out of control 17 year old son

Betty - posted on 04/20/2017 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are at our wits end. We raised our son in church, he is homeschooled. We have bent over backwards for him and he just keeps getting worse. Our house rules have always been very clear, but for the last year and a half he has deliberately broken 90% of them. He cusses us, drinks and smokes. We have repeatedly asked him not to.We remined him it's illegal. He says our rules and the laws are stupid and he doesn't care if he gets caught.He comes in our room and steals stuff when we aren't looking.He comes and goes as he pleases. Refuses to tell us where he's going. If we try and tell him no, he cusses at us and threatens to move out. Makes us feel like the worst parents on the planet, guilt trips us. No matter what we do for him he is ungrateful, disrespectful, disobedient and rude. He calls us names. He stays out all hours of the night, unlocks the door and sneaks his friends in, who are also very rude and disrespectful. He tries to dictate what my husband and I do,he tries to dictate what food we buy. He refuses to get a job and cusses us when we don't give him money or buy him stuff he wants, or if we don't rent a certain movie, or if we do not buy him a 2 liter soda every day. And God forbid his dad and I go anywhere or want to. He's been in trouble with the law and expects us to take care of the fines, because to him, that's what we are supposed to do. We can't take anymore.

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JL - posted on 04/23/2017

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Hello Betty,

Prayfully, here are the thoughts that came to me after reading this: do you and your husband seeking counselling of any sort concerning this or other issues? If not, you may want to do so, and there are numerous possibilities first being with your church if they have licensed family counselling or local Christian psychologists (as you mentioned church, I assume you may prefer them.) Also, if you haven't read the book on Boundaries with children or Boundaries in general, I'd highly recommend it, as a fe others have already mentioned, you may be enabling him and it's easier to see how when you see it objectively through different eyes. Here's their site for free videos too: http://www.boundariesbooks.com/videos/ Lastly, here an article on "tough love philosophy" of Dr. Dobson (who you've likely heard of from Focus on the Family (who also have counselling resources). https://www.verywell.com/tough-love-in-parenting-troubled-teens-2610430 I'd start here first (if you haven't already and then see what wise counselling and the Holy Spirit lead as follow up steps. I'll keep you and yours in prayer!

Sarah - posted on 04/21/2017

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Hang in there Betty and no matter how hard you find it to enforce some tough rules, you are doing him a favor. Imagine prison; three hots and a cot? Technically you only have to give him that much as well. We had one instance of awful behavior from our eldest at 15 and he ended up with a bare bedroom, a pillow, blanket, clean school uniform, flashlight and that's it; no door, phone, computer ....nothing. He is almost 21 now and thriving! Act now, before it is too late. If he wants the help you are willing to give him then he must learn to follow you rules

Michelle - posted on 04/21/2017

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I agree with Sarah, by the sound of your post, you are enabling the behaviour and it means he won't stop.
Time to get tough and only provide a roof over his head and food to eat. It doesn't even have to be exotic food, rice, beans and a bit of protein is all that the body needs. If he wants anything else he can get a job and pay for it himself.

When a parent writes: "No matter what we do for him he is ungrateful, disrespectful, disobedient and rude." It screams that the parents have done everything for the child and not enforced consequences.

Sarah - posted on 04/20/2017

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What consequences has he faced for any of his actions? You don't have to provide him anything but a roof over his head and food to live. So why not strip away the perks he thinks are his rights and let him earn them back. If he leaves, report it to the police, but don't stop him. When he turns 18, he'd be able to move out anyway. If he is arrested, leave him, if he has fines to pay make him pay them or face the consequences. He needs to learn that life is not a walk in the park

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