So, now what?
My 15 year old son lives with his mom in another state. We have a very close and loving relationship. He was all set to move in with me and attend sophomore year in the DC area until this past weekend, when his mother informed me that he had changed his mind. She brought him out here, where he admitted that the "whole thing" scares him. This change of heart would be one thing, but he's been sliding badly at his mom's: Cs, Ds, Fs, no sports, no motivation, admitted to me he experimeted with marijuana a few times. His mom refuses to support the change for him, even though we all agreed this would be critical to changing his course.
I am crushed, but am careful not to be angry with him. I am more than upset at the apparent lack of concern by his mother, who thinks he'll be fine in rural Michigan. My concern is that he's charting a course for failure in the next couple years. So how do I behave now with my son? Everything's hunkey dorey?
When a kid says that he's used "a few times" that phrase usually is silently preceded by the word "quite." His behavior strongly suggests that he's using heavily, and today's weed is a far more potent drug than too many parents realize.
I'd first start by confronting Mon with this message and asking if perhaps that change should be put back in place. Most kids hate the idea of moving and starting over with friends, but that reluctance becomes much worse when drug access is involved. Perhaps suggest that your son try this for one year and then can return if he so wishes. If you can keep him drug free for a few months (yes, months!) his brain might "defog" to the point where he sees how much better he is in DC. If Mom is reluctant to part with her child, ask her to think about loving a child enough to sacrifice being with him daily for awhile. Remind her that the game of parenting is about the best interests of the child, and often that involves the worst interests of the parent.
Dr. Mike Bradley