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#1
Old 01-13-2012, 08:11 PM
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Have You Ever Had To Put Your Child In A Group Home?

There has to be someone here that's been through this. Please, og, I beseech you, let there be.

I'm having a really hard time with my youngest son, 13, right now. I don't want to go into too much detail, as he does have a right to a certain amount of privacy, I suppose, but I seriously need to talk to someone that has been through this. His behaviors are getting increasingly more disruptive to my home due to his disrespect, refusal to go to school, lying, and verbal abuse. He calls me names, tells me to shut up, and refuses to do what I say- even normal things like, "Go take a shower" or "Go to bed now" are met with "No". I've taken everything away from him that I possibly can, such as tv and computer and going anywhere with friends. He flat out says that he doesn't care about consequences. You can't beat your kids and I don't want to do that, anyway. My friend says you can withhold food for 3 days- um, no, I'm not doing that. But I don't know what else to do, so I'm seriously considering getting him into a group home.

He already gets services from behavioral health, and I believe that they can help me with placement if needed and I have an appointment on Tuesday to discuss it. If all else fails and I can't get anyone to help me with it, I'm willing to call CPS and even say that if he doesn't leave my home, bad things might happen. I know that's not the best way to go about it, but I'm just saying that I'm at my wit's end, and I will do what I need to if it comes down to it. I don't want him to live with me right now, and it has taken me a lot to get to this point.

If anyone has any experience with this kind of thing, please post in this thread, or PM me, please.
#2
Old 01-13-2012, 08:30 PM
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No experience with that, but

I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time with him. I hope you can get help sorting it out.
#3
Old 01-13-2012, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by El Burro Buenmozo View Post
I'm sorry you're going through such a rough time with him. I hope you can get help sorting it out.
Me, too, Burro, me too. This is hurting me, and him, immensely. Thank you for your kind words.

Last edited by Alice The Goon; 01-13-2012 at 08:48 PM.
#4
Old 01-13-2012, 08:56 PM
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Are there any relatives he could go to stay with?

Is boarding school at all a possibility? Could you afford something like camp in the next school vacation to give you a light at the end of the tunnel and a break from each other?

Withholding food would be pointless at his age. Three days is too long anyway, but even denying him his supper isn't going to work. Don't worry about ignoring your friend's suggestion.

I'm sure there are some parenting strategies that could help (you probably haven't tried everything), but there's no way in Hell I'm going to suggest any on here - I just don't know enough about your situation for any suggestion to be in any way useful. And sometimes nothing will work without a rest period first.

I hope for you that your appt. on Tuesday can find a solution that doesn't involve sending him away, because that is a last, last, last resort. But perhaps being so desperate that you have to send him away will enable them to offer help that isn't available just for ordinary troubled kids.

Thing is, they will know lots of other kids that are way worse than your son. I mean, kids that mutilate animals and abuse their siblings are part of their job. (Some of those will be at the group home). So CPS will have a different set of priorities to you.

If you're used to defending your son, or focusing on his good points, don't do so at this meeting. In order to get help for the both of you, you need to make sure they really understand that your tether is too frayed to hold you together any more.

I have known a lot of kids who've been absolute little fucking arseholes at this age despite nothing obvious causing it and some of them have grown up absolutely lovely. Not helpful right now, and I doubt you've given up hope for the future, but just in case, don't.

Good luck.
#5
Old 01-13-2012, 08:57 PM
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I too have no personal experience in this but I am willing to chime in anyway for moral support.

First off you do have a problem but you have not reached the threshold of violence. That seems to be promising, because that's one of those lines you just don't want to cross.

Obviously (to me) the idea is a group home would hopefully wake him up and get him to see the error of his ways, with the eventual hope of family reunion. It sounds like a worthy plan. Trying to see this from your perspective I wonder what the treatment plan (for lack of a better term) would be; what goals would need to occur to send him back home; and what is the next step if this doesn't work.

I won't even begin to hazard a guess for cause, though I have read enough of your stories to know you're a single mom and I imagine he may have lack of male role model issues. Please do not read any intent of insult into that, like I say I'm only guessing, and I'm likely wrong.

Of course if any of my points need clarification I would be happy to delve further.

In the end I am only here to say that from what I have read and what I know of your situation it sounds like a good idea, especially if done sooner (before violence) than later. Therefore you get my APOTISOA - Anonymous Person on the Internet Seal of Approval(tm).
#6
Old 01-13-2012, 09:02 PM
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It's a rough call but what it boils down to is - the kid has to go in order to protect the rest of the family. We were to the point of putting my stepson out of the house (he was older) when he moved out on his own.

