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

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

We thought maybe he should see that the grass is not always greener on the other side...

Mr Hutten,

I have a question to ask but I feel I should give some background material first.

My girlfriend and I have been living together for 5 years now. She has three sons two still live with us one has moved out on his own. The two living with us are 9 and 15. I have two sons one in college and a 15 year old.

The reason for purchasing your study guide is for her 15 year old. When we moved in together (my home – in case it matters) we had issues with my 15 year (at the time 11), it lasted two weeks and everything collected itself back together. The house went along fine for quite some time. I coached her sons in little league, and tried to be the best I could for them. My son is more a computer nerd so it was nice to have kids interested in sports.

Her kid’s father was never much in their lives with visits to him two to three times a year tops, and always with an issue when they would go there. Her ex is an alcoholic, and on occasion the 15 year old would catch him drunk, the younger rarely saw it.

Her 15 year old started giving us problems about a year ago. Just your typical testing the waters type of stuff. Staying out at least 15 minutes past when you told him to come home type of stuff. We did what we thought was best in grounding and applying chores. But then came the disrespect and that was the worst he would not grant us any it was like we became non people in his eyes. I was no longer able to talk with him because I started getting the “your not my father” bit. He started disrespecting his mother on almost every situation only being nice when there was something he wanted. I knew the adjustment of coming to live with me would happen but it took almost 3 years to surface, my sons happened in the first two weeks. I guess it really took me off guard when his grades dropped and I wouldn’t let him go out for spring training in football because of 2 F’s and D’s on the report card. This to me seemed to be the spiral downward. I talked with the school and wanted him to play but wanted them to help by having his coach talk with him, but that was no use as long as he had a 1.5 GPA he could play. And making A’s in P.E. and another elective he had that. But our rules differed from theirs, so we became the Bad People.

After starting your course we saw we made mistakes and were doing our best to stay on the rules you set forth. It has been a gradual thing but improvement has been seen, although not in grades but we saw hope their also. Being 15 has it motivations with driving permit and all being able to be used as a tool. Which we have told both of the 15 year olds driving is a privilege that comes with good grades and work. No work, no driving, case closed.

Well now to my question. Her sons went to their fathers after Christmas this year. When their mother went to pick them up the 15 year old said he wanted to stay and live there. We had discussed this throughout the past year or so what to do when this came up, and we thought maybe he should see that the grass is not always greener on the other side, and that rules will follow wherever he goes, and that three visit a year father will be seen as parent also (hopefully). It seemed so easy in a hypothetical situation, but now it consumes every waking thought. Did we do the right thing? What to say when he calls? What if he says he wants to come home, although I want him to I don’t want to screw up a great chance at getting on the right path by saying something stupid or sounding to proud that he just wants to come home? It hasn’t even been 24 hours yet and I am getting the acid stomach, I can’t even imagine what his mother feels. We think we did what is best for the long term but it sure seems wrong right now.

Any thoughts or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You,

D.

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Hi D.,

Re: Did we do the right thing?

I believe so.

Re: What to say when he calls?

That you love and miss him.

Re: What if he says he wants to come home, although I want him to I don't want to screw up a great chance at getting on the right path by saying something stupid or sounding to proud that he just wants to come home?

You have strategies to deal with him effectively now. If he wants to come home, then you will have a golden opportunity for a fresh start. Draft a behavior contract first - and let him see it and sign-off on it. In this way, he will know up front what the expectations are.

Mark

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