I am not a strong advocate of booting kids from the home. While there is some behaviors that may warrant kicking your teenager out, this is not something that should ever be entered into lightly, or without great consideration for the consequences. When we have children we bring them into this world, and our families, for better or for worse and kids under the age of eighteen deserve a chance to make mistakes at home, where the consequences of their behavior doesn’t have to create nearly insurmountable challenges for their future.

When you ban your kid from the home, you are setting them up to opt for a few choices, and none of them are offering them a bright and beautiful future. If they are still in high school, they are going to have to secure a place to live. This is not an easy task when you aren’t living somewhere to begin with. Most kids who are given the boot stay with friends for a little while, but they can quickly wear out their welcome. They need money and they need it fast in order to feel as though they are surviving “this” and thus options such as prostitution and drug dealing suddenly become much more viable.

If we can consider kicking your teenager out to be the punishment, then we have to weigh it against the crime. Knowing full well that we are emotional beings, there is going to be a much more significant emotional impact on the kid than there will be a physical impact on him. What crimes can your kid commit against the family that warrants being homeless and out in the world alone without any preparation? We have to take this in two separate “crime lists.”

Let’s start with the crime of Being. The crime of Being includes those kids who are kicked out of their home for who or what they are. Whether they are told to leave because they are not like they were expected to be or can not be as they were expected to be, these kids suffer greatly because it’s not a behavior that was rejected, but who they are. Gay kids, kids who refuse to “follow the family footsteps,” and kids who are have to take large risks just to keep their heads above water are most likely to find themselves homeless before the age of 17. Kids who are pregnant or who have gotten someone pregnant fall into the realm of the crime of Being as well as the crime of Action. This is often because parents who respond this way do not necessarily see the result of the action as an error in judgment, but parents often refer to their pregnant daughters and guilty sons as sluts and well, worse. This leaves the child with the notion that it is not the action, but who they are that is being punished.

If you are dealing with the crime of Action, there are other methods of not tolerating a behavior than removal from the home. Kids may be seriously messing up left and right but there are almost always other answers. You’ve watched his grades slip, found all the evidence you need under his mattress, and of course, you can tell on the rare occasions that he talks to you that he is either stoned or high or both, and no matter what you do, he insists on bringing drugs into the home. You’re in the military, the police force, or any other line of work that would not only find you homeless but also out of a job should any controlled substance be found in your home or on your property. This makes for a pretty serious crime of Action, and it may even seem like to save the rest of your family, you have to push one out the door. Psychologists have found that kids who are using drugs increase their habit by nearly 30% if they are kicked out of their home.

What about the kid who is violent? Or the kid who is terrorizing the whole family? What about the kid who refuses to go to school, refuses to get a job, and steals money no matter how clever you think you are when it comes to keeping it hidden? These are tough cases. At seventeen, your kid should know better. How did this happen? If you kick him out, then at lest you know you aren’t enabling him.

These are tough calls to make, and there are good arguments for encouraging parents to take a hard line with their kids. Yet there is direct and solid evidence that shows most kids who are in danger of being kicked out of their own home are in these situations for a reason. The almost guaranteed result of kicking your teenager out is that the situation will get worse. By shunning them, you are telling them that they are not even worthy of being part of the family, of being cared for or cared about. By forcing them to leave, without a steady income, a reasonable place to go, and a way to take care of themselves, you are setting them up for failure and everyone knows it. You are literally telling them that you do not care what happens to them and that their problems are bigger than you and your family.

In our society we have available for every family, rich, poor, and in between, a place to get professional help. Even if you can’t afford it, there are places out there that can offer help. Most parents who kick their teenager out aren’t doing it because they don’t love their children, although that is exactly what the child will think. Kids get kicked out when the parents have reached the end of their rope and it is a last ditch effort to force them to get some help. The kid on drugs might need a warm place to sleep so maybe the harsh reality will jump start them into rehab, right? The kid without an education or a job will probably opt for one or the other, right?

Wrong. Kids in trouble stay in trouble and most often make their troubles much worse when they can’t do something as simple as live at home with their family. Stability is one of the factors that can help a kid come out the other end of a really rough time in his life. Kicking your teenager out is not only likely to exacerbate his problems, but leave you with an enormous feeling of guilt. At the same time, kicking your teenager out isn’t going to provide your kid with the boundaries they need to become the successful adult they still have the potential to become. Frustration, anger, resentment, and even uglier feelings like momentary flashes of rage or hate are common in homes with distressed teens. These are emotions that are momentary and that will pass. Forcing your teenager into homelessness is an action that can have irreversible consequences.

