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Paige, MS, CRC, LPC
Paige, MS, CRC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5
Experience:  Masters Degree in Counseling, and 17 years professional experience.
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My 16 year old son is getting very defiant. He lives with

Resolved Question:

My 16 year old son is getting very defiant. He lives with his father in Eastchester, New York. Jonathan calls me everyday with a new battle he is engaged in with his dad so my son rebells by not going to school and now is hanging around a group of dangerous kids who recently got arrested for theft and assault. I don't know what direction to take and I am scared for him. I need advice. Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Paige, MS, CRC, LPC replied 6 years ago.

I have some questions so I can better assist you.

Do you see your son regularly?

Why is he living with his Father and not you?

Does he want to live with you and can he?

Do you have a reasonable relationship with his father where you and he can discuss parenting and his behavioral issues?

I hope by having a better understanding I can provide you with some helpful information.

Paige, LPC

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you. I do see Jonathan regularly. I am with him 2 days a week and every other weekend, which is the visitation schedule, but I am with him more than that. He lives with my ex since my divorce was very bitter and sadly my ex made it a public event which involved the newspapers and media (it was high profile) and my daughter (then 14) wanted to stay in Eastchester so the court would not separate the kids. Jonathan wants to live with me but I live in the Bronx and he does not wish to be in the Bronx. I don't have a relationship with my ex but I am in touch with him regarding my son and my concerns.
Expert:  Paige, MS, CRC, LPC replied 6 years ago.
It is important in this type of scenario for your child to see you and your ex as on the same page. Based on what you write, it seems as though you have a good relationships with your didn't mention having difficulties with him as far as his attitude etc. Is it possible for you and your ex to discuss your concerns first together to develop a game plan that you both agree with and then meet together with Jonathan....somewhere neutral and private. This will accomplish many things....first it will demonstrate to Jonathan that you can work together as a family unit even despite the divorce. This is most critical given he will not engage in counseling. Second, it will outwardly demonstrate a seriousness about your concern that he will have to acknowledge. You did a nice job of summarizing your concerns in your question and you can do the same together and directly with your son. When you do this you need to have alternatives and suggestions you can discuss and from which he can choose. He may need to think things through for a time after the meeting. The message should be clear, we are both here for you and your path and activities now are not acceptable. What can we do to support you to right your path, and what do you need from us? Try to let him make some decisions from your list of options developed between you and your ex ahead of time. (Teenagers like to make decisions for them selves and will more likely committ to follow through when they do.) These things don't fix themselves, and it may take several is important to not give up one of the attempts will be accepted if your son hears the same words consistently from both of you. It is important that if your son asks for your support that you both are consistent in the follow up to provide what he needs. Best regards, ***** *****
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