How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Tamara Your Own Question
Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Tamara is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son is 16, almost 17 years old. I have been married

Customer Question

My son is 16, almost 17 years old. I have been married twice, both times to negative male figures in my son's life. My first husband is my son's father and he is totally rejected by his father. He is also totally rejected by my second ex-husband. Today, my son is showing very negative signs in his decision-making by lying, stealing from family and friends, most recently smoking marijuana and was arrested for this Sunday morning at 4:15. He leaves our home through his window during the night, unbeknowing to me, and does what he pleases. I have, during the course of the past year, because of very poor grades, gradually taken away everything that has materialistic value to him . . . electronic games, cell phone, etc. He outwardly shows no reaction to any of this which has been the usual for him his entire life. My shows no respect for adult authority. I would greatly appreciate any comments/recommendations/questions you may have.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm pleased to try to help you today.

I'm sorry to hear that you are having these problems with your son. I'm sure this has been very difficult for you, esp. now that he is beginning to get into trouble with the law. I know that his being arrested is very worrisome, but it may be a good thing in the long run. You are going to have to let things play out legally, and hope that he gets some consequences from the court. It is very important that you don't intervene on his behalf and try to make this easier for him. Hopefully, this will make him start to think about things differently, and perhaps he will change his behavior.

You said he has been in counseling periodically through the years. I would suggest that you get him into it again. He needs some long term help, as his behavior is becoming very destructive. Lying, stealing, and drug use are not a good combination, and if that is how he is behaving, then he needs intervention by a professional. It would also benefit you to have some counseling so you can better understand how to deal with his behavior more appropriately. It is crucial that you have good boundaries around him and his behavior, and that you don't make things easier for him in ANY way. He needs tough love right now.

It sounds like you have been doing what you can, but look into getting some help for yourself to make sure you are handling his behavior correctly. Get him back into counseling. And don't intervene on his behalf with this legal stuff. The best thing that can happen is for him to have natural consequences for his behavior.

Best wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
Tamara and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thank you so much. You have confirmed what I thought to be the right things to do at this point and my son and I will proceed. I have registered for this monthly service so that I have a close and quick connection for questions as needed, so my question to you is "Will I always be able to connect with YOU to follow this problem that we are now working through so that I have continuity with an individual associated with this service?"

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Could you please review my reply above and, in turn, send me your response to the question. I would prefer, if possible, to continue to have the same consultant as an online contact source if possible. Thanks so much.
Expert:  Tamara replied 7 years ago.
Hi there. I'm sorry for the delay. I was off line most of the day. I would be glad to talk with you whenever you want. Please just start your question with "for Tamara" and I will be the one to answer it. I do work, so I am not always online and available to answer immediately. But I am online every day, so I will get back to you asap. Thanks! I look forward to hearing back from you. Tamara