Mom threw teen out of the house: When is enough enough?

Yesterday I got a very distressing note from one of the moms in our community. Her battle with her disrespectful teenager had reached critical mass and she had told her almost 18-year-old they were no longer welcome at home. The mother is completely torn up inside not knowing if she has done the right thing, but she felt she couldn’t let her child continue to treat her this way.

The mother’s full letter is below. She is keeping the gender of the child neutral as not to sway the audience. Please be gentle and constructive in your advice or criticism. She is truly looking for a sounding board and some help. She’s not sure she’s done the right thing or even what to do next.

Here’s what the mother wrote:

“My question is …  when is enough, enough?

I have a 17 yo who shows no respect to my husband (not the father) and even less respect to me.  I love this child, have tried to do the best I can and have twisted myself into a pretzel to be an involved parent.  School was never fun, even kindergarten and we struggled every year.  The child has graduated this spring and was planning on attending the local community college before starting Georgia State the following year.  In my opinion this was a wise decision by this child.

I have been an involved parent, the last couple of years I was not as involved in the activities, but my thought process has been I needed to let go and give the child room to fall and learn how to recover while there was still a safety net.  I feel I have been strict, but also very giving and loving most of all.  I have had few expectation other than to work hard at school, try your best at swim team, take the seasonal job seriously.  Having a 17 yo who is still a virgin, not gotten into drugs, drinking and smoking, I feel I have instilled some values.  I always thought to teach by example, work hard, do for your friends and family even when there is no reward for yourself.  I have been supporting my mother, a elderly family friend, my child and myself and only recently married a man I had been with for 10 years.

I have had my child in counseling for the past 7 years working on depression, ADHD, bi-polar issues.

The child’s father has been in the picture for the most part, not due to me.  Up until the last 3 years we lived 4 miles from the father and other than celebrations (birthday, holidays or some event) he didn’t take his visitations consistently.  My child now will have little if any contact with him, but I try to keep the father in the loop as to what is going on at home.

We have less than two months until the 18th birthday.  As of last night the child is no longer welcome in my home.  In many ways I have nothing to complain about, other than the lack of respect, but I refuse to live with someone how does not respect me.  I don’t feel I am asking too much, help around the house, take care of the animals food water and let the dogs out to potty if you are home.  Help keep the kitchen clean, load or unload the dishes, don’t leave piles of clothes laying around, keep the bathroom clean since you are not the only one to use it.  We have offered to pay for doing things around the house, but $30 a week to feed and water was not enough in the child’s mind.  My husband and I just finished installing a fence and will need to paint it in the near future, child wanted to make money and offered to paint it.  But didn’t feel that the amount should be based on how good of a job was done.

I feel I have done everything I knew to do, but some how I have ended up with a child I don’t like.  This child is selfish and self absorbed and shows little to no concern for the feelings of other.  When I stated I would turn off the cell phone the response was “then you won’t hear from me again”  I said that is your choice, mine is to not let you control me with threats.  I will leave the phone on until the 18th birthday, but after that I will have it disconnected, only due to if an emergency.occurred I would like to have the ability to contact and be contacted.

Have I gone to far to let the child know it is no longer welcome in my home.  I was out on my own when I was 17, living in an apartment and paying rent and bills, but that was almost 30 years ago and life was a lot different.then. When is enough, enough?  I don’t enjoy living in a state of war at home, my needs are not being met by the child, when my needs are brought up, I get the typical eye rolling, deep exhausted sighs, and blocked out and ignored.

Would changing the locks and security password be going to far?  We don’t have a lot of valuables but I don’t want the child in the house without someone being there to make sure…..  I guess I don’t have faith in my child to make the right choices anymore and don’t trust this new person in my home.

Okay moms and dads: What do we think? How far does your teen have to push you to be thrown out? Did this teen hit the limit? Would the mental health issues override what another teen might be held accountable for? What does she do now: change the locks, let the teen back in after three days? When does the teen get to come home? How does the mom know the teen is ready to live  by the mom’s rules?

125 comments Add your comment

If the child is not yet 18...

July 8th, 2010
9:22 am

…the mom may be in legal trouble… she should have waited for another 2 months but it is doubtful the child will seek any DFACs involvement. Sometimes tough love is the only love that reaches these strong willed children. I am really sorry for her delimma…

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 8th, 2010
9:23 am

In a related story and truly not trying to be funny — a 29 year old man held his mom at gunpoint for not ironing his clothes. Here’s a guy who felt entitled to that mom service.

http://www.ajc.com/news/cops-man-holds-mom-566035.html

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 8th, 2010
9:23 am

I kind of wondered about that — wasn’t sure.

TnT's Mom

July 8th, 2010
9:27 am

I wish I had the answers – my son is almost 17, will be a senior and we have having some power struggles in our house. He has an a little bit of an entitlement attitude. he does household chores for me but refuses to do anything for his father.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by MOMania. MOMania said: Mom threw teen out of the house: When is enough enough? http://bit.ly/axvftI [...]

Allie

July 8th, 2010
9:34 am

That’s a very tough situation and one I pray I never find myself in with my kids. Though it if came to that, I would follow Mom’s example and hope I was doing the right thing.

Kids need to learn respect and responsibility. Sometimes tough love is the only answer.

Possibly the teen in question had heard all the threats and promises in the past and, when nothing came to fruition, continued on with the behavior. Having Mom act on her threats and take action is a tough but necessary step. Now that Mom has taken these first few steps, she needs to continue on this path to show she means business. She also needs to get the biological father on board with her decisions to show solidarity to the teen, in case they go there looking for an easy ride.

When the teen realizes how tough it is to be out on your own, struggling to make rent and pay bills, they’ll see a different side to this situation and hopefully admire and respect Mom a whole lot more.

I wish her well with this. I will keep her and her family in my thoughts.

Young@heart

July 8th, 2010
9:37 am

Sounds to me like the teen is being typical….I wouldn’t throw mine out for not doing chores or back talking, …maybe you grew them up thinking all this was entitled to them and now with the new marriage the teen is rebelingl….mom probably never cracked down before but now that new Step dad is there he’s adding fuel to the fire with comments to her like are you gonna take that from teen, teen shouldn’t have this or that. I have seen it a million times when the new step comes in and pressures the other to control their kid how they think.

NicNac

July 8th, 2010
9:38 am

She keeps saying that her child is disrespectful but doens’t really give any good examples of this. (other than disagree with how much they should be payed for chores, hardly a crime). According to her, they dont drink, smoke or do drugs. No mention of stealing or verbal/physical altercations. I’m just not seeing anything that warrants getting thrown out of the house.

The part where she said that she raised a child she doesn’t “like” anymore really got me. Wow… I think the problem is with her and not her kid.

If the child is not yet 18...

July 8th, 2010
9:44 am

…see motherjane, I can too make comments germane to the topic WITHOUT having a blog “name”…so I guess I better make another comment or you will castigate me for not having a “real” name.

In this situation, I agree with Allie that maybe the child will understand that he/she does have responsibilities within the family now that food and shelter are her/his responsibilty on the outside…

JATL

July 8th, 2010
9:47 am

WOW -it is really hard to say very much not knowing the full back story. I don’t know that I would kick my kid out of the house unless I knew he had somewhere to go. In fact, I think the parent/guardian can be in legal trouble because the kid is under 18. If she’s found on the streets or something or does something criminal -she’s still a minor. It sounds like the “child” has some deep emotional/mental issues that lead to this behavior, because if he/she isn’t into drugs or some other subversive activity, it’s hard to imagine why she would be so mean. Unfortunately some kids are MEAN -people are MEAN -and we have different terms for them -sociopaths, etc. The letter states that they’ve seen a counselor for years for different issues. I would like to know more about what 7 years of counseling has yielded. It sounds like they need to be in immediate family therapy right now. NO, the kid shouldn’t be acting in this manner, but are they afraid for their safety? Has it gotten that far? It would be incredibly difficult for me to put up with this from my child, and I understand where the mom is coming from, but I also would freak out if my minor child was possibly sleeping on the streets or in a car or something.

On the other hand -since we don’t know the actual situation, and we haven’t witnessed the disrespectful behavior, most teenagers are surly and disrespectful at least some of the time. I’m not saying it should be allowed or condoned, and certainly not on the level that it seems to have gotten to here, but I just don’t feel we have enough info to really make a judgment call. If we can have more info on the outcome of the counseling, any emotional or mental disorders, etc., it would make evaluating this situation easier. I say go into family therapy IMMEDIATELY with the kid -let the kid stay at home unless there is a definite, safe place she’s staying -and see if something can be worked out. The best conclusion may be to tough out the next two months and make sure she’s set with a job and an apartment the day she hits 18.

Magenta

July 8th, 2010
9:49 am

A friend’s teen was gone from the house the day after graduation, determined that s/he could do everything better their own way. Now s/he is just a couple months shy of 21, really struggling, but the parents are extremely hesitant to let the kid come home, knowing s/he will bring all those problems inside their home. Time is a great healer. It will enable the kid to grow up (hopefully) and understand the situation from the parents’ perspective. The parents are fairly optimistic that things will turn out okay. 40 years after Woodstock, we still have generation gaps. They just have a different focus nowadays.

Mom is Wrong

July 8th, 2010
9:53 am

Mom,

You state, “My needs are not being met by the child” compounded by the child is bi-polar says it all–this child does not stand a chance with you. Sad…

JJ

July 8th, 2010
9:54 am

Wow, I could have written that letter. I’m dealing with this now. My daughter has not been able to get a job this summer, so I made a list of chores, and offered a weekly sum, plus I would also fill her car up with gas on MY paydays. She needs tires on that car, so she has to Earn the money by doing other chores and not getting paid for them, but getting credit towards the tires. But for her, the money is not enough for the chores she has to do every week. They way I figure it, I work all day long, she is at home with nothing to do, so why should I come home to a dirty house? Between her and my unemployed roommate, I should NOT be doing any housework!!!!! I should be able to walk into my home, it should be clean, and the yard should look nice too.

