Good afternoon Mark,
I am a new addition to your website and have purchased and downloaded your information. I haven't read through the materials yet, but wanted to ask your opinion on the situation going on in my household. I am at a loss at what to do.
My 17 year old son and I have always gotten along and he's always been very honest with me. Earlier this year he had started using marijuana, and had tried a handful of other drugs. He told me about this on his own. I told him I did not approve of his use, but appreciated his honesty with me. He and I have since had various conversations about his drug use, and my wish for him to stop. I have never punished him for what he has told me, because I thought that would result in him not telling me anything.
Well, in late March he was caught at school with a very small amount of pot (I know, any amount is to much). He was suspended from school for three weeks. We got through that, and he's back at school - with the condition by the school that he see a counselor. Well - everything "seemed" to be going okay, although, he was spending more and more time with his friends. He'd go with them after school, but would always be home by curfew (10:00pm). Well, last Wednesday he had a counselor appt. in the evening. I called him to be sure he was going to be home in time for us to leave and he informed me he was not going. I told him it was not optional and we went back and forth, back and forth. I finally told him if he did not go, the consequence was loss of use of my car. He said he didn't care and then said 'f$%k you' to me, and hung up!! This came as a complete shock to me, as he and I had no conflict going on between us. I'm still not sure what I did to possibly be on the receiving end of that.
After he hung up on me, I messaged him reminding him the consequence for disrespect was having his cell phone turned off (I've done this before - but not in months). His response was "if you want to be that way, good luck getting me to come home". Well, seeing that was the consequence of disrespect, I had his phone shut off. He called me later from his friends phone, just to say 'f$%k you" to me again.
He did come home and then missed the bus both Thursday and Friday to school - so, I had to drive him....which made me late for work. When I asked him to please hurry, his response was 'f$%k you'. Thursday we drove in silence. Friday I tried talking to him - but it became an angry conversation. When he got out of my car, he slammed the door and threw his cup of coffee down the side of it.
This morning, again, he would not get out of bed in time to catch the bus. After my fourth attempt to wake him, he said if I'd leave him the f#$$ alone, he would get up. So, I left him alone. The bus came and went. I decided I would not be late for work again, so, I left. As far as I know, he's still asleep.
I'm at a loss. He has so much anger towards just me....but, I really have no clue why I've been singled out here. I know he is angry that I turned off the phone - but he seems to forget his actions caused that outcome. I don't know what caused his initial anger that resulted in the phone being turned off, now I don't know what to do to get past this. I'm afraid to talk to him, because he gets so angry. I don't want him to think he can walk all over me, so I will not turn the phone on until he and I can resolve this.
How do other parents talk to their disrespectful teen when anger becomes an issue? He has both a father and stepfather - but both of them have washed their hands of him. I have not washed my hands of him and never will - but feel very much like a single parent here.
Any advice and/or input to my situation would be GREATLY appreciated.
Thank you so much for your time (sorry this is so long!),
I need you to do me a really big favor! Since you are a new member of Online Parent Support—and since most of what you’re going through is addressed in the eBook, would you be willing to digest most of the material (read as well as listen), and then email me again with a specific question. Please pay particular attention to the Anger Management chapter of the ONLINE version of the eBook. I think that chapter will be the most relevant to your case at this point.
Thank you. I’ll wait to hear back.