Online Parent Support Chat

What would be an appropriate consequence...

What would be an appropriate consequence and disciplinary action for me to implement for the following behavior. I really do want to guide this young man to making good choices.

My 16 year old grandson has been living with me since Sept 2007. Prior to his moving in with me, he has a 4 yr history of running away, drugs, stealing. He did have some behavior issues prior to 2003, but his behavior became out of control when the family broke down and he and his brother were taken by CAS (CPS), He has been in various foster homes and treatment facilities.

He has seemed to be been doing well in school and other areas, but I have noticed an attitude change in the last few weeks.

I am certain that he is using drugs (can smell it and have found smoking paraphernalia). Also, I just discovered some credit cards that belong to a family member in his dresser.

The family member had him over to their house to earn some $ for chores etc. They tell me there is some money missing as well (+- $80.00)

I intend to follow the instructions in the Out of Control Teen workshop for confronting him, return stolen property etc.

Sure do hope someone can help me out with this.




Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through this; I'm a mom too and if this happened to one of my kids I would be devestated.

Sadly there isn't any way that you can stop your son from taking drugs. He has to want to stop, there is no way that someone can force him to do this. I've heard of interventions that sometimes work but the people that it works for are usually more willing to get help in the first place. Your son says that he doesn't want to go to rehab so I don't see how it could help.

What's really important right now, especially since he's stolen from you, is that you don't enable him in any way. This means do not support him financially or bail him out of jail if he happens to get arrested. If he's living at home right now you're going to have to ask him to leave and I know this will be really hard but it could end up saving his life. Once some addicts realize that a person isn't going to help them out so that they can continue taking drugs or alcohol then they may begin to see things differently and decide to go into rehab and clean up their life.
If you do ask him to leave and he becomes violent or threatening please call the police. Being arrested wouldn't be a tragedy because first of all you wouldn't want to get hurt and second of all many addicts who are arrested are given a court order to go into rehab.

I know that you may think these things are cruel but sometimes it takes drastic measures before an addict reaches bottom and decides to make changes. Really it's up to them whether they want to get help and begin to understand why it is that they're escaping from their life through drugs. There's no way that you can force your son to come to this realization.

I'd highly suggest that you go to Al-Anon meetings which is a 12 step program for family members of alcoholics. Even though it's geared toward family members who drink, it's also helpful for people who have family members who are drug addicts too.

The site for Al-Anon can be found at They usually have meetings in almost every community; you can look through your local paper or in the phone book. You can also call 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666) Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 6:00pm ET for more information.

Addictions affect more than just the addict, it affects their family and friends too so please find some good support for yourself.

I wish you all the best, take care.


Anonymous said...

Addictions are not formed overnight. An addiction connotes a mental habit of becoming attached to something on which you have become dependent. We commonly think of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, coffee etc. to be objects of addiction.

However, a habit can be as addictive; be it playing cards, sex, watching TV, gossiping, or anything else that you cannot help but do. If for some reason you are unable to indulge in the habit or activity to which you are addicted, it leads to tremendous discomfort, frustration, anger, or even unbearable physical pain (as in drug addiction).

Needless to say, all addictions are undesirable. Addiction builds its fetters around you making you an inmate in your self-created prison. If a simple thing like not having tea or coffee can spoil your day and make you unfit for efficient work, then whither enlightenment? When you give in to addictions, you give up freedom.

Habits or addictions spring from constant repetition of certain actions. These actions may have been repeatedly performed due to ignorance or under the influence of wrong judgement. Sometimes simple actions too have a snowballing effect. Habits become ingrained in the mind depending on how often they are repeated as well as the will of the person. A weak-willed person becomes a slave of habit sooner than a strong-willed person.

In order to overcome an addiction or undesirable habit, we have to adopt a 'contrary' approach. Here one needs to understand how an action that is opposite in nature to the pertinent habit will help. It may be next to impossible to wipe out a habit and let a vacuum or void take its place. In the beginning, we should strive to replace it with something positive.

For instance, if you smoke, it may a good idea to bite into a piece of clove or candy or something harmless instead. True freedom will never entail replacing a greater evil by a lesser evil, and yet practically, this may be very difficult to achieve except by a select few.

Let us also remember the basic facts about thoughts that influence action. In fact all action springs from thoughts. That is the seed and the cause to the effect.

The fact that every action is repeated is an indicator of the fact that the thought or thoughts behind it are repeated too. Thus to revert an action we have to revert our thoughts. By reiterating a positive thought we move easily towards the corresponding actions.

Thus, at a basic level we need to dive deep into the mind from where thoughts emerge. We need to consciously imbue the mind with positive thoughts or affirmations. To overcome a particular habit or addiction you need to formulate an appropriate affirmation which strengthens the corresponding positive qualities.

For instance, if you want to give up smoking, think of the positive state you would be in, when you are free of this habit. Say to yourself: "I am free. I am happy, healthy and poised. I can do whatever I want, whenever I wish, independently." If you are given top frivolous gossiping and now feel it is time to shed this habit, affirm to yourself: "I am calm and filled with s deep silence. I turn inward to discover joy and freedom. I radiate friendliness and love to all."

Repeat this regularly following the rules of affirmation outlined in this section, until it melts into your subconscious, from where by penetrating your superconscious it will automatically bounce back to start influencing your conscious physical and mental habits and thought patterns.