Violent teenager - should I really call the police?(21 Posts)
My ds (17) has a recent history of disturbing behaviour - verbal abuse, lying, rudeness etc. My dh made an unfair comment to him yesterday which triggered a massive physical assault. My ds went for my dh in a big way. I have always said I will not put myself between 2 grown men in a fight but it was only by doing so that I could prevent the situation from escalating any further.My ds landed a few punches before I could push him away, my dh did not fight back.
I have told ds that if anything like that happens again, I will call the police. I can't believe I have to tell him this but just saying "don't do it again" does not seem adequate. Until 3 months ago we had a good relationship.
I feel like I am betraying my child by threatening him with the police. Not sure if I really should if it happens again.
yes of course you should. He is breaking the law and committing a criminal offence. You don't have the moral authority to make the decision to "let him off" - how do you know what he will do next, or to whom?
He's almost an adult. Of course you should call the police.
What would have happened if you had't been there?
Of course you should report it; next time could be considerably more serious.
Does your son think physical violence is an acceptable behaviour when he doesn't like what someone says? God help the next person to rile him
Yes, I would - and I would tell him that he would no longer be able to live in your house. An assault like that is too serious to ignore again.
What is he saying about it? He is horrified by his behaviour and has he apologised profusely?
Definitely do it, I wish my dm had when my db ( then 17) was beating me and her up.
Sorry to hear you are going through this, it's not a good choice to have to make.
I have a 17 year old ds btw.
Well you have warned him so if he carries in then yes you must call the police. He needs to learn about real life.
He is trying to play it down but knows it was wrong. No apology so far. He said he will apologise when dh apologises for his words. Words and fists are of course not comparable but either he doesn't understand that or won't admit to understanding it. I don't understand him at all at the moment.
I don't know what I would do, either, Jinksy.
Just how trivial was the provocation? How does your DH feel?
I don't want to give too many details on the provocation. It deserved a " keep your nose out of my business" and a door slam but not a full on physical assault - nothing does in my books. Dh is reticent to make the first step to reconciliation - we have both made the first step so often recently with little to no willingness from ds.
Perhaps your DH should break the stalemate by apologising for his unfair comment.
I agree an unfair comment in no way compares to fists, but your DH needs to be modelling adult behaviour to your DS.
And I agree that he has now been warned - next time, it's the police.
You don't have to make any decisions quickly.
If it were me I couldn't report to police as an assault on me.
But I would support my DH if he felt he had to report it.
Once it goes to police, all kinds of things happen that are out of your control. May be for the best, still.
There will be no police this time. It is next time that I am deliberating about. I guess I know that I should report him if there is a next time but it is tearing me apart to have to admit to myself and others that it may be necessary.
I think it's really important that you sit down together once the dust has settled and set out exactly what the next steps are for you all, if it ever happens again - effectively putting him on notice. I presume you wouldn't/couldn't have him in the house if he did it again, so you would need to explain what the housing options are (I have no idea what they are in your area, maybe worth finding out?) and explain that you will be calling the police and pressing assault charges. Again, set out what that means for him long term - uni/college applications, job applications...this is serious, serious stuff.
Given that you've both made the first step to reconciliation recently, I'm not sure that I would apologise tbh - he has to realise that people will say all manner of things that he doesn't like in future, but if he went for a lecturer, or boss, or colleague in that way he would be off of the course, out of a job and in front of the police before he could blink.
FWIW we've been through similar with DS - fortunately it didn't come to police involvement, but we've issued the above warnings. He's at university now (he's 18) and we have a very good relationship, but my god, it's been tough over the years. I suppose the difference is that he's always been very apologetic and upset afterwards - I would be concerned if he hadn't really shown much remorse.
Dh works away from home in the week. Have pursuaded him to skype with ds this evening to discuss matters and to explain what he meant with his comment - ds took it to mean worse than dh meant.
I am hoping apologies will be made - ds knows it is necessary. Hoping it will smooth things over and not make things worse. Keep your fingers crossed for us!
Am making myself feel rather sick wondering what would have happened if I hadn't been there.
*Perhaps your DH should break the stalemate by apologising for his unfair comment.
I agree an unfair comment in no way compares to fists, but your DH needs to be modelling adult behaviour to your DS.*
I would normally agree with this approach but in this case I don't think so. Apologising after being assaulted makes it sound like your dh in some way deserved the assault because of what he said. And begins the conversation with "I shouldn't have said X". The conversation needs to start with "Assaulting people is a criminal offence and you did something seriously wrong" Because that is where it will start for anyone else who encounters this young man's temper.
OP, I think your threat to call the police if it happens again is spot on (I couldn't do it first time). Your DS is almost a grown man and the last thing you want to do is in any way encourage his belief that he can hit people. In real life away from mum and dad, nobody would apologise for a stupid comment when the other person assaulted them as a result. They would call the police. I think you need to really scare him about his behavior tbh.
oh an OP, meant to say teens are really hard at times. I couldn't even tell you how I spent today with my 15 year old.
I would say it's important to have a clear boundary that if your son oversteps it brings down serious consequences. When we all read these threads about men abusing their partners we wonder how they got that way. I think overlooking something as serious as a physical assault makes you an enabler mum.
No advice, but I have an ex-son-in law who is capable of going into blind violent rages. He is otherwise quite lovely, but he is royally fucking up his life. So you definitely want to nip this behaviour in the bud.
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