Troubled teen...need advice(5 Posts)
Me and dh have been made legal guardians of dh's 15 yo brother He was in care as his mother was not in a position to look after him (and still isn't). We have 2 dds ade 1 and 3.
We've had him for about 3 months but things don't seem to be going well. We just can't get through to him. He stays out all night, doesn't come back for meals, he ran up a £300 phone bill (which we really can't afford), and after 2 days of raging we got a grudgng 'sorry bout the phone bill'. (then asked my dh for money to buy cigarettes. He just doesn't understand that he's had £300 from us already and I have to work for about 3 weeks to earn that.
Last night he came back at 11 (which is fine) but with a younger kid, said he had to walk him home, my dh said fine but make sure you come back. No sign of him yet.
We've tried grounding him, but he ignores us (dh ended up hiding his shoes). He's stolen from us, but doesn't seem to get that it's not acceptable. He said ' well if you gave me money I wouldn't have to nick it'
We don't get any financial help only tax credits of about £30 a month and child benefit, which we are so far unable to claim as we don't have his birth certificate. We need to get school uniform for him too which will cost a fortune. This all just adds to the stress.
Is there anyone with teenagers that can give me any advice? We really don't want him to go back into care, but we just can't cope with him as nothing we say makes a difference to how he acts. There's noone else to take him. SS won't let him go back to his mum, his sister is pregnant so could do without the hassle, and his other bro lives in a shared house so can't take him. His dad is not around. It's affecting our dd's now, and the constant worrying os driving us crazy.
really hard for you and good on you both for trying to help him and give him a chance.
My first thoughts are to get the social workers involved - if he has been in care Im taking it that he has a named one - and say that you need a conference will all interested parties and mybe him as he is 15. Involve the school as well. Around here we have an organisation called child action northwest that will send family wellbeing practitioners in as well to help draw up behaviour agreements.
Does he want to be with you? What were his experiences in care? He does indeed sound troubled. Boundaries, as you know need to be inforced, but doing it is something else. You need to stress to SS that you want to make a go of this but need support. hth and good luck.
Thanks for replying.
He's come from Scotland so doesn't have a social worker here. They were supposed to inform the local SS, but no sign of contact from them. He hasn't started school here yet. (They finish in June in Scotland and he came down then)
He was in a childrens home for about 4 months, they couldn't cope with him either as he kept absconding. Basically, he won't follow any rules and just does as he pleases. Obviously this isn't something we can tolerate, as we have 2 dds to think of.
I think he wants to be here. At the last conference he said he wanted to stay with us permanently but his behaviour has just got worse since then.
The behaviour agreement sounds like a good idea. Do you know any more about it?
sorry- not been online. I think you need toy inform local SS yourself to let them know that you are struggling - hopefully they will have some agencies that they can put you in touch with. child action nw some ideas of what services can be available. I think that the behaviour agreement is just that, something drawn up with the child that they need to stick to. sounds simple on paper but maybe not so! Have you met with the head at the school? It does sound like there might be problems when he starts there as well, the head will be able to signpost to what support is available Im sure. Better to get everyone on side at the beginning. You and your dh dont need to be alone with this
mentoring might be somnething else useful for him, just thought..a young adult who he respects and who can speak to him on his wavelength.
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