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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
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I have a 14 year old son that I raised by myself when his father

Customer Question

I have a 14 year old son that I raised by myself when his father went to prison for drugs. Violent crimes.
I gave up 10 years ago after years of trying to help him. I ways let me sons fathers family stay in his life because I didn't think it was there fault there son was addict and want them to have a relationship with there grandson. I found out a year ago when my sons grandfather was on his deathbed that over the
last 2 years they have had my son in contact with his father when he will in prision without my permission. My sons father was to appy for supervised visits 10 years ago but choose to leave the province and not set this up, so I had complete custody of him . I never bad mouthed this father to him ( ever ). It has been over and year that my son has been staying with his aunt ( his dads sister) and will not speak to me or my family. They have some how brainwashed him thinking he will be his dads saving grace when he wait for him to get out of re-had ( las prison sentence as for taking a knife to a ladies thoat rubbing her at a atm machine !! I raised my son with stong values and took very very good care of him ( not that mateial thing mean alot ) but I own my home ( took him on a cruise, took him to Florida and Cabo san lucas ) my life was raising him. I'v been muddling thru life in a daze and for the last year ( still working full time, but very depressed ) what do you think the chances are that one day he will realize that I did everything for him and my sons father are really using him as a pawn to see if his father willget clean ? thank you for listening a looking forward to your reply
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 2 years ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about your situation.

Customer :

I was just wondering are as a therapist,what are your thought about what my son has done as well as how my sons father deceived me into letting him talk to his dad in jail without my knowledge

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please clarify what happened with your son, once you had full custody of him, how did it happen that he stopped living with you and went to live with his paternal aunt? In your message you do not describe how did that happen.

Customer :

does my inital paragrah explaining the situatin showup ?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Young children like he was tow years ago are so easily manipulated even more if they keep close contact and share with a parent;'s family, then it is not uncommon to hear about scenarios like this.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Perhaps it's my understanding of your text what couldn't grasp what you meant.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I understood you found out that in the past two years when he was visiting his father's family they took him to visit his father, right?

Customer :

no only on the phone ..\

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. Thank you for clarifying. The you son did only have contact with father by the phone.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

How did he happened to stop living with you, considering you had full custody and went to live with his aunt?

Customer :

he left without my consent ... I talked to alot of people and there adivse was to let him stay with his aunt and if I tried to bring him home he would rebel even worse ..

Customer :
He has been in and out of prision for almost all his life . I raised my son in a really good home. I worked fulltime and on week-ends to give him a good life with good values in a house I workd hard to buy . I do not and have never done drugs .His aunt and grandmother ( the fathers sister and mother ) had my son talking to his father in prison for 2 years without my knowledge and he only had court supervised visitation rights that he did not set up. Now he will not even talk to me and is staying with his aunt. I'm so devasted, there is alot more details but just wondering does anyone think he will reaslize one day that his aunt and gramdmother did this because they think my son will be his fathers saving grace when he is
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to hear that. Your son was and is still a minor and you have know for the past 3 years he has been negatively influenced and manipulated by father's family, then it seems clear to me leaving your son to live with father's family has not been a wise decision. You have custodial rights and responsibilities, and it is only through complying with and enforcing such right that you could take good care of your son.

Customer :

I have tried and tried and he will not talk to me ... they have him brainwased that he will save if Dad.


My sons grandfather ask my son to promise him he would get to know his dad if ever got out of jail ... while he was on his death bed !!! what grandfather would put that on a 14 year old boy in that position knowing Mitch has been a crack addict most of his life !! Now my son has decided he wants nothing to do with me or my family and is waiting for his dad to get out of re-hab ( he was in prision this last time for taking a knife to a girls throat at a bank trying to rob her as her 3 year old son watched . This has been for a year now and he is still with his aunt and grandmother waiting as Mitch is still in re-hab. example how evil they are ,,,, they never once asked if I needed a bag of milk in the 10 years, but as soon as my son went over against my will, the aunt called the governemtent to adivse he was not with me. When this fist happened I was so depressed it took everything in me to go to work. let alone notice the govenment was putting in 100 a month in my back. I paid it back without question. Everyone in my family never disgusted or mentioned my sons dad to hime and all the horrible things he did on crack. But they have convived him the we trashed ( Mitch) and my son will not even talk to any of my family, they are all devasted he is such a great son.... there is soo much more .. and I don't do drugs and never have ... do have a glass of wine one occassion :)
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