SHARE

27 COMMENTS

  1. When the child refuses to respect health, dignity and safety within the family , then kicking the teen out the door is perfectly reasonable. I would do it without hesitation or guilt. The problem is that some parents mistake inconvenience with what their responsibility of raising a child is and guiding them into adulthood so that they can be independent. Teens will be naturally rebellious and have attitude, but when a certain line is crossed they need to be given the altamatum to get the [email protected]$k out until they choose to follow the minimum rules of respect for everyone’s health, dignity and safety. The love for a child is only as meaningful as the love you have for yourself. And a child will see right through your bullsh!t if you have no respect for yourself. Children respect those who have boundaries and respect for themselves. It’s that simple.

  2. My son has been arrested 19 times and he just turned 17. Won’t go to school, won’t follow rules and when I ground him he goes behind my back. I have other kids in the house and they are seeing the issues. Soon I worry I might be going through this again. I need help. Work is impossible because my home and family are a mess. I fear the worst every time he walks out the door. Everyday is a fight just to want to come home. Counseling, doctor visits, and many trips to the police station and courthouse have not helped. I’m at a loss! He wants to move out but I don’t want him to think I gave up on him. Plus I fear being in trouble for him leaving. He does want he wants and could care less what anyone says.

  3. I have a 17 year-old daughter who is rebellious. She comes and goes as she pleases and is sometimes gone for days at a time without answering her phone. I raise her mostly on my own as a single mother and receive some help from friends and family when I reach out, which is no was feat. Everyone has their own lives and their own problems. This is a difficult time in our lives. My concerns lie in the realm of her justifying her behavior to the point where I actually understand where she is coming from. It is because I understand that I find it hard to set clear boundaries. Too much empathy makes for weak parenting skills. You’ve got to set clear rules verbally to start, and remain consistent. This is not easy however it is the best advice I’ve gotten and am trying out.

  4. My 16 year old was using cocaine. Coming down she was violent and I had to remove myself and the younger children from my home, for safety. She went to detox and came out to repeat the behaviors. It has been a two year battle and I can not legally force her to do anything.
    So I gave her the choice. Come home from your drug dealers house to talk to me, or I change the locks. She chose to stay there. There comes a point where teens need to realize that they are not entitled. I have a right to be safe in my home, and a responsibility to keep my other children safe.
    Ultimately, everyone has free will. If there is a blatant disregard for family and authority, why enable it? I gave her the choice and she didn’t come home. Now, to come home she has expectations to carry through on. She isn’t willing, and that is her choice, but there is no way that choice will come at the expense of my household.

    • Good for you this article Seems so easy, I need to see numbers stats to back it each direction those that got kicked out those that gave up their life to deal with one child while others suffer I told my daughter clearly I will sacrifice her to save the other four, why should 80% of our time be focused on her daily I personally think this article is bunk.

        • Agreed. BS article. It’s insane to let one person ruin the rest of the family out of fear that they won’t feel supported and loved. They’re all about themselves and think that they’re not supported/loved to begin with!!!!!

  5. My daughter that was a teenage parent twice before the age of 17 has kicked her daughter age 16 out because she is pregnant ! She has cussed and said awlfulll things to me and her best friend for comforting her daughter . I am so sad over her actions , when all I have done since she had kids is help her raise . I am done helping my daughter she really has shown her seldfishness

  6. Our daughter is 19. She skipped more classes her Señor year than she went to. Yet, we found her a scholarship at a small college to play Lacross. Two weeks before she was supposed to leave, she told everyone she was not going to college because it was not for her. Instead..she was out smoking pot, drinking, and we found out later .doing cocaine.

    She went from living at her mom’s house, to moving in with her uncle, then back to her mom’s house, then to her Grandparents, then another uncle. After she was kicked out of her Uncles house she ended up going into rehab. She came back from rehab a “changed person” and moved back into her mom’s house. Everything was great for at least 30 days. We had her enrolled in a local community college, found her a part time job, and had her attending her IOP meetings on a regular basis.

