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Ask Dr. Ed Wilfong Your Own Question

Dr. Ed Wilfong
Dr. Ed Wilfong, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1528
Experience:  Twenty-five years treating all ages; Specialities: psychopharmacology & diagnosis, MMPI-2, testing.
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My son is 15 years old and is experimenting with marijuana

Resolved Question:

My son is 15 years old and is experimenting with marijuana and drinking. What can I do to intervene? We took away his phone because he was sexting and using it to sneak around and lie. He is so upset every day because he wants his phone back. Should we give it back and try again?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Ed Wilfong replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

This behavior pattern is beyond just the MJ and drinking. It sounds like he is in early stages of "Conduct Disorder". Basically, kids will do what they want. He needs a reason to cooperate with you. Unfortunately, consequences may not influence him much. If you give him phone back, write up a contract about what behaviors he has to comply with to keep it. If he violates ANY condition, take it away again. Make him earn the priviledge. If it is not working, I would consult in person with someone that can give you more individualized approach and/or see your son.

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

The school behavior seems serious also. To some degree, let school give him consequences, but part of regaining phone should be school attendance and behavior, and being suspended is not being in school. I would not consider phone until back in class.

Dr. Ed Wilfong :

I would not be surprised if this gets worse. The sooner you get professional help, the better his chances.

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