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MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers

(480 Posts)
MaryZcary Sun 28-Oct-12 10:12:41

I am starting this thread in the hope that it will become a safe space for those of us strugging with very challenging teenage behaviour.

I'm hoping that it will be a support thread, rather than descend as so many threads do into a "criticism of the parents". Those of us in this situation know that it is pretty much impossible to just "tell them to stop" or to "ground them", and taking away phones, money and gadgets leads to lying stealing and running away sad.

Sadly it seems cannabis is at the bottom of an awful lot of these children's problems, and I'm hoping we can talk about that here without having to defend ourselves against the "cannabis does no harm" brigade. So if anyone tries to turn it into an argument about whether cannabis is addictive or harmful, could you please just ignore them and hope they go away - or start another thread which I can hide where they can argue away happily.

Anyway, sign in if you are interested. I'll be back later.

Maryz Fri 23-Nov-12 07:53:27

That's horrible Flow, especially late at night.

We had a visit from the drug squad recently. Funnily enough, dh was very shaken, I'm much more resigned these days. ds is top of their shit list atm. It reminds me of school inthat I'm sure he does a lot wrong, but not half as much as they think he does, iykwim.

Thank goodness he had an alibi.

willwegetthrough Fri 23-Nov-12 14:42:06

Still dipping into this thread for comfort (sorry!).

DD has been on a fairly even keel the last few days although the week started badly - she was very down. I spoke to mentor at school yesterday just to ask that she be given as much support as possible - she wants to get through her schooling (although hating it) given the work she's already put in. Mentor was nice enough but says dd has to WANT the support/help. I did understand - she puts up such a defensive barrier. She has some horrible marks on her arms at the moment - I hate to think of her feeling the need to do that to herself.

Thinking of everybody - hope you're all coping.

brighterfuture Fri 23-Nov-12 15:34:39

It really does give me some comfort to know that I am not alone in dealing with a difficult teen. It is so stressful parenting a child who wants to self destructt.

I Just stopped work to go into school to pick up Ds who was ill ( though seems ok to me)

I was Pulled into deputy heads because ds has had so many unauthorised absences and also missed 3 hours of detention so now he has 6 to do. He just doesn't get it that if he misses a lesson he'll have to do 2x the time in detention. Nearly all his free time now should be spent in detention so I very much doubt he will go.

Next On to the secretary who tells me he has failed to sign and hand in a form to enrol him for his baccalauriate exams and the closing date has passed so they can't print him off another !
I Have to plead/ cajole and beg and the find another teacher to get a different thing signed. All the while ds losing his temper because none of it is his fault of course and he's dying of illness and why can't we just go home!

Once home after a lot of hassle from me he found the form which I managed to scan and send off hopefully in time for him to be entered for the exam so his whole year wont have been a total waste of time !

I find him later in the garden smoking a bong - get this apparently its only got tobacco in and his lungs are full of mucus so he's smoking it to help him expell it !!!

He is so dissorganised I despair. He seems incapable of taking responsibility for anything but if I just let go he will be out on the street with all his druggy friends... maybe this is what he's aiming for.

He's nearly 17 but I am running around after him trying to make good as he sabotages is life. I so want to give in and let it all fall apart sad

willwegetthrough Fri 23-Nov-12 16:42:48

Brighter - you spend all those years feeling (and being) responsible for them and it is so hard to leave them to it. I've no doubt you will fret tonight, but then find the resolve to keep trying for your ds.

I see now I should probably have been tougher with dd long ago, and am frightened to try to be tough now (even if I've got it in me) in case she hurts herself really badly.

brighterfuture Fri 23-Nov-12 17:14:16

Willwe Its so much easier being responsible for a young child least they don't hate you for it ! I don't think we should blame ourselves for what we did or did not do. I am so sorry you are living with the worry that your dd will harm herself, it must be heartbreaking. My ds is always threatening to give up school, leave home etc's a form of emotional blackmail. When they are depressed and self harming you want to be loving and protect them so that they don't get even more depressed and so they get away with behaviour that in the normal scheme of things would never be tolerated.

Doinmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 18:34:15

Sending lots of strength( albeit a bit feeble) to those with children who harm themselves . What a worry.

flow4 Fri 23-Nov-12 19:14:30

It was a bit horrible, Maryz, though like you I am a bit hardened to it... And I would sooner a police visit late at night when DS2 is asleep, than early in the morning when he would inevitably be affected too...
The police were very polite and pleasant (they usually are) and apologised for bothering us, once they were satisfied he couldn't have been involved...

brighter and willwe, sometimes I think we should talk about the 'terrible teens' rather than the 'terrible twos' ! hmm

Doinmummy Fri 23-Nov-12 19:27:53

Give me a tantrumming 2 year old any day.

flow4 Fri 23-Nov-12 19:55:49

Yeah, me too. hmm

teapot5 Sun 25-Nov-12 00:23:25

yes, me too. It's SOOOOOOOO exhausting to have a teen who has a body of an adult and a mind of a 2 year old.

I need to remind myself - 'nothing stays the same' = meaning - they will change (eventually - they'd better!!!). At the same time like Maryz has mentioned many times 'detatch yourself'. I feel that nothing can change my DD unless she WANTS that change to happen. So the only way forward is to 'change the way I deal with things (I can't change the way I feel)'. But it's bloody hard, isn't it?

Wishinglifeaway Mon 26-Nov-12 16:18:46

I'm sorry I hadn't wished a you a Happy Birthday especially as you weren't having the best time sad computer promptly decided to not play ball, must be a teenager! hmm
So I'm wishing you a belated Birthday to Maryz thanks ....

I haven't been on for sometime and I'm just catching up with everyone else's threads. I'm so grateful for this thread, and that I feel I'm not the only parent going through it. Although, it's also so sad to think of all those messed up teenagers out there, along with their stressed out to the max parents.

Doinmummy Tue 27-Nov-12 20:57:57

Well you could have knocked me down with a feather! I worked a 12 hour shift at the weekend, came home to all the washing done and hanging up to dry, a spotless kitchen and an immaculate ,hoovered lounge. All done by my infuriating DD.

She's either an absolute nightmare or bloody perfect! Somewhere in between would be lovely grin

Lemonylemon Wed 28-Nov-12 10:57:35

Can I sneak on here and vent please? I don't do this in RL. I just want to say that I absolutely hate my son at the moment. He is a nasty, bad tempered, rude little bastard. OK, so those are the thoughts in my head and the ones that I cannot say.

Please don't flame me! I feel bad about the way I feel, but have been on the receiving end of his bloody awful moods for a couple of years now. He's supposed to be doing his GCSE's this year. I've got extra tuition for him, but one of the lessons he skips all the time. He just plays on his laptop all the time when he's supposed to be revising. Thinks I'm stupid. blah, blah, blah.....

Sorry, just venting.

Maryz Wed 28-Nov-12 11:03:48

They do that on purpose Doin. They are all nice for a few days, just so you get your hopes up and then they suddenly kick you in the teeth again [bitter].

Don't worry about saying that here Lemony. All of us have felt the same at times - we just can't say it in real life.

ds1 just called me a fucking bitch. I'm actually scared of him this morning for the first time in ages. So I'm going out. But I shouldn't have to. It's my house. It's him who should go.

So am I gutless or sensible? I don't know.

And I got a letter from the school about ds2 this morning.

Maryz Wed 28-Nov-12 11:04:17

Thanks for the thanks wishing smile

MrsBodger Wed 28-Nov-12 13:48:58

Just come across this thread - I'm another one with a problem teen who's grateful for so many people's advice on mn, especially Maryz. Sorry to hear you're having a bad day today - hope it gets better.

Doinmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 13:55:23

Maryz I feel the same ( fear) when dd kicks off. I think it's sensible to go out. It shouldn't be that way but can save a situation from getting worse.

1944girl Wed 28-Nov-12 21:58:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sodthemall Wed 28-Nov-12 22:15:25

Can I de-lurk, please? I haven't caught up with all this. Until I discovered Mumsnet I thought I was so ashamed and thought I was the only person in the world who had teenage children that are as foul as they are... I have 3, that each in their own delightful way, have been frighteningly awful. Am I the only person who locks their bedroom door for their own safety each night? I don't know, as a parent, how I got it so wrong. I would never have behaved as mine do to my parents. But, it's a long story, it's late, and I would like to de-lurk and say thank you to know I am not alone.