    Now three months from that time she is back on drugs, lying to us about working, having her friends lie to us about what she is doing (including devising a schedule telling us where she is at..when she is actually with them smoking pot.). She has pawned stuff from the house, and posted things on Craig’s list to sell. I know people want to tell you that “I would never let my kid do that to me,” but until you are in that situation, you have no idea how to handle it. We decided we just can not live with this anymore, and decided to change the locks on the door. Her response? To call the cops on us to say we were not letting her get her stuff the day after she never came to pick up her things when she was supposed to. This is definitely nothing that we took lightly, and did everything that we could to help her out, but sometimes the best thing to do is let them find a way. I am sure things will get worse in the beginning, but that is the only way for them to get better.

  7. I agree with almost everything the author writes. But, there comes a time when every other person in the house is in imminent danger. My 17 yr old started dealing drugs after 3+ years of us getting him inpatient, outpatient, residential treatment, family therapy, marriage therapy, etc. for treatment of his substance abuse. We are not wacko parents – we raised him right, taught him right from wrong, disciplined him and loved him. We watched him get indoctrinated into the National Junior Honor Society, and then completely reject his family and our values/rules. Now, we have meth dealers and addicts coming around our home and neighborhood and none of us are safe from our son when he is tweaking and when he brings dealers and clients to our ally. Tell me Professor’s House – you would not take action to have this person removed from your home?

  8. I was reaching out to the Internet for answers and came across this site. I have a 16 soon to be 17 year old son whom I love dearly. He is the youngest of three and his sister 19 and brother 23 are doing exceptionally well although there were rough times. He went through a nasty divorce with me and his mom a few years ago it should have been simple and ended quickly but she dug in and it turned into a custody battle over my son which I won. Everything was fine up until the first of this year when he got a new girlfriend. This child has carried a 3.5 out of 4.0 GPA up to that point and is one project away from being and Eagle Scout. This girlfriend is a complete loser, has no dignity or self esteem. Now all they do is come in and have sex and smoke pot. He missed over 30 days of school this last semester and came up with a 2.25 GPA now his overall has dropped to barley 3.0. I am getting calls from parents saying they found pot on their kid and when asked where they bought it they say my son and his girlfriend. I had a talk with him as we have a good relationship and he said he would stop but it is getting worse. I smell it in the house, in my car, everywhere. I tried to explain life to him and he just gives me a doe in the headlights look and goes on as usual. I am going to have to get hard with him but also if it continues and gets worse I am considering the ultimatum of comply or find a new place to live. I hope he matures soon and it does not get worse.

    • Not sure where you live but I posted about my daughter middle of last year and have her now placed in a therapeutic group home through brooklane Mental Health Services it sucks that I have to pay child support to the state of Maryland but if it helps my daughter become a productive member of society it’s worth it.
      You can’t do it alone you have to get County and state resources to help you even if it means calling the law taking them to emergency rooms or whatever

  9. Enough…My 15 year old son has always been a problem. At age 2 he started acting up. Pushing and biting other children on the playground. Never had any respect for authority, parents, teachers, principle, etc… Since kindergarten he has been in trouble in school everyday. Everyday, mulitple times a day I would receive phone calls from the teachers and principle, child study team, other parents, etc… We raised our child in the right way. Loving, caring and supporting house hold. Always encouraging him to be the best that he can be. Telling him at the start of each day that today is a new day. Let’s leave what happened yesterday in the past. Started high school last year and was placed in a behavior program at a local high school. One month in he was kicked out for repeatedly being disrespectful to staff, students and refusing to do the work. Was home schooled for 6 weeks then sent to an alternative school. One month in he was arrested at school for drug possession blaming a fellow student for passing him the drugs which he kept in his pocket instead of turning them in or throwing them away. School gave him second chance and allowed him to come back only to get kicked out for repeatedly being disrespectful the staff, students and refusing to do the work. Was sent to another alternative school where he did not attend regularly. found with me every morning and threw tantrums and broke things in the house and punched holes in walls refusing to go to school because he was too tired. Climbs out windows in the middle of the night while everyone is sleeping, stays out all night and sometimes doesn’t come home. He is on probation and has to report to a probation officer weekly. Mandated by court to attend and successfully complete a drug and alcohol counseling program before he can be successfully released from probation. Has been unsuccessfully discharged from two programs for repeatedly testing positive for marijuana. Now in a third program if he does not successfully complete this program judge will mandate juvenile detention or in house treatment facility. All the years we have been seeing therapists for his diagnosis of ADHD/ODD/Mood disorder. No one can help us. He is getting worse and worse by the day. Everyday, there is a cop or a parent or an older teen at our door looking for him. Always in trouble. Selling pot, stealing from our home, hocking our jewelry stealing cash from his parents and brother and from guests in our home and from our friends homes. Today like every other day he called me (his mother) a fucking retard one too many times. Tonight I couldn’t take it anymore. I threw him out of the house. I have had enough and really don’t care what happens to him.