Talk to a lawyer who specializes in juveniles. You'll probably get a lot of help there.
#7
Old 01-13-2012, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
Are there any relatives he could go to stay with?

Is boarding school at all a possibility? Could you afford something like camp in the next school vacation to give you a light at the end of the tunnel and a break from each other?

There are a couple of people that might be willing to take him, but the thing about him is that in addition to mental diagnoses, such as oppositional defiance disorder, conduct disorder, etc., he also has a fairly extensive medical history with some disabilities. Sure, I'm used to and don't mind doing things for him- everything from getting his water ready for a shower, tying his shoes, cutting up his meat, etc., I'm not sure that others would be willing to care for him to this extent. You'd expect a 13 year old to be fairly independent, but he is not. And I don't blame him for that and I've never been less than happy to take care of him to that extent. It's when he calls me a bitch and says he hates me that I get very frustrated with him, especially knowing that I do all of these things for him, ya know?

As for boarding school- I have looked into it, and besides not being able to afford it even remotely, again the issue of his needing extensive help with daily living skills comes up.

I really DON'T want to send him to a group home. I was in denial of it even being a possibility until just recently. I don't want to admit defeat, I don't want him to have to live with strangers, and I don't want to lose control of the situation. Except I think that I already have.
#8
Old 01-13-2012, 09:09 PM
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Hi Alice. I don't have kids but I was in foster care for 6 years and both my sisters were in group homes.

I can't tell you how it is from a parent's perspective but I can tell you what I witnessed my mom going through.


There was a whole lot of pain and suffering on all sides; a lot of abandonment issues and blame being placed. There was a huge amount of family counseling, juvenile court dates, and yelling. My mom was treated like an unfit parent even though she wasn't. In many cases, the court treated the kids like little criminals. In our cases, the court seemed to have it in for my mom and I don't know exactly why.


I could have turned out a lot worse than I did. All of us could have. There was one very important detail that kept us from turning out like worthless criminals.


No one gave up on us. This is important. Very important. My mother, the judge, the guardian ad litem, the social workers, the foster parents, the alternative school staff - not one person gave up on us kids. Every single one of them continued to help us and believe in us no matter how bad we got. No matter how badly we treated our mother when we saw her, she ended every visit by telling us that she loved us and always would.


So, from the kid's point of view what I can tell you is don't give up on your son. The age that he is right now is really hard. You probably remember when you were 13. It doesn't get any easier for new generations. I think in some ways it gets harder. Try to find out if there's something causing his behavior problems. My oldest sister hated school and authority. My middle sister had major chemical imbalances that were going haywire with puberty. I felt abandoned because my mom spent so much time in court dealing with my sisters. Each of us acted out for specific reasons and once the reasons were resolved, we were ok and started to heal.

No matter what happens, don't let yourself think that you're abandoning your son if he does end up in foster care or a group home. You're trying to get him help. You're not ignoring the situation and letting his behavior go unchecked. This is the best thing you can do for him.

Sometimes admitting that you can't do it without professional help is the best decision a parent can make.



Some things that helped my mom:

Family counseling: It may not seem like it works when your kid spends the entire hour shouting at you or ignoring you but every once in a while there WILL be a breakthrough and you will have a counselor there to see it and tell you where to go from there (in our case, no one believed that my oldest sister was physically abusing me until she attacked me in a counseling session. My mom and the counselor both apologized to me and that made a HUGE impact on my behavior).

Parents counseling: The alternative school my sisters went to had group counseling for the parents. My mom made 3 very good friends there (a couple and a single father). The couple started inviting my mom and the single father to their house every other weekend for card games. Since these coincided with my weekend visits, I went too. These 3 people treated me like an normal kid and didn't judge me based on my problems. All 4 parents knew what the others were going through and it was nice and therapeutic for them to be able to talk to others who were in the same situations. My mom ended up marrying that single dad and we're still friends with the couple. (by the way, I'm 32 now and my sisters are 33 and 34 so this was a while ago).

Spending some time apart: It can be really hard to let go of your child (so I've heard) but there are some times when it really is necessary. Maybe he just needs to be away from you. Maybe you need to be away from him. Very possibly spending time in a rigidly structured group home will help him to realize that home really wasn't as bad as he thinks it is.


You are doing your best to get help for you and your son. You're not being selfish. You're not being abusive or abandoning him. Make sure the social worker lets you know all the possible options that are available to you and your son.


One more thing from the kids point of view - be open with your son about what's going on. Nothing that ever happened was a surprise to me and even at my worst I still appreciated that my mom, the social workers, and the judge let me know when there were different options and took my opinion into consideration when making a decision.
#9
Old 01-13-2012, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2gigch1 View Post
\
I won't even begin to hazard a guess for cause, though I have read enough of your stories to know you're a single mom and I imagine he may have lack of male role model issues. Please do not read any intent of insult into that, like I say I'm only guessing, and I'm likely wrong.

