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MaryZ's support thread for parents of troubled teenagers - Part 2 here's to a peaceful 2013

(811 Posts)
Maryz Tue 01-Jan-13 15:57:49

This is a continuation of this thread which I set up as a safe space for struggling parents of challenging teenagers.

This is meant to be a welcoming thread, where everyone can come and moan, whinge, bash ideas off each other and support each other as we face a new year and new challenges

Newbies in particular - come and join in. When ds1 started going off the rails I felt very lonely as there was no-one in real life I could talk to. Being able to be open and honest on here has helped me cope over the last few years.

Many of us have extremely challenging teenagers, some are involved in alcohol and drugs, some are violent, some are struggling with depression, anxiety and various SN. This thread isn't here to judge people and tell them how to parent or to simplify and minimise their difficulties.

So if you think we should simply tell them to come home and night, and take their phones away if they don't, you are probably in the wrong place. Also if you think a few joints or a couple of pills are harmless, go and start a thread about it somewhere else.

The mantra of this thread is - don't look back, guilt is a wasted emotion. You are where you are now, carry on from here. You may not be able to change them, but you can change how you react to their behaviour, so pick your battles, take a step back and try not be too emotionally involved, and FFS, be nice to yourself.

So here goes: here's to a calm, peaceful and positive 2013.

supersec Sun 10-Feb-13 18:14:30

my worry is will he skive off work (if he gets a job) to go and smoke cannabis - 2 of his friends will be continuing at college this year and obviously they smoke cannabis too. we will have no control over this but we are wondering if this is what is coming next. I know i am getting ahead of myself but it is hard to look at anything positively. For the last 4 years there has been nothing positive to find in him. And everything is linked to cannabis.

Maryz Sun 10-Feb-13 18:18:58

Don't look ahead.

I strongly believe that kids will stop smoking dope when they find something more interesting to do. So rather than put our efforts into stopping them smoking (which we will fail at), we should put our efforts into encouraging them to find something more interesting.

If he finds a job/sport/group of friends/college course he likes, he will use less.

If he finds a girlfriend who doesn't like it, or decides he wants to travel to a country where it isn't available he will stop. etc.

<clings to straws and tries to convince self grin>

rocketeer Sun 10-Feb-13 18:43:25

I need help/reassurance here please. I 'phoned 999 today because dh's nephew who we have brought up for the last 7 years punched Dh in the face after a calm request for nephew to smoke outdoors not in him bedroom. He has been taken to cells and the police have been lovely. Nephew had contact with his mother yesterday which I'm sure was a catalyst but we promised ourselves that the next time he was violent we would press charges. So should we do it or let the police scare him a bit then let him home? Really not sure, nephew is desperate to join the Navy so an arrest could ruin that but I worry his temper would let him down anyway.

Maryz Sun 10-Feb-13 18:51:33

Is this the first time he's been taken away and put in cells?

If so, don't press charges, just let him have a fright.

Have you called 999 before? Because if you haven't he might not have thought you would really do it, so he really needs one strike. If he has been physically violent before you might have to press charges, though, to make it sink in.

rocketeer Sun 10-Feb-13 19:00:57

First time for 999 but not first time he has been violent. Dh's brother has gone to the police station to see if he can scare nephew about a record stopping him joining the navy. I don't want him back in the house tonight so bil is going to take him back to his house for a couple of nights. Our ds's are only 9 and 7 and were so scared, will take a while for them to get over today...

Maryz Sun 10-Feb-13 19:07:54

Then if it's first time for 999 I wouldn't press charges. With luck, the police explaining to him what would happen if you pressed charges, and what will happen next time (whether you press charges or not - they won't be so nice a second time) may well be enough to stop him.

Just as a matter of interest, what led up to it? Did your dh go into his room or try to force him to go outside? Not that I'm saying you shouldn't do that, but you want to make sure he doesn't justify the violence in his own head by saying "they pushed me to do it".

I would sit down with him when he comes home as well, and go over the house rules (including smoking) and discuss what is and isn't ok. We've had to give in on the smoking in the house and I hate it, but ds is 19 now and smokes in his own room. Stopping him would mean constant rows and I have other more important battles to fight [sigh].

Maryz Sun 10-Feb-13 19:08:31

And, by the way, it is very good for your younger children to see you call 999 and to see him taken away. It sends them a very strong message that you will keep them safe smile

Footface Mon 11-Feb-13 15:53:13

Thank you all for your support last week. I did come back and read all your replies and was trying to detach. But the situation has become unbearable and In not sure how my relationship with dp can actually survive This current situation. Some of you must have dp's who are step parents how do they cope.?

Midwife99 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:17:42

Foot face I'm afraid you end up having to "choose" between them. I chose my DH because my son's behaviour was intolerable to me too. He went into care when he was 16.

Maryz Mon 11-Feb-13 17:20:56

Footface, you can either choose for you and your dh to split up (which you might have to, sadly). Or you can just carry on your life but not giving your ss any headspace at all. So a ban on discussing him, a ban on having him in your house, a ban on supporting him financially etc until you get your head sorted and decide what you can and can't cope with. The latter would need your dp onside - he would have to realise that in order to maintain his relationship with you, it has to be carried out entirely separately from his relationship with his son.

In our case, at one stage it looked like we would separate, with dh taking ds1. Thankfully it never (quite) got to that stage. He is 19 now (like your ss) and if he was still doing the things he was doing at 14/15 I would not have him living here.

Footface Mon 11-Feb-13 18:01:57

Thank you both for your replies. I think I have to take the bull by the horns and say xyz with happen or dc's and me will ask you to leave.

