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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.

Triathlonwannabe Sun 11-Jan-15 22:34:09

Please don't get rid of this thread, although it hasn't been posted on, I am relying on the support and advice here from people who understand

coocachoo Sat 25-Jan-14 13:54:29

my son tried canabis at 15 now has bi polar caused by this he wishes he never tried it is now 31 and suffers every day and has tried to end it all twice please any teens out there its not worth it....

flow4 Fri 22-Mar-13 21:37:03

Stig, this is a 'dead' thread.... We're all over here now.

stig0fthedump Fri 22-Mar-13 19:39:35

I'm new here. I have a boy of 14 (6'2'') who has been extremely difficult over the last few months. So far it is all in the home and we have no issues outside or at school. In many ways he is a model student with lots of outside activities and interests which just makes it that much harder to get professionals interested.

I found this article quite helpful on understanding some of his behaviours and how our reaction as parents can make matters worse. There is a section on family therapy that I also found useful.

I think the aggression discussed in the article can be anything from physical, verbal or emotional. In my case we have seen all three although we mostly get verbal and emotional...

I'm interested in what others think...


flow4 Wed 09-Jan-13 20:17:36

Hi Sugar, can you copy 'n' paste your post on the new thread? I think more people will see it there:

DD=dear daughter
DS=dear son
DH=dear husband
DSS=dear step-son, etc...

You'll also find people using other abbreviations (it took me ages to work them all out!), like...

IMO=in my opinion
FWIW= for what it's worth
BTW=by the way

ASD=autistic spectrum disorder... etc.

Your situation sounds really difficult and stressful. I'll have a think and comment on the other thread, if you re-post there...

Doinmummy Tue 08-Jan-13 23:15:33

You poor thing sugar . I'm ' lucky' in that I just have a difficult daughter. I have no advice but do hang on and I'm sure someone will be along soon with some wise words. You ave my utmost heartfelt sympathy though.

Sugarplumsilver Tue 08-Jan-13 02:40:09

Hi all, I'm new to forum life and must admit I don't understand the Dd and all that jazz.. Could someone explain please?
Anyway I have a very troubled teenage boy who has been using cannabis. His behaviour at home and school is terrible. Constant phone calls and visits to school. We moved to a better area for schools about 18 month ago as my son said this would help snd also as he is a fantastic golfer and his golf club was in the area we thought we would go for it. We borrowed a lot of money for the purchase deposit and made the move. All was great for the first six months. Then my boy was coming in red eyed I had a good idea what was going on but when I asked him why his eyes were red he would say it was due to the wind from riding his bike or his friend has a cat (he has allergies to cats) in the end I confronted him and he admitted it. To cut a long story short he got arrested with 3 bags of the stuff a few months ago. His behaviour has got worse. On the 22nd of November 2012 he pushed me so much I told him to find somewhere to live that would except his behaviour( not really meaning to leave home) well he did, he is now living with his dads family that he has not seen in a long while. As much as he was a pain at school when living at home he did have 100% attendance. Since living with his auntie he has not been to school to date. I had my suspicions he was running drugs for someone as I had totally limited any money to the odd £1 so he couldn't buy weed. I know he is selling for his cousin on his dads side as i had a phone call With my son and he didn't hang up properly and I could hear him talking about how much he had shifted that day. So this confirmed to me that he was obviously being given theweed in payment for dropping the drugs.My son won't talk to me on the phone and when he does sometimes pick up he is just rude. He now has a social worker, drug worker and a mental health worker. The worst of it is that his auntie is telling the school and social services that he is living with her( she is a mental health nurse) but in fact his is living with her sister another aunt that I know smokes weed. My son is only 15 and very vulnerable what can be done if an adult is using a minor to ferry drugs I have looked on the net and asked the police but got no joy with out proof. Advice please. He has gone to the tight place in his mind as he can go in stoned and Even smoke it with his family. Even the nan smokes the stuff. I'm very desperate x what to do? I don't know anymore. Xxx

flow4 Fri 04-Jan-13 01:33:42

I hope you're a bit proud of yourself, too smile

BTW, we're here now!

jkgirl Fri 04-Jan-13 00:15:02

flow4, yes we have come a long way, and Iam very proud of what she has achieved in two years.
we still have wobbly days, but she is definetly getting there, and loves going to school now, and has made lots of friends, who understand her, which makes all the difference.
she still struggles with being independent, but hopefully that will come in time.

flow4 Tue 01-Jan-13 22:34:06

Yay! grin

Maryz Tue 01-Jan-13 17:58:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

flow4 Tue 01-Jan-13 16:36:55

I can't make that link work Mary, so am just pasting it in full below in case anyone else has the same problem...

Maryz Tue 01-Jan-13 15:58:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

xxDebstarxx Tue 01-Jan-13 13:10:26

Thank you Brightspark see you on the new thread hopefully with some positive news. Am already panicking about him refusing to leave the's months since he went outside. Have set up bribes of going to buy an xbox game after the appointment just to get him to go.

