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He acts much younger because of my passive ways of raising...

Hello Mark. Thank you for replying to my last email so quickly. My son, when he was 17, was discovered using weed with his girlfriend in our house. I of course got furious (I fall under the passive parent). I told him that if this happens again he would have to move in with his father. His father lives in Beverly Hills and I live in Burbank. Well, it happened twice thereafter and I just repeated the same threat. Finally after the fourth time, and right after his 18th birthday, he did it again, and this time I told him that he has made the choice to abuse my rules, therefore he has made the choice to move to his fathers. This was bad for him because he would be loosing all of his friends and would have to start a new school in his senior year.

In addition to the use of drugs he was also lying to me, staying out late and talking back to me and not following thru on commitments. His father was furious with me that I could do such a thing in his last year. So he paid for an apartment for him to stay at until he graduated. I consulted with my therapist before I kicked him out, and she said that I must carry through with my threat, and that it would be good for him to live with his father (which he didn't). She also said to tell him that it was his decision by not following my rules and that I did not kick him out. She said that I should call him at least once a week and have dinner with him once a week. I did call him, but almost every time we made an arrangement he stood me up.

Now that summer is here, and I have found this wonderful program of yours, I would love it if he would move back in with my and my new husband so that I can have a second chance so to speak. By the way, I was a single mom since my son was 6 mos. old. I just remarried in January and my son gave me away. He wants to live with his father who give free handouts, has been fired from jobs for sexual harassment and is a racist. I am white and he is black. When I lived with him, he would get on the phone he would constantly talk to his black buddies and say that it's the white people fault that he's not working (Movie industry) and they don't like hiring blacks. His 37 year old son lives with him! I don't want my son in this environment, and I don’t know what to do. Please advise.

I know that he is an adult, but like you say, he acts much younger because of my passive ways of raising. If he moved in with me, he would go to college and work part time. I would also make him pay rent to live here and I would follow your method of parent strategies.

Thank you,



Hi A.,

As long as your son is (a) working, (b) paying rent, and (c) working toward some type of education, I think it is fine that he lives at home. BUT – if does not follow through with the above and begins to use your house as a “flop house” – then you are back to over-indulgent parenting again – and you WILL suffer the consequences as a result (I know that you know what I’m talking about here – you’ve already gone through it before).

Give him a warning up front re: exactly what the house rules are!


My Out-of-Control Teen

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