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

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

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If I encourage him I am damned and if I don't am damned...

Hi Mark

Thanks for the help and advice you gave me. I did go to the police after my son took that car when I was on holidays. The police would not lay charges because the kid had gone out for 5 mins. and the neighbour called him on the cell phone and told him to get the car right back now! The police told me because they did not have to look for the car they weren't going to do anything. I asked them to come and talk to him then, and they told me that scare tactics like that really don't work with kids any more. The system here sucks. My son is on drugs and he did come home higher then a kite and abusive to me, the one night he didn't come home at all and was at the mall at 2:00 a.m. in the morning and I called him and said that he was to get home and he said that he was not. He came home that morning and slept for 26 hours. The next night I told him that things were going to change etc. like the program talks about, that night he went out I told him to be back at curfew or I would be calling the police as he would be a runaway. He came home stoned, abusive but home before curfew. I took his things away, t.v., cell phone, computer and he was very abusive to me calling me everything in the book, I used the technique I am not going to argue etc. He phoned his friends mom then and asked her if she still had that room for him at her place and she said sure I will send my kid over to get you and your stuff right away and off he went.

He stayed at this home and 2 weeks ago at 3:30 a.m there is this banging and the doorbell ringing non stop we jumped out of bed and there was Chris at the door. Crying and telling us that he was in so much trouble he had taken 4 grams of mushrooms and he was scared that he was having trouble breathing. We called the Crisis Centre and they got a bed ready for him at the detox centre to monitor him and get him counselling for his drug problem. He started smoking up in March of this year and it was downhill from there. When we were on the phone with the Crisis Centre to get Chris help which he asked for the daughter of this mother that he was staying at called she was higher then a kite asking for her brother Andrew and she called twice until I told my husband that it must be the daughter at this house. I *69 on the phone to get the number and sure enough she got high with Chris that night and she was scared to. Chris stayed at the detox for 2 day and he told us when we went to visit that he was scared there and we prayed with him and we told him that this was the best placed for him to get better. The 2nd night after we left he called this mother to come and get him and she did. It is a voluntary programs here and the kid can sign themselves out and the parent has no rights. I called the 3rd day in the morning to see how he was and they told me he was gone. I phoned the mother and she said that he was scared there and that she was going to take him to NA meetings and go with him. That she loves him and wants to adopt him.

When I had gone over the day he was admitted to the detox to get some clothes at first she would not give me anything then she said she would only give me a few things 2 tshirts and a pair of underwear and that was all. She didn't even ask me how he was, just that I was not to say anything negative about him and that anything I said she was going right back and telling him and that she loves him and wants to adopt him, when I said we needed to get him help. When I called her that morning I found out that she picked him up and I told her she needed to wake up and that her own kids were on drugs and that I was on the phone with her on kid from 4:00 a.m .until 8:00 a.m. making sure she was okay.

Our family doctor got us an addiction counsellor and we have been going as a family. There is alcoholism on both sides of the family and it goes a couple of generations back. I do not drink and my husband has a beer now and then and that it is. Our family lives were a living hell.

Chris decided that he wanted to get his own townhouse with 2 friends (they do not do drugs) and a few days before he went on this 2 day binge and came to our door he had asked me to be the guarantee on this townhouse. I refused and I knew that something was going to happen. My dog was even sitting at the front door like something was about to happen. This mother signed for the townhouse for him. The morning I phoned her, I asked her why she took him out and she said he wanted to come home and I said what do you think you are doing that we are not doing, she said she is there for him. Well where was she at 3:30 in the morning when he was scared and need our help. What I can't get over is that Chris didn't like her kids and the older one was always bullying him at church youth group and my friends son went along to protect him.

Chris has moved into the townhouse now, he has told my husband that I never talk to him. When I see him, I just say Hi and wave and keep going. He has told me that when I talk to him like tonight for example we phoned to say hi and how are things going, I asked him if the things that counsellor was teaching him to do was working and he said that it is hard to stop. I said maybe he needs to hang with the kids that are not into this life style and that to keep busy maybe take a course to keep busy and that he has potential and he got mad at me and said we were having a nice conversation and now I was lecturing again and that when I do this it only makes him want to go out and get stoned again. He told me tonight doesn't want me to say he has potential or anything like that and I am not to talk about his friends. I did not cut up his friends, I am afraid to talk to him because he lays this guilt trip on me and I am afraid it will set him off on a binge. The other week he told me that I don't talk to him and it was like I had given up on him. If I encourage him I am damned and if I don't am damned. After counselling last week, he gave me a hug and said that he knows that it was the drugs that had come between us.

Do you have any words of advice on this?

Thanks, A.

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Keep your end of the conversation very short and simple. Tell him you love him …miss him …and hope he is doing well. That’s about it. If your side of the conversation goes more than 30 seconds – then you’ve gone too long. Less is better at this point. You’ll know when your son wants more words from you, but until then, keep it short and sweet.

Mark

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