Parenting Teenagers (12-18) Support Group

This community is focused on the joys, challenges and concerns faced by parents of teenagers (12 to 18 year olds). The major areas of child development include: physical development, perception and sensory development, communication and language development, cognitive development, emotional development and social development.

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Hello New to Group

Hi Everyone,

I am new to this group, but not to DS. I've been a member in a few other groups for several months. I've popped in here a few times, but today I decided I need to join.

I have 2 sons. 1-24 no longer at home and 1-16, a Junior in HS. He is generally a good kid who gets decent grades, is helpful around the house and isn't defiant with us. Although he has lied to us over and over. We've not been able to trust him for a couple of years. He has a cell phone and stays in touch with us. He is grounded right now, so home every day however the past couple of years we hardly saw him, as he was always out. What surprises me is that is is grounded and he does not try to sneak out. Nor has he been angry about it?

He has been in trouble both at school and with the Police. School trouble started his Fresh year getting got smoking pot on campus. Soph year was horrible especially after Christmas break. The Principal was calling nearly every week. He had detention constantly for skipping class and did not get along with 2 of his teachers. He would get in trouble for things like stealing hall passes, having markers in is back pack and generally by association with some other kids who are known trouble makers in the school.

My son is shy. One of his teachers comments last year was he sees how he does not have friends in class and gravitates towards these boys to feel like he belongs somewhere. He got in trouble over and over for being at the wrong place at the wrong time and was told by his guide counselor he was guilty by association. This year he was suspended for snorting Vicodin in the restroom. We drug tested him the same morning and he was clean, so got him back in school. His friend was doing the drugs but not my son. Thank GOD! He has been labeled a BAD KID in school and can not breath wrong or he is in the principals office. We are currently trying to get in enrolled in an alternative school. We applied last year and were not accepted, we are waiting to hear on the 2nd application.

With the law he has 3 MIP's in the past 2 years. We were served a court summons last night. A police office knocked loudly on the door just as we were to begin dinner. He has to appear before a judge on November 9th. He is likely looking at probation for 1-2 years and I am not sure what else will happen. Community service or what ever the judge decides.

My son was in tears last night when he read the summons. We've have talked to him until we are blue in the face telling him how things will continue to get worse. He apparently is a slow learner! 3 MIP's? This is why he is grounded. We had been doing punishments we felt we appropriate. Taking his phone, taking his computer, ect. The last MIP caused me to ground him for a month. I thought I may ground him until he leaves home! Since the court date is only 2 days after the month ground was to be over we've decided to keep him grounded until the hearing.

Of course one would never imagine their child would get into so much trouble. But, I never imagined he would! He was such a good kid when he was little. My older son was a nightmare with ADHD and if anyone was going to cause me trouble I imagined it would be him. He caused plenty... but not legal trouble like this.

When my younger son was a baby and up until HS he amazed us. He was the happiest baby, always slept through the night from 6 months. He had exemplary grades through elementary school and Jr High. He has above average intelligence beginning in elementary school scoring very high on state tests in math, reading and spelling. His grades in these courses have always been outstanding. Last year his state testing in Science he had the 2nd highest score in the entire Soph class in his HS! He never had a messy room as a small child, was neat, quiet, minded his parents and we thought he would be the kid that broke the mold.

How does this happen? Do any of you have any thoughts? I am ready for family counseling. Although I tried this with my older son and every time we had an appt, he wouldn't show up. My older son was a lot more independent. He had a girlfriend who he thought he was "in love" with at 16 and left home to live with her and her Mom. It was a terrible experience also and another very long post. He's grown now and off on his own doing pretty well.

My heart is broken for my younger son. He has got himself into way more trouble than he should at this age and at any age for that matter. I am at a loss for how to deal with the situation.

Thanks in advance for your replies.



It sounds to me as though you have a good boy there - really!
It sounds as though he accepts rules and consecquences and your authority over your home.
It also sounds as though he is intelligent and very aware of his intelligence.
I'd bet that a sit down talk with him over rules in general would be a great place to start. Do not push opinions - pull them ... have a list of rules and ask him to rate them on a scale of 1-10 in two categories:
1st) how important that rule is
2nd) is that rule proper other people to enforce? (or should it only be a guideline for each of us to monitor ourselves)

If you want to have fun with this, have all family members write down a few rules (a person must eat vegetables daily; no smoking; no alcohol; no drinking and driving) - then compare how each of you feel about each rule and discuss. Perhaps age is important too.

My guess is that he will say that light drugs are okay at his age and not other people's business ... perhaps not a revelation ... but the next step is to decide when a person is allowed to make their own rules.

For example: Ths is my house & I want wild parties ... or everyone should be in bed by 8 at night ...

Is the fact that it is your house permit you to make arbitrary rules?

I've created a 'checklist' in my fammily that we imagine telling grandma what rule we intend to break and why ... how do we imagine her reaction? (we all trust grandma's judgement, obviously).

Good luck because what works for one doesn't work for all. But I hope that this might help to gain you some insight.