His major issue in life, according to him, is that he doesn't have a dad. Well, he does have a dad, because although I'm talented, I'm not that talented, but he doesn't have any contact. He swears that if he only had a dad, life would be perfect and things would be great. He blames me for never remarrying, as if I could snatch a man up off the street at will. He does have two adult men that act as role models/substitute fathers- he sees and/or talks to them on the phone daily. He gets mad at them for betraying him when they tell him to respect his mother. Sigh.
#10
Old 01-13-2012, 09:20 PM
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Thanks, congodwarf- there's a lot of empathy and good advice in your post. I am really trying not to give up on him, and I tell him all the time that I never will. Sometimes I think, if we were married, I'd divorce him. But that's not an option with your kids. I don't keep in touch with my parents because my father was abusive and my mother didn't care, and I always say that I will know that I'm a success in life if all of my kids reach 25 and are still talking to me. I won't give up on him, no. He and I, despite our current problems, are likethis- we've been through a lot together and are much, much closer than my older sons and I have ever been. I'm so glad to hear that you and your siblings got better- that really gives me hope.
#11
Old 01-13-2012, 09:24 PM
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Not my child, but I see kids who have been in them. I worked in a SPED school where a lot were.

I can tell you that for some kids, it was exactly what they needed...but...group homes have freakish rates of abuse (as do juvy centers).

All behavior is saying something. Your son sounds very angry. It's possible he's angry at you. He recently went through some tough stuff at school.

If I can suggest it, call Big Brother Big Sister or another mentor program. I did BBBS and my "Little" called me his "sister" to everyone. His mom said his behavior improved when he had a new "sibling" to hang out with. Worth a shot.

Best of luck.

<3

Remember: You need to keep the both of you safe. If you're not, a temporary hospitalization may be helpful. Check your area for resources.
#12
Old 01-13-2012, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
His major issue in life, according to him, is that he doesn't have a dad. Well, he does have a dad, because although I'm talented, I'm not that talented, but he doesn't have any contact. He swears that if he only had a dad, life would be perfect and things would be great. He blames me for never remarrying, as if I could snatch a man up off the street at will. He does have two adult men that act as role models/substitute fathers- he sees and/or talks to them on the phone daily. He gets mad at them for betraying him when they tell him to respect his mother. Sigh.
That's his perceived issue in life. Perfectly wonderful boys grow up in single mom households. It sounds like he's holding on to things he can place blame on and then flinging shit at you.

Trust me - if you found a man, he'd hate him and blame it on you, too.
#13
Old 01-13-2012, 09:32 PM
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Thanks, CitizenPained. Yes, he's very angry with me. And I'm becoming very angry with him as well. It's just not a good situation all the way around. I did put him in a charter school because of the bullying at his other school, however, we have found that the charter school is much more advanced academically than he is. Basically, he's been babysat in regular school in his special-ed classroom, instead of taught, and now he's way, way behind and overwhelmed.

Yesterday, he had a huge meltdown on the way to school and made threats. I called the police and had him hospitalized. They let him out after a couple of hours with no new diagnoses or meds.

Last edited by Alice The Goon; 01-13-2012 at 09:33 PM.
#14
Old 01-13-2012, 09:34 PM
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Sorry to hear that things have gone this way. I know you love your kids and it must be hard to have to deal with this. My suggestion would be to start off by asking about respite care rather than a permanent placement.
Perhaps just having a break from the situation would make it easier for you to cope and maybe give him a different perspective on things.
#15
Old 01-13-2012, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
I'm so glad to hear that you and your siblings got better- that really gives me hope.

Not only did my sisters and I get better, we became the best of friends. After my oldest sister attacked me in that counseling session it was like she knew she wouldn't get away with it any more and she stopped. I forgave her a lot easier than I had expected I would. Once my middle sister stopped acting like a total mental case she was a lot easier to get along with. We all made our peace with our mother at our own pace.

We are a happy family now and for the most part, we have been since we were in our late teens/early 20s. My oldest sister had the hardest time bonding with our mother but they had never really bonded in the first place so that wasn't a surprise. My mom and I were originally close like you and your son and we're back like that so there's definitely hope.
#16
Old 01-13-2012, 09:35 PM
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Well i can tell you I've been on the opposite side of the situation being the 16 year old kid being sent away to some boarding school that was labeled a baptist academy, it ended up being a last chance ranch kinda place for teens that have no criminal background.

Worse place ever.