Doinmummy Wed 28-Nov-12 22:29:00

Def not alone sod . Come and join us. Plenty of advice and hand holding.

Brightspark1 Wed 28-Nov-12 22:32:04

sod join the club, except I have tried locking my own bedroom door for my own safety. sad
I have spent ages trying to work out what I did or didn't do or should have done to end up in a situation where I ended up being scared of my own DD. She isn't living with us at the moment as a result of where things ended up about six months ago. At the moment, she seems to have turned herself around and our relationship has improved a lot.
Tomorrow we have a progress review with SOcial services etc. I'm off to bed now but I expect I shall be back on in the middle of the night looking for someone to hold my hand. I want her back, but I find the idea really scary too. confused

Sodthemall Wed 28-Nov-12 22:55:30

Thanks so much, I really need to find the time in between mopping up the mud from the dogs, post monsoon rains, and just trying to calm down after yet another evening of son swearing, door slamming, telling me to f off, and basically being someone I can't believe I gave birth to. I appreciate the hand holding. Gosh, I need it. Bedroom door locked. Internet off in a mo. It's the only consequence I have, but it means I can't use it, and he may kick my door in to turn on the modem. Jeez. If people I work with, and know in real life, knew, they wouldn't believe it. I thought the fear of domestic violence was between husbands and wives, not with your 6ft+ 17 year old son.

Sorry, I'm tired. Dog's been sick about 6 times this evening, probably because he's eaten all the rubbish (homework, plastic yoghurt pots, pens, etc etc) that is left lying all over the front room. I do not have enough eyes in my head to watch all this, and I'm buggered if I'm going to tidy it up, but I do have the responsibility to ensure an animal does not come to harm because a teenager behaves like an arse.

Brightspark1 Thu 29-Nov-12 01:39:56

sod Have a brew . We put up with behaviour from our teens that if it were from our partners would be called domestic violence. It doesn't seem to be recognised at all, and there seems to be bugger all support or understanding in real life for parents in this position. In fact we are often blamed for causing the problem in a way that we wouldn't if it were our partners. Being in the position of having to call the police to deal with your child is awful, but I have had to do it in the past, on the advice of the MH services. At the time , we had no choice, but it felt like the ultimate admission of failure.
No one should have to live in fear in their own homes, it's not acceptable in anyway. Someone described teens as giant toddlers, the naughty step doesn't work when they are 6" taller than you does it?

brighterfuture Thu 29-Nov-12 06:42:47

Lilka... your post really resonates with me. I am sorry you have to live with this.

My house also has several broken doors and door frames. 2 glass panels kicked out. The table outside which I made and weighs a ton was overturned and broken ( his anger must have generated a hulk like strength) not to mention the fist indentations in walls ....

I also feel so sad for my 2 younger dc who have to live with his temper.

I just averted him kicking off this morning .... I am ashamed to say by being weak and advancing him 20 quid on his weekend earnings. He's already blown 30 since the weekend on fags and dope. My 2 ds go off really early to school and I just couldn't bear for my DD, still asleep, to be woken by his roaring sad .
I know he'll just spend it on more dope and so the cycle continues but in the moment I just wanted to spare the other dc and me yet another scene.... I am not usually such a push over but I am so tired ..... now I feel shit because I have just reinforced that being an angry arse gets results sad

I try, like Maryz to be calm and act normal and give him lots of empathy... like " I'm hearing that you need more money" etc... basically repeating back to him whatever he's shouting his woes are at the time... and not saying what I am really longing to say. .....saving it till later when he's calmed down and in a more reasonable mood. This works quite well as he feels heard and because I am not setting myself up in opposition to him it kind of deflates his argument.

I have to try to separate the child I love from the behaviour I hate. I am so very tired of trying to keep afloat someone who wants to sink.

brighterfuture Thu 29-Nov-12 06:48:52

Just posted and saw that there's lots of posts I hadn't yet seen, I think I opened on the wrong page... confused
thanks to all the other mums posting here. I'm finding it so supportive to hear your stories and know I am not alone. I hope we all have a calm day today

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