    • I have a 14 year old who was diagnosed with ADHD/ODD/IED when he was around 5. Since he was little he’s had no respect for authority, argues with everyone, blames someone else when it’s his fault. He gets in trouble at school for disrespecting authority. He got 2 days suspension in the 3rd grade. Last year he had 250 conduct points 1/2 way through the school year. They gave him 2 days OSS & 2 Saturday detentions. He got a referral in OSS. I’m a single mom & he’s had no father figure. Half of my family never wanted anything to do with us or be around us because of his behavior. It’s only gotten worse since he’s a teen. He won’t help around the house & just makes messes & expects me to clean them up. Not to mention talks back & is disrespectful. We’ve been in & out of therapy since he was 5. Nothing has helped. It’s only gotten worse. I’ve taken everything but the basketball hoop out front away from him but he doesn’t care.
      He now calls his grandparents & makes them think I am being cruel for taking his things & not buying him the food he wants from the grocery store. They come over & bring him food or ask me if they can come take him out to eat like I’m starving him. They tell me I’m administering cruel & unusual punishment for benching him from playing in his basketball games & making him feel like a prisoner in his room when I ground him.  He doesn’t listen to me anymore if I say he’s grounded.  He says “no I’m not” & goes outside to play basketball or goes to a friend’s house. He says he’s not grounded because the reason I’m grounding him is stupid. When I take something away he gets mad at me & starts trashing my house, goes around & turns all the lights on in the house to make the electric bill go up, bangs on my door or makes noise in the house when I’m trying to sleep at night just to annoy me. I just want him out of my house but he has no where else to go. I told his grandfather to take him if he’s going to stick up for him but he doesn’t want to have to deal with him. How does he think I feel having to live with this every day? It’s horrible to feel so out of control. To let a child rule your life. The therapist says kick him out. I’ve looked into that but its child abandonment. I’ve looked into places to send him but it cost money that I don’t have. I feel so helpless & rather than have the support of my family they are on his side & say I’m a horrible mother.