My parents sent me away for the most minor of problems you would encounter having a kid, such as mild defiance nothing big but I was sent away to save the rest of the family. When i got there my stuff was pillaged, and i was locked in a mop closet for 2 weeks. It was about 100 degrees in there and i had to pee in the sink i had to drink out of. Kids got the shit beat out of them by the one and only guard (convicted child molester) plus much worse. Several of the smaller kids got raped/molested. Others were sodomized with mops and brooms nightly. But if you said anything they would do whatever to make your parents keep you there such as saying "no there not ready they still have attitude problems or whatever, and make money off of you staying there. The only way out was either turn 18 or graduate. So i played the game. In MS you can graduate at your own pace (its called ACE, Accelerated curriculum education, so i completed 10,11, and 12th grade in 97 days and 7 hours. I left immediately after graduation and about a week later the place was shut down by HRS. Some kid went to the hospital for internal anal bleeding. He told the story and it was closed the next day. No charges pressed on anybody. This was suppose to be a great place to send your teen to go live who had problems at home. To me I felt like I was being gotten rid of, like my stepdad just wanted me gone. Im in my 30s now and think about that place everyday. I still have feelings of revenge on the owners and wish I could do something but i won't go into that. This place fucked me up, I went in a teen with minor problems, like maybe 2-3 detentions a year in high school with perfect attendance. I didn't skip, steal, do drugs or anything. But once I got there and saw where my parents sent me, I didn't give a fuck about anything anymore other than surviving, graduating, and getting home so I could run away and do truly bad things since i was already punished like I did these things. When i got out i was a different person for the worse. With a diploma, my parents couldn't make me stay, there was nothing left to stay for. I left and turned out ok eventually 16 years later, but this was a mental scar no amount of therapy could ever fix. no amount of money would have me send my kid away to anywhere ever for any reason whatsoever. My parents still don't know about the things that went on there, probably wouldn't believe me anyway since it was a christian boys home.

Prior to that I went to bob jones university, which was a high school/college boarding school which had crazy religious rules and i did get kicked out, but for things like wearing denim and other unforgivable's, at least here you didn't have to worry about physical harm daily, and being treated like a animal. But IMO no place is better than home. Even being homeless on the street would offer a better more nurturing place than most places you could send your teen away to. I have too many horror stories on this place i was sent to and it will haunt me for the rest of my days.
#17
Old 01-13-2012, 09:37 PM
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Have you talked to his therapists? Do they have any suggestions?

If I had to guess, I would guess that your son is mad about his disabilities and is taking it out on you. Puberty is making everything worse.

Best wishes to both of you. Remember, all you can do is keep trying. This is a hard situation with no perfect answers.
#18
Old 01-13-2012, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by CitizenPained View Post

Trust me - if you found a man, he'd hate him and blame it on you, too.
Ain't that the truth! My step dad is a wonderful man and he treats my mom like she's the most precious thing in his world. I liked him before they started dating and I like him now but there was a 5 or 6 year span where I hated him. Of course, it didn't help that they got married just as my mom and I were getting better.
#19
Old 01-13-2012, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lurkedtolong View Post
Well i can tell you I've been on the opposite side of the situation being the 16 year old kid being sent away to some boarding school that was labeled a baptist academy, it ended up being a last chance ranch kinda place for teens that have no criminal background.

Worse place ever.

My parents sent me away for the most minor of problems you would encounter having a kid, such as mild defiance nothing big but I was sent away to save the rest of the family. When i got there my stuff was pillaged, and i was locked in a mop closet for 2 weeks. It was about 100 degrees in there and i had to pee in the sink i had to drink out of. Kids got the shit beat out of them by the one and only guard (convicted child molester) plus much worse. Several of the smaller kids got raped/molested. Others were sodomized with mops and brooms nightly. But if you said anything they would do whatever to make your parents keep you there such as saying "no there not ready they still have attitude problems or whatever, and make money off of you staying there. The only way out was either turn 18 or graduate. So i played the game. In MS you can graduate at your own pace (its called ACE, Accelerated curriculum education, so i completed 10,11, and 12th grade in 97 days and 7 hours. I left immediately after graduation and about a week later the place was shut down by HRS. Some kid went to the hospital for internal anal bleeding. He told the story and it was closed the next day. No charges pressed on anybody. This was suppose to be a great place to send your teen to go live who had problems at home. To me I felt like I was being gotten rid of, like my stepdad just wanted me gone. Im in my 30s now and think about that place everyday. I still have feelings of revenge on the owners and wish I could do something but i won't go into that. This place fucked me up, I went in a teen with minor problems, like maybe 2-3 detentions a year in high school with perfect attendance. I didn't skip, steal, do drugs or anything. But once I got there and saw where my parents sent me, I didn't give a fuck about anything anymore other than surviving, graduating, and getting home so I could run away and do truly bad things since i was already punished like I did these things. When i got out i was a different person for the worse. With a diploma, my parents couldn't make me stay, there was nothing left to stay for. I left and turned out ok eventually 16 years later, but this was a mental scar no amount of therapy could ever fix. no amount of money would have me send my kid away to anywhere ever for any reason whatsoever. My parents still don't know about the things that went on there, probably wouldn't believe me anyway since it was a christian boys home.

