Beyond upset with son and no idea what to do any more!

Rachel - posted on 11/11/2013 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I just had the most horrific weekend ever. I cannot even began to say how upset I'm with everything.
Colby, my son from my first marriage was unable to stay with his father because his father's health problem was quickly declining. We all decided that it was best for Colby to move back to USA to live with my family and me. Ever since he moved from France where he was living with his father, it seems like as if nothing has been going good.

Ever since he moved back here, thing have got worse. He doesn't get along with his step brother or half brother or sister at all! He even took his step brother's job from my father which forced my step son to find other job and doesn't get paid as well. He also doesn't seems to really have any friends here except for few exchange students and most time he speak to them in other language.
We used to let him to go the beach (two hours drive from here) but when we start to try limit it due to his poor behave, he began to sneak out repeatedly and often didn't come home for a day or two (he almost always go out during the weekend)
We have tried to set alarm, screw window screen to frame, sleep in living room (his bedroom is on second floor), and numerous other things. Yet he still got out without anybody knowing until the morning. We have tried to take his car key away which doesn't help at all.
We took his phone away then found out he had a prepaid phone. We took away some of his beach stuff which just make thing worse.
We have been considering try stop him from working for his grandfather, but we're afraid becuase he have been more than able to make money by either making bets (which had lead to few serious fight) or buying broken stuff and selling it on craigslist. So we're worried if we stop him from working, he'd just find worse way to make money.
In school, he do well in class and rarely get anything less than a "A" on test or quix but his grade suffer because he never do any home work! He says it is pointless so he wouldn't do it! We have tried everything, but he just refuse to do it!

On Friday, Colby disappear right after work. Then I got a call from Colby's father, he was furious at me. I learned that Colby actually do have a facebook account under his French modified name. I found it and saw a lot of pictures of him at the beach with this older girl that he have been hanging out with since July. Also I learned that Colby somehow got a motorcycle not long after we took his car key. Also he seems to have another older female friend that he hang out with when in the city we are in as well.
I end up called Colby to ask what is this about and told him to get home right now. He just told me he'd be home on MOnday evening and hung up! He keep ignoring my phone call or just make it quite short and brief!
It is getting pretty late and I know Colby will be home soon.
I'm just beyond furious right now. I don't even know what to do any more! I just feel like it is impossible to get anything through to him and I'm beyond upset! I've never felt so lost and don't even know what to do any more!

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Jeanette - posted on 11/13/2013

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Hi this young boy sounds just like I was when I was his age, tho I was moved from my mums to my dads (similar situation). TBf I didn't know how I felt at the time and wanted to just be with my friends as I felt like I wasn't wanted by my step mum and other family. Nothing would have changed my behaviour no matter what. Only age and growing up made me understand a little more. If I'm honest I think the more you restrict things the more he will resent you and stay away. Just try and be there for him, sadly he will learn from his own mistakes, but realising you are there when he does will be when things change xx

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Rachel - posted on 11/13/2013

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Believe me, we have done so much for him. The reason we have to come down on him hard is because he was using everything we gave to do things he shouldn't be doing.
My husband pretty much give him all accessible to tools and the garage once we learned he have gift of fixing things. In end he buy stuff then fix it then sell it and it wasn't good enough, he start to go around making bet to win even more money which led to a lot of trouble.
There has been a time when he made bet with his stepbrother that got them in some trouble. For example, he once made a $25 bet with step brother that he'd get knocked out if a 5 pound bag of flour got dropped on his head from 10 ft. Of course he took that bet and got knocked out and made a huge mess then when Colby didn't got paid, he end up attacked his step brother so bad that he had to run away and call us!
He did something with one of the neighbor's kid and when he didn't got paid, the kid was hiding for weeks and Colby somehow managed to lure him out and attacked him.
He's doing similar thing at school now and was even told that he is good at making it look like as if he's losing bet regularly then suddenly bid huge number on something that look impossible only to get even more in return.

As for job, he was supposed to only work if his step brother cannot work. But his grandfather offered him a job and he took it without even talking to anybody about it, leaving his step brother without a job. When we confronted him about it, he was like "If he want the job bad enough, he'd have worked harder" and refuse to compromise. Now my step son is working at burger king and hating it and have been asking for more money because he doesn't make as much now! That's not okay in our eyes!

We used to allows him to go to the beach until he start to coming home later and later than usual and ignoring us when we say he have to be home at certain time. If we tried to talk to him about it, he keep says thing come up or that he doesn't want to drive all way there just to rush through everything then come back. If we told him that he have to do it or we'd not let him go anymore, he says he will find a way!
We took his fins in hope he'd start to listen to us so he can earn it back, now everything is out of his room.
We took his phone and now he have new one that we never saw or found!
Then he start to sneaking out which is totally unacceptable and to make it worse, he somehow got around everything we tried. We have tried alarm, we have tried to made it impossible for him to open windows, we have tried many things yet he got pass them all eventually and refuse to tell us how he did it.
This just go on to show us that he doesn't have any respect for our rules or request and isn't willing to work with us. He pretty much say what he will do and refused to compromise.

