Lydia - posted on 09/20/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )
HI, My son who is 16 was always a kind, thoughtful, and overall nice kid. He is quirky and always had difficulty making friends and I know that made him sad, but despite putting him in different activities and being very active in scouts he never connected with kids cause he was sort of an odd ball. He does have ADD so he is never quite on the ball and I believe he may be on the autism spectrum. Until last year he was a straight A student and as a freshman got an A in AP physics. earning a 4.6 gpa. Dream kid right? Then everything changed.....
He made friends with some kids who are involved with drugs, many of whom don't even attend school anymore. I can see the dynamic...they use him for money (he admits that always buys them food etc, and he is always running after them). They have however introduced him to pot and alcohol which he now seems to use frequently. He has stopped doing his school work and even though he has dropped from honors to gen ed classes he is still failing half of his classes due to not doing any work. We have caught him with pot and we have grounded him various times, he has gone out past 10 pm and we have taken his phone. etc. It seems he doesn;t care, He tells my husband and myself that he believes there is nothing wrong with pot and intends to continue to have it as a regular part of his day. He insists that his friends are wonderful and care about him however when caught with alcohol my son took the guilt as it was in his backpack. His "friends" wrote his last name on his backpack it in big letters and of course he always is the kid who holds the alcohol. They then praised him for taking the ticket like a champ because since they have been to juvenile court they would have harsher punishments.
I feel like I am watching a trainwreck in slow motion. My son insists they are his good friends and just can't see what is so obvious to everyone else.
He still attends school and because he is naturally gifted in math he does have an A in honors pre calculus because even though he doesn't hand any homework in he still gets perfect scores on all tests so the teacher excuses his missing work. His other courses are C or F. and probably will continue downward. Socially he has adopted a very burnout persona and look with his long hair and wearing consistently dirty white undershirts to look as gangster as possible.
He is just a project short of earning his boy scout Eagle status, which he now no longer wants to do and has stopped all boy scout activities.
His father and I are divorced . I have been living in CA with my son, daughter and new husband since 2010 and his dad lives in VA. I am afraid that my son cannot resist these kids and their influence so I am considering sending him to live with his dad. My dilemma is that I know that his dad will not provide supervision and pretty much will let him do anything he wants, which I know is bad, however at least he wont be around his new "friends" and has a chance to reinvent himself.
So here is the question:
Is a 16 year old boy getting involved with drugs better off in a structured home but surrounded by very bad friends (drug users and criminals) or in a new environment without much structure but with an opportunity to cultivate a new network.
Of course my son would prefer to stay with us he refuses to give up drugs and his friends. I hate to let him go, but feel that I cannot help him here. Any one else been through this??? I would love to hear from you.