Prior to that I went to bob jones university, which was a high school/college boarding school which had crazy religious rules and i did get kicked out, but for things like wearing denim and other unforgivable's, at least here you didn't have to worry about physical harm daily, and being treated like a animal. But IMO no place is better than home. Even being homeless on the street would offer a better more nurturing place than most places you could send your teen away to. I have too many horror stories on this place i was sent to and it will haunt me for the rest of my days.
Oh, hell no, I would never send him to anything with a religious affiliation. Or any kind of "boot camp"-type place, especially here in AZ, where you see stories of kids being forced to run or march in 100+ degree heat and shit. I want a therapeutic place for him, not a punishment. I'm so sorry that you went through all of that, it sounds horrible.
#20
Old 01-13-2012, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
Oh, hell no, I would never send him to anything with a religious affiliation. Or any kind of "boot camp"-type place, especially here in AZ, where you see stories of kids being forced to run or march in 100+ degree heat and shit. I want a therapeutic place for him, not a punishment. I'm so sorry that you went through all of that, it sounds horrible.
OH we had to do that too, but that was OK. Religion was basically that they bussed us to church one hour a week, the rest was just like a mix between OZ and Sleepers. No doors or windows on this place. No reason since in the middle of MS, there is nowhere to run to. NO parents allowed, no photography, and no talking about the conditions on the one and only monitored phone. It wasn't a boot camp though, more like a boys home for unwanted children. Some of these kids were pure angels in my eyes, 6-8 year olds with not a bad bone in there body, yet they told me they were sent there cuz there parents just didn't want them anymore. Other kids where truly human shit that i feel is probably serving life for some hate crime (Aryan brotherhood/skinhead type teens, and gang bangers) Of course none with Felonies! That would be unheard of.

My best advice:
I suggest you find a summer camp type place and make it HIS idea to go. A place for FUN and Vacation, not group therapy home type place.

Send him away for 2-3 weeks with knowledge that if he doesn't like it to call you and you'll come get him. Then he won't think your getting rid of him, there is a definite out if he wants it as well for his peace of mind.
#21
Old 01-13-2012, 10:08 PM
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I would bet that he's miserable at his new school, and if that situation can be made better, his overall behavior will improve.
#22
Old 01-13-2012, 10:13 PM
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Yeah, but she can't. This is his last stop. The kid really needs help and Alice needs a break.
#23
Old 01-13-2012, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by CitizenPained View Post
Yeah, but she can't. This is his last stop. The kid really needs help and Alice needs a break.
If his school situation is causing the problem, it needs to be dealt with. Is he getting the help he needs in the new school to get him up to grade level?
#24
Old 01-13-2012, 10:36 PM
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I'm sorry you're going through this, Alice. Hope it all works out for the best.

[mod]Since you're looking for advice and other people's experiences, I'll move this to IMHO.[/mod]
#25
Old 01-13-2012, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
If his school situation is causing the problem, it needs to be dealt with. Is he getting the help he needs in the new school to get him up to grade level?

Not yet- it's a new placement, so they are still figuring out how to deal with his IEP. It's a very small school with multiple grades in one classroom, but they are all, it seems, much more advanced than he is in school. I can't blame him for feeling overwhelmed there and feeling like he doesn't fit in. I'm desperately trying to find something else for him. There is a school in our neighborhood that is for special-ed, special needs children, offers intensive supervision and works with the kids' doctors and could be perfect for him, but the principal there told me today that it's also for kids that are gang members and have been severely abused and neglected and such, and that if he thinks he was bullied before, he ain't seen nothing if he goes there. So my search for the right school continues.
#26
Old 01-13-2012, 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by twickster View Post
I'm sorry you're going through this, Alice. Hope it all works out for the best.

[mod]Since you're looking for advice and other people's experiences, I'll move this to IMHO.[/mod]

Okay, thanks, twix. Although I'd be happy to get advice, I didn't want to ask for it because there are so many variables and details in our experience as compared to others', it's hard to ask for specific advice. So I felt like just asking for experiences would be better, and that would go in MPSIMS. But IMHO is cool.
#27
Old 01-14-2012, 09:39 AM
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Alice, to get the respite care it sounds like you need, try looking up the closest Arc organization, explain your situation, and ask them about respite. If they can't help you, they may know who can.

