October 29, 2009

There is nothing I can say or do to help her.

At this point, all I can do is listen. 

My co-worker came to me this morning with another grim tale about her son.  She acknowledged that she is the primary cause for him behaving the way he does – i.e., overcompensating for his lack of a father, being too accommodating, etc.  But she doesn’t know how to reverse it.  She’s also afraid that if she puts the discipline down too hard he will shut her out completely; as he has his father.  Privately, I’m leaning toward putting the hammer down; I doubt seriously if he would shut her out – he knows she loves him and takes care of him; whereas his father did not.

If she tells him that his only choice is to follow her rules or go live with his father; he replies that he wouldn’t stay at that house even if someone forced him there.

If she tells him he can’t go somewhere or do something – he walks out and does it anyway.  She can’t physically stop him.

She has absolutely no leverage and he ignores what she says.  She is all alone in this fight.

I’ve given her all the advice I know to give.  My heart is breaking for her.

Last night he and a friend (who was staying with them) left the house at 12:30 pm.  They do not live in the ‘hood; but it’s not the safest neighborhood either.  She yelled from her room to ask where they were going; it’s a school night, etc.  He yelled that they’d be right back and left.

An hour later they still weren’t home.  She jumped in the car and began driving through the neighborhood.  She found them.  They had walked to a convenience store 20 minutes away and were on their way back.

Needless to say her son was furious that she dared to come looking for them.  He sent her a nasty text last night that she received this morning that basically told her to never, ever come looking for him like that again.

She said he picks arguments with her (she thinks) so that he can feel justified in picking up his dinner and eating in his room.

I suggested counseling.  She said he won’t go.  I told her that maybe she should go that maybe they could give her advice as to how to deal with this kid.

I’m at a total loss.  Is there anybody out there who has been in this position?  Or does anybody have any suggestions that I can offer her?  She is a single mom.  The father lives 3 hours away and he and the son don’t speak – at all.  The only male role models around this kid are his frail, old grandfather and his uncle who has a lot of disorders.

Sounds to me like this kid has a bunch of issues and needs to see a counselor; but what would be the point if he wouldn’t talk?


  1. That is tough.

    I think counseling would help them out a lot.

  2. Wow. You don't say how old he is. Does he have good days as well? It's true...she can't forcibly make him go to counseling. Thing is, is he in school? Working?
    If he's in high school, maybe she can find a p/t job for him doing something HE likes to do...and she cud befriend a guy there who may be able to relate to him.
    I find that parenting teens is no diff from parenting toddlers. Believe it or not, they still want boundaries set and they WILL respect them. I realize I'm probably not helping much. You're a good friend for trying to help her.

  3. He's 16. He is in school and apparently doing okay there. Yes boundaries should have been set long ago - but now he doesn't seem to think he has any. She overheard his friend say, "What about your mom?" and he replied, "What about her? What's she going to do? Stop me?" Yes, counseling would help.

    At this point, I want to bring him here and show him what boundaries are! It really hurts me to see friends going thru so much shit!

  4. She needs to get a hair sample for a drug test. I think he is on something. I know the kids like to hook up at a local convenience store down the street to exchange money/drugs from the school where I work.

    If she is looking for a counselor's name, her school could give her some suggestions of local psychs that have been successful for them. I am concerned for her safety. She needs to talk to someone about his behavior to help her set boundaries.

    .... she does not want to be a doormat and is losing him anyway by allowing him to do as he pleases. I would not be fixing this spoiled child dinner. No way!!

  5. Hit 40 - that's EXACTLY what I told her about dinner. I wouldn't do a damn thing for this kid; wouldn't cook, wash... anything. If nothing else, she needs to see a counselor to get her head around all this. ::sigh:: I feel WAY too much for her, but can't make her change her ways. She continues to cater to him....

  6. No advice....just feeling for her and for you for worrying about it. X