Brightspark1 Mon 31-Dec-12 21:02:24

shag your post reminds me of the song 'My Perfect Cousin' by the Undertones! We have similar with D's cousin who is similar in age , we get frequent update on how wonderful she is, which my DD finds really hard to listen to. Be very wary of taking all the talk of their achievements to heart. The reality may well be very different. After all I bet many of us on this thread put up a front and pretend to the world that all is wonderful. I'm reminded of three sisters I knew who were high achieving and seemed to swan through adolescence unscathed. Fast forward ten years and they are all still high achieving, but trapped in a competitive struggle with each other (it transpired they are all competitively anorexic) and aren't fulfilled or happy- not what I would wish for mine
. deb I remember your original post, I echo what maryz advises but would also add that you remind them that you are not a professional (repeatedly if necessary) and that you do not understand jargon, ask them to explain anything you don't understand. And don't let them blame you, remind them that you are doing your best in difficult circumstances and would appreciate their support, not their judgement, as that is the only way your DC will make progress. Good luck and I'll see you on the new thread.

Witco Mon 31-Dec-12 17:43:53

I have lurked, learned and posted the odd time but this thread has kept me sane this year. Our DS has a full-time job now and we are very proud of him. We hope but don't assume it will continue however he has been employed for 3 months do, so far so good. The main thing I have learned from Maryz and you wise ladies has been to disassociate myself from his bad behaviour - his issues are not mine - it is the only way I can function. Thank you Mumsnetters, roll on a better 2013 for us all!

flow4 Mon 31-Dec-12 17:09:52

Ohh, it feels like everyone is having a little flurry of grief as the year ends. sad It is so dark and cold and miserable... And the weather is pretty lousy too! hmm

Good wishes to everyone for 2013. Let's hope it's better for all of us. smile

BTW Shag, your DD's jibes about you not earning much, being a failure and depending on DH feel personal, but they're not... Our little darlings just use whatever ammunition is available : I work and am a single parent, and my DS uses this in exactly the same way... He has told me that I am rubbish as a mum and a worker, and since I obviously find it too hard to do both, I should just pack in my job and "the state would give us loads of money"! hmm grin

Shagmundfreud Mon 31-Dec-12 16:25:46

I know you're right Maryz.

I think the problem is my own moods - I have been very down the last few months and emotionally exhausted from it all, and having to deal with the battle to get a diagnosis of ASD for my youngest. (battle for diagnosis won; now the harder one to get him appropriate support at school starts....)

I really need to focus on being strong in myself....

LauraShigihara Mon 31-Dec-12 15:44:13

Wow, this thread is extremely long now grin I wouldn't wish troublesome offspring on anyone but it is such a comfort to know that I am not alone. At the risk of sounding like a maudlin drunk (I wish - I am actually in bed with the lurgy cough cough ) I am glad to have such good company on such a dark road.

Thank you Mary for sending me kind thoughts over Christmas. It was the first .year that we haven't been all together and we missed DS1 like crazy. We visited him in the week but he was so sad to be apart from us that it was heartbreaking to leave him there.

Funnily enough, I met someone I knew visiting their son while we were there. I knew the family for many years but lost touch recently. Their son was the long- awaited only child and their lives revolved around him. I am quite stunned and feel desperately sad for them (he has quite a long sentence) but at the same time, it has confirmed to me that children from what looks from the outside to be the most stable, supportive background,, can fall spectacularly off the rails.

I hope you all have a peaceful, quiet New Year (unless you have planned otherwise wink )

xxDebstarxx Mon 31-Dec-12 15:28:29

Thank you Maryz that's advice I will definitely be taking on board.

Maryz Mon 31-Dec-12 14:52:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

xxDebstarxx Mon 31-Dec-12 14:41:33

CAMHS appointment on Wednesday. We started going in August but then the person my son was assigned to went off sick and is only just back at work. It's been a hell of a ride these few months. I just want someone to recognise what is going on cos I'm sick of being a lone voice battling against the professionals. They don't see what I see and are quick to blame me!

Maryz Mon 31-Dec-12 14:34:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Mon 31-Dec-12 14:30:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shagmundfreud Mon 31-Dec-12 12:09:19

I think one of the things I find hardest is feeling terrible about the fact that all the other children in the family (dd has 9 cousins on DH's side all aged 12 and older - we see most of them regularly), only my dd is a massive underachiever.

I have to hear about all the brilliant things her cousins are doing at family gatherings - the fantastic achievements in sport and at school, and how helpful they are at home, and I feel like locking myself in a cupboard and never coming out. I DREAD them asking me what dd does and how she's getting on at school. I feel such a failure as a parent when SIL tells me about her kids helping her clean the house and how much time they spend on their homework.

I keep thinking - where have I gone wrong? Whatever people tell me I can't help feeling it's something I've done, or not done, that's resulted in dd being the way she is.

Doesn't help that dd blames everything on me - always. Whatever it is, somehow she'll find a way to put the responsibility on me. Her untidy room, her not doing her homework, her daily forgetting her house keys/oyster card/homework diary - all my fault.

I never felt guilty or inadequate when they were tiny, even though I made all the usual mistakes that parents make. But I sometimes feel almost ill with it now. What makes it worse is that I've invested so much of myself in parenting, having given up a good job to be at home and only working part-time in a self employed job in order to look after the children. Both my SIL's work - one full time, one nearly full time, and have so much pressure on them. And yet they still manage to manage family life in such a way that their children are achieving and busy. I feel like I'm failing on all fronts - by not having much of a career, and by home life being so unsatisfactory.

DD is sharp and she knows how bad all this makes me feel - she really turns the knife at every opportunity. Makes lots of comments about me not earning much money, being a failure and having a shit career (actually the work I do do is very satisfying and quite well-paid, albeit part time). She loves pointing out that most things in the house were bought with DH's salary. sad

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