I am sitting here after a huge blow out with my 15 year old son. It started with a run in with the law last weekend. Possible charges of driving without a license, giving a false name, fleeing the police. He is at my house this week (see "Child Custody of Teens) as his father is out of town. My husband and I have tried talking with him all week. Everything was calm and dispassionate. But it escalated today. He just does not seem to care what is going on. He has been grounded and that has mad him pretty upset. I have been getting phone calls every day from school saying he has been marked abset from one class or another. This actually has been going on since school started this year. He has had trouble of some sort in schollo since 5th grade. Either not getting along with the teacher or disrupting class. He has to work hard to get decent grades and does not like to put the effort in to it. His older brother was diagnosed ADD, but I do not believe this is his case. I told him I would just have to go thru his school day with him so he could learn to get it right. That made him very mad. It seems as though there are so many issues here, legal, school, our relations, lying, that I just don't know what to do. He says he hates me, (called me a bitch for the first time) he hates my husband, hates our house. He says he never wants to see or talk to us again. Even though he stays at his dads most of the time, I am the primary caregiver and I am the one to get the calls from school, pollice whatever. He is scheculed to take the DISC assessment at school tommorrow but now says he won't. It is suppose to help find out what areas of concern we are dealing with - depression, drugs. I don't know why he is so angry at us. He looks at me with more hate in his eyes than I have ever seen. I know we have always been more disciplinary at our home and his father quiet easy going. I need focus and a plan and Ideas on how not to loose my mind. I never thought my relationship with one of my sons would get so bad. Please help.
My only thought is that you need to focus only on keeping things as peaceful as possible until you can get an expert involved to help sort things out. Back off from the small issues with your son. Pick your battles. In short, if it won't kill him, let it go. School is not your major worry right now, so stop ragging on him with sarcastic comments. That will only bring explosions. Rather tell him quietly that you love him and are very worried for him. Don't get into trying to manage or direct him right now. Give him some space, and don't react to everything he says. When he threatens to not go to his school crisis evaluation calmly say (one time), "Well, that is your call to make, but I hope you rethink it because perhaps those folks can help us all get along better."
And consider doing something radical and unexpected. Even though he's been lousy to you, go buy him that CD or tee shirt he likes and leave it on his bed with a card saying, "I hope this helps you through this rough time. Know that no matter what happens, I love you. Nothing can change that." Sometimes these gestures help disarm that rage you see in his eyes.
Good luck and remember that this is very likely a terrible phase that will end faster if you and you husband can stay calm even when been provoked.
Last edited by Mike Bradley; 09-19-2003 at 09:44 PM.
Dr. Mike Bradley