I'm hoping for the best for you and your son.
#28
Old 01-14-2012, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
His major issue in life, according to him, is that he doesn't have a dad... He swears that if he only had a dad, life would be perfect and things would be great.
I'm not saying the situation is your fault. But he is correct, IMO... not having a dedicated, full-time, live-in father is likely the root cause of the problem.
#29
Old 01-14-2012, 10:22 AM
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Alice, I would suggest you read Debbie Spungen's excellent book about her daughter Nancy (of Sid & Nancy fame) And I Don't Want To Live This Life. It sounds like you are going through something similar to what her family did.

Debbie Spungen believes some children are just born disruptive and there's nothing there families can do about it.
#30
Old 01-14-2012, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I'm not saying the situation is your fault. But he is correct, IMO... not having a dedicated, full-time, live-in father is likely the root cause of the problem.
</snort>

Hardly. Would you say the same thing to two lesbian women who were raising a troubled teen? Do you oppose same sex marriage on the grounds that two men or two women can't raise a well rounded child without being married to a member of the opposite sex?

The kid is being a shithead because he's 13 and his life has been rough lately. He's 13. His body is going nuts. He's sick. He feels stupid. Yelling at his mom is the only thing he can control some days.
#31
Old 01-14-2012, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Annie-Xmas View Post
Alice, I would suggest you read Debbie Spungen's excellent book about her daughter Nancy (of Sid & Nancy fame) And I Don't Want To Live This Life. It sounds like you are going through something similar to what her family did.
And you can read "When Rabbit Howls" and learn that some people have split personality. And "Valley of the Horses" and learn that early modern humans liked sex. Is this "Books Read in Middle School" book group but I missed the notice?

Quote:
Debbie Spungen believes some children are just born disruptive and there's nothing there families can do about it
Well golly, if your daughter was stabbed to death by a rock star you're definitely an expert! I guess Alice should just give up now, huh?

I suggest seeking advice of your son's caretakers, rather than the contents of illconsidered memoirs.

Alice can you clarify something for me? Does your 13 year old son know how to tie his own shoes? Is he mentally capable of knowing how to tie is own shoes? If yes, is it possible that somewhere inside he KNOWS he needs to take more responsibility for himself? Might you be holding him back, with your urge to protect him? If so, a summer camp or other (fun! not punitive!) residential program of his choosing might do him a world of good.

Last edited by Hello Again; 01-14-2012 at 10:52 AM.
#32
Old 01-14-2012, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by CitizenPained View Post
Hardly. Would you say the same thing to two lesbian women who were raising a troubled teen? Do you oppose same sex marriage on the grounds that two men or two women can't raise a well rounded child without being married to a member of the opposite sex?
I believe a boy has a much better chance of exhibiting good behavior when a loving but strong father is also in the house. I understand this is not a politically-correct opinion. But I don't care about political correctness.
#33
Old 01-14-2012, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I believe a boy has a much better chance of exhibiting good behavior when a loving but strong father is also in the house. I understand this is not a politically-correct opinion. But I don't care about political correctness.
I don't know if this is "politically-correct" or not but I do believe it is incorrect.
#34
Old 01-14-2012, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Hello Again View Post

Alice can you clarify something for me? Does your 13 year old son know how to tie his own shoes? Is he mentally capable of knowing how to tie is own shoes? If yes, is it possible that somewhere inside he KNOWS he needs to take more responsibility for himself? Might you be holding him back, with your urge to protect him? If so, a summer camp or other (fun! not punitive!) residential program of his choosing might do him a world of good.
This had crossed my mind too when she mentioned tying his shoes and such. At his age I'm sure he's painfully aware that other kids his age aren't having their moms help out to such an extent and perhaps it's his frustration over that that's causing a lot of the anger? I don't know the extent of his physical disabilities but is there any way you can start letting him be a bit more independent? You're not going to be there for his entire life to do such things so he's going to need to find a way to be more independent eventually. Maybe sit down and talk with him about it and if it's what's bothering him, try to figure out ways together that he can start doing more things himself?
#35
Old 01-14-2012, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I believe a boy has a much better chance of exhibiting good behavior when a loving but strong father is also in the house. I understand this is not a politically-correct opinion. But I don't care about political correctness.
That's a far cry from your original statement that not having a father present is the likely cause of the problem.
#36
Old 01-14-2012, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I'm not saying the situation is your fault. But he is correct, IMO... not having a dedicated, full-time, live-in father is likely the root cause of the problem.
Probably not. The kid has ODD - its probably brain chemistry rather than lack of a strong father figure. Moreover, it isn't like good fathers can be picked up off the street, or that you can take the kid to the return counter when bio-Dad is an ass. Nor is it helpful to say "oh, change the past."

