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proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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We have an 18 year old who we have struggled with the last

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We have an 18 year old who we have struggled with the last few years, this year his tardies to school have caused him to be at risk to not graduate at the end of the month. We see very low motivation for school, he just doesn't care and hates it (we moved from Austin to Houston for his Senior year and hard time adjusting). No matter what we have tried, (taking car away) he still can't get himself up to be on time because I think he is possibly smoking pot at his friends where he spends most all his free time. We did drug test him by surprise yesterday and it came back negative for pot only. He argues that pot is not dangerous and won't listen to us or believe it's affecting his life. He doesn't have any plans right now for his future and is starting to try to convince us that no matter what he will be successful (college or not) We offer to pay for College based on a few rules he had to follow which one is being to school on time, keeping grades up and not lying and respecting our rules but he isn't able to do this and so now we told him college is on him so he isn't currently pursuing but adamantly says he is going to college and will find a way to pay for it. He does have a job where his manager says he does great work at a pizza place doing deliveries and makes good money and is paying us $250/month toward using our car we bought for him for work purposes, insurance, cell phone. We have let him have freedom and he on weekends he is working 5pm-10pm and then goes and staying over at this friends where a group hangs out and we rarely see him on weekends except when he comes home to get ready for work. Our deal with allowing him freedom and paying the money was that we absolutely didn't want him doing drugs (pot included) and he said he wasn't and wouldn't. After another bad week of lates to school we tested him yesterday with urine test and came back positive and he still lied and claimed he hadn't smoked since mid-March when he visited friends in Austin. I am not sure is he may have an underlying problem of ADHD or if this behavior and lack of motivation we are seeing about high school, planning for his future is due to pot use. He says that he wont' stay here if we try and control him and that he once again will promise to not smoke pot. We are not sure what to do, ground him? Take the car? (he would lose his job and jobs here are hard to come by), Let me use car for work only and have to find alternate transport to school? I have tried to get him to agree to counseling but he absolutely refuses! If we kick him out and don't let him take the car he won't be able to make it and we know he's a good kid in a lot of ways but just not able to admit to his problem. Help!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.

Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problems that you are having with your son. He does have a drug usage problem that he is unwilling to admit . It is great that he does have the responsibility of a job. For now just concentrate on helping him finish school.

 

Here is the hard part. Since your son is of the legal age as an adult, when he graduates you will have to give him some rules of the house to follow and stick by them. If he wants to stay in the house, he must continue to work as he will be allowed to use the car, go to college which you will pay for, and stop the drug use with the assistance of seeing a drug counselor. If he continues the drug use after you have already told him several times, kick him out of the house, you keep the car, and see how far he gets. This is the tough love part. He probably needs to hit rock bottom before he realizes that he needs his parents much more than he is willing to admit. He will not accept your support and guidance right now. He thinks he knows everything and believes that his decisions are the correct ones. He is probably being negatively influenced by his friends and will not accept any advice that you give him. Sometimes parents must allow their children to spread their wings to see how difficult life is in the real world. They will learn from their mistakes and change for the better. Ultimately, you will need to decide which direction you would like to take. If you do nothing, things will not change.

 

Hope this has provided you with some insight. Happy Mother's Day!!!!Laughing

proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience: Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
This is exactly what we were thinking, he graduates June 1st and I am wondering if grounding him now and taking car away except for work is going to make him give up or try and move out without him thinking it through and possibly keep him from finishing school. This has been the third time after repeated warnings that he has been caught with a positive test, he knows we are against it and have warned him. He keeps claiming that it's casual use and we also found out he is smoking cigarettes now too. Kicking him out now before school ends seems bad timing and if we go too hard on him not allowing him to go out at all with friends I am sure he will just find a way to sneak and do it anyway. We thought about restricting him to the house and car only for work (which means he needs to find a ride to school and back) for the next two weeks and if he wants to hang out with friends they would need to hang our at our house. He will go crazy and be very angry I know if we tell him this and may leave. Do we just hang on and wait till he graduates and then deal with this or come down strong now with restrictions from seeing the friends he hangs out with ( or limiting the time he spends with these friends somewhat, I am just unsure about how much we should be trying to keep him from choosing his friends and if not allowing him to see them will damage our relationship with him) What would you suggest we do to get him through graduation and how can I get him to counseling if he refuses to go?
Expert:  proexpert37 replied 3 years ago.

Hello again my friend. Allow your son to concentrate on finishing school since it is only a few weeks away. Keep on casually reminding him when you know that he has been using drugs that you do not approve of it. After graduation, then is the time to impose the strict limits that you feel most comfortable with. You must tell him after graduation what you expect from him if he wants to continue to live under your roof as a responsible adult. If he refuses to abide by the rules, then he must find another place to live. He will get angry and probably stay that way for a while. As long as you keep communicating with him somehow if he does leave, then that should ease the tension if any. Give him a certain amount of time to change...3-6 months is more than enough time.

 

If he will noty go to counseling, have a trusted family friend who may have had drug issues in the past, a church pastor,a law enforcement official, or a family member come over to talk to your son about the destructive path that he is slowly journeying onto. Sometimes it helps to hear another and different perspective instead of listening to parents all of the time. Don't give up on your son though. There is always hope!!!

proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience: Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

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