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CounselorJules
CounselorJules, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 617
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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My son is 17 turning 18 this week. He did not come home last

Customer Question

My son is 17 turning 18 this week. He did not come home last night. After speaking with the school, friends, and police I found out that he quit his job and has been lying to me, his father, and even the counselor that we have been seeing for therapy. The police finally found him and took him to school. He told them he hates me and is having problems at home which was news to me also
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: He lied to my husband and said he was going to work and then didn't come home. We had to hospitalize him this past Sept for depression and have been going to counseling ever since. I thought things were starting to look up. They put him on wellbutrin to help stabilize his mood swings
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Parenting Counselors generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Parenting
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I guess what I need to know is what to do if he comes home after school today. I don't want to run him off but he needs to follow my rules. I have three other children in the home and I have to have some semblance of order
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for your question. You sound like a responsible and concerned parent and I appreciate you taking the opportunity to follow up with your concerns. I also commend you for working with your son's counselor in addressing the mental health needs. Adolescents are tough. Especially when they are about to turn 18, they tend to think that they are already all grown up! They don't have to listen to mom or dad anymore and tend to have a jaded perspective on reality-- one that usually justifies their behaviors. I think that it will be important for you and your husband to have a united front and discuss with your son the importance of understanding the boundaries in place. I would ask him to participate in a conversation about the expectations of the home. If you feel that he is at risk to himself, then I would encourage you to have a safety plan in place. Kids his age also want to feel that they have a say in the systemic functioning or rules. I would encourage you to approach him with love, identify how important his well-being is to you, ask him with humility to please identify what problems in the home he feels exist, ask him how he feels that these can be managed, and then discuss what you guys feel you can do to help the functioning of the family to be healthy. Most people need to feel "heard" or listened to, so even if you don't agree with what he says, ask him to explain and do your best not to "react," but "respond." I think empathy goes a long way. Find out if he feels that only "rules" exist in the home and no "relationships." And just ask his input. Then discuss the responsibility that his role carries as a sibling to three other children that are in the home. Find out what he feels is missing. Have a plan in place and work as a family to carry these out-- not just with your son, but with all of the children.

There is a book called "The Five Love Languages of Teenagers" by Gary Chapman. You can also look at his website to see if you feel that there is an unmet need for your son.

Also, check into your community resources and find out what services are available in your area, if you need additional support. His counselor should be aware of these, as well.

I hope that this is helpful.

Expert:  CounselorJules replied 9 months ago.

Have you found this to be helpful and informative? That was my goal. If so, please accept and rate the answer so that I can receive credit for the response. If more processing is necessary, please feel free to provide more information.

Expert:  CounselorJules replied 9 months ago.

I am happy to help you process this further if necessary :)

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