I am a single mother of 2 boys, ages 12 and 15. I am having so many problems with my oldest son, I don't even know where to begin.
Some background info first, I guess.
I met their dad when I was 16, had a rough upbringing, and I think I was looking for someone to protect me. I absolutely did not get that. After the boys were born, he became very emotionally abusive, as time progress it became physical. I had no job, no education, and in my mind, no way to support the boys. I stayed for nearly 17 years. It wasn't until he began to act aggressively toward the boys that I woke up. I realized that by staying I was creating two more just like him and they would end up hurting the people that loved them the most. I left and did not look back.
Despite the boys and I nearly being homeless a couple of times, we were together. Fear kept me from going to court to get child support and a formal custody orders for nearly a year and a half. But my kids were going without, so I filed. The court proceedings have been a nightmare.
The boy's father lives with his parents. He is a "Disneyland dad". Because he doesn't have to pay rent, or any other bills, he can take them to fun places, his mother cooks and cleans for them, life is easier over there. Now they are telling me that is where they want to live. I push personal responsibility and teamwork. They have chores and have consequences for their actions in my home. My youngest seems to be transitioning well, but my oldest son is out of control.
He has been smoking marijuana, drinking, sneaking out, he ditched class regularly this past year, and I recently found out that he is having sex with his girlfriend. His dad has known about our son and his girlfriend for nearly 6 months and not only did he not tell me, he brings our son over to her house. Their dad bought several guns after we split, I found pictures on my son's phone of my boy loading and playing with 2 guns. He is very, very angry at me for breaking up the family, not giving his dad a second chance.
My oldest and I were so close before the separation. He was my angel, sweet and always helpful. I don't know this kid anymore. People tell me I should just let him live with his dad and wash my hands of him. I am told that with his father contradicting every attempt I make to parent, my son does not stand a chance, he will remain out of control.
My oldest is a very athletic and intelligent boy. He refuses to do his homework, yet can pass every test with an "A". He saw a group of boys pushing around a girl on the football field this past year in school. He didn't care if he was out numbered. He stood up to them and made sure she go back into school safe. There are parts of him that are strong and beautiful. But I'm seeing it less and less.
I made a lot of mistakes, I know that. But I am willing to do WHATEVER it takes to help my son get thru this. I don't want him to ruin his life, he has so much potential.
Any advice would be appreciated.