I have no words of wisdom to offer, but I will read and see what other’s offer. I may learn a thing or two here today also.

VaLady

July 8th, 2010
9:58 am

I know exactly what this Mom is going through. My husband and I just threw our 20-year-old out of the house four weeks ago. It was not an easy decision and we still agonize over it every day. I vacillate between anger and grief. Long story short, the 20-year-old had just completed a third semester as a freshman in a public Georgia university (not UGA). The first two semesters had been a disaster, although high school presented no academic problems. This past semester, our offspring was repeating four courses that had been failed before. Big surprise – all F’s again. After the “adult child” returned home, life was an aimless existence of partying with friends. The arguments escalated. When the “adult child” left the house, we kept the cell phone and I checked the messages. Also, I reset the password on the email account and read all of those messages. Long story short – marijuana has entered the picture. We had suspected drug use, but we did not have any concrete proof. The “adult child’s” significant other is a big supporter of NORML – what a surprise. There were text messages between the 20-year-old and the significant other about some pot that the SO has procured and that the 20-year-old smoked on a work break.

My husband and I feel like we’ve been “chumped.” We have spent over $20,000 on education so far and were willing to support future academic endeavors at a local technical college. All this is down the drain due to current life choices.

My husband and I have tried to give our children a nice life and to be active participants in their lives. The “adult child” has made choices and is now having to accept the consequences. Even though I grieve every day, the bottom line is that I cannot support the current life choices. When the 20-year-old left the house, I said, “I have always loved you and will always love you, but I do not like what you’re doing with your life right now.”

My husband and I have changed the locks and created a new pass code for the security system. The 20-year-old’s significant other is facing felony charges for receiving stolen property. We fear that the SO may be dealing marijuana, as well. We decided to secure our house; it’s better to be safe than sorry.

My hope is that the 20-year-old will come around to sensible thinking and return to us. My husband and I are willing to pay for rehab (if that is what is needed at this time), but that would require the 20-year-old to drop all the current friends and the significant other. I doubt seriously if that is going to occur anytime soon.

Like the Mom who started this column, I also worry that I have done the right thing. Intellectually, I know that I have. Emotionally, I am on a roller coaster. I grieve for the child that used to be and for the person that could be in the future. I may never see this “child” straighten out and become a responsible adult.

Lady Strange

July 8th, 2010
10:01 am

I too don’t see anything that warranted being kicked out of the house. Did she ever sit the teen down and have a good talk with them about their attitude, etc? I did my share of rebelling but if my mom had come to me and told me how I was hurting her I would have been mortified. I was at the opposite side of the spectrum, my parents divorced when I was 18 so I was all up in arms about that. I imagine this teen is upset of all the changes recently with the new husband.

Doesn’t make sense that they talk about how they instilled all these values in their child but now they don’t trust them cause of a little rebellion? Sounds like the parent and teen need to have a heart to heart talk and find out what the real problems are.

Becky

July 8th, 2010
10:05 am

Based on what she says about the child, I think the child needs more attention..They need to find out why the child is depressed..I’ve never had to deal with this type of thing, so I wish her all of the best with whatever happens and hope that everything turns out for the best..

As for her kicking the kid out 2 months before they turn 18, I don’t think that DEFACS will do antyhig about that..Even though 18 is the “legal” age, basically at 17, they consider you old enough to be on your own..My great niece moved to FL. when she was just about a month away from 18..She went down, rented an apt. and registered for school without any parental help..

@MJG..You don’t even have to be on here for someone to pick on you..Good luck with that one..

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

July 8th, 2010
10:15 am

becky — that’s so funny — i was thinking did I miss MJg ’s comment — i couldn’t figure that one out –

Hey, Becky...

July 8th, 2010
10:17 am

…that was in response to her smart a– comment late yesterday afternoon at 5:31pm – “OH wow…I see you were REALLY busy without me today :0! I did not want to clog the blog…LOL”, especially after she gets on people for NOT making comments that are related to the subject at hand…

Cammi317

July 8th, 2010
10:20 am

Yeesh, I am having a power struggle with my 12 1/2 y/o, but I keep telling myself it is just changing hormones and she will outgrow it. I sure hope I am not still going through this 5 years from now because one of us will not survive….

Also, I highly doubt that DFACS will give a care about an almost 18 y/o being put out…

Mattie

July 8th, 2010
10:27 am

I’m in agreement with those that do not agree with this mother’s actions. It looks to me as though she has chosen her new husband over her child. The world does not need another homeless person with mental issues. How can this possibly turn out for the best?

We have three teens here, and while they are generally responsible and respectful, tempers “might” flare over messes, missing curfews, etc. It isn’t worth getting into a power struggle over. I suppose if things ever escalated, we would first cut the extras like cars and cell phones. It has never been necessary. We keep things from escalating by shutting up, and instead writing notes when we are upset. A reminder that we have expectations that aren’t being met, along with a confirming “we love you”, has always been well received.

My mother started the letter exchange with me, and I was much more receptive to it than a lecture. I suggested it to a friend, and she has also had great results with her teens.

MomOf2Girls

July 8th, 2010
10:29 am

I have never had to deal with this, but I do remember reading a while back an article about parents who did. Their solution was to remove EVERYTHING from the child’s room except 1 change of clothes. Took the door off as well. Child had to earn back the bed, linens, clothes, phone, desk, etc. Made quite an impression on the kid and led to some major straightening out.

Cammi317

July 8th, 2010
10:29 am

Mattie, I like the letter idea! Thanks for sharing it with us.

JATL

July 8th, 2010
10:31 am

VaLady -see I get your point and situation far more than this mother in the column. You have a 20 year old (who is an adult whether acting like it or not), AND drugs have entered the picture, money has been wasted on college that he/she obviously doesn’t care about, etc. I TOTALLY get where you’re coming from!

And, I don’t necessarily think it’s a situation where DFACS is going to come visit so much as a legal issue in case the minor gets involved in some type of criminal activity (which homeless minors and people in general are often wont to do). Sure, in many cases a 17 year old will be charged as and treated as an adult, but depending on the situation, the parents could definitely be called on or held responsible for a minor’s actions.

Hey Mattie...

July 8th, 2010
10:32 am

…what a creative solution to a potentially sticky situation – and as Cammi said, thanks for sharing.

LuLu

July 8th, 2010
10:45 am

I grew up in two different parental situations. In one house, there were drugs and yelling and physical altercations. I left that environment because I didn’t want to grow up to be like that. In the other house, there were issues like not leaving a door open, or not closing a door, or not getting my chores done right when I got home. Generally small issues. If your kid isn’t having sex, doing drugs, stealing or yelling it is NOT that bad. Teenagers are teenagers. To me this mom sounds like she hasn’t done any self evaluation to see what she could do to fix the problem and instead is just washing her hands of the issue because she doesn’t “like” her kid and “her needs” aren’t being met. When a 17 year old kid is homeless they are not going to find the right answers that are going to straighten them out, and they will probably hate you for a good long while, unless they get some serious counseling and forgiveness going on in their life.

Have no answer but understand

July 8th, 2010
10:45 am

It is hard to say when to let go and when to hold on.

FCM

July 8th, 2010
10:48 am

“But didn’t feel that the amount should be based on how good of a job was done.” WHAT??? What if he/she did a lousy job but it all gets painted? You still want to pay full agreed upon price?

Power struggles between same gender of the species under a single roof is normal. It has to do with ascerting the self, practicing independence, and trying to establishing the self as an adult. You see it in the anmial world all the time. There is a reason a Pride has few males.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
10:50 am

Add me to the list of people who are troubled by the mom’s actions for several reasons.

1) You’re legally responsible for the kid until age 18.
2) Kid has a history of mental issues and congrats, you just removed his/her access to treatment. 7 years of counseling for serious problems and you don’t mention medication. I seriously hope you didn’t have the kid in the kind of counseling that doesn’t offer meds after *seven years*.
3) Kid is “not meeting your needs” and you don’t *like* her/him? The kid is NOT there to meet your needs at 7 months, 7 years, or 17 years. And nobody said you had to like the kid. HUGE red flag there. Show me a teenager who *isn’t* self-absorbed, and I’ll show you an excellent actor.
4) Kid had a plan to attain self-sufficiency: go full-time to community college, then move to a better school, then (presumably) get a job. This is a good plan, but it cannot be accomplished now. Good going. If you *do* have a relationship with the kid in the future, that’s going to be between you two for the rest of your lives… and if you think you resent the kid, you ain’t seen nothin’ until you see how much the kid resents YOU for this.
5) I’m SO sorry that you had a child 17 years ago and that the kid is inconvenient. I’m SO sorry that the kid doesn’t seem to like you anymore than you like the kid. Maybe you two were trapped in some kind of dynamic of nagging to work/whining not to work and there wasn’t really anything else to your relationship. Unfortunately, burden’s on YOU, not the kid, for that.
6) Go back to point one. In two months, you’d have the right to do this, as unfortunate and (in my opinion) unethical as it is. But right now, you don’t. You’re a custodial parent until kid is 18. And right now, you are a very, very bad one.

Becky

July 8th, 2010
10:50 am

@Hey Becky..I knew what the refrence (sp) was about and as has been said before..If you don’t like reading everything that MJG has to say, don’t read it..We all know that a lot of her post on here are long, but we (at least me) usually learn something from what she has to say..Yeah, she might post on here 4-5 times or more per day, no big deal..At least she says something & she’s usually not ugly to others on here..:)

@VaLady..Good luck to you and your husband..My Mother always said that she did not care how old you were, if you lived in her house, you followed her rules..I lived at home until I was 22 (Mom had cancer) and I always was respectful to her..Yes, I went out an partied, but I always called her and told her where I was..

