Hi S. I’ve responded where you see these arrows: >>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thank you for the excellent advice for assertive parenting. I like to think I employ a few of these techniques already, but definitely see room for improvement.
I have attempted to create an account so that I can join in chatroom discussions, but after entering the information and clicking "save", nothing happens. Any suggestions?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Just click on Sign Up …then type your email address, password x2, and a display name. If this doesn’t work for some reason, you can just click on “Chat Anonymously.”
Also, I have a question with regard to our 16 yr old. We have 4 boys ...two 10 yr olds, a 13 yr old, and a 16 yr old. So far, the younger ones have proven to be a piece of cake. The 16 yr old, however, has been a real challenge this year. He was hanging out with the wrong crowd and skipping school. We were trying to work on those issues (although, not in the most productive way, from what I've learned with
In the process, we learned that he was using alcohol and marijuana (primarily in party or social settings). Last fall, he had an encounter with the law when he and his "pals" were caught loitering in the school parking lot and breaking/entering vehicles, stealing radios. Some of the other boys had multiple offenses and were given harsher punishment. Ours landed himself in the JDC for 21 days, missing
Thanksgiving, several community service hours, probation, expulsion from school, and placement in an alternative school for problematic teens.
He's threatened suicide, although, those appear to be more attention-seeking attempts. (We, of course, don't take the threats lightly but recognize them for what we believe them to be.) We've met with a mental-health counselor who felt we didn't have a problem that required therapy.
We tried removing him from the negative influences by moving him to a new school and letting him stay with his mother for a period of time (his choice). He came home with renewed promise to get back on track. It lasted for a short period but he's back to sneaking out, using marijuana, being verbally abusive and skipping school regularly (several classes or days per week). He's not made any effort to begin his community service and he's regularly defiant at home.
His world revolves around his girlfriend who is two years older. We've tried to control that situation as well, but it only induces more hostility so we try to encourage positive dating and family events including his date.
Needless to say, several of his acts violate his probation. His father is hurt, angry, and all those emotions you mentioned. I realize his need to take care of himself so that he's better prepared to take care of the problems with our son. We're working on that.
My question, is this...are we too late to employ these tactics?
>>>>>>>>>> No …BUT you MUST work WITH probation. Allow your son to make mistakes, then report these mistakes to his PO. This IS the learning process for him.
>>>>>>>>>> Here’s the formula:
(1) State the house rule and the consequence for breaking the house rule;
(2) Allow him to break the house rule – do not attempt to “save” him from breaking the rule;
(3) Follow through with the consequence – even if the consequence is reporting violations to his PO.
I realize, over time, there's significant hope for improvement, but being where we are right now, I don't know that we have that kind of time. We recognize that there's a very real potential for the judge to violate his probation anyway once his report card comes in, etc. Every time his father goes before the judge with him (monthly) he's torn on whether to be 100% truthful with the judge, which will automatically violate the probation...or to maintain that things are improving and continue working on the situation at home. Of course, no father wants to violate his son's probation and see him back in JDC.
>>>>>>>>>>> There should be no being “torn” – being “torn” and withholding information from the judge and PO is another form of over-indulgence, which IS the problem to start with.
He's emotionally drained and worried sick. With school nearly out and summer rapidly approaching, we (both working full time) are very concerned about the potential for more problems with even more free time on his hands.
>>>>>>>>>>> You will need to focus on taking care of yourselves in ways you wouldn’t have to if your son was not so intense.
I wish we had found your help earlier, and we're eager to employ the suggested parenting techniques, hoping for the best long-term outcome. In the interim, and with this judiciary issue pending, are we best to take this route and hope for the best or try to seek additional help from an outside resource with the hope of prompting more immediate change...and if, the latter would be your suggestion, where do we turn for that kind of assistance?
Your input is very much valued and your time appreciated. Thanks! S.B.
>>>>>>>>>>> If you’re referring to “counseling” – this is just another traditional parenting strategy that will have little or no positive outcome. You should allow him to experience uncomfortable emotions associated with his poor choices in the form of legal consequences – this is the ONLY way he will learn.
I would rather he experience some mild, short-term pain NOW rather than some major, long-term pain LATER in the form of adult prison. You do get my point, I’m sure.
Read the eBook – twice. Listen to ALL the audio in the Online Version of the eBook – twice. If you don’t have time to sit at your computer, get the CDs ==> CLICK HERE. And email me periodically over the next several months.