    • anonymous – I can totally relate! My son has been diagnosed with ADHA/ODD and Depression. We have been dealing with him since the 9th grade, which he failed 2 of the 6 classes. Failed both of his STAAR test. I heard him telling his friends he slept and the last 15 minutes just filled in answers. I think the other teachers just gave him 70’s so he could pass but he didn’t earn them. Mind you – up through the 8th grade he received above average = Advanced on ALL STAR state test he had taken. So, I know he failed on purpose. Went to summer school and failed. We found out he was smoking marijuana with his friend in the woods. They would tell us they were going in the woods to make ramps and jump with their BMX bikes. We were happy it seemed he had a hobby and every once in a while we would go in the woods and check on them. Didn’t seem anything was going on but what they said they were doing. My son was very active in baseball and was even on a year round select team which we traveled state to state for him. He is a left handed pitcher and his dream was to become a MLB player. Which we believed in his dream and did what we could to help him live it. He was caught in school with dip(chewing tobacco) the first part of the school year in 2014. So, I cleaned his entire room out, (from his name brand clothes, his colored socks to all his baseball, karate, swim trophies and others) and just left him the basics, dresser, bed and some generic clothes with the school logo on it. He is my son who is into fashion and likes to have the name brand things. I really thought this would touch him and teach him a lesson and he would realize we are serious about drugs, any kind! He continued playing baseball and now was in the 9th grade and in the baseball period at school. October of 2014 he complained of his throwing elbow hurting when he threw. It tingled down to his fingers and then got to the point it hurt just to pick up a bag of groceries. Long story short – he ended up having Tommy John surgery on his elbow a week before Thanksgiving and that is when all hell broke loose! He couldn’t ride his bike in the woods anymore so we caught him smoking in the upstairs bathroom that him and his older brother share. We confronted him and he was like – so, what are you gonna do about it? My husband, his dad, travels out of town quite a bit for work and I am home with him and his older brother myself quite a bit. Because of this, I am a very stern parent! We have been very open and honest with our kids and they know we will not deal with drugs (it’s illegal) and alcohol until they are of legal age. So, finding out he was smoking was a huge shock to us. He started rebelling at home and would refuse to do anything! He wouldn’t do his classwork and was a disturbance in school, he refused to do any of his chores or clean up after himself. All he wanted to do is come home from school and eat and sleep. Would get up, eat and go back to sleep. We changed the wifi password so he didn’t have access to the outside world but there was nothing we could do about when he went to school and had wifi. I took his phone and turned his phone plan off so he couldn’t make calls or use our data plan. When he found out he became furious. He ended up getting another device from a friend and was using accessible wifi to contact for drugs. When he was asleep I was able to get his device and found instant messages on there about buying and or swapping drugs for drugs. He was accessing them at school. He was becoming more and more confrontational with me at home. He would go through stuff and try to find things he could sell. (can’t prove it but we think he took money from us) He refused to go to school and I tried to call the truancy officer to see what to do. My son kept saying he wanted his stuff back in his room, I wasn’t allowed to just take it. Of course I would explain he was wrong – all he had in his room was more than I was legally bound to provide. He would throw fits and punch holes in the walls in his room and in our upstairs hallway. He would get in my face to the point I was afraid he might do something to me. He would flip chairs, throw things and punch more holes in the walls. He threw our remote to the TV and it smashed into a 1000 pieces on the tile floor. He took a bat to our freezer outside and would take off for hours at a time with out permission. He is bigger than me now and there was no way I could stop him. I would threaten he would be grounded longer if he left and he would just be like – whatever! I would ask him to please think about what he is doing and to make the right decisions – that this behavior was not the way to get his privileges back including his phone. He would just leave. One December morning, on a Monday he refused to go to school again and he became VERY violent. Thank goodness his dad was home this time. He actually went for a gun and a knife and his dad was able to stop him. (yes we have a full big gun safe now) I called 911 and when police and ambulance arrived they heard some choice things from him and had no choice but to take him to the pediatric psychiatry ward at a local hospital. He was handcuffed and taken in the back of a police car as we followed. The pediatric psychiatrist on duty said she didn’t see anything wrong with him and he was released. I was at a loss for words! Everything we told her happened and the police told her – she released with no follow up or plan in place to help us??? Really?? That was Monday – by Thursday he was refusing to go to school once again and being very violent stating he wanted his stuff back. He took my phone and stated he wasn’t going to give it back until he got his back. So, of course we were trying to get my phone away from him. He ended up throwing it across the garage and him and his dad wrestled a little more. His dad was just trying to get him to calm down. He then came in the house and grabbed his dads phone and it all started again. I ended up with a very bruised hand and even thought my pinky might have been broke. (it wasn’t) People would ask me if I had gotten into a fight and I would lie and say my hand got stuck between my wall and frig when I was trying to pull it out to clean. That same Thursday we ended up telling him we found a new place four counseling and it was actually a rehab place for drugs. Of course when he found out he was being admitted and the exit doors were all locked he became verbally abusive. Called us terrible and the worst parents in history. Began to curse at us and I put a stop to that right away. I told him I didn’t care what frame of mind he was in he would not curse at me, I was still his mom and he would respect that! He quit cursing and just said how much he hated us and he was gonna just be worse when he got back home. He was there 12 days and released the Monday before Christmas. We even went to his friend he would go in the woods with and spoke to his parents and him and he denied they ever got high or did anything like it. DENIAL was the game with them. We had Christmas at our house that Monday and traveled to another state for our older sons baseball tournament after Christmas. We stayed with relatives for Christmas and everything seemed to be going great. He was on meds for his ADHD/ODD and depression. We THOUGHT all was going good until we learned Jaeden was smoking again and misbehaving in school. He had stayed the night at the same friends house and I just had suspicion something wasn’t right. Call it mothers intuition or whatever. I called the mother of the boy and began asking questions. She didn’t want to believe her son was involved but was willing to check a few things just to entertain my suspicion. I asked her to check his window sill in his room for footprints and to see if the screen had been removed. I thought I had heard them talking about sneaking out. His window was low to the ground on the first floor and faced the front porch. She didn’t believe they would sneak out and kinda laughed it off. After about an hour or so she called me back and she said she just couldn’t get it out of her mind so she called her husband who was home that day and asked him to check around the window and for the screen. When he did he found foot prints on the sill and on the porch and the screen was gone, which they found hidden in the garage. So, they started searching his room even more and found a good size