JMS

July 8th, 2010
10:55 am

I would agree to take away cell phones, and other privlages, like a car or an allowance. I am not so sure about putting the child out of the home. If the child went to college would they not be staying in a dorm, so while it may be a difficult few months while you wait for college to start, I would work around holding off kicking the child out, and rather send them off to college which will serve the same purpose, that of getting them out of thehosue. Two reason you do not want to burn bridges adn this could be a stage, and two, once in college and having to do all the things they have to do like cooking living on a budget they will come to appreicate what you gave them and you may find that tehy will come to respect you and what you offered all on their own. CHildren today aond of the past 20 years have sadly been products of their enviroment, adn one thinng I have nnoticed is that so often parents have given them things to “shut them up” and get them out of their way. THat works when they are young children, but when they get older their demands are larger, more expensive and they have been trained to not take no for an answer. So you reap what you sew. I have always said if you are willing on the front end to put the time into raiising a child, which often meant stopping what you were doing to teach them accpetable behavior, you would enjoy them for years to come, We all know it would be easier when a child throws a tantrum, right at the moment to give them in and give them whatever it is they are demanding. I have seen it with my friends children and family. When I said no my kids knew I meant no, so did not persue it. COnsistancy or convenience that is the big game changer. I was always consistant. I have respectful children becasue tehy know the boundries they are very clear. Sometimes our childrens behavior, is a reflection of our inconsistancy and it is confusing and frustrating for them, tehy need clear messages. SO many times we do not want to take the time to deal with the bad behavior and take the time to let them know you love them but that does not mean you will give them everything their little heart desires. COnsistancy is what any living things thrives on, animal people and even plants, you will reap the benifits for years to come, sadly more parents take the quick fix just to shut the child up and make them “go away”. SO I always wonder why people act like they did everything right and have a child that is disrepectful. If you allow it once it will take root. As a parent you do not get weekends off or vacations it is 24/7 forever. I hope you work it out. Sit down and set boundries, talk to the child even if you have togo to a 3rd party. Part of you problem could be a misaunderstanding that the child feels this new relationship is pushing him aside. Explain that the love for a sppouse does not replace the love a parent has for their child. I urge you to work through this, as you do not want to later look back and blame your new husband for pushing the child out of your life, which it appears to me could be a small part of the larger equation. Sit down wit hyour child and work out some new adjusted rules you can both agree to live with.

jg

July 8th, 2010
10:55 am

I like the letter idea….we are having the same problem and I am so miserable.

Peace

July 8th, 2010
10:59 am

The first thing that the mom has to realize is–is she and her family now at peace? I put my own child out at 18 and since the rules could not be obeyed I was done.. The other children in my house were not getting the attention because it was all focused on one child and their negative behavviour. I realize that some kids just want to do what they want to do irrespective of the love and home training they receive. That was my child. The child was not raised with a silver spoon in his mouth but he got an entitlement attitude from where we lived and how he saw his friends interact with their parents. Mom, I would say to you that it will be a lesson learned for your child,,the lesson may not come this week or not until 5 years from now..but they will come to their senses. Also, I do not believe that since we are parents, God did not put us here to be abused by anyone, even our own children!

Susan

July 8th, 2010
11:00 am

The boy’s biological father needs to persuade his son to come and live with him. After all most teenage boys identify with the male gender as a role model at this later age. Very possibly the young man is acting out of rebellion because of his mother’s new husband (even though they dated a long time) and having in the house full time would be a big adjustment. This can be a troubling and uncertain time and transition for teenagers into adulthood, Coupled with his existing depression he needs unconditional love from both parents as alot of teenagers act out. He is too young to be on his own as he will most likely get into mischievious trouble trying to make it on his own after being forced out of his familiar surroundings. Spiritual counseling is a suggestion.

Meg

July 8th, 2010
11:02 am

My so went through a disrespectful phase, but I never threw him out. My reaction would have been to get angry and argue, but we got saved about that time and the Holy Spirit tempered my reactions, and I was able to remain calm and detached and focus on setting a good example. I’m extremely proud of how he turned out, and the glory goes to God, who supplied us with the blueprint and His infinite love and patience.

Jacksmum

July 8th, 2010
11:02 am

IMO – The people blaming this mother are not parents of teens. This is a very serious time. Just as telling a small child why not to touch the stove, play in the street, talk to strangers…teaching a young adult that others “needs” must be met, that value of compensation is commiserate with quality of work and that respect is a two way street are critical life lessons. Sometimes you have to let the small ones touch something hot, and the older ones go it alone. Good job mom. The right way is most often the hardest way.

And yes, I do have a 21 year old step and a younger bio. We have major problems with the step (disrespect, drugs, dropping out of school to party, etc) and none with bio. The difference may be age, but we are hoping and praying that the difference will be accountability. Step was spoiled rotten and still walks around with hand out (which mom fills, so not expecting any changes soon). Bio is held to standards everyday and rewards are always earned, never for effort but only for achievement.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
11:03 am

@Jacksmum–according to the *law*, she doesn’t have the *right* to throw him out. Doesn’t that end the “debate” right there/?

UF Mom

July 8th, 2010
11:06 am

I’m also really struck about the “child not meeting my needs”. No offense, but I don’t believe we bring children into this world to meet our needs, unless we are referring to the purely selfish desire/need to have a baby.

I think, as parents, we are obligated to meet the NEEDS of our children. Without knowing any more than the letter states, it sounds like this child’s meets were not met somewhere along the line. Maybe his/her wants were met, but I sense a level of emotional distress that has grown into something bigger. Mom says she has been with her now-husband for 10 years so I assume this man has been a part of the child’s life since age 7 or so. Did the then-boyfriend/now-husband ever take precedence over the young child, who was already dealing with divorced parents? Did it create a rift or distrust that festered into rebellion?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe a 17 year old should be responsible for their own actions. I just have a nagging feeling there is something deeper going on here. As stated above, I think some of the annoying behaviors being exhibited (eye rolling, sighing) are just typical annoying teenage reactions. I would really need more concrete evidence of what is irking Mom so badly to gauge whether or not I feel the eviction was fair.

FWIW…my DH had problems with his mother once she remarried…most of it was stemming from his step-father. Step-father refused to be involved and threw all of it back on my MIL, who lashed out at my husband. Once they divorced, she became somewhat normal again. Classic mistake of letting a man rank higher on the family totem than her own children.

Dey tuk er jerbs!

July 8th, 2010
11:07 am

Been there, done that

July 8th, 2010
11:09 am

I feel for you
I threw my son out when he was 19 for basically the same thing. Disrespectful, didn’t follow the rules, thought we should cater to him. I really should have done it the year before. The final straw was I got up at 3am and was going to have my son take me to the ER. I went to find him and he was gone. So was my car.
I called his cell. He didn’t answer but did come home after a few minutes. Long story short, I kicked him out that Friday. After a few months of living with several different friends, he realized that he was going to have to take charge of his life. He joined the Army and is doing great. I am so proud of him I could burst. And he actually called me to thank me for kicking him out and giving him the “wake up call” he needed to get his life together.
Tough love works, but I’m not sure who it is tougher on, the kid or the parents.

Jessie

July 8th, 2010
11:10 am

Just fyi – teenagers are supposed to be self-centered up to a point – it is part of the process of maturing and I wouldn’t be so sure about being a virgin, not drinking or using drugs – if you have been “hands off” the last three years who knows what has been going on in your teenager’s life. Even if you had tried to monitor your child’s life closely, teenagers are very skilled at lying and deceiving. What I think most people don’t understand is that once a teenager is able to drive, or be driven by friends, they are going to make all the important decisions in their life, whether you like it or not. If you have taught, loved and respected them well and have some good luck thrown in, then they will make good choices most of the time.
I wish you and your family luck, but most of all I hope you can still reach your child and let him/her know you love them unconditionally – so many children don’t get that message.

Maggie Reed

July 8th, 2010
11:13 am

I had a similar situation years ago. My child was abusing alcohol and was hostile to the rest of the family. I feared for our safety. After my teenager spent a week of camping in the woods near our house, I arranged for him to move in with his grandparents. They advised him not to take down his camp because the first time he came in drinking or behaved disrespectfully he would once again find himself homeless. It worked. He gave up the alcohol cold turkey and lived with them – very happily for a couple of years. Perhaps because we were able to keep it all in the family, our relationships with him stabilized.

Jacksmum

July 8th, 2010
11:17 am

@Not Going to Use My Usual Name – it is not illegal to remove a child of 17 from your home. She may have to get an eviction from the courts, but if the child has gone, that is no longer an issue. Sixteen in Georgia is the age of emancipation. They can go or be sent at that point depending on the circumstances. The parent could be held liable if the child is living at home, but if not, mom is in the clear. Bio dad can also pick up the slack. Sounds like maybe he needs to intervene for the sake of his child. It really does take the efforts of both parents to raise a child.

Lori

July 8th, 2010
11:17 am

The one line that gets me is “my needs are not being met by the child”. This is HER CHILD, not the other way around. Your child does not need to meet your needs. If the worst thing this kid did is “disrespect” her and her new man, then she is an idiot for severing the relationship. Sounds like she is the one who is self-absorbed. This kid graduated, is planning on attending college, doesn’t do drugs, and as far as we can tell from the article isn’t a criminal. Leaving the laundry laying around and forgetting to let the dogs out is something all teens do (and most husbands for that matter). I didn’t see anything in her story to explain what this kid did that was so horrible they deserve to be kicked out. It sounded more to me that she is just picking the new man over the kid, which sadly happens all the time.

been there done that

July 8th, 2010
11:20 am

That is your house, you can do what you want with it…..you deserve respect and help, you are noones maid, the society has ruined children, there is not alot out there that does have respect for thier elders anymore….in my day, you knew better than not to show respect!!! I say let ‘em go, if they live long enough, they will certainly regret thier actions…..

momofone

July 8th, 2010
11:21 am

Has Mom consulted with any of the counselors that the child has seen in the past 7 years? Perhaps they could offer some good advice given that they would be much more familiar with the details/history of the teen’s behavior and family dynamics.

