I've responded throughout your email below:
I would appreciate some help in getting through our latest development right as I am not sure if I have handled it right or how I should continue moving forward as it is so near to Christmas. I gave my son money to go shopping for clothes for Christmas.
This was a big trust issue as he smokes weed but things have been a bit better since I started using your techniques.
In the future, it will be best for you to go with him to buy the clothes so that you can be assured that the money is spent on clothes rather than drugs. And it seems that drug abuse is really the larger issue here.
It's O.K. to give gifts during Christmas, birthdays and graduation. But all other "gift-giving" must be earned.
He spent 60% of the money and said he wanted to use the rest to spend in the sales. I asked him to give it back and he refused and promised to keep it. I decided to trust him but made it clear that he was not to spend it. Next day he asked if he could use some for a pizza, I said no and said that I wanted the money back and he would get it Christmas day. He refused I told him if he chose to do keep the money he would lose his play station until I got it back. He did not return the money so I removed his play station deadlock ensued which led me to believe that he had spent the money so I asked him if he had the money to give me or had he spent it then the consequence would be grounding for 2 days. After a lot of shouting and aggressive behaviour throughout which I kept to the rules; best poker face and refusing to argue, I did explain once why he should not have spent the money, he tried to tell me he had bought a Christmas present for me and a load of other cock and bull about going to McDonalds, I know he spent it on drugs although I never said this. He became very threatening and I called the police when he pushed me and through a wet towel in my face. The police let me down because after 15 mins they called back and asked if I still wanted them to come? As the situation had calmed down I said no.
Be sure to say 'yes' next time. You stopped short here. You certainly do not want to send a clear message to your son that it is O.K. to batter women.
He admitted he had spent most of the money but gave me what was left and I said thank you but he was grounded for spending the money without permission, he refused to accept this and I told him I would not argue but that if he chose to ignore the grounding he would lose all of his privileges until he did his grounding. I have removed his Sky box and play station but all that has happened is that he has shouted a load of abuse and gone out. I am not sure if I have handled this well and we are only a few days away from Christmas. What do I do just keep going? Offer a life line, if so what? If I have to keep going do I give Christmas presents? Help!
Please review the strategy entitled "When You Want Something From Your Kid" [online version of the eBook]. As you should know by now, we never take stuff away for more that 7 days -- and 3 days works best. Thus, the discipline should not cut into Christmas time.
Before I sign off can I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the help this programme has given me, I was at my wits end, I cannot remember a happy moment with my son in years and judging from what you say it may be a long time yet but you have given me a way to deal with it. So I hope you will accept my best wishes to you and your family for a Happy Christmas and New Year.
Thank you! Merry Christmas.
My Out-of-Control Teen