The worst little shit of my son's friends - the one we discourage him seeing - is one with a intact, two parent family. Nice people, too. The kid is just trouble - has been since kindergarten. Not likely "big trouble" - he isn't violent or mean - but certain wins the "most likely to thoughtlessly steal a car for a joyride" contest.
#37
Old 01-14-2012, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by kayT View Post
I don't know if this is "politically-correct" or not but I do believe it is incorrect.
Well can all believe what we will, but from what I have seen some (not all) young aggressive males really do need a strong guiding male hand, and without it will behave exactly like the 13 year old son is behaving. Boys want to be led and guided by a strong male presence. There are huge aggressive energies in some 13 year old boys and unless they are firmly directed chaos will ensue.

This happens so often it's almost a cliche when people ask "Why? Why is he this way? Why doesn't he respect me, and the sacrifices I have made?"

In most cases he will eventually grow out of it when his hormones calm down, and in the meantime he can wile away the time having therapists slap "oppositional and defiant" labels on him and having external coercion ramped up in the form of institutionalization and legal authorities.

He is behaving like a complete shit because you (at this moment in time) are exactly what he does not need or want and what he is trying to break away from at this point, but he can't because he's young and stupid (in the way all teenagers are stupid) and confused. You are not going to love and comfort him out of this.

He needs space, he needs to be away from you for a year or more. Preferably with relatives where there is a reasonable male presence in the house. You need to arrange this vs institutionalizing him.

Last edited by astro; 01-14-2012 at 01:28 PM.
#38
Old 01-14-2012, 02:00 PM
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Re the shoe-tying situation: There are sneakers (Skechers is one brand) that fasten with Velcro.

I realize this is only a tiny part of the problem, but every little bit helps.
#39
Old 01-14-2012, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Crafter_Man View Post
I believe a boy has a much better chance of exhibiting good behavior when a loving but strong father is also in the house. I understand this is not a politically-correct opinion. But I don't care about political correctness.

I strongly believe in and encourage my son to accept things how they are, not how we wish they were. The fact is that I'm not married. How would you suggest we change that- time machine or shotgun wedding (that's me holding a shotgun to a man's head to marry me)?
#40
Old 01-14-2012, 02:15 PM
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Hi Alice, I have not had to go through what you are now, but I wanted to say good luck and I hope it turns out well for you and your son. I do have a friend who had to have her son live away from home in some kind of mental institution for a couple of years (not sure what it was called but it did not sound like a group home), he's out now and living in his own place (with support). He had major issues from childhood but went into the institution during some of his teenage years, I guess he was around the age of your son. He will always have issues but the violence seems to have been resolved. So I hope that you son's situation also gets sorted out. Good luck!
#41
Old 01-14-2012, 02:18 PM
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Is there a Boy Scout troop near you?
#42
Old 01-14-2012, 02:19 PM
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Regarding the shoe-tying and other things I do for him: trust me, it's not because I want to (even though I don't mind having to do it), it's because he has problems with small motor skills to do with his hands. He was born with a cerebellum defect called Chiari Malformation. Along with other things, this causes him to have these problems doing small things with his hands. He refuses to wear velcro shoes because he thinks it makes him look stupid or like a little kid. He wants to appear as normal as possible. Right now he's at a family friend's house until Monday, and Tuesday we have a meeting with his behavioral health counselor to discuss group homes.

Just to set the record straight, he's not like this all the time. Much of the time, he is sweet and kind and charming. But then, boom, he's not. The bad times are starting to outnumber the good, though. I have been wondering if he is bipolar, but he doesn't seem to have manic episodes. He's also not criminally-inclined, thank og, and has never been in trouble with the police until the other day regarding the threats.
#43
Old 01-14-2012, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by astro View Post
Is there a Boy Scout troop near you?

He was just about to start with them until this all happened the other day.
#44
Old 01-14-2012, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
I strongly believe in and encourage my son to accept things how they are, not how we wish they were.
I strongly believe in brushing my teeth twice a day but I still have to stand over my 11 year old to get her to do it. Plus your son isn't listening to a word you say anyway.

That said, Alice ... I really don't think it's the lack of a father that's causing this. Lots of boys grow up without dads and don't give their moms trouble. If he did have a dad in the picture, chances are he'd be telling him what a dick he is.