The fact that the teen has had bipolar and other issues may mean that either they need medication or they’re on the wrong medication. I would think that any type of mental health issues are going to make the teen years more difficult–for both of you–but a qualified counselor ought to be able to give you some guidance on possible next steps.

You’ll be in my thoughts–Hang in there.

DigALittleDeeper

July 8th, 2010
11:21 am

I really feel for the mother and step father, I am sure this was a very hard decision. This young person has reached the age of responsibility and is very close to legal adulthood. I believe it is very wise that the mother has decided to let this child experience life at his/her own expense. He/she will find out that friends and extended family are not as generous as one might think. They will find that food, clothing and shelter can only be obtained through gainful employment. He/she will find that the boss will only pay when the work is completed and with high quality.
I’m not sure where this child has elected to live for the next few weeks, months or year; however, I am sure he/she will be calling VERY SOON to return home. If not, they are in for a load of trouble.
However, if and when he/she does request to come home, my advice to the mother and stepfather is to negotiate a rental agreement with a clause that states if the rules are not followed him/her will have 30 days to find a new resident. The agreement should include food, utilities and shelter only. I would suggest they get a cell phone and pay the bill. I would not provide transportation or gas money. I would request that they give 24 hour notice of visitors and no one is allowed to spend the night. Then the final agreement would be that the rent is paid by the 15th of each month and there is a $50 late fee and only good for 10 days; after that it is 30 day notice.

Then say I love you and respect you as an adult. Welcome to the real world.

Banjo the Siren

July 8th, 2010
11:22 am

Wow, this sounds a lot like my own situation. However, there are a couple of wrinkles:

My wife and I can not get together on how to deal with our son. This has been the case since my 16-year-old was a toddler. She always shielded him from consequences when possible and ignored all parenting advice.

Of course I was not a perfect parent and we were both highly over indulgent of him, but just for example I would find her arguing with him at age 11-12-13. I would quietly say to my wife, “Hon, can we go to our room and talk this over?” since arguing with him was something we were told not to do, nor were we supposed to argue in front of him. Her response: “NO! Stay out of this! It has nothing to do with you!” In front of the child!

Now she is living with him at her mother’s because he began threatening to “f’ing kill me.” I strongly believe that with death threats involved (besides all of the other abuse I took from him: name-calling, cursing me, spitting in the house (!) at all hours of the day and night, physical intimidation) I am morally and practically doing the right thing.

My son also: steals from neighbors, does drugs, cannot stay in school, violates curfew, abuses our pets. I tried to ignore the other behaviors but when the death threats started, I realized I was going to have to take strong measures to protect my safety and sanity.

My wife says he “only threatens your life when you get in his face.” I feel as his father it’s my duty to be in his face at times, and not ignore the behaviors he gets away with when she is around. I have reports that he is still cursing her and disrespecting her and her mother. He was returned home on probation in February and quickly violated nearly every term of his probation, but DJJ has done nothing to relieve the situation.

So my son turns 18 in a little under 380 days. My full intent is to support his physical existence as well as I can up until then, and then instruct him not to return to my life until he has made a change in his.

My wife, meanwhile, shields him from the consequences of his actions and tells anybody who will listen that I have “given up on him” and that the problem is, “He and his father don’t get along.” Well, that’s true as far as it goes but I think I deserve at least a little credit for waiting until the death threats started before I said no more.

I also believe that by shielding him from the consequences of his actions as a juvenile, she is ensuring that he will continue his behaviors as an adult and the consequences will be much much harsher and swifter.

The point of all this is that I want to give the letter writer this advice: know how much you can put up with, and don’t take drastic action until that point is reached. We all have our breaking point. It sounds like you might still be able to reach your child. Take some parenting courses if you haven’t already. I recommend myoutofcontrolteen.com. It really helped me in my approach to my son and to my younger daughter. With my son, it helped me to know that I was doing all I could, albeit late. With my daughter, she has flourished under the new expectations and methods.

You should be extremely proud that your child was able to graduate. My 16-year-old just flunked out of 9th grade for the 3rd time and has been ordered to stay away from our county’s schools.

God bless and good luck.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
11:24 am

@Jacksmum–the kid can leave, yes, but the parent doesn’t have the right to kick ‘em out until 18. If the kid goes to the authorities, the parent is going to face some legal issues.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
11:27 am

Banjo’s story provides the perfect foil to the letter writer’s story. Banjo’s son: stealing, drugs, violent threats, abuses pets, ignores curfews, flunks school.

Letter writer’s kid’s sins: “unlikable,” sassy, feels entitled, doesn’t want to do chores.

I hope we all see the difference here.

CKM

July 8th, 2010
11:32 am

I am so glad this woman isn’t my mother. Talk about being intolerant. She should count her lucky stars that her child isn’t on drugs. She may tend towards that direction though when she starts to feel completely alone. How sad.
P.S. To “Mom”: I wouldn’t count on this child to be there for YOU in your later years.

JATL

July 8th, 2010
11:34 am

OK -my ADD is all over the place today! I kept missing this part you all are talking about: “I don’t enjoy living in a state of war at home, my needs are not being met by the child, when my needs are brought up, I get the typical eye rolling, deep exhausted sighs, and blocked out and ignored”

Well, HELLO -its a teenager! My mother was surprised my eyes didn’t get stuck in the top of my head when I was a teenager I rolled them so much! If she had ever mentioned me meeting her needs, they probably would’ve gotten stuck. Evidently I perfected the classic eye roll coupled with, “MOTHERRRRRR!”And yes, the others are correct -YOUR child is NOT HERE to meet YOUR needs! EVER! We bring these kids into the world, but it’s supposed to be a selfless act. Hopefully, if we’re lucky, we get paid back with good relationships, great grandkids, and proud moments, but not always. It’s a gamble. I expect my husband to meet certain needs of mine, and I expect certain needs I have to be met through friendships, but I don’t ever expect my children to meet any of my needs. If you had a kid for that, then that’s probably where this whole problem started 17 years ago.

Matt

July 8th, 2010
11:36 am

Who’d ‘a thunk it? A disrespectful teenager? Never would have guessed. As the parent, it’s your responsibility to teach them to expect consequences when they are disrespectful. If your kid really is as bad as you make it seem to be, then keep him in counseling, but don’t kick him out of the house. That will only make him heartily dislike you. Besides that fact, it is illegal to kick a minor out if he is your responsibility. If I were you, I’d get the kid back home, have a sit-down discussion, and start anew. If he has a problem with that, MAKE him listen to you. You need to show more discipline and firmness with your kid. If they talk back, take something away that they really like, or threaten them with something that they dislike. Don’t think that your only option is to abandon your responsibility as a parent and kick the kid out. That is just plain wrong.

TechMom

July 8th, 2010
11:47 am

I understand tough love and quite frankly think that some teenagers can ruin their family’s life if they are allowed to. Sometimes things have gone on too long and escalated so far that the only option is something drastic like kicking them out. Should this have been dealt with better in the past? Likely. That being said, I don’t know if Mom is just trying to sugarcoat the kid’s actions or what by they don’t seem awful enough to me for the child to be kicked out. My son is 15 and we have had to do some pretty un-fun stuff as parents in order to get him to listen and behave as a contributing member of this family (i.e. zero privileges+ lots of chores + lots of isolation).

I don’t think the mom has a legal requirement to keep supporting this kid, even if s/he is not yet 18 b/c s/he has graduated and is nearly 18. You can be emancipated quite easily at this point and I doubt the state has any interest unless this teenager is not capable of getting a job. Lots of us lived on our own at 17, 18, 19 and did just fine. The question does come into play, is the teenager capable? It’s hard to tell without a true medical diagnosis. ADD/ADHD, no biggie; Bipolar – biggie b/c it’s such a sensitive mental condition that it requires careful medication dosage to control. Perhaps the side effects of the medication or the condition itself are controlling the child’s actions more than s/he is able to.

Lastly, I would not doubt that the step-parent has something to do with the situation. Although he’s been there for the past 10 years, the mom doesn’t state in which role/capacity. The FAMILY should definitely seek counseling before going to such a drastic measure.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
11:49 am

TechMom–you *can* be quite easily emancipated at this point, but it is a legal process. You can’t just toss ‘em out before 18; you have to go through the appropriate channels.

KoolAid House

July 8th, 2010
11:49 am

My child is turning 16 in a month. Although not disrespectful, but typical teenager doing what they want to do when they want to do, hearing what they want to hear, having to repeat myself, I see no reason to kick my child out of the home. Looking at the big picture, being disrespectful should be the sole grounds for kicking someone out.

No doubt something needs to be done, but I sense the mother only added to the child’s obvious feelings of abandonment.

DigALittleDeeper

July 8th, 2010
11:50 am

Matt

July 8th, 2010
11:36 am

This child has successfully completed highschool; after that we don’t have to do anything when they are disrespectful. We choose to pay for college, because we love them; not because we are obligated to do so. And we do it without expecting anything in return except for a little bit of respect.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
11:52 am

I’m a liberal. I don’t want a boy to act like a girl; I prefer he act like a civilized human being. Or are you suggesting that this equates to being a girl? If so, I won’t argue. ;)

There are plenty of more effective punishments than spanking, which is the lazy parent’s way of instilling in their kids the certain knowledge that violence CAN solve our problems. Yay! Wait, no, that’s bad. Actually, violence in kids can be correlated to homes where spanking is de rigueur, as study after study has shown.

