Teen Expulsion(9 Posts)
Looking for help. My son is 14 and in the past two years, his behaviour has become progressively more challenging and academic attainment bottomed out to the point of exclusion and remedial measures. Bright, outgoing, empathetic and capable, he started secondary school well, albeit with the forgotten homework, left resources at home scenario impacting upon his overall performance and attainment.
It seemed he was with a group of similarly capable boys, who were slightly subversive but always got their work done to a very high standard and to time.
Though bright, it is felt that my son got himself engrossed in the subversive side and wasn’t getting the work done and therefore, stood out for the wrong reasons. This then spilled over into something more sinister-wilful destruction of other student’s course work, disobedience/defiance and aggression towards academic staff.
He would walk out of classrooms, detentions or in the latter context, not attend. His mother and I separated and later divorced when he was 5.
However, until this point, he and I had a very positive relationship and spent quite a lot of time together. I live some distance away and as might be expected, as his secondary schooling progressed and he gained more independence, cultivated a more detailed sense of personal identity, values, it was agreed he would spend less time with me. A natural and not unusual progression-part of life. This steadily evolved into a more visceral rage/contempt for me and toward my home and property.
He would spend the majority of the time in his room and reacted very badly to my setting of boundaries. He has also become physically violent toward myself but at the other extreme is very manipulative, being very (superficially) charming to my mother and her partner and other people. In addition to extensive pastoral care, he has had counselling and similar interventions.
His recent spell at a pupil referral unit also showed great promise but when he returned to his school, the old behaviours resumed and intensified. On the one hand people have to want to accept help and he must turn that corner. On the other, he seems hell bent on self-destruction. I would rather him never see me again and have a happy, positive future, than continue along this path. I am not prepared to be blackmailed, emotionally, or otherwise by him, or my ex-wife. However, I was wondering if anyone had been in a similar situation and how they resolved it?
Just read that back, should've read until 12 months ago, he and I had a close and very positive relationship.
All you can do is listen to him, reassure him that you love him and keep up the firm boundaries and high expectations (not necessarily academic but in terms of expecting him to grow into a kind and responsible adult).
You would do him no good by withdrawing from him, no matter how much He rejects you now.
Other than that, you wait and help him pick up the pieces when he's ready to do so. Some kids just have (or choose) a rougher path than others.
Oh and try not to end up being in a position where you are fighting against him or being adversarial. Of course you don't let him blackmail you but don't end up fighting him on a point of principle either. Meet him halfway if you can, sideways steps if you can't.
It sounds like he is really angry. Is your relationship with your ex still conflicted? Do you agree about how to parent your son? Does he have a new step dad and/or younger half siblings so he might be struggling to work out where he belongs? I work with families post separation and unhappy 14 year old boys often act in the ways you describe. Can you find him some counseling or extra support. Bottom line is he is still a kid who needs support no matter how frustrating/difficult his behavior.
Sorry, just saw he had already had counseling!
Have you thought of going away 1-1, perhaps in nature and away from everything for a father- son bonding experience? Unfortunately not in England, but there's a Dr running father/son camps in Australia designed to help with challenged teenagers:
Not aware of any here in the UK.
www.familyadventureproject.org/2013/05/father-son-adventures/ Similar idea in scotland
Mary21- looks like an interesting programme. Although Dr Arne is a Doctor and has expertise in adolescent depression. I watched him give a talk on brain chemistry in adolescents once- very interesting.
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