Damned if I know what the answer is but an institution may very well help. I hope everything works out for you. *hugs*
#45
Old 01-14-2012, 02:36 PM
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Alice is doing exactly what she's supposed to be doing. She's being strong, steady, and supportive. She fought for his rights for months (years) in school. She's his champion. She's a great mom. Don't put it on her because the kid is being a shithead. No matter what her son does, she'll always love him and try to do the right thing.

Last edited by Farmer Jane; 01-14-2012 at 02:36 PM.
#46
Old 01-14-2012, 02:38 PM
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Alice, I am sorry you are going through this. I hope for the best for you and your son.

Absolutely do not, for even a minute, entertain the idea that his "You fucked up my life by not having a father figure" bullshit is true. He is, for whatever reasons, trying to hit you with the lowest blow that he can, and he found a good one....smart kid. Most kids go for "You fucked me up by being a bad parent," but that one loses its momentum when you know pretty factually that you haven't actually been a horrible monster. This little gem has it all- it's impossible to counter, it's a deeply personal blow on what I imagine is a sensitive subject, it implies an irreversible personal failure on your part. He found a place to poke that is perfectly targeted to make you fall apart. You just have to tell yourself that that is what is happening, realize it's just another symptom of whatever is going on, and carry on.

As you said, he has two strong male role models. It doesn't somehow make them magically no good because you don't happen to be having sex with them. He also has you, and despite having a vagina, you are still capable of modeling responsible behavior. In any case, plenty of difficult children come out of intact families, plenty of single parents raise perfectly well adjusted kids, and not every intact family is a healthy one anyway. Would he really feel better if you had married, say, an abusive prick with a drinking problem?

I have good friend who has three adopted sisters who were all raised in the same warm, loving, well-off and absolutely ideal home to the sweetest two people you'll ever meet. My friend and two of his sisters have grown up to go on to successful careers and happy, loving relationships. The youngest, however, is an absolute wreck who at 14 started running away, using drugs, sleeping with men in an unhealthy manner, getting involved with the law, and purposefully sabotaging every advantage and second chance her parents gave her. It happens sometimes.
#47
Old 01-14-2012, 02:48 PM
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It seems like so many people attempt to solve problems like this by assigning blame. This is familiar to me, as the school where all the bullying took place attempted to blame him for being bullied, as well. But whether it's brain chemistry or the fact that he doesn't have a dad or that I could be a shitty mom, it doesn't matter at this point. What I am looking for is not who to blame- I will even gracefully accept all the blame if it helps, but how to move forward from here and get him happy again.
#48
Old 01-14-2012, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
It seems like so many people attempt to solve problems like this by assigning blame. This is familiar to me, as the school where all the bullying took place attempted to blame him for being bullied, as well. But whether it's brain chemistry or the fact that he doesn't have a dad or that I could be a shitty mom, it doesn't matter at this point. What I am looking for is not who to blame- I will even gracefully accept all the blame if it helps, but how to move forward from here and get him happy again.
Which is just dealing with the reality of what IS, which you are doing. Good luck and I'll keep you in my thoughts, cause what you are going through has got to suck.
#49
Old 01-14-2012, 03:24 PM
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Sorry you having such a rough time...

here's what caught my attention. He's 13, has issues, and on top of that he requires your help for performing some minor life skills - ok.

But ntl, it sounds to me a little like you baby him too much, telling him what to do as if he is a toddler. That must be very frustrating for him. OK so he has small motor skills problems, maybe he is real slow at doing those things or does them poorly. But shouldnt he try to do them on his own, and have some responsibilties for himself? Give him some room to figure these things out. Counseling for you might help you get a better perspective on what he is feeling.
best of luck -
#50
Old 01-14-2012, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chela View Post
Sorry you having such a rough time...

here's what caught my attention. He's 13, has issues, and on top of that he requires your help for performing some minor life skills - ok.

But ntl, it sounds to me a little like you baby him too much, telling him what to do as if he is a toddler. That must be very frustrating for him. OK so he has small motor skills problems, maybe he is real slow at doing those things or does them poorly. But shouldnt he try to do them on his own, and have some responsibilties for himself? Give him some room to figure these things out. Counseling for you might help you get a better perspective on what he is feeling.
best of luck -

Yes, this is something that I'm grappling with. I hate to say it, but even though my son has an average IQ, he is someone who does poorly at almost anything he tries. It's painful for him, and it's painful for me to watch. I'm someone with a high IQ, who does well at anything I try, and I have maybe too much? empathy for him and I want to minimize his failures. I'm starting to think this might be the wrong thing for him and maybe I should let him try more things and face the music if he fails. But then I think, well maybe that would worsen his self-esteem and further his depression. I'm really trying hard to figure it all out.
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