Finally, what the heck does this have to do with a kid rolling her/his eyes at mom and being kicked out of the house for it?

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
11:53 am

Dog, sure, you *can*, but you can also face legal consequences if the teen has the sense to go to the police or child services.

You can kick a kid out at 17, but if you don’t go through the appropriate steps, you’re not on the right side of the law.

Psych Friend

July 8th, 2010
11:55 am

I hope there is more to the story…from what I am reading, it seems the mother has some entitlement issues of her own. I understand chores, but it sounds more like the mother expects a slave rather than someone to do chores. With the mother wanting to express her “feelings,” this may not be appropriate for the child. From the sounds of it, the mother describes a child who is abstinent, drug and alcohol free and otherwise a good kid with the exception of the mental health issues. I wonder if the mother has stepped back and looked at her approach to the issues? Rather than ranting and raving about it and making everything about her, perhaps she should engage the child more and make it about them? This is an interesting case that I think a family counselor could have a ball with!

TechMom

July 8th, 2010
11:58 am

@Not going… it’s obvious there are no real channels you have to go through to kick your kid out- this lady just did. All I’m saying is that unless someone calls the state, who’s going to know? And further, do you really think the state has the resources to follow up on cases like this when there are toddlers in homes getting beaten?

Laws are only useful if they are enforced and I can’t see anyone enforcing this one nor would I want them to use my tax dollars to do so.

Becky

July 8th, 2010
11:59 am

@Banjo..Just last month a friend of my husbands walked into his house one Thurs. night to find his 25 yeard old son dead..This boy hd been in and out of trouble with the law for some time, was using and dealing drugs, had served time in jail..Each time the Dad would do whatever was possible to “save” the son..He spent thousands of $$$ to try to keep his son out of trouble, didn’t work..So my thoughts are with you and hope that everything works out for you, your wife and your son..

LG

July 8th, 2010
12:06 pm

As a mom of a 17 year old boy, I earned my respect, I didn’t expect respect. This whole generation is about adults earning their respect – it’s not just given anymore and rightly so. You only get respect if you are respectable in their eyes and that doesn’t mean being their friend either. They don’t want us as friends, they have their own.
They want their parents to be parents that are respectable. Find out what that is to your son and see if it’s doable.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:07 pm

Oh boy, I’m really pissed off now! Ive got plenty of evidence to back up my claims! Who do you think you are to question my authority? And don’t ever call me Gump again, or you’ll regret it!

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:09 pm

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1983895,00.html There’s your story about a study published in _Pediatrics_ journal about the long-term effects of spanking.

By the way, that’s a hit on the first page when you Google “spanking study.” Now I guess I’ll be googling Georgia state law about minors (you know–minors–people under 18) because you don’t know how.

Peggy

July 8th, 2010
12:09 pm

Wow, the blame game is going strong. Why assume she is favoring the step dad over the child? This isn’t a new man in the picture, They’ve been together for 10 years. This mom loves her child, has tried everything she knows to do, and is just asking for helpful suggestions. Throwing a child out is a heartbreaking decision and tough love is a desperate act. Yes she LOVES this child, not liking does not mean no love. She appears to have sought professional help to no avail. What’s left? Dr. Phil?
Yes change locks and passwords, if the child shows up hungry with a civil attitude feed him/her and tell them they are welcome home if they can be respectful. Stress that you love them but don’t like and won’t tolerate disrespect.
If the child indicates they want to come home list chores and let them choose which ones they are willing to do. They won’t choose much but it’s a beginning and they’ll be home and not in harms way.
All parents try their best with kids, and sometimes their best isn’t enough.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:09 pm

You’re so cute, pretending to be me! I’m a liberal. I don’t curse.

DigALittleDeeper

July 8th, 2010
12:10 pm

As far as all you legal beavers, I wouldn’t care if DFACS had to get involved or the overall court system. I would suggest that DFACS take them in or the judge moves him/her into their home.

As, far as I’m concerned, I wouldn’t care what is put into my “parental record”.

I hope the same is felt by this mother and stepfather.

As far as the parent wanting a slave, the child must think the mother is the MAID. It’s my house and if you don’t like CHORES you should get your own home. Then you can live as you like.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:11 pm

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:12 pm

Oh boy, I really *do* have evidence to back up my claims. I know in talk radio world, they don’t play that way.

Since when did conservatives decide that laws are suggestions, dog?

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:13 pm

dog, I was sure that was YOU posting under my name! You’re telling me it wasn’t?

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:14 pm

It’s true. I read widely, and I retain a lot of what I read, but you wanted evidence, so I provided links. You’re grasping for straws now, dog.

been there

July 8th, 2010
12:14 pm

This is the first time that I did not ready ANY responses before posting comments. To each his own and I didn’t want to agree or disagree with anyone else, so here goes: I have been told by the authorities that a child at age 17 CAN be tossed from your home, unless they are in school. Since your 17 yo has graduated, you are in the clear there. Secondly, I feel like you and I are raising the same child. I love my child dearly, however, don’t particularly enjoy their presence, and at times, like them either. is your child medicated for his / her ADHD, bi-polar, issues? that is necessary for your sanity, as well as their own. I have never been a proponent of “drugging my kid” but, having lived with both ends of the spectrum, it is necessary. In addition, it may be that the kid’s emotional state is such that you may be fearful for your safety. ADHD and bi-polar tendencies lean so dramatically toward the impulsive behavior that he/she may “snap” and cause you or your husband physical harm. This generation is not taught respect from anyone except SOME parents. Children are told that they have rights – no, not really. You are required to feed, clothe and house them. That is their only “right.” You are not required to feed them fillet Mignon, clothe them in Tommy Hilfiger (choose your name brand) or house them in Buckingham Palace. Nor are you required to provide them with entertainment – ie, cell phones, computers, video games, TV, trips out to wherever, etc…. Those are privileges earned. If your child chooses to disrespect you and your husband, then he / she chooses to loose privileges. In this case is the privilege to live in (I am assuming) comfort. I feel you are doing the right thing for your family by tossing said kid out on his / her butt and let them fend for themselves. A little hungry, cold, and discomfort may make them realize what they did have. Oh, and if you are paying for college, then you are giving them another PRIVILEGE – not a right. You, as a parent will ALWAYS worry, but you must know that you did your best and tried to raise a respectful child. Good luck and God Bless – by the way, the military may REALLY make them respect what they had – it is a consideration!

momoftwo

July 8th, 2010
12:15 pm

I have two children ages 8 and 11. They argue and bicker and as we speak are in their rooms for the rest of the day.
Point being, that she has reached her breaking point.when your child makes you cry, what does that say…her needs to have “her needs met” is understandable.Not having to be miserable yourself has some merit too.
MIne are driving me crazy….

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:17 pm

are you implying that Oprah is not a reliable source of information?

Brenda

July 8th, 2010
12:17 pm

I’m a single mother of an 18 year old who recently graduated from high school and received a scholarship from a university. I raised my son alone from birth and trust me, we have had our rounds. No, my son did not and still does not take out the trash without asking, automatically pick up behind himself and occassionally acts like the self-absorbed / spoiled brat he really is; but at the age of 17 I would not put him out of the house.

Mom, please rethink your actions, let him back in the house, and please continue the therapy.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:21 pm

dog, if I didn’t have any knowledge of it, why was I right about both issues? There really was a study just as I said that said just what I said it did… and Georgia law (whatever “authorities” are telling people, whatever that means) states that parents can’t kick out a 17 year old without going through some legal hoops, because 17 year olds are minors.

Truth is, I’m in graduate school, and *I* have access to the original journal article in Pediatrics–but that’s not generally available, so I looked for a mainstream media story redacting the information so you could see it too. It was easy to find.

Look, I’m done arguing with you. The facts are very clear.

Here it is from the Georgia Code of laws:
39-1-1. Age of legal majority; residence of persons in state for purpose of attending school
(a) The age of legal majority in this state is 18 years; until that age all persons are minors.

That’s about as clear as the law can be. You can ignore the law, and sure, you might well get away with it. That doesn’t mean you’re legally right. According to the LAW, a 17 year old is a minor unless the courts declare otherwise, period, end of story.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:21 pm

PS: I’ve never actually watched Oprah. Who has time? As I’ve already stated, someone else is posting as me. Welcome to the Interwebs.

Banjo the Siren

July 8th, 2010
12:23 pm

Thanks for your kind words, @Becky. Such a scenario is indeed my fear, especially with my wife’s constant enabling.

If I had no other kids, I would play the “Daring DFCS to take him” game. However, I am most interested in my daughter not being exposed to the system any more than she already has been (through family interviews with DFCS brought on by my son’s behaviors.)

DFCS has been to the home multiple times since my son was a little boy due to his self-destructive behaviors resulting in ER visits, etc. He once broke his wrist two times in quick succession by punching walls in our home and in neighbors’ homes.

I hate him sometimes when I think that he has exposed his sister to the risk of DFCS scrutiny, which we have all heard the horror stories: taking children from homes that are safe but don’t fit the particular DFCS apparatchik’s mood that particular day. Meanwhile, I believe my son is a danger to all of us and as such, if I permit him the run of the home I will certainly put my daughter at risk!

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:24 pm

dog, who else would it be posting under my name? why would anyone else bother? that last comment “from me” was you too, wasn’t it? just fess up so we can continue our debate

the mom

July 8th, 2010
12:25 pm

For all concerned, the child is safe and not on the streets. I didn’t kick the child out, but told the child they were not welcome in my house if they didn’t respect the rules. I do seem to remember a blog several months ago about this very time period in a child’s life. Just after High School and right before College. If I remember there were a lot of comments along the lines of my house my rules.

It sounds like the biggest mistake I made was saying my needs are not being met. I was not looking for emotional needs, which is not the child’s responsibility. The needs I was thinking about when I wrote that was the common courtesy needs of living in a house with others.

