I really need help here. My 17 year old son, who I have been telling myself is a good kid at heart – but I am just at wits end. He is currently failing a couple of classes, he cuts some classes the absolute maximum number he can without failing (though once he gets to that line, he goes to the classes). He is very, very smart, so it has nothing to do with ability.
Enough background – this morning I discovered that he had taken my debit card and taken $300 out of my account. He has taken money before, but because he was doing so poorly in school, we wanted him to do his school work and not get a job. Obviously, that was a bad decision. He does start work immediately after football camp (which is a requirement for football) on July 1. I will take his paychecks until he has paid me back, but this has got to stop!!!
Can I call the cops and scare him, or is that really bad? I don’t even have a clue how to handle this.
Let's slow down...
I want to do what is in your best interest. Thus, the best advice I can give you at this point (since you just got started with the program) is to simply work through the four sessions. Only do one session per week – nothing more! If we try to implement a bunch of new parenting changes too quickly, it will backfire.
I'm not trying to avoid answering your questions. However, since most of the questions you listed in your email will be answered directly in the eBook (mostly in the Online Version), and since the program is designed to take baby-steps toward change, I would encourage you to resist your impulse to leap through the program in search of the "magic bullet." Instead, enjoy the process of working through each session – one session at a time. The results you so desperately desire will come independent of your striving for them. Patience is "key" right now.
Rest assured, you WILL get the answers you need to be successful with this program, but when the timing is right. I would like to save you from rushing into things, and then failing. Is this O.K.?
Your child is 17-years-old. It has taken 17 years for the problems to get to this point. So it is going to take at least a few weeks to get the problems reversed.
We must implement change gradually because change is tough. People don't like change, and kids will totally reject parenting changes if they occur too fast. (This isn't to say that you won't notice any improvements in your child's behavior fairly quickly though.)
As you work through the program, email me as needed for clarification about the strategies outlined in the eBook. Then after the four-week program (after you have digested most of the material), email me again with a specific question regarding any parent-child difficulty you may still be struggling with.
You're not going to "scare" your son with the cops. Don't waste your time with that strategy. Simply set-up a repayment plan (it sounds like you may already have one).
One day at a time,
P.S. Be sure to watch ALL the Instructional Videos [online version of the eBook].
My Out-of-Control Teen