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
16 year old stealing and smoking weed(5 Posts)
I'm new to this site but I've had enough. My early 17 year old son has caused us so much stress over the years from an overdose, setting fires, school exclusions and much more. We were under family services who helped tremendously but we were signed off about a year ago as things were getting better.
The only bing that's really better as that he's more devious about things now and we've suspected he's been stealing money from the house for months along with beers whenever he feels like it. He denies any of it and gets aggressive when we challenge him.
My suspicions are correct about the stealing and he's recently stolen £30 from his younger brothers xmas money which has made me, my husband and son very angry and the trust has totally gone. He smokes weed most days and comes home stoned and I've found empty beer cans in his room tonight.
We haven't confronted him yet so I'm looking for advice. We can't live like this anymore and it's having an effect on my mental health and my younger son is constantly worried about what he may do next. We have been hiding and locking things of value away for years now and it isn't right.
I've contacted family services again and waiting for a reply but I've got to a point that I no longer want him to live with us. And I feel like I've failed. His constant lies and can't be arsed attitude, he hardly ever goes to college, is too much.
Any advice or even to know we aren't alone is much appreciated.
We always punish bad behaviour but the stealing we've never been able to 100% say it is him but I now have proof.
When he doesn't go to college we take his xbox away and he isn't phased by that.
He was diagnosed 2 years ago with ADHD but doesn't want to acknowledge it and won't go along to appointments so we have now been signed off from the hospital too.
Thank you for reading
You can’t have confrontation because he gets aggressive, I get that. We had it, much earlier with DS when he was 14, it was horrific and hurtful and heartbreaking when I found he was stealing money. It all came to a head, and we, as parents, did loads of things wrong.
With the money stealing, DS used to shout and say things like, “I can’t believe you think I’m stealing money!”. He was stealing money. The breakthrough came, not when we caught him, but when I cried my eyes out in front of him and let him see I was human with feelings too. It really resonated with him and he sounded like such a little kid, the child he really is in a big teenager body when he said, “I did steal, but I never took DS2’s money”, so he had a line there somewhere.
Talking calmly is key. Keep an open dialogue; you will hear lots of uncomfortable things that you didn’t want to hear, but it will give you an insight into his life. Before he gets better, you’ve got to bring him back in when he’s at his most unlovable. DS1, now 15, is hard work, but moderated. We know what’s going on, I will always tell him I don’t want him smoking pot, but acknowledge that he does, with a calm repetitive request not to do it on school nights. He mostly adheres to this, and I’ll also tell him it’s a really bad idea, as cannabis is really strong horrible stuff these days and that as he is still a child and developing, it could really affect him.
We have loads of car chats and now that we do talk, I can prime him and influence him subtly, but I know it’s not over yet.
I think loads of haggard parents of teens will be along to tell you that although it’s terrible, it’s “normal” to Nick money from your parents and smoke pot. It’s not desirable, it’s not acceptable, but your boy isn’t a lost cause yet.
Maybe, if he is money oriented, college isn’t the way to go presently? Would he prefer an apprenticeship where he earns money? It’s sounds like he isn’t liking college and it’s not motivating him, so maybe money will?
What are his good points?
My complete sympathy to both of you. My DS is 15 and we feel like we’re walking on eggshells regarding his temper tantrums. I let my guard down and forgot to hide my purse. £20 went missing last night. I can’t prove that he took it, but I know that he did.
My DS is suffering dreadfully with anxiety, depression and low mood (and at last, is getting help from CAMHs), but that doesn’t excuse the dreadful selfish behaviour, swearing etc etc. The only thing that seems to motivate him is going out with his mates. We have even reached the point that he is not attending school very much at all, as he is always in such a dreadful state each morning.
I am waiting and hoping for him to get better and to grow out of this awful phase.
I also completely understand the points about the negative effect on the family’s mental well-being.
Thank goodness for coffee, wine and chocolate
Whilst it's kind of comforting knowing we aren't alone I take no satisfaction knowing you are also having problems.
We have encouraged him to do an apprenticeship rather than college but he was adamant he wanted this. We've helped him get numerous part jobs which he quits after a day.
The thing about my son is that it's scary as hell that he has no empathy not even when his grandad, my Dad, died recently, his reaction was to ask what was for tea. He admits himself that he doesn't feel anything.
He's charming and funny when he needs to be and is loved by all of our friends and family despite all of the strange and scary things he has done to himself and others over the last 3 years.
He even convinced CHAMHS that he was just a normal teenager and that it was us with the issue but the things I could tell you he's done would shock you (family services are aware) and it isn't just normal teenage behaviour. He laughed at us when we walked out of CHAMHS crying. I was an awful teenager too and so am not naive in the slightest to normal teenage behaviours.
I don't understand or know what to do about his manipulating ways. You don't know him like we do or people around us and it scares me about what kind of a man he will become if we don't get any help for him and it will be my fault.
He won't see the Dr and he doesn't admit to any of the strange behaviours except that he doesn't get upset about things.
I don't even know why I'm putting all of this out here but it's helping to put it down somewhere before I crack up!
My concern is not only for him and where he is heading as I love him so much but for my younger son who is the most sweetest child and up until this week as hidden from us that his brother had been stealing his money.
Anyway thanks for reading and I do hope your teenagers come through in the end it sounds like they will x
Dear miaworried. Please never lose hope. There is always something to cling to. You say that you were an awful teenager yourself - but you turned out okay didn’t you?
I see so many parallels in our situations- there are things that have gone on with my son that I just can’t share with anyone either.
I am also staggered by the lack of empathy that my DS shows and I have to keep telling myself that at some point, he will catch up with himself and feel some remorse for putting us through this.
2 things that I have found useful: chatting to my son about general stuff - the only time that I seem to be able to do this is when he is eating- I think it must help to hear that his issues are not the only thing that concerns me, then secondly, a godsend has been that we have a family friend who has got involved as a support for all of us- he is a retired head teacher and has seen all sorts of ‘bad lad’ situations, and has reassured us that this awful phase will not last forever.
I have thought about apprenticeships too- but I don’t think that my son has the maturity and responsibility to handle a workplace situation yet.
You must look after yourself too.i bet - like me, you’re finding the day to day stuff in life is really hard
Best wishes from a fellow sufferer