The stepfather is not an issue. I do take sides between the two on the few occasions there is a reason to take sides, and feel I support the one who is in the right. It is not based on one is my husband and the other is my child, just because on is an adult does not always mean he is always right or since the other is a child they are always in the wrong.

Physical conflict.. The child did attempt to strike me a couple of weeks ago, but stop before they made contact. There have been times when contact has been made.

Under no circumstances would I with hold the medical treatment and counseling. There was a secession just Monday, so this has not been neglected and has been brought up.

I did take the child down to mattress, pillow and sheets, picked out the clothes for that day’s activity. Worked some, but didn’t seem to have the response either the counselor or I thought it would have had. I have also cancelled a birthday and Christmas when the child continued with behavior that was unacceptable. I have not made idle threats and not delivered. On the other side I have rewarded acceptable behavior and the child has have wonderful life experience.

Driving is not an option at this time; license has been suspended due to missed school days. Will be reinstated upon the 18th birthday. Summer job was lost due to the economy.

The not feeding or watering the animal was a bigger issues since the animal was injured and could get fresh water on it’s own and was out in the heat. We checked before we left for work, but when my husband got home there was no water and then drank three buckets of water, in this heat needs of the animal outweighed the needs of the child.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:26 pm

Banjo, your story is heartbreaking, and you are in my prayers. It sounds like no amount of even perfect parenting could’ve changed that situation. It’s a mystery why some people grow up so filled with rage and hate, completely acking in empathy, despite the best efforts of those who love them.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:31 pm

Hey, the mom. I am VERY glad to read that you know where your child is and that she/he is safe. Reading more clarification, I’m very glad that you didn’t just toss a 17-year-old out because of some sass and eye-rolling.

Frankly, for me, everything changes with physical abuse (of people and animals). When you’re hit, that’s a very different matter. I hope that counseling (and medication?) can help, and I would also recommend seeing a lawyer about legally ending your parental responsibilities. Sad as it is, it might be necessary in this case.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:33 pm

As I said, I’m definitely not interested in further engaging debates with people who aren’t interested in civil discussion, but I am enjoying reading (and responding to) everyone else’s comments. The Mom, thanks very much for posting here–I know I in particular attacked you based on what was said at the top of the article, and I’m glad to know that I was wrong!

Just-My-Thoughts

July 8th, 2010
12:34 pm

The horse is out of the barn in this situation. IMO, if this mother/child relationship is broken now, sitting down talking is not going to solve the problems. It’s probably too late for “sit downs”, like most teens, they know everything. So my suggestion to her would be to wait, reality has a way
of humbling the most “stubborn” know-it-all’s. And when the child come crawling back, because they always do, only then will she have the upper hand in this matter, and only then will her and her husband be able to control situation.

KoolAid House

July 8th, 2010
12:34 pm

“For one, I’m a grown man who can handle any liberal witch that comes my way. Two, you’re not going to do anything to me.

Your empty threats are laughable, Gump”

I hollered and thought the same thing!!!!!

Banjo the Siren

July 8th, 2010
12:36 pm

@Not you hit the nail on the head. My son has been diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Throughout his life, he has been to many specialists and diagnosed with various things. I would greedily check the literature on those diagnoses and say, “Well, I guess they’re the doctors.” I would ask them about the variations I saw between his behavior and their diagnoses and they would just shrug and say let’s work through it.

Then, of course, the counselors in school and therapeutic settings who specialize in dealing with kids with this or that diagnosis would start calling the house and complaining to us about him!

Reading up on APD is the first time I came away thinking, “Yep, that pretty much describes him.” And the literature is terrifying — makes me feel as if there’s nothing that can be done except protect ones self and society. I would hang a bell around his neck if I could.

A Family Guy

July 8th, 2010
12:38 pm

I am a family therapist and a parent of teenagers. There certainly is a time for drawing the line, however there is not enough information in the letter to make a judgment or a recommendation about the actions taken by the mother. The letter contains many clues that I would want to follow up on; but more information is needed before drawing any conclusions. The child has been involved in therapy; has the family also been involved? Was the therapist aware that the mother was getting to the point of considering these actions? Therapy is not always the answer and is certainly not a magic bullet, but often the process can help to avoid extremes in behavior and improve the family’s ability to solve problems.

KoolAid House

July 8th, 2010
12:40 pm

@Banjo ~ I had to go back and read your story. I feel your pain. You did the right thing by taking his threats seriously. These kids snap so easily. His mother has enabled him his entire life. From the sounds of it, he probably will wind up in jail for a very long time. Your wife is also wringing her hands because she can’t see that she has failed as a parent. Indulging your child is fine to a point. However, never given him feet to stand on is problematic.

I truly wish you best. Perhaps he’ll come back on the other side of thru….

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
12:43 pm

@Banjo–read a really interesting book recently, “The Sociopath Next Door,” by Martha Stout in which the clinical psychologist estimated that four percent of the population are sociopaths, the chief symptom of which is lacking any conscience at all. A fascinating read, but heartbreaking and yes, terrifying if it’s a family member. One thing I’ve consistently read is that there’s nothing that “makes” a sociopath; they’re clearly lacking conscience from a very young age. Do you think they’ll ever find a way to treat it? I’ve not run across anything that claims to be a successful treatment for APD.

BeenThereDoneThat

July 8th, 2010
12:43 pm

I’ve been in the same situation and it’s no fun at all. No parent that loves their child ever wants to face this, but it happens. A lot of times they are influenced more by the company they are keeping, than by the believes and values instilled by the parents. My teen also faced problems with depression and we went through the counseling too. I also listend to threats of harming themselves, etc. They knew this was a touchy area and was used to manipulate me. Per our counselor’s advice-I had to learn to say “I love you and I hope that never happens,I was available if they needed help and professional help was available”. This finally stopped when the teen didn’t get the expected reaction. There was a step parent involved as well since the biologoical father was deceased. We have since divorced due to all of the issues. There is no one that can tell you 100% that your decision is the right one to make, but I would suggest that you wait until 18 yr. to do this. I was told that a 17-yr old can leave on their own if they have a place to live and the authorities will not make them return, but the parent cannot force them out of their home until 18-yr. This is abandomment and you can face charges, if reported. You set the rules of your home as the parent, and if the teen refuses to abide by the rules, or show respect to you and your spouse then you have to decide what is best for the family. You give the teen the chose to follow the rules or leave (at 18). If they choose not to follow the rules, then you didn’t kick them out, they choose to leave. It will be tough though, and there will be many worries, many doubts, many tears and many sleepless nights. ). I had many people that were not parents of teens give me their advice, which advice is always easy to give, but tough to swallow. You don’t know what you would do until you have faced the same situation. If it helps you, work with a counselor to proceed. Best of luck.

Denise

July 8th, 2010
12:48 pm

Not a parent but I do have a comment. The main issue I have with this is that she says her child has been treated for mental illness/disorders. What this mom doesn’t seem to realize is that, especially for bipolar disorder (which I have so I can speak about), treatment needs change as the disorder changes. This child may be experiencing some new symptoms of bipolar disorder that is making him/her act out. For example some people become very aggressive when they are manic. Aggression looks different for different people but definitely talking back and being beligerent (sp?) can be seen as aggressive. If her child is in a manic phase, he/she may engage in risky behavior that, if not observed by a parent, may really get him/her in a lot of trouble.

Look, I don’t know what a parent should do in most circumstance because – using MJG’s statments – I’m not even on the sidewalk, but I believe when you have a child with a mental illness, you can’t just throw them out to the wolves without first equipping them to care for themselves. I am 37 years old and was diagnosed at 22. It took a lot of trial and error to get my treatment plan straightened out and without support I wouldn’t have been able to do that and function the way I do now. (No one even believes me when I tell them I have BP disorder because I am fully functional.) These illnesses change and the treatment plans change along with the symptom changes. I think it is irresponsible for a parent to let a child fend for themselves when they are sick. I’m sure others don’t agree but that’s okay. I’m just speaking from my individual perspective triggered by a few words in the letter.

KoolAid House

July 8th, 2010
12:50 pm

@It’s a shame ~ nice twist on the book title…you are making me laugh!

motherjanegoose

July 8th, 2010
12:55 pm

@ A Family Guy…I was thinking exactly what you mentioned: we need more information.

I have parented 2 teens. Were they ever sassy, messy, rude or difficult? YES but they met up with the consequences…which ( to me) is a big problem in families today…they do not have consequences. Perhaps this Mom is just giving consequences for behavior she cannot tolerate. It is her house and thus she does have this right ( to me).

My son just moved back out after a year home with us. He is 23. He knew that living with us afforded him more financial freeddom but he did have to respect our rules. We were more lenient with him at 23 than at 15. He moved due to the 90 minute commute to work in the a.m rush hour for his 8 a.m. shift. He told me it is REALLY wierd to me in an apartment all alone. I will see him for lunch tomorrow.

I do not feel I need to earn my children’s respect when I am footing the bill. We enjoy him as an adult and he is generally considerate and reasonable.

My daughter is 18 and one of my husband’s friends just told him, ” can we switch daughters…yours seems much easier than ours…”

Again, I do not know about all kids. I parented mine with rules, expectations and consequences. It was and still is not popular or easy but just the way we do things at our house. Mine have both worked since they were 12 and pitched in for their own things. It built repsonsibility and our friends continue to comment on what nice kids we have…we know they are not nice ALL the time :).

I think there is more going on with the featured story today, in order to form an opinion but that is me.

Banjo the Siren

July 8th, 2010
1:00 pm

Thanks @Not I will check that out. Most of my reading has been online and I also read Robert Hare’s “Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us” which came up with about the same figure, maybe even higher.

