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When do you give up?

Posted by on May. 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM
  • 26 Replies
I have mentioned my 16 yo son before. He has always been challenging but lately he is refusing to do anything we say and does not care about any consequences. He has a history of depression and when he was basically unresponsive to a talk I had with him, I went through his text messages checking for suicidal warning signs etc. I found a disturbing conversation with a teenage girl who is very racist. In these messages my son says he loves her (we have never heard of her). She talks about how her family thinks her racist views are wrong and my son supports her by saying he is a racist! I was already so done with him defying me, failing classes, being rude, refusing to get a job and doing nothing he is told to do that I felt like moving out. This is ruining my health and my marriage. Then to see that he either lied about being a racist to get in some girls pants or that he is a racist makes me feel like he is a stranger. If he was not my son, he would not be in my life. How do I stop letting this hurt me physically and emotionally? How do I protect my marriage? Can I live another 15 months until he is 18?
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by on May. 24, 2012 at 7:23 PM
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by on May. 24, 2012 at 8:17 PM
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The book 'parenting your out of control teenager' is really helpful. It's the only book I've found that has examples of kid behaviors that are as out of control as what you're describing, and practical helpful parental responses described.

Does he have an allowance, a cell phone, access to a computer, wifi, ipod, friends, a radio, dessert, video games? All those are earned by staying within specifically defined parameters that are tailored to where he's at, so as to be agreed by all to be reasonably attainable.

It's always helpful to repeat in your mind '15 more months' and 'his choices, his consequences, his life' to mentally distance who you are from who he is and not get emotional when he gets pissed off that he's not getting his allowance this week b/c he didn't do his chores, or he's not getting his cell turned on today b/c he didn't go to school and home on time, or he's not getting friend/tv privileges b/c he has outstanding homework.

So sorry. You don't deserve this. He may come around later in life.

by Grumpy on May. 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM
1 mom liked this

I think that if he is going to fail all his classes, you should take him to get his ged and make him get a job.  If he's going to be disrespectful, then he needs to he disciplined.  Who pays for that phone?  I'm  betting it's you, why does he even have it if he is so rude?

by on May. 25, 2012 at 7:39 AM
I am sure you have but have you tried putting him in counseling? You said he is depressed maybe he needs an anti depressant?
by on May. 25, 2012 at 7:47 AM
5 moms liked this

You don't give up.  My younger sister was very out of control in her teens.  She was arrested for DUI (my mom actually called the cops on her), she was sexually active, did name it, she was doing it.  She would pick fights with my mom several times a day.  She put my parents through HELL.  But they never gave up on her.  They kept fighting, they kept talking, they kept grounding.  She's 29 now, married and has a 6 six yr old dd.  She has a very close relationship with my parents because they never gave up on her.  I know it's hard, but you have to keep fighting this fight.  It will get better eventually.  Keep up with the consequences, it might not seem like they're working but your son will learn that no matter how horrible he is, he is loved unconditionally by his parents. 

Good luck to you!!!

by on May. 25, 2012 at 8:35 AM

i wouldnt say give up...idk what i would have done if my parents gave up on me. take his phone away. when i was talking to someone my parents did not approve of, they tool my phone away. he obviously doesnt pay for it (and tell him that it might motivate him to get a job) you do and if he is going to abuse the PRIVELAGE(sp?) then he does not get it. the more he does not listen the more he gets taken away. im sure he did not pay for any of his things. bring him to a homeless shelter and have him ask them how many of them graduated high school. a lot of them will tell you they dropped out. AND what happened to the good old fashion grounding your kid?!?! im only 20 and i  got grounded ALL the time...until i moved out when i was 17. no offense but i think your son should come before your man...if he cant handle it, he doesnt deserve you.  dd1's father was a trouble maker....his mom gave up on him. cut him off completely...yeah hes in prison now.

by on May. 25, 2012 at 11:07 AM
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 Keep telling yourself that he is a teen who really dont know who he is just yet.Its a critical age of transformations that happen second to second.My son is 15 an I can certainly relate.Sometimes I have to check out emotionally for my sake but thats not saying give up on him.You have to guide him the best u can an hope for the best.My guess is he likes this girl and wants her acceptance and that may or may not be who he truly is.

by on May. 25, 2012 at 1:35 PM
1 mom liked this

Job Corp?

by on May. 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM
1 mom liked this

Is there a scared straight program in your area?

by on May. 25, 2012 at 1:52 PM
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I am sure that many will bash me for this answer....but I think you need to make YOURSELF and your HUSBAND a priority right now.   Your son is having destructive behavior which will negatively impact everyone in the house.... I think you and you DH need to get marriage counseling or just talk and make a pact to stick together no matter what.   If you both agree that your son is a problem, then you have no reason to fight about him.  You should be brain storming and supporting each other for solutions.  Fighting over your son is like fighting when the car breaks down or there is an earthquake... it doesn't help and will only make your situation worse.  You need to stay calm and work together... just like you would for any other emergency, crisis or stressful situation.  

As far as you son:    #1 take his phone away...  the other ideas people put all seem like good ideas to try.

Try not to give up on your son, but protect yourself too.... let him know you love him and push and push.   The sad reality is, sometimes things do get to a 'give up' point... you are not there yet and hopefully never will be.  One of the saddest interviews I have seen is when Amy Winehouse's dad said 'If my daughter wants to do drugs more than she wants to breathe properly... then so be it."     "Giving up"... is mostly about realizing that he has the free-will to choose how to be... even if it is self-destructive....and there may be very little that you can actually do about it.

by on May. 25, 2012 at 4:56 PM
1 mom liked this

IT is also called counseling!  You all need to get help.  There is something amiss with you son and you can't give up on him.  

He is still your child and under your roof, see what is available in your area for help and PLEASE get some.  Losing your whole family isn't  the answer and you and your husband have to be on board.  It is hard but it can be done.  

I know me, my husband and daughter are all trying the counseling thing to get to the root of our issues before they become bigger issues.  Losing my daughter and my marriage isn't/wasn't an option.  

We have to learn how to be more proactive instead of reactive.

Good Luck to you.

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