A minor do thinks and fees mostly based on the parenting, and influence from people he lives with. in this case if he has been living with them, he has and would continue to fuel ideas, values and beliefs , so a life style base don't what he gets from that family.

Customer :

How do you convince a boy that he has been brainwashed ... his friends ...14 year old boys tell him that him walking out of my life when I was a good mother was wrong ... he will not listen to anyone exexpt beleiving that waiting for his dad is a good thing to do :(

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am so sorry to know about it. Your son nor his father's family had the right or power to keep your son, you were the only one with that power. Again, to expect a young child would not be deeply influenced by family under such circumstances is not realistic, but nobody could have ever forced you to renounce to your custodial rights.

Customer :

I could not keep him chained in the house and tried to let him see what he was doing

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That is tough for sure, and very painful, but anybody could force you to allow your son to be taken away from you nor to push you to allow him to decide that as long as being a minor under your custody, even more if aware of how unhealthy and manipulative and risky it was to let that happen, since it exposes him to get into such destructive reality.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is very painful and there is no easy solution here, now you need to be proactive, what has happened cannot be changed but taking whole responsibility for your choices and actions is essential now.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Life presents multiple issues, and when it is about raising children things could get tough, but as parents we need to face those challenges holding full accountability because you and your children need and deserve a healthy and fulfilling life, that includes preventing and working hard on avoiding them to be exposed to any form of abuse or neglect.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Once you realized your son was being manipulated and used by that family and started to have this rejection towards you, you needed to take immediate action and do not allow him to be exposed to such people any longer.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do not believe he would change his mind while depending on them. A child develops and grows, rooted on what he gets from those adults around him. To expect he would awaken to reality and change what he has been learning from them is not realistic. I do think he could only see reality in a healthier way if he happens to have a healthy and close presence in his life supporting him that way, or it would have to be life itself through pain which would give him chances to see how dysfunctional such ways are.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you have health, a good job, a house, have no issues with drugs or the law, there there is nobody who could take your child away from you as long as he is a minor. The please, reflect on your choices and decision to let him be exposed and raised so distorted by such people, once you are very aware of their ways and the impact they already have had on him.

Customer :

I had no idea he was exposed to any of this until the day he walked out, and would not let me explain all reason that I gave up has helping his dad. I walked away from his dad to give my son a sable life and keep him save. As soon as his grandfather made him promise on his deatbed to get to know his dad ... I lost that battle and could not do or say anything to change it. I lost my son without a chance in the world to fix it

Customer :

I don't do drugs and never even dated thru the year because I gave all my time with him when I was not working ... but I believe I have lost him and will never get the chance to explain ... t

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry you feel this way. it seems it has been overwhelming for you what happened between your son and his grandfather, but even then I would never recommend a parent in your shoes you give up a 12-14 year old son considering where he was going to be raised and by what type of people.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Life happens minute by minute and as long as we are alive we should work on ourselves and for those we truly love, and what could be more worthy and meaningful than fighting for our children's health, integrity and well-being when so young and then to promote his destiny as adults?

Customer :

His aunt does not do drugs and has a nice home .. but is obviously very evil on what she did your my son would save her brother .. I ever thru the year made her my sons godmother because I thought she would be a good influence ...

Customer :

I'm in a battle that I beleive I have lost ...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then if you were and are aware of how "evil" she is, what could be a good reason for you to give up and let him be even more abused and distorted by this family?