Photius

July 8th, 2010
1:00 pm

I cannot judge this mother; have mercy on her. I do know this due to age and experience: sometimes a child is just flat out damaged goods regardless of parenting. It’s biological reproduction and sometimes flawed species are created from time to time. I am not trying to sound cold, but sometimes the child comes into this world bad news and will always be bad news. It happens all the time in nature. i am so sorry for this mother’s experience.

Not Going To Use My Usual Name

July 8th, 2010
1:10 pm

@Banjo–I’ll read the Hare book. Even higher?! Scary. @Photius–we hate to admit this, because it’s admitting that we have no control over it, but you’re right.

Mother of 2

July 8th, 2010
1:11 pm

I wish everyone would stop judging this mother. I have a teenaged daughter and it’s not easy. She needs her child to respect her and do what he/she is told when asked. I think that’s what she meant by not having her needs met by her child…duh. Yes her kid could be worse, yes most teenagers are unruly, but that does not mean she can’t teach her kid a lesson. I have 2 children and I have learned that what works with one child may not necessarily work for another. She has reached her breaking point with this kid and she did what she thought was best. Very few parents make decisions with the intent of screwing up their kids’ life. Give her a break. My 13 YO daughter was disrespectful toward me (yelling and screaming at me because I made her do the dishes) and I asked her to leave and after she stood outside a few hours in the dark, she changed her attitude. Tough love is hard to give, but sometimes necessary. No parent should allow drug abuse, dropping out of school, irresponsibility, or disrespect…ever. If you allow disrespect, the other offenses will soon follow.

Heartbreak

July 8th, 2010
1:35 pm

I am living a similar situation. With 3 teens all parented the same way, two are incredible with normal teenage issues. The one is out of control. Running away from home when told to study, drinking, threats and actual physical violence. Our world has been turned upside down. We go the counseling. The troubled teen refuses to go. I love this child with all of my heart, but I do not know how to reach him anymore. He repeatedly states he hates me. And then days later will ask for money to buy some toy. Which of course isn’t given.

Our family is at peace when he is living elsewhere but our family is not complete. I pray daily that he will grow out of this destructive phase before permanent harm comes to him or someone else.

I empathise with this mother. Until I lived the situation, I never belived it could be this bad and I tended to blame the parents. No more, it is in fact often the child who is to blame despite the parent’s contined intervention and support.

Banjo the Siren

July 8th, 2010
1:54 pm

@Heartbreak my heart goes out to you and you bring up an important point: your world has been turned upside down!

We got to the point where court ordered counselors were in our home 4 days out of the week. One day my daughter walked in from school, got herself a drink out of the fridge, and went to the TV — all without anybody saying a word to her as we were thrashing through my son’s crap yet again. When I realized what had happened, I quietly excused myself and went and sat with her and talked with her.

The counselor probably immediately branded me as uncooperative but my son was and is the uncooperative one. We had already been talking for an hour by the time this occurred, not to mention the days and days worth of meetings we’d already had.

From that point forward, I made it a point to say, at the start of a session, “I’ll take part in this for an hour.” Seemed fair. Then we would sit through my son’s stonewalling for 60 minutes at which point I’d politely excuse myself and go about my business. Inevitably the two — Mom & Counselor — would approach me after another hour or so and say they needed me back. First couple of times I went back only to find it to be yet another charade where they had somehow extracted a verbal agreement from my son for something or other (he’s great at verbal agreements) and wanted me to hear it. I listened and said, “Thanks, I hope that happens.”

Then after those agreements went by the wayside, I didn’t let myself get pulled back in.

Same Mom different house

July 8th, 2010
1:56 pm

I have a similar situation at home. However, what I did was start cleaning up the child’s things and throwing them out (give to charity, whatever). My child was warned that by such-and-such day, if the messes weren’t cleaned up then they were gone. If the job wasn’t done, then I did it. The key here is that you don’t replace them. I started charging for groceries (outside of staples), gas, internet, cell phone – anything I could control. It was meant to show that there is no easy ride. If the child wanted to keep these things then my child could get a job and start being responsible. If my child doesn’t go to college in the fall, then the choice is to pay me rent or be evicted. Mine is not so much dissrespectful, just pulling power plays and being passive aggressive. I could never see me kicking my child out. In some ways I think the child pushes me to the limit to see how far I would go. My love is too strong to kick the child out. However, I can make it a living hell if I want to. It is MY house and that’s it. Final. The final thought here . . . the child in the above story probably didn’t think the Mom would follow through on her threats, pushed her into a corner and wha-la. Perhaps the Mom should have the child over to talk. And I mean just talk. Not make demands on each other, not criticize, not judge. At this point, you can no longer ‘Mother’ the child. You can only guide, advise, and love. We don’t have to like our children’s behaviours or decisions; but we should always love them. Try making out a contract, whatever . . . there are always choices. One last thing . . . it took 3 weeks for my plan to start working. It was a battlefield to start. But finally there is some peace and my child knows where they stand.

Tairy Greene

July 8th, 2010
2:22 pm

@KoolAid House
The Gravy is Theirs!

deidre_NC

July 8th, 2010
2:29 pm

ok…i just in the last year finally PERMANANTLY kicked my 28 yo son out of the house for drug abuse etc. he is now serving a 5 month sentence for above said offenses. he has always been so respectful and helpful around the house….as far as respecting me as his mom we never ever had a problem. i just couldnt take the drug abuse and seeing him that way. he became addicted to pain pills due to physical problems, but would never accept or seek help for his problem. so that was that.

now….my youngest-18 yo, daughter. until she turned 14ish she was so disrespectful to me that i sent her away the summer she turned 14…to a friends house and wouldnt let her come home til 3 days before school started. even then i was looking into ways to send her to some kind of ‘brat camp’ or something. i swear i was willing to do whtever it took to get her out of my house if her disresepct continued. it was so bad her friends would even great on her about it. i cant even begin to tell you how bad it was. when she came home at the end of that summer she was like a different kid. she is very headstrng, and we will still have some problems with her disrespect, which she now at least admits and apologises for. she was diagnosed as border line bi polar…went to a therapist etc….she stopped going to a therapist because she said it was a waste of time and money since he mostly just told her the same things i told her lol…she even admits now that she was a monster and has no idea why she hated me so much. it was the weirdest most hurtful few years anyone could have. she is 18 now and we get along fine. she is an adult and responsible for herself mostly. she really always has been. not into drugs etc…she learned that lesson from her older brothers…but she has worked at any job she could since she was 12 and made honor roll alll thru highschool and now college. but the disrespect was incredibly off the charts.

there is a lot missing from the moms letter….the fact that her child is bipolar means that there is compesation that should be made in certian circumstances. but no one should have to accept total disrespect in their homes. im not sure what the answer is…i couldnt just kick my teenage child out without some backup plan as to where they would go….heck..it took me til my son was 28 ti kick him out. but really.,..if you are going to be miserable when they are there and miserable when they are gone you just have to figure out which miserable you can live with.
my 2 older kids were a different story…they were fine but they kived between their dad and i….they disresepcted him more than they did me. go figure. who can figure out kids. and it is hard to ground a 17yo…by law they can leave and there is nothing you can do about it. at least here in NC that is the law. parents are responsible til they are 18 but they have no real authority after they turn 16. stupid law.

Banjo the Siren

July 8th, 2010
2:33 pm

I’m disturbed by mentions of laws that children can leave at 17 and the parents can’t stop them. I would love it if it were true and would work toward that end with my son, who’s about to turn 17. But…aren’t there also statutes that a parent is responsible for the actions of his minor child? If my child leaves and I can’t say anything, then continues his criminal ways, am I on the hook?

KoolAid House

July 8th, 2010
2:42 pm

I think so, but I’m just an aspiring lawyer in my own mind. The parents can be held liable for the action of their minor children.

deidre_NC

July 8th, 2010
2:43 pm

i also want to say to this mother…i am sorry you have to go thru this. people who havent had a monster child have no idea. and a lot of parents who think they have a monster child also have no idea. judging her is not a way to help. im curious as to what the therapist has to say about the disrespect. and as far as the kid not doing drugs or drinking etc….total blatant disrespect can be as bad or worse. if you havent lived with this then dont judge please. i also agree with photius—some kids just wont ever be ok. it is sad and heartbreaking but true. i worry that my son will never be ok. when he gets out of jail (this isnt the first time) he will be fine..he will work and be wonderful as he is a great person…then that drug will call his name again and boom..itll start all over again. but it wont start here. and that breaks my heart so much. i miss him. i have missed him for a long time. even when he was living here. because he was not my son…he was a drug addict.
my daughter still lives here…and she pretty much does her own thing. she lets me know where she is and if she is staying at a friends house. and she contributes to the house work and pretty much supports herself (not rent-but all her ’stuff’) but i can so understand this woman not liking her daughter. i have allways loved my daughter more than life…but for a few years i couldnt stand her. sorry if that offends. yall didnt have to live with her. she is becoming a great friend now…so maybe this will give this woman some hope..my daughter just went thru this earlier.

deidre_NC

July 8th, 2010
2:48 pm

banjo….i am in NC and the law here states that i am responsible until they reach the age of 18….but at 16 they have rights that supercede the parents. for instance,,.i took my son to be drug tested when he was 17 and was told that he had to give me persmission to see the results because he was over 16…i tried to have him commited to a rehab while he was under my insruance and could afford it…only to be told he was over 16 and he had to agree. i was livid. im not sure of GA laws…or whereever you are….but that is NC for you. and yes it is very disturbing. extremely. i cant remember ever being so mad and upset that i couldnt help my son because he had waited til he was over 16yo to start this crap.

Banjo the Siren

July 8th, 2010
2:53 pm

Thanks. Sounds like I need to consult a lawyer!