bag of marijuana under his bed with a bowl to smash it up with. I don’t know the actual name for it. Also, found the pipe they used to smoke it as well. Needless to say it got ugly in there house after that. This was in April of 2015 – we decided he needed another trip to rehab. He refused to go to any or his medical appointments by this time and was again refusing to go to school. We actually even found a counselor that would come to the house because of this. I called the same hospital he was in the past December and they said they had a bed open and would hold it for him since he was a previous patient. We just had to get him there. This was the problem – he was too big for my husband or I to just pick up and put in the car or we were worried he might jump out. Again, the police were called, this time the non emergency line and they said they would send a unit out to help. Well, here comes an ambulance and police all with sirens on – great! Now, all our neighbors are outside wondering what is going on. After several hours of talking with the paramedics and police, one police officer finally got permission to take him to the door of the hospital so he couldn’t jump out. He was there this time for 8 days and released. Again, we thought all was going to be good but he just played the game to get out quicker. Long story short – everything and more happened again (involving the police several times again) and by October 2015 we were looking for a longer treatment place for him. He was 16 by this time and we wouldn’t allow him to get his license because of everything he was getting into. He admitted he didn’t want to stop smoking, he enjoyed it. We knew he was on the verge of failing his classes again. We contacted our insurance company and with the help of them and researching places ourselves found a place we agreed on and our insurance paid 100% of. He was there through that Christmas and New Years when the insurance cut him off. The Dr’s, his therapist and us all knew he was not ready to be released after just 3 months. He had made advances in the system to just fall back to a lower level again. We were not in a position to pay $500 a day for him to stay. He was released in January. All seemed to going well. Few little mishaps here and there by NOTHING like before. We always told him we didn’t expect him to be perfect but NO DRUGS what so ever. We found out he was doing Lean at school. A drug I had never heard of nor had my husband. More research to do. His friends were finding out and their parents wouldn’t allow them to hand with our son anymore. He was seeing a psychologist once a week then it became every 2 weeks. She ended up telling us not to come back because he told her his job was a drug dealer. What psychologist just up and fires their patients without referring you to someone else for help. I was so pissed off!!! More and worst things started happening and still are happening and we want to kick him out. My husband caught him and different boy on the back patio smoking a bowl when he thought we wouldn’t be home for a while. He is back to smoking and doing other drugs now and again being a disruption in his classes and not doing his work. Actually took the worksheet he was supposed to be doing and folded it into a paper airplane and flew it across the room. (he was on drugs too) The same day, just last week he went nuts and destroyed part of our house and attacked his dad several times. We knew he was on something the moment we saw him. Eyes were dilated, speech was slurred and movement was weird. I ended up calling the police again. Same officers that had been here before and were aware of all the trouble we had had in the past with him came out again. Nothing they could do because he was 16 unless we pressed charges. There was not a chance I could press charges. Why? Because we press charges and he gets a record with assault and battery and every time he goes for a job and doesn’t get it because of it – he will always blame us! It will be our fault the rest of his life. Yes, I know it is his fault but if you have kids, stop and think about what our relationship would be the rest of the time. Very cold if any at all. I want help for my child NOT to hurt him for the rest of his life! But, unless WE file charges or he does something illegal there is nothing they can do. They took evidence and our statements and going to put it in front of the DA but doubtful it will be taken as a case. Too many others that are bigger to deal with. So, in the middle of the night he ran away. He didn’t go to school Friday (last time he did this, he at least went to school) so we reported him as a runaway for the second time. The police again came to the house and took down the information and gave us a case #. But they don’t go out and look for them, it is by chance IF they run across them. We had a vague idea where he may have gone but he has friends that drive and didn’t know if any of them came to pick him up. He ended up coming back 6 days later asking to come home. Said he just didn’t want to get anyone in trouble for letting him stay with them. I wouldn’t let him in the house and told him to go to the back patio – we had lots to discuss first. He wouldn’t apologize to me or his dad for what he had done the previous week and basically blamed it on us. I told him he would NOT have a phone and he was not allowed on social media at all. He was going to do a lot more chores around the house to work off what he had broke during his fit of rage! 55″ TV, xbox, vases, picture frames, holes in walls, threw a bar stool at a window, window didn’t break but wood blinds did and other decorative stuff when he swiped tables clean and it all smashed on the floor. He was grounded and he would NOT be able to sleep all day and had to go to school and keep up his homework. He agreed to it all if he got him back in the house. Plus he only took a duffel bag of items when he left. So, the next day when he came home from school I made a list of chores for him to get started on, after his homework was complete. He started with vacuuming the upstairs and was supposed to precede with vacuuming the baseboards as well. He claimed his stomach was hurting and layed in the hallway and fell asleep. I tried getting him up several times to finish is chore. He said – no he didn’t feel good. I made him take a shower and go to bed. The next day he came home from school and started his homework. When he was done he disappeared up stairs. I called out to him and told him to finish his chore and when he was done I had another. He replied “No!” I asked what did you say. He said – I’m not doing anymore, you are treating me like your slave. I told him NO I am not, you are working off everything you destroyed – the TV was about $1000 so you got a lot more to do. He again said – NO, he was not going to do it. His dad tried talking with him and telling him to do it and he refused telling him flat out NO!! I am so tired of him and just want him out of the house and go live the life he thinks he will have somewhere else. He doesn’t have a license, which he was going to go next week and get, but not after all of this now. He has money we have been saving since he was a baby for a car and now he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t have a job! So, what makes him think he will have a better life somewhere else? We just want him to go but don’t want him to get in trouble and us have to suffer the consequences since he is still 16, turns 17 in a month but not 18 for another year. Everything I read protects him until he’s 18! What about the parents that have tried everything to help him take the right path and he refuses! Down right refuses! Won’t do chores and again won’t clean up after himself? I am NOT his maid! What rights do we have as parents of an abusive, druggy, disrespectful, bigger than us male? I haven’t even told everything he has done and it still this long! He can’t emancipate himself – he doesn’t have a license or a job or even money!! I have researched for hours trying to come up with something!! My husband has spoke with a family lawyer and we are going to speak with him to see what our options are. As far as I’m concerned – let him go see if he can have it better somewhere else! I know he won’t and he will probably end up in jail! I hate to be like this about my son, I love him like no other but enough is enough!!

