password to.
However I am not comfortable with removing his phone because I sometimes leave home before him and want to know he's at school ok and same with after school as sometimes I'm home up to hours later than him. Also, as rubbish as he is that's his private lifeline to his dad

ifeellikecrap2020 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:49:13

...2 hours later

danni0509 Tue 14-Jan-20 20:49:51

@ifeellikecrap2020 yes I was going to say sounds like teenager issues. We know someone close having very similar issues.. except the child is a girl. Nightmare! I feel for you, really do thanks x

thejollyroger Tue 14-Jan-20 20:51:41

However I am not comfortable with removing his phone because I sometimes leave home before him and want to know he's at school ok and same with after school as sometimes I'm home up to hours later than him. Also, as rubbish as he is that's his private lifeline to his dad

So why tell him to hand it over? This is the issue when you say things you don’t mean: they know you’re standing on shaky ground. He now knows he can defy you with impunity, call you a bitch and still keep the one thing he wants to keep. So not only have you wasted your energy with stripping his room down, you’ve also reinforced that he’s in charge.

Good luck, OP, but I would recommend some sort of other help here. SS or police if you genuinely think he is involved with county lines dealing.

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