Midwife your ds sounds very similar, sometimes it's overwhelming

Midwife99 Mon 11-Feb-13 18:12:51

It is overwhelming. He is so abusive that I have to have periods of no contact to re establish boundaries feeling guilty as hell throughout

Footface Mon 11-Feb-13 20:51:02

I sorry to hear that midwife, sometimes just sometimes I feel like cutting contact completely

Midwife99 Mon 11-Feb-13 21:26:47

I can't do that forever of course & I do worry myself sick but when I get abusive text after text because I won't give him money I don't know what else to do.

Maryz Mon 11-Feb-13 21:33:28

You need two phones Midwife. You need to get a new phone and number and leave your old SIM in an old phone that you can check (or preferably get someone else to check) periodically.

The only way I could survive through the worst times was by not thinking about it. Continual texts would have driven me completely mad.

Midwife99 Mon 11-Feb-13 21:44:47

He's gone quiet since the texts last weekend because he is sulking that I have said no & therefore don't care about him even though deep down he knows he was wrong
One thing I've been thinking about - I'm actually really scared that he will become an abusive partner to women in the future. He has such anger issues & can be so nasty & violent. It's a horrible thought.

Maryz Mon 11-Feb-13 21:58:01

If that does happen you can be a supportive mil to those women - not like most of the mil's on the relationships board who seem to support their sons, no matter what hmm.

I remember posting on an adoption thread once that if ds got a girl pregnant, and she was one of the gang he was hanging around with at the time, I would support the child being taken into care. NOT that I wouldn't love a grandchild, not that I couldn't look after one, but that he was not suitable at the time to be a partner or a parent.

It would have been an awful thing to do, but I know it would have been the only thing to do.

He is improving though, all the time smile. Maybe yours will too? Going by the 2/3rds of chronological age I am clinging too, your ds is about 14/15 in his head, so still has some growing up to do [hopeful]

Midwife99 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:01:09

Yes emotionally he is about 13 I reckon. I hope he does grow up before he gets someone pregnant!!

Doinmummy Wed 13-Feb-13 09:25:47

Things not good. I've been signed off work I had a complete melt down yesterday , just collapsed and couldn't stop crying.

DD has refused to go to school. She has controlled assessments today one if which requires cooking ingredients. Now she's told me she is going so mad rush to shops to buy stuff.

She is being shunned by all her friends at school so that isn't helping. She's still adamant that because she's behaved for 3 days she should get an I phone. Her birthday is Saturday and I have bought her nothing.

I'm wrung out. She's alternates between totally ignoring me and screaming at me.

Maryz Wed 13-Feb-13 10:09:35

You have to just wait it out Doin.

Could she go somewhere else for a few days? It must be almost half term, so maybe she could go somewhere for half term and you could have a proper break.

Being signed off work is good. And we have all had days of uncontrollable crying; sometimes you have to reach rock bottom before you can start to climb smile. Time off work is time for you to be nice to yourself, get yourself together a bit. Have you talked to the gp about counselling, because I really think you need someone irl to talk to.

Buy her something for her birthday, and a card, but not an iphone.

Can the school sort the problems at school? Do you know why she isn't getting on with her friends and could the school do some sort of intervention to sort that out?

Doinmummy Wed 13-Feb-13 11:50:57

There is nowhere for her to go maryz . I'm dreading half term because shell be with her boyfriend and he's not a great influence . I took her to school at 11 but she says she won't stay all day .

She has always had trouble with friendships, even in junior school, i I think it's some sort of insecurity thing . She has said shell go and see the counsellor on Friday so that's a blessing. I am waiting for a call from the home /school liaison officer who is meant to be a support for me. GP is not much use. He actually said he doesn't know what to suggest . There is a drug centre near us where I think anyone can walk in and get advice/ help so I might try them.

Maryz Wed 13-Feb-13 12:03:15

Do try the drug centre. At worst you will get a cup of tea and some sympathy smile.

After going through loads of official channels, I found the voluntary-run family support centre was the most helpful, because the people there really understood.

I think you need (just for a little while) to try very hard to look after yourself, I really do.

If you can't stop her being with her boyfriend, maybe don't even try? I know it's really difficult, but every fight you have with her that she wins is proof to her that she can do as she likes. Maybe just take a step back and only fight fights you can win (even if atm that seems none at all).

One fight you can win is being absolutely determined that she cannot control your reactions to her behaviour, that you can walk away and refuse to discuss things. Do you have a "safe space" in your house where you can go if she kicks off?

Detach, detach, detach, that's the best advice I can give you. It won't fix her, but at the moment you are in a horrible position, and really until you are coping better yourself you aren't physically or emotionally able to deal with her.

Doinmummy Thu 14-Feb-13 20:29:37

Can't post too much, I'm exhausted. DD attacked me today. I found her in a cafe with 2 young men. We had appt at school and she didn't want me to go . She barred the front door and wouldn't let me out. I got the phone and said I'd call the police if she didn't move. She then went for me . I did get out of the house and went to meeting with pastoral manager and a police woman.

After a lit if pleading I've managed to get her dad to have her tonight.

Footface Thu 14-Feb-13 21:14:26

Doinmummy- can dd dad not have long term? I'm really sorry thus is happening. Being barred from leaving the house or room is awful. My ss used to do it. I wish I had called the police now. Did she move when you told her you were calli g the police

Doinmummy Thu 14-Feb-13 21:18:00

Her dad said he can only have her tonight. She would not budge when I asked her to move so I got the phone and tried to ring the police. That's when she attacked me. Police searched her room and found more evidence of drugs. She'd run off by then.

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