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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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What and how to deal with a 20 year old who has been dismissed

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What and how to deal with a 20 year old who has been dismissed from work due to theft in the workplace. We (the parents) are not together and find it very difficult to talk in a civil manner. I dont trust my husband and believe that he has been a very wrong role model for the son. I just came to know of it from my ex today, after all this has happened. My ex rang to say that the son has been fired and I should not talk to my son about it as the trust he has in his father will break, if I do.

I am in a shock and dont know what to do.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

I understand your shock but you must realise that young men sometimes fall into temptation and things (it could have been some office supplies or something more valuable. It was a mistake and he has paid a big price).

You must keep the trust with your husband. He was civil enough to tell you to let you be in on the parenting,and it is essential that you do keep this trust..

Your son will probably get over this, and may come around to telling you, although he is very ashamed (a good sign) and does not want to let you down.

You will get over the shock soon enough. This is not an ongoing situation and nobody is in danger, and your son will not go to jail or have a police record.

You would be well served to not bring this up, or hint about it as if you knew, because then you will break the trust and closedown any avenues of communication with your son.

Just let it go and continue to love him unconditionally. There is nothing that you can do or say to make this better. He is living with this shame and it is teaching him an important lesson that will prevent him from getting into real trouble inthe tuture.

Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. This doesn't mean that you don't care. It means that you care enough to keep the situation from getting worse.

I urge you to accept what happened, continue to love your son unconditionally, and I am sure he won't shoot himself in the foot again.

Blessings to your family,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your kind answer. I guess what you advise is right and best. But I am in shock because I am scared what my ex did to me, my son will do as well and all these mis deeds will get swept under the carpet. For eg. My ex promised to marry me if I got pregnant and he did not. Instead he forced me to go for an abortion. Then when I insisted on talking to his parents, his mother urged him to get married. So getting married for the wrong reason - it was stressful at the best of times - for 20 years. I did not trust him at all and he did all he could to encourage my mis-trust. Secondly he made someone else sit his university exam for him and it was all minimised as a joke. I am scared that if I dont address this matter with my son, in some shape of form and let him know this is not alright, he will continue to do worse things. I know I may have a bit unrealistic values which may not be street smart - but I am very shocked. Your kind words has meant a lot to me. I have asked my ex to meet with me today to discuss this. Could you please advise how I can put it nicely to him that regardless of whatever differences we may have we need to stand on the same ground on parenting issues. Although even though I tell him that and am fully committed to that, I barely believe that he will stand up to his part of the bargain. Please advice. Thank you heaps for your help.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Dear friend,

I understand a lot more about your situation. Your husband seems like a very crass man compared to your gentle and kind nature. Perhaps your son has learned his morality from his father. At age 20 he is well formed in many ways, and he may very well take after his father. You gave him life. If his father had had his way, your son would never have been anything more than a painful thought, and dust.

If your husband has a touch of the sociopath (lacking in empathy and feeling for others), then anything youy say to him won't matter. You know him and you can best make that judgement.

I think it would be appropriate to tell him that you will keep your pledge of slience, but you woud like him to reconsider it and tell your son tnat he is also going to tell his mother about what had happened..

Then you can talk freely with your son. If you can, do not nag him or persist. Tell him that were shocked and would like him to tell you what he has learned from this, for the future.

Don't expect too much from this man. He has always let you down. He might do this, however. Tell him that you want to be able to give him input as his mother, since this was a serious event. Don't expect him to change however. Just try in a "professional" way to bargain with him, and don't let him get you flustered or angry. If he doesn't agree, then there is nothing to do except remain silent or risk that the lines of communication witll be further closed.

I wish you great courage and strength.



PS - if you are satisfied, please ACCEPT.
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