    • This could have easily been written by me. The only difference is his dad did drugs and was abusive and my son blames me for ruining his life.

      I have not always dealt with my son well especially when he was little and would get in trouble. At the same time as my son was getting in trouble I was dealing with an addict husband running us in the poor house and physically hurting me. I often lost my temper with my sons issues. He took a knife to school in 4th grade, called his kindergarten teacher a b**ch, bit children in preschool, and would never follow the rules. My son has been through the juvenile justice system 3 times. He has been held back for refusing to take placement tests. Since he was little I have been constantly getting calls from schools ultimately I have had to switch his schools yearly. He has been at his current school 3 years which is the longest he ever attended any school. He is still getting suspended and failing his classes. They are done with him and want him gone.

      I kicked his dad out last year. After that my son started acting out worse and finally started hitting me too. I have called the cops but they don’t do anything, same as when I would call on my husband. I let my husband come back a few times because my son was so out of control. Then I was getting it from both. My husband would cover for my son and they would gang up on me and tell me how I am to blame for their lives. I asked my husband to leave again.

      Yesterday my son hit me twice while I was driving. He dropped food in the car and got really angry and snapped his arm violently when he picked it up. I asked him to not be aggressive around me. Than the verbal assault started. He called me stupid and every other name in the book telling me I was crazy and he didn’t do anything. We were on our way to the mall and I told him if he didn’t stop we would just go home. He told me if we didn’t go to the mall he would kill me. I told him he wouldn’t threaten me and we were going home. He started grabbing the steering wheel and shaking me. I took him to his dads. On the way I said awful things to him. I told him I wish he wasn’t born and he was dead to me. I feel terribly guilty but I just needed it to end.

      I am worried he won’t finish school. His dad lives far away from his Charter school. He will definitely lose his spot at the school because his dad has no car and also has no job, so he can’t take him. His dad is so messed up on drugs I highly doubt he’ll enroll my son in the terrible high school where he lives. This is my only child but I feel like I have been living in a war zone since my son was 2.

      I don’t know what to do. I feel like my whole life has been as a punching bag for abusers. I am torn on if I did this to my child or was he going to end up this way anyway. I did the best I could while dealing with abuse and addiction.

