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What should I do about my son?

I am a single mother of 4. I lost my accounting job about 6 months ago, and i had to take a 2nd shift job as a cashier at minimum wage. My 11 year old son stays home with my 14 year old daughter while I work. (I cant afford a sitter for him). He is running the neighborhood. He has broken into a vacant apartment, he is failing in school, and he just doesnt care. No punishment seems to work for him. His father is of no help in the situation, seeing as he has been absent from his life for more than 4 years. He's in counseling, but it is not helping. He is smoking, and fighting, and running with the wrong crowd. There are no other jobs, i am constantly searching for a 1st shift job so i can be here. what can i do to keep from loosing him completely? Keep in mind, that any consequence I can give him, or the school gives him, he doesn't care about. I have tried everything I can think of. Any ideas before i go crazy?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:56 AM on Nov. 8, 2009 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (11)
  • Do you have a boys and girls club in your area? If he has a place he must go to every day after school where there are things for him to do, like play basketball with other kids, get homework help, etc he'll have less time for nonsense.

    In smaller communities, many churches or civic groups have after school programs like this. Good Luck!

    Answer by ecodani at 11:00 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • First take a breather relax. you are prob so worried rite now your pulling you hair out. U need to take a breather. I know u said EVERYTHING uve tried hasnt work. but try this for me. First put a smile on. if you have been taking stress out on the kid relax dont. sit him down and say sweetie soon as I get home I want me and you to go to dinner if money is tight just buy a small appetizer and share like 6-7$ and spend OVER a hour just the two of you talkin. and act the "cool" mom tell him he can tell you anything. but it has to just b the two of you. he sounds like any normal teenager at his age, now i choose to not do these things at that age but he is prob like u said with wrong crowd. and smoking is a nono around me what soever. i wouldnt yell or pressure him bc it will just make things worse, be the cool mom and tell him what hes doing will ruin his life so on.....

    Answer by Butterflyluvn88 at 11:01 AM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • what *I PERSONALLY* would do.....

    quit or get fired from min. wage cashier job
    get unemployment, disability, FMLA, public assistance, food stamps, etc etc whatever I could. It will more likely than not result in the same or more income than min wage job

    I'd find a NEW better therapist for son and get some diagnoses rolling. oppositional defiance disorder sounds likely. get him on SSI and get the benefits rolling

    PULL HIM FROM SCHOOL temporarily. structure his day from sun up to sun down. A tutor, a volunteer job, boys and girls club, big brother program, chores, homeschooling work, and much more would be on the agenda. the BULK of public schools now have some time of online virtual academy. attempt to locate and enroll.

    I'd save my son and in the little free time I had left, I'd be constantly job hunting for something, anything, with better pay and hours.


    Answer by hibbingmom at 2:01 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • He sounds like he could also use the ride along program with the local police.

    and if all else fails..... private school. or county day school.

    he needs structure..... cashier jobs will always be there. your son may not. save him.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 2:04 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Jesus tap dancing Christ! He's 11!?!? And smokes and does all that stuff?!
    Lady, You need to get on his ass like Oprah on a baked ham! Screw the job, get on assistance and like op said, pull his booty outa school and structure his day from sun up to sun down. Also ask the police to give your son a tour of the local county jail cuz THAT'S where he's going to end up!

    Answer by Starfire73 at 2:49 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • Counseling was my first thought. It is vital for him to talk about whatever he may need to say. So good on ya.
    How long has he been participating in couseling? if it hasnt been long then it more time. Be sure hw feels comfy with his counseler, maybe he would like to find another person to talk to (IMO your son would benifit from having a male counseler. He might help fill a little of the absent father part of him.
    Whatever you dont give up. And also, having a
    couseling session with your son may help. And dont forget that all of issues in your life is causing you stress and possible depression......counseling for yourself might be a good outlet.

    Answer by Ihatelaundry at 7:58 PM on Nov. 8, 2009

  • I would look into a boarding school. He could quailfy for a scholarship and it might help in the long run. Maybe a military style. IF this is what my son was doing, that is the first thing I would look into, and I know I can't afford it.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:31 PM on Nov. 10, 2009

  • As a mom of 4 myself, I know what you are going thru and I feel for you. I would get back on day shift if I had to look into a different career. I would look into child support, so you don't have to work so hard and be away from your kids at night.These years are crucial. I would put my son in sports, boy scouts, youth groups, boys clubs,etc to get him away from his delinquent friends. He would be surprised how many good friends he can make by going to these activities.He needs to be around good influence, not bad. I know these things are hard being a single mother, but I have 4 children and carry my son to basketball, baseball, football, etc. by myself w/ no help from their father. I don't make alot of money, but I do what I have to for my kids. I would also sit down w/ him & explain that everything he does (even grades) affect his future. Take on a tour of the police station so he'll see what happens when he breaks the law.

    Answer by huffmanall4 at 8:50 AM on Nov. 12, 2009

  • i'd try not to scare him with the police much, they are regulars. instead i'd discuss with him the bed things that happen to people on daily basis. have an imaginary 'friend' and set an appointment with say social worker at the jail etc. as for him to see only the worse scenerios. i bet he's clever and 'd like to run away from such environment. possibly there is a board/ book - he could read, people jurnals-some prisoners can write after their experiencess, and say thing they would never do again. if that sounds way to harsh, i'd pay for his trip to europe. for him to travel alone, if possible, visit family, and lethim live happy his way. many things to talk ab later. if sthing does not work, try the opposite approach, more then 1. give some shock or chaos in his life being so chaotic at moments. talk a lot generelizing. &dont give othrs as good example. say much about dream life to be for him, what's cool to have (boat etc.)

    Answer by baby133 at 3:43 AM on Nov. 13, 2009

  • v. important-show him the high level life: from getting up to going back to bed. what people do for what and how they work. maybe you can find a magazine for kids where they bribe about their hobbies, have math or linquistic quizzes etc. there might be e-mailing web site for smarties his age

    Answer by baby133 at 3:50 AM on Nov. 13, 2009

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