Customer :

He will not even to my daugher , my sister, my brother anyone on my side of

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I talk to you as a parent and I have faced hard times too with a child, and know that some times we could feel hopeless and helpless, but in this case you are the mother, you have the right and responsibility to take good care of your son, and he has nobody but you to play such unique role in his life. Even if your son's ego "hates" you, it should not be a reason for you to give up on him. It means a huge challenge but worthy to fight out of love and caring. if after doing everything in your power he as an adult chooses to follow a wrong path, at least it would not have been you an unhealthy, neglectful or abusive presence in his life, but one who showed him what true love and caring means.

Customer :

the family. If I drag him back what goo will that do .. he will be 16 in oct and will would hate me forever ... I

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

He as a minor did not have the power nor the responsibility to choose who was going to raise him. that's why we call children our dependents, because they lack the development, growth, maturity, experience,insight to take good care of themselves, that is why parents need to take good care of themselves, otherwise they would never happen to be healthy and grow as good human beings.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Again, it's a matter of perspective. A parent must always choose between pleasing and spoiling a child in order to get his immature and fake love and agreement, or to truly take good care and teach him what it means to be responsible, healthy, caring, responsible and everything else a child could only learn from a parent or care taker, even when that would easily lead to negative reactions from a child who has already been spoiled or negatively influenced by other adults and people in his life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I would always prefer a child to "hate" me when young out of immaturity, previous spoiling and unhealthy influences, but to be healthy, grateful and fulfilled as an adult, than to have the codependent love and happiness from them when young, and then real hate and sadness from them as adults since I did not know how to take care of them, correct them and support them in healthy and responsible ways when young.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I hope you feel better and get a happier ending here, and I am sorry to know about your experience.

Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families.

I wanted to come in and offer some support since the above expert has opted out. I have read all that you both have written and certainly as a Mom myself feel the amount of pain you are in. Your whole life and focus has been on your son and raising him well and to now have him leave home, be brainwashed by his fathers family in the most manipulative way by the grandfather on his death bed is beyond devastating.

So of course you are walking around in a daze and scared and confused as to what will be in the future. It is awful that they have also put this pressure on your son to save his dad....kids don't take care of their parents when they are young...it is the other way around. You have done that and are still trying to do that. Makes you a wonderful and loving mother in an horrific situation.

In answer to your direct question about whether he will come back one day and begin talking with you? That is a strong possibility. As he gets older and matures and can think for himself and separate it all, then he may be able to come back. He is young and somehow he feels now that if he is in contact with one, then he must be out of contact with the other. This internal confusion for an adolescent is not uncommon.

So, what to do? Keep doing all that you are to take care of yourself. Be the steady parent you have been and keep that door open when he comes around and I believe he will...when? I don't know but I think as he matures there is a good chance he will.

Let me know your thoughts and how I can support you further.
Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.
Coach Jen K. and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I hope he does,he just seems to hate me right now and thats what I can not understand. I can tell you I did eveything I could for him and I just get overwhelming feel of dispair coping that this even happened. I pray every moring but still feel hopeless. If someone ever told me that my son would have done this, I would have 100% told them he would never. I was not even like we disgussed his dad, I never bad mouthed him ever. We had a great relationship. I've become so jaded with people, thinking that someone I love so dearly and thought they loved me ( especially my child) could have walked away from me so easily kills me inside.
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.
None of it makes sense right now and you have have done all the right things...not bad mouthing, allowing him to see his father's family, and that makes it even more devastating.

Clearly he is getting so much pressure from that side and the death bed wish was truly horrific to do to him. He is under a lot of pressure and for whatever reason has to be out of contact with you so he can try to process it all.

Nothing about this makes sense to you and that is why it is so hard to walk around in the world and feel good on any level. I am saddened by it all and truly hope that as time passes that things will get better for him.

If you have any sort of relationship with any of the family over there I might try and reach out to them again..in a mild and gentle manner and appeal to them letting them know that this wil be devastating for your son as he becomes a man to have walked away from his mother.

If that is not an option, then as best you can, and I know none of it is easy, pray and rely on the relationship you have had to lead him back to you.

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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K.
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Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Coach Mom of Twins.