Sounds like you have a very smart son. One thing I have noticed is that most of these kids that are in trouble are very smart..that is how they continue to do the things they do.
I went through something similar. My son was kind of an outsider and stated to hang with kids that gave him confidence because they paid attention to him and made him feel important.
I would ground him and he complied, but he was such a good manipultaor that he had me fooled.
He also was smoking pot and I would get so angry at these other boys for putting my swet son in harms way. What I did not realize until later was that it was my dear sweet son putting the other kids in harms way.
I found out he was not only smoking pot but doing ecstacy, coccaine, herione, and smoking oxycottin. When he was in drug court he would smoke and snort oxycottin because the drug test would not detect it. I still don't understand why it does not show up, but I imagine the same is true with the drug test you gave your son.
My son was the one selling and getting others to join. He has been in and out of juvie and after he turned 18 was in jail for probation violation.
He is finally in AA and doing the program (most have dual addictions) if he stays clean, works the program and finishes high school he will get his felonies taken off his record.
The way we got to this point was by us (me) not enabling him. I turned him into the police for stealing and I stopped paying for his phone, stopped giving him money of any kind. He could eat at home and take a lunch period. He had to mind the rules or he could run and then the police would take him in jail.
Last night after he worked his 9th step he started to cry and told me how he has hurt me and was sorry, wanting to know what he could do to make ammends. My boy has finally gotten it! I pray everyday he continues on this path.
I pray that you have the courage and strength to be tough to save your son.
Good Luck and God Bless
deleted_user just described our home life! Our son who is 15, has ADHD, and first got arrested for breaking into cars (felony) at 13. He then got an MIP and another MIP. Although he was taking regular drug tests AND passing them, he was apparently using the WHOLE time! We first found out he was experimenting with drinking at age 10. He got caught several times and then last winter he came home so drunk we called the police because it was a violation of his probation. The police called the paramedics because he was not responding, and they took him to the hospital via ambulance. He could have died that night last January. After that he spent 6 weeks in a residential treatment center. He came home a new person, and we were very thankful! He has been squeaky clean for almost 11 months, and part of the reason is because we moved out of our neighborhood, he disassociated himself with all bad influences, AND he is now doing online high school. So I tell you this whole story to 1) try counseling, 2) he needs to drop his friends that are using 3) And stay in touch with friends' parents about where they are going, what they are doing, etc. Yes, be THAT mom that everyone avoids, LOL!!!

Oh yeah, my son is also extremely intelligent. He is in the gifted and talented program AND was just recommended as a sophomore in high school to start college classes in January concurrently w/high school. Intelligent kids also know how to work the system and manipulate their parents very well. :-)

Thanks all of you for your replies to my post. I read and re-read your thoughts. I am amazed kids can pass the drug tests and still be using? Wow, I didn't know this. How did you know this???

Manipulation from them is sooo true. My son is very good at this. He is currently upset because I have shut off the ability for his phone to send or received picture messages. I suspected he was sexting and I won't have it. I caught him sneaking alcohol this past summer and when I called him out on it, he became defensive. But, not like all up in my face yelling... just softly asking, Mom? Why ya gotta do this? Why do you always think I am doing the worst thing? Why don't you believe me? OMG really? haha!

The sexting I have no proof other than him not being willing to tell my why it is so vitally important to have this feature on his phone. ??? This summer my older son's girlfriend saw him sneak the alcohol. He denied it with the usual questions, Why ya always gotta not believe me? This really angered me! He was angry with me - for me being angry with him - for me not believing him, when I found it to be a true fact. This is manipulation at it's finest.

Over the weekend he asked about the pictures again on his phone. We told him the only way we would agree is if we can look at his phone. However, I have re-thought this and decided it's just TOO BAD that he can't get pics on his phone! He could delete these pictures quickly if he knew his phone would be inspected. And further lead us on. I told him when he gets a job and pays for his own phone, he can have whatever kind of phone features he wants.

I do want to try counseling. We will be exploring this further. The friends thing is very difficult. We he first got into trouble freshman year he got in trouble with friends he'd had since he was in elementary school. From 2nd grade! When we told him he could no longer associate with these friends, he found new ones. We've done this every time he gets in trouble, and he finds new friends alright, worse ones. :(

I am glad I joined this group. Reading though some of the other posts has helped me to realized I am not alone. It is the most difficult job in the world being a parent. One never realizes when we have these precious little babies that one day... they will turn from an innocent perfect child to a BIG GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS!

The reason I know that the drugs are not detected is that my son had to call daily to see if his color was called and if it was he had to go in for a drug test. So the tests were random and it could be two days apart or even five days straight. To be honest I don't know how he found out, must have been another telling him how it works. He admitted on several occations to smoking oxycottin and had drug tests that were clean.
They find ways around getting away with using, especially if they are addicted. My son was/is very susceptible to addictive behavior and any drug use causes him to be out of control. I am just glad that he has figured this out. I pray every day that he continues to stay clean and sober.
You know you said something that made me think....One never realizes when we have these precious little babies that one day... they will turn from an innocent perfect child to a BIG GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS!
I look back at my sons behavior and see now that he was not perfect even when he was little. There were so many signs and warnings I never saw. Getting wrapped up in everyday happenings and got tunnel vision. Well I can't change the past, I can only have a better future.
Good luck
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