This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
DS caught smoking, that wasn't the worst thing yesterday.(20 Posts)
It then transpires he has also been skipping school, stealing money from us and grandparents. To top it all off upon searching his bedroom (I thought possibly more cigarettes) I found a packet of rizzlas (sp) and a pen knife.
How do I deal with him? Until now he has been a pleasant, family orientated boy, and now this.
Sorry that would have helped, he is almost 15.
Very clear boundaries. I have a son almost exactly the same age and have similar issues. He was grounded for a month after Christmas, because I didn't feel I could trust him when he left the house. He gets grounded a lot, because it is the only way I can get through to him. I also take his phone and keep him on a very tight leash.
It might seem harsh, but it's for his own safety. I don't want him getting involved in crime and ASB, as that could ruin his chances in life.
Thank you. I feel we have reached a similar position.
He is grounded, indefinitely. I just wish I knew what was going through his mind.
Working backwards... why does he think these are the best ways to spend his time, what would it take for him to tell you what's on his mind.
They say that kids who don't get in trouble, they do well because they don't want the hassle to screw up their other plans, and they have someone to talk to when the stress is getting on top of them.
So what are his plans, and who does he talk to?
Don't make anything indefinite. He has nothing to work towards. Make it a month or some other length (and budge not one day) but not indefinite.
Hmmm. Cigarette papers? For ordinary smokes or to smoke weed?
Money could be for the above?
Skipping school? Why? Struggling? Bullied? Or to smoke dope?
He can still be a pleasant boy. I would want answers to the above though.
Sounds like me when I was 15.
My parents were quite strict already so I'm not sure if I was rebelling against them or would have behaved like this regardless.
I was grounded A LOT.
Once I left school and started a job I enjoyed at 16 I became much more pleasant.
I grew out of it. Once my parents started to speak to me like I was not a child (not implying you are) our relationship improved.
By comparison my own teenagers (now young adults) were a walk in the park.
Hope this episode passes quickly for you and you get your son back! xx
Oh and when my parents grounded me they did it in manageable chunks. Couple of weeks or a week at a time if I remember right. They tried for a month at first but it (I) was a nightmare and when I was allowed back out with my friends I'd "party."
Short sharp shock. Most effective when there is a big social event and I couldn't go.
I am pretty good at getting my teens to talk to me (so far) so maybe my instincts are right on this one... I would ask him to give me one reason he did each of those things. Even if the answers were flippant, I'd try to ask follow-up questions... only one Q per day if he couldn't stand any more. I'd be asking & listening more than trying to tell him anything. You want them to tap into what they already know about the best thing to do, so they can make better decisions in future, rather than tell them what they can or can't do.
Of course I'd be restricting his access to money, too, but that's a separate set of measures.
Who is he mixing with? Has he fallen in with a bad crowd or is he a bit of a loner?
Obviously you don't want to do this now, because he needs grounding and needs to learn he can't behave like this, but in the medium term is there anything you can do to encourage different friendship groups? What are his interests (aside from smoking and robbing)? Does he have any passions / hobbies that could be encouraged?
WRT the smoking, it's incredibly addictive incredibly quickly. He needs to stop asap but be prepared for him to find it very difficult. If he's finding it tough there is help available.
The rizlas could mean tobacco or weed. How big are they?
I think owning a pen knife at 15 is not unreasonable. Make sure he knows not to carry it when he goes out.
When my son was 15 he went through a similar difficult period. We grounded him for a couple of months and during that time I helped him and encouraged him with his homework to get his grades back up. Meanwhile his dad spent time taking him to football and reconnecting with him. Rebuilding our relationship worked and he got back on track. He is now 19, working hard and a really pleasant young man.
Piglet that sounds a lovely success story. My baby is 1.5 years old so have a lot of time to get there (obviously in actual years rather than how fast actual time goes!!!).
I hope you get to reconnect with your son
Also going to say I was an absolute nightmare too and probably actually wanted to be able to communicate and help to get back on track with school and a better relationship with mum. You can do it! I'm sure
Have a conversation where you say "what would you do to you if you were me?"
Have a grown up conversation about your worries and potential punishments. My kids hate this as they have to take responsibility for what they have done. Often the punishment they come up with is worse than what I had planned.
Listen when he says he knows what he is doing - don't dismiss his confidence " I can see why you would think that, but what about this ".
Teenagers need to feel listened to.
Sorry to say OP but he is smoking more than tobacco. A pen knife, rizzlas and stealing money leads me to think that he's smoking weed maybe?
Could be my DS at 14 if you add "caught smoking pot at the local youth club". Read him the riot act, gave him a chance to shape up, told him adults and police are not as stupid as he thinks. He went on to get a good physics degree and is now a very law-abiding 41 yo City banker.
Thank you so much everyone. My fear is he has been smoking more than cigarettes but I can't prove it.
He has a keen sporting interest, we take him to training several times a week plus games. It is a sport that involves a lot of time and money. DH and I support him fully in this.
I try so hard to be open, speak to him like a young adult etc. However he lies over the smallest of things, his go to answer is usually a lie .