What Can I Do About My 15 Y/o Son Being Home Alone and Can't Be Trusted?

Updated on November 06, 2009
A.A. asks from Lewisville, TX
6 answers

I really don't know where to start. My son is ALWAYS IN trouble either for grades, or behavior, anyway, I go to school at night (college in downtown Dallas) and so he is at home alone. I can't take him with me. He is not allowed on the computer when grounded but he sneaks..I have to take the keyboard with me. Everyday its either an email from a teacher saying he didnt turn something in or something else. I really think I need to have someone here to keep an eye on him It is starting to cause problems with my marriage.anyone have any suggestions?

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answers from Dallas on

Looking at your previous posts, I'm a bit confused. You were going through a divorce a year ago. Did you reconcile? And now your son is causing marital problems?

Also, your son and his girlfriend seem to be expecting twins for Christmas. Does he have a plan?

At this stage, I would say it's imperative to get your son counseling. The counselors can probably make suggestions on schoolwork, discipline, him becoming a parent, etc.


answers from Dallas on

It's hard to know from what you wrote how far off track your son is. Most teens challenge us, and yes, leaving them alone to their own devices is a bad idea if they can't be trusted. So I loved the gal who suggested a babysitter. That is a natural consequence to his actions. He will scream, "You don't trust me,".......which of course is true, so you can just tell him you love him. Now, if he is truly "always" in trouble then you may need to take a few extra steps to get him in line. Depending on how bad it is:
#1-Read the Love and Logic Books. They will help you know appropriate consequences and how to avoid anger.
#2-Carefully monitor where he is and who he is with. He won't like this of course.
#3-Figure out if he is struggling in school because it is hard for him (an un-diagnosed learning difference) or whether he just doesn't care. Consider changing schools, getting him tutoring if it is difficult. Help him by offering positive incentives if he does well rather than scolding him if he does poorly. If it is that he doesn't care, why? Talk to him. Tell him you love him and want him to do well in life. Tell him why you think school is important and let him know you want to help him, but don't lecture him. If he does poorly be sorry for him, but don't act disappointed IN him.
#4-If he isn't in any club or activity, encourage one. Be sure to find something he CAN excel at. Be it sports, playing a guitar, a video game champ.......encourage a video club at your house if you have to. This will keep him home where you can keep an eye.
#5-If he is truly out of your control then seek intervention. I did a google search and came up with this website: http://www.focusas.com/Texas.html

As far as your marriage. If you can afford it a little family counseling could go a long way. 1-3 visits could make a huge difference. Talk to someone at your place of worship if money is tight.

Hang in there. I'm sure your son is worth it! Most teenagers challenge their parents. The most trusted kids seem to slip a little in their teens. You might tell your boy that you know how hard it is to be a teen, but that you will help him and it will get better.



answers from Dallas on

Why not try a babysitter? What area are you in? There are several people from our church that are great with kids and teens. Have you also thought about a good church for your family? Our church offers Next Generation for kids his age, it is a christian church and my kids love it there, (mine are younger but everyone I see there feels at home and it is like family). Please message me back if you want to talk.



answers from Dallas on

I don't have any advice for you as a mom, but I remember what my parents did with my brother at that age. My brother was always the golden child until he hit his teens. Then he was lying and sneaking various things. A few mistakes that I observed my parents make with him were: a) being hippocritical...did you do it when you were that age? how did your parents handle things, and what would you do differently
b)choose your battles. don't sweat the small stuff...but stick to your guns on big things like grades.
c) figure out what he really wants. If he is rebelling because he hates TX, then maybe he should go back to CA. One of my friends recently had her son tell her he wanted to go live with his dad, so she let him. Next visit, he said he changed his mind and wanted to move back with her.
d) take him to a counselor. I know it sounds lame, but sometimes parents aren't the best at figuring out what their kids need/want. So find a younger counselor (mid20s), and see if they can at least be a go-between in figuring stuff out.

Most of all, just keep your head up. Make sure that what you do is in his best interest and that you do it all out of love. I know it sounds cheesy, but its true. My parents chose to punish my brother for things they were guilty of doing, which just escalated the problem. Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

Is taking him with you an option?



answers from Dallas on

Hire an adult companion to be there and if you can't afford that, quit school for now. Don't worry about the trust issue. You're not supposed to trust a teenager. they are not mature enough to make good decisions.

Seriously, kids that age that are having problems are at high risk for drugs, getting girls pregnant, stealing, vandalism, etc. If you think you can't afford a "sitter," think about the cost for drug addiction or paying his fines or his damages, or having a child out of wedlock. Pay now or pay more later.

Counseling is needed. See if he is A.D.D. or anything where he could get help. The MHMR can help with that (for free or a small percentage based on your income).

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