Colby doesn't show most people of his age or younger much of respect at all. He never ever paid any attention to any of his siblings when he visited in the past. As soon as he moved in, all of the kids were trying to be nice to him and helpful, he just ignored them and doesn't want anything to do with them.
At school he mostly only hang out with other foreign students but never outside of school.
We also suspect he spend more time with this older girl whenever he go to the coast and occassionally with this other older girl who apparentaly live in our area.
I don't think it is right for a 16 years old guy to be with a girl in their early 20s, let lone more than one. I also suspect Colby is lying to them about who he is.

Then on top of that he got a motorcycle without us knowing when we took his car key away for most part. So it cannot exactly be registered or insured or anything.
Just last night, we found out he smoke cigars with his grandfather occassionally! When asked about it, his grandfather just shrug and say Colby is a responsible adult so let him be! Colby's respond was "better cigars once in blue moon than cigarettes"!
That's just going way too far!

It isn't we don't try to do thing for him. It have more to do with the fact that the moment we take our eyes off him, he is up to something else! So we have to really stay on top of him otherwise thing will just get really bad.

Helen - posted on 11/13/2013

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Reading this, I felt very sad for this young man who has been uprooted at a difficult age and who will be worrying about his father. I cannot read welcome or love for him in his new home, except perhaps from his grandfather who gave him a job. Could you not try loving him more rather than arguing and withdrawing privileges? Love and attention works wonders even with a sixteen year old. You are his mother! Try to find things to praise, smile at him, spend time with him and help him form a relationship with his new family.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/12/2013

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Perhaps you should have explained the expectations that you have for him before arbitrarily deciding to completely uproot him from his father, home country, and friends!

You brought him from a society that doesn't have as many restrictions into one that you want to impose multiple restrictions upon him. You can't do that without first explaining to him what is going to happen, and preparing him for the different levels of restriction in different countries.

I'm not surprised he's acting out, not at all. Get some counseling. He needs individual, joint with you, and family for blending. You and your current spouse need counseling on blending families, as well as the family needing to go together.

Best of luck.

Sarah - posted on 11/12/2013

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Have you tried talking to him about the value of being a respectable young man? At this age, in addition to consequences, you need to also give him aspirations and reasons to do otherwise.

Rachel - posted on 11/11/2013

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Like as I say, we took his phone away and he got prepaid one and hide it very well, then we took away his fin then he took everything out of his room and hide them.
He doesn't care for video game or television, so grounding him from them do no good especially since he doesn't even have any.
We have took his car key and he end up got a motorcycle behind our back somehow and managed to keep it hidden until few days ago.
We tried to set a few different alarms to keep him from sneak out and he got past it somehow. We even screwed his screens shut so he cannot push it out yet he got out somehow.
During weekday, he mostly go to school then straight to work then come home. He's good about doing chores even if we give him extra chores as punishment, he do it no problem.
Yet when weekend come around or it come to time for him to do homework, thing get bad.

AS for rest of the kids, they all listen and are well behaving. So it is just him.

Ev - posted on 11/11/2013

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It sounds like he thinks he can do things that he wants to whenever and however he wants to do it. You need to really lay the ground work down because it does not sound like you are trying hard enough. You seem like you tell him not to do it and then he gets to do it anyway because you do not stop him. You let him walk all over you. I do not know what kind of advice to give because even though he is 16 like my son is, my son listens to me and does as he is told for the most part.

Rachel - posted on 11/11/2013

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Well when he lived in France, his father was gone a lot and kids of his age over there tend to be more mature so he was pretty much running around with little restriction for most part. Also he lived right on coast so he would spend a lot of the time at beach which is why we used to allow him to go to the beach.

He also have been boxing since he was 11 but then stopped once he got here. He says he doesn't like the boxing place nearby.

We have tried to talk to him a lot. He always have excuses or think he is right about everything. Grounding him doesn't work as he just ignore us and walk away.
We have took his swimming fins away and he was beyond upset and that's when he took everything out of his room and hide them somewhere.

As for reporting him to the police, we have tried it before, but it didn't help. He would send us text to let us know that he's out or give vague description about where he is to make it harder for him to be considered as a run away.

Honestly I'm really surprise he still come back to go to school and have never had a problem with skipping school which I'm very grateful for. He's very good about working as well so it kind of give us a bit mind of peace.
However I'm starting to dread weekend because something always happen.

Ev - posted on 11/11/2013

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Did you make him accountable for them besides taking the phone away when he went against them? You know that you could report him as a runaway to the police department because until he is 18, he is a minor and subject to your choices for him. It sounds like he had freedoms in France he would not be getting here. Or was he very indulged there and expects it here?

Rachel - posted on 11/11/2013

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Yes we had rules before he got here. He was good about following them at first then he just stop.

Ev - posted on 11/11/2013

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Did you have some rules set up when he first got here that all the kids have to follow?

Rachel - posted on 11/11/2013

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Before anyone bring it up, he doesn't play video games, watch tv, or spend much time on computer at all! So taking away things is pretty much out of question for most part.

Since he got here, he have never once touch video game or television.
We have took his phone away and like as I say, he replace it with prepaid phone that he hide very well.
We have went through his room a few times and can never really found anything! He's very meticulous about every thing.

If we ground him, he just sneak out.

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