HELP FOR PARENTS WITH STRONG-WILLED, OUT-OF-CONTROL CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD

He then grabbed me very hard by the arms, pushed me down on my bed and held me there...

Hi Mark,

It's odd to me that just after I emailed you for the certificate, we had a meltdown here in our house. Things have been going so smoothly for several months, and now this happened. I hope you have time to read this.

Please tell me if you have any pointers for this matter. Here is the story...my son, D, 15 years old, has a history of sometimes, not each time, physically attacking me when he is in one of his rages. Tonight, we were having a pleasant conversation, enjoying each other's company. Somehow, it turned sour when he continued on some trivial topic I can't even remember now. I told him to leave my room over an over again. At first we were just playing around, but he kept being very, very annoying. I told him about 3 times to leave, and I then said, if you don't leave my room, you will need to give me your phone. He still didn't leave, so I said, ok, give me your phone. He then just snapped. He began freaking out, screaming and yelling at me. I told him to go in his room and settle down and then we would discuss this, but he kept screaming and yelling. I closed and locked my door, and he banged on it for about 5 minutes. I decided I needed to leave the house till he calmed down. I opened the door and he wouldn't let me leave. He then grabbed me very hard by the arms, pushed me down on my bed and held me there. He even said "you know what I could do to you?" I stayed as calm as I could, no yelling, got up and he then kept throwing a bundle of socks at me, (I know the socks sound silly, but he threw them at me pretty hard over and over again) and then, somehow, he then left my room. He then got quiet and went to his room like I had told him to do before.

Anyway, the last time he touched me like this I told him I would call the police if he did it again. I did call the police (not 911, just the precinct #). All the years we have had problems with D, we have threatened but never called them, until now of course, since we have been doing this program - no half measures!!!!!!.

By the way, my husband is out of town this weekend, so it was just me tonight.

When the police came, about 45 minutes later, I told them what happened and that I just wanted them to talk to him. They told me that if I wanted them to take him in, it would be a serious arrest, overnight at juvenile court, appear in front of the judge, go on his permanent record, but I said this time just a talk. So they came inside, cuffed him, and sat him down and had a pretty scary talk (it made me very sad to see them cuff him, and tears came to his eyes, nothing like this has ever happened in our home before). He was obviously nervous, but also smirking a bit - I think that was just out of nervousness. After all that, after they left, I sat down with him, very straight faced, and went thru the steps of "When someone attacks me it scares me, I know you did it cause you were mad and that is how you showed your emotions," etc.

Mark, my problem now is this. If I have to call them again, I told D I would have them actually take him in if he attacks me again. I am really concerned though, that he would touch me like that. Other than these steps of the program, do you have any suggestions as to how to help him with this particular problem? We do not have a history of physical abuse anywhere in our family that I know about, my husband and I do not at all physically hurt each other. I don't know where this comes from or why he shows his anger that way. I am afraid for him for his future, and if he does this to me, what will he do to a future girlfriend or wife - it makes me sick to my stomach to even think that way, but I know he's done it to me. I want desperately to help him. He is only 15, am I being over reactive?? I feel this program will work for lots of things, but what do you think about this issue? I feel that something is missing and that I am searching for an answer and some help for my son and I'm not sure where to look. Am I in the right place, do you have any other help for this?

Ok, whenever you get a chance, I would truly appreciate your help. Thanks so, so much.

S.

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Hi S.,

Re: ...this time just a talk. As I was reading your email, I was beginning to get impressed with the way you handled this situation – UNTIL you told the police that you “just wanted them to talk” to your son.

This is a domestic battery case for crying out loud! I’m going to be totally honest with you here:

(1) You slipped back into over-indulgence in a major way, and

(2) The “talk” from police was a joke. Fear-based motivation (which is what happened with the “talk”) will NOT have any longevity or lasting benefit– I promise.

Yes… you should include authorities, but only so they can make a report to send to Juvenile Probation – that’s all you need the cops for, because without a formal complaint from you, probation’s hands are tied and they cannot proceed with handling the matter in court.

Re: Other than these steps of the program, do you have any suggestions as to how to help him with this particular problem?

Yes. Follow the program as intended. You’ve told your son that you will have police take him the next time he batters you. If you choose NOT to call the police and have your son experience the full negative consequences associated with his poor choice to batter, you will also choose to continue to be on the receiving end of such abuse.

Do you really want your son to grow up with the notion that battery against women has few consequences? I would say that his future wife would not be so tolerant of such abuse.

Re: …am I being over reactive?? I hope you know the answer to this one!

Having said all this, you are doing a remarkable job overall.

Stay the course. Know that these set backs are normal. Understand that this incident was truly just a “setback” – not a major “catastrophe.” And perhaps most importantly, reward yourself for your successes – big and small – rather than focusing on the setbacks.

Thank you for requesting your certificate. YOU DESERVE IT. Do not think otherwise. I’ve sent it to you as an attachment in this email.

You are a good mother as well as a good student. Wise individuals never believe they are so smart that they cannot benefit from ongoing instruction in the areas of their life that could use some readjusting.

Mark

My Out-of-Control Teen

1 comment:

GDOBSSOR R said...

He could just be an entitled child, but it's also possible he has early onset bipolar or borderline. Follow through with having the police take him in next time. Also see if you can get a psyc evaluation.

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