KoolAid House

July 8th, 2010
3:02 pm

@Banjo ~ I can recall in detail the day my 5 year old stole 4 books out of Publix. She politely put them behind her back while I was going up and down the aisle placing food in the cart. Went to checkout and asked her about the books. She said she laid them on the self (1st lie). Yes, I saw them behind her back but waited to see what she would do. Place the bags in cart and walked out the store. Before arriving to the car I asked about the books again. Repeated the same thing. I asked what was behind her back and she started crying. I placed my groceries in the car and we walked right back into Publix. I gave the books to the manager and walked over to where 2 uniformed offers were standing. I told them what had happened and to explain to this frightened child what could happen. The first thing out of their mouth was “your mother can go to jail for you since you’re a minor.” They talked to her and commended me for bringing her to them. She asked that I not tell her father and I never have. She’ll be 16 in one month!

Mom

July 8th, 2010
3:19 pm

I agree with Young@heart
I would not throw my kids out. One has to think before planning to have kids.
Love should be unconditional. Respect has to be earned.
Tender love and Care should be provided no matter what.
Instead throwing your kids out, you should try to figure out why is your teenager acting this way.
It’s something missing, father is not in touch anymore, the mother has someone else in her life etc.

Heartbreak

July 8th, 2010
3:24 pm

@Mom, Until you have lived the situation and done everything in your power to try and help your child, please do not judge this mother. I am sure she has done everything she could and this child still chose to act, react the way he has. Those who haven’t lived this, have no idea that it is often not the parents, but the child. I too was guilty of this until I was hit squarely in the face with the situation.

She has had this child in counseling for years and I am sure has tried to understand why he/she acts this way. Sometimes, it is not the parent, but the child who is to blame.

Banjo the Siren

July 8th, 2010
3:49 pm

@Mom, with all due respect, I felt the same way until my son started threatening to “f*ing kill me” and physically attacking and intimidating me. He had been abusing me for years prior to that, but this was the last straw. His mother, whom he still abuses, feels the way you do and lectures me in a manner similar to what you’re doing. However, signing a Birth Certificate is not the same as signing a suicide note. My son is a very disturbed young man and he only gets worse around me. I might actually be doing him a favor by having him elsewhere.

JATL

July 8th, 2010
3:53 pm

@Banjo -that’s what I posted and one (of the many) points “Not gonna use my real name” has been trying to get across -forget DFACS -if you have a child under age 18, and that child does something criminal -YOU can be held liable! Kind of like prosecuting bartenders for an idiot who kills someone while driving drunk. It happens -not always -but it can happen. Many cases involving this depend on the judge and the situation, but that minor can get you in a whole lot of trouble if they’re up to criminal activity. I think you’re in the worst position if you’ve kicked the kid out and not provided a place for him and he then goes and steals, etc. because he needs money -that type of thing. It’s a dicey situation before they turn 18, but you cannot count on NOT being held responsible.

Mattie

July 8th, 2010
4:06 pm

Marriage vows have us promising to stay through “sickness and in health”. Should parenthood require any less?

KoolAid House

July 8th, 2010
4:52 pm

EXCELLENT POINT, MATTIE….EXCELLENT POINT!!!!

catlady

July 8th, 2010
6:53 pm

I have a strong willed and bipolar daughter myself. I did not recognize it as such. It never reached the levels described, however. She is a very focused, high achieving young adult.

Has the child been tested for drugs? Had the mother thought of a commitment to an adolescent behavior program? How does the mother know the child is a virgin/nondrinker?

The mother may want to legally make the child an adult. I think you can do that. I would be concerned that I would be liable for the child’s unpredictable/unacceptable behavior unless the child was legally emancipated. With the new rules governing insuring a child under 26, I don’t know if/how her mental (and physical) health insurance would be affected. An attorney would be a good expense right now.

It might be telling HOW the child was put out of the home. In a fit of temper? Or was it a reasoned discussion, so the child could make plans?

I have a friend whose daughter is like this (I think she suffers from depression, but has never had treatment.) She is 23. Her parents’ lives are miserable. They are fearful that she will commit suicide. She threatened it when she was 12. So she screams and gets her way.

I really feel for this mother and her child. And for her marriage.

Dore Frances, M.A.

July 8th, 2010
8:19 pm

Parents: Please Don’t Throw Your Teen Out.We’ve all heard of hormones, oh, yea, we’ve all experienced at one point in our life or another changes we ourselves go through. And we don’t usually take it lightly. We tend to fuss and complain about it, we are moody and irritable: it can get scary even for us. Nevertheless, we have an idea of what is going on, we have resources and the option to seek help, advice, support. Once again, our children, going through such dramatic changes in their lives, lack the ability to understand what it going on, and the experience to express themselves accordingly. Since they are still very self-centered they are under the complete assumption that it is only happening to them, therefore they are even less likely to express themselves or ask questions. More so, their still primitive level of awareness prevents them from coming forth in articulating and communicating to us what they might be feeling or fearing. During that time, much like they have done knowingly and unknowingly since the day they were born, they are looking to us to for answers and for the interpretation of the occurrences; they want us to fix it for them, and bail them out of this misery. But they don’t know how to ask.We, parents, are under a magnifying glass and if you think your children are deaf and blind to you, you are greatly mistaken. They are actually more tuned to you than ever, except that now they have a thought process that allows them to judge and criticize you like never before. And they use it freely, happily, and as often as they can, regardless of the consequences. Get help. Don’t throw your children away.

Dore. E. Frances, M.A.
http://www.Horizonfamilysolutions.com

[...] Mom threw teen out of the house: When is enough enough?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Her battle with her disrespectful teenager had reached critical mass and she had told her almost 18-year-old they were no longer welcome at home. The mother … [...]

BlondeHoney

July 8th, 2010
8:56 pm

Wow…I really feel for the mom and appreciate her clarification of the “not meeting my needs” comments. My two boys went through the normal teenage rebellious phases and the younger gave me far more issues than his older brother; rebellious, strong willed, talking back, refusing to pick up after himself, etc. I can’t say I went through what this mom is going through so I will not judge. I will say though that the fact the child graduated, has a college plan, does not have drug issues, AND is bi-polar is disturbing…I hope mom has her child re-evaluated for meds as a previous poster suggested. MJG, always good to hear from you and the boy who was my most problem child as a teenager is now a Navy officer graduating from the Navy’s Nuclear Power School tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Charleston at the Naval Weapons Station.

ZachsMom

July 8th, 2010
9:12 pm

That mom is telling my story also. Childs behavior destroyed my 1st marriage (to his father) and he is working on destroying my current marriange. 11 years of therpy for all of us….dozens of different drugs…3 years at a residential treatment facility. Those 3 years were the most peaceful that I had had since Zach was born. I will always love my child. It is hard when you don’t know which child you will get every morning when you wake up. The nice, polite engaging one or the one that wakes up hating the world and the first thing out his mouth in the am is %^&^% you mom.

People who have never lived with a child like this do not understand how hard it is. I have lost friendships, jobs and the chance to go to school to get a better job. I pray everynight that I will wake up with the “normal” child and not the “monster”

motherjanegoose

July 9th, 2010
4:49 am

@ Blonde Honey….CONGRATS and enjoy our day! My husband was Navy!

Heartbroken

July 14th, 2010
1:20 am

Enter your comments here

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July 14th, 2010
8:18 pm

Monique

July 15th, 2010
8:43 am

I wholeheartedly support your decision to lay down the law in your home. To be safe I would have placed a PINS warrant on the child before tossing them out; that way you would have the backing of the legal system should anything occur. I have 3 children with some variation of ADHD and the middle one is definitely a delinquent in the making. We have explained to this child if there is not a rapid attitude adjustment they will be escorted out of my home…and this was at the age of 13. One visit from the police and one visit to family court later, my child has seen the light and is working very hard on attitude adjustment. Once my child realized we were serious about the PINS warrant, the attempt at being a functioning member of society began in earnest. All children – regardless of diagnosis – should know that disrespect and lawlessness will not be tolerated on any level in their parents’ home and should be reminded that our negative reactions are a direct response to their misdeeds. I applaud you for taking back control.

GI Dolly...Henry Hates McBerry

July 15th, 2010
10:55 pm

Get rid of the animal if you or your husband can’t take care of it. Tell your husband to take care of the outside chores, and you do the inside chores. What will happen when you have to do this yourself? You are responsible for meeting your own needs and happiness.

I have to do everything, as I have a teen and a ten year old when they are in school. I wish I had the luxuary of a husband to do anything. My kids dad died a few years back, so there really isn’t anyone else. I am self reliant, but love the time I spend with my kids. They get a small allowance if they do chores, and they stay home if they don’t. They often go to friend’s homes or just to hang out with friends over. I have commanded respect and for them to obey anything I tell them. They both get good grades in school and do homework promptly. I am not their friend, but their parent. They don’t have phones, or TV’s in their rooms, or any computers.

Amy Johnson

July 18th, 2010
11:38 pm

Looking through most of these I can see why the kids that have worked for me are so nuts. The original poster did the right thing by tossing out a “child” that is only a few months shy of 18. The job of a parent is to teach their children right from wrong and prepare them for the real world.

It is better for child to learn at 18 that there are consequences for mouthing off and be disrespectful. I would rather have my child learn that 18 than being fired for being for being Insubordinate once they have real responsibilities. It’s a lot easier to recover from being kicked out than it is to recover from being fired.

The “parents” that would tolerate being disrespected in a their own homes, need to have their heads examined. I have been on both sides of the fence. My parents kicked me out the summer before my senior year in college and it tought me a very valuable less. I was allowed to come back but not if I couldn’t follow the rules. I have recently kicked my own child out because she wanted to rule the roost. Not going to happen here ever. My house my rules you don’t like it don’t let the door hit you, where the dog should have bit. If you’re in my house I don’t have to earn respect. Any parents that think that good luck because junior will be at home forever.