      • You need to know that many would end up like this anyway. My son was interesting and fun to be around when he was young and into learning. But at 17, he has turned into his dad. It’s almost as if puberty put them in this permanent state of undeveloped frontal lobes. And I don’t think it’s all about the drugs (they were both taking drugs).

        I was a non-spanking mom (hitting creates hitters and hitees). I didn’t abuse or neglect him. I exposed him to all kinds of physical activities and creative hobbies. The dad left at age 6 and we just stayed busy, had counseling (ineffective when the kid won’t engage), and statyed positive. This kid became difficult approaching puberty. Nothing was ever enough. Even if I were wealthy, I don’t believe in ‘giving my kids everything I never had’ because it does them no favors. If you never say no, they will never learn to cope with a ‘no’. I believe a parent’s main job is to teach independence (not picking up behind them and having them earn money) and to give them emotional support (no matter if they belong to the opposing political party, a crazy religion, or their career choice). I want them to find their happiness internally and treat others right. Nothing I want for my kids have to do with materialism or arrogance.

        So yeah, no matter what you do to help kids turn into adults, many of them resist that. They want to be treated as adults, but don’t want the responsibility part of it. And these leads back to the frontal lobes. I also suspect a lack of dopamine is a problem for many, especially if drugs come into it. If I could see into the future and see how social media affected kids (being liked, having followers, and this delusional pursuit of fame and admiration), I may have had my tubes tied at 20 and not wasted my time, lol. But seriously, as much as I love my son, I do not know him anymore. Despite me knowing that frontal lobes are a big part of these kids’ issues, it doesn’t change my desire to protect what little credit and belongings I have.

        When the addicts are both father and son, it is like you’re surrounded by abusive men. And that truly takes its toll. I do all I can not to let it warp me into being wary of all males. When your country won’t protect you in your own home from them, it breaks you down, bit by bit. I’ve decided to tell my son I love him once a day (even when what I feel is pure heartbreak and rage), but I won’t say much other than that when he becomes intolerable. To heal my own self, I go to the lake with my other son. That way, I’m not interacting with the faultless one (lol) and I’m getting recharged in nature. I couldn’t do things without animals and nature (yoga, art, reading…all hard to enjoy around chaos but necessary). I’m lucky (or unlucky depending on your view) to not have many things worth stealing. I don’t wear jewelry and I don’t have a lot of tech. My son works, goes to college. So it’s like he believes he can have a foot in both worlds, being both Bill Gates and Scarface at once. We will see.

        UK folk are lucky. They can boot theirs at 17. I told my son to save a certain amount of money per month since he doesn’t feel there’s anything wrong with dealing and using. I can’t get an eviction notice after he turns 18. If he changes by then, we can renegotiate. But I’m truly hoping a study is done on inherited addiction/genetics/frontal lobes to find out how to fix the brain. I say this because his father is near 50 and will spend 3 years in prison, get out and do the same dumb thing that had gotten him in there. He was a shaken baby (frontal lobes, again) and does not seem to learn from punishment or pain. The son is following the same pattern.

        I’m also sick of big pharma and the ADD game. Esp when teens play up the symptoms and get the drugs just to get high. It’s like having a tweaker in the house, and I don’t see how it goes unsaid in the media what it’s really like to deal with these legal pushers. He will be off the meds if he doesn’t take them properly.

        So decide how take care of yourself and have a plan of action of what to do during your countdown time. Meditate and visualize what you’re going to do with the next phase of your life (forget the empty nest crap, don’t tie your existence into your children). Do your best. Tell them you love them, no matter how you feel. Tell them to prepare for 18. Stop allowing guilt to enter. Learn how to have fun again, even if you have to force yourself. Play frisbee. Take an archery or craft class. Learn to make candy. Hunt for treasure. It seems ridiculous while you’re in crisis, I know, but it pulls you up out of your home (sanctuary turned dungeon) and gives you an aerial view for a while. And you get to breathe a while without them around. Sometimes this is when new ideas come to try on the kid or yourself. We have no help in the US. We are on our own. So we all have to custom design our own survival plans. If guns or knives or giving drugs to siblings comes into play, you can’t feel bad about calling the cops and giving them a criminal record. Because, in reality, they gave it to themselves.

        Peace to all of you. I remember when I had FOUR years to countdown (my son’s troubles began when he went from home and charter schools to public – he became a dumbed down clone in many ways). Now I have less than a year to freedom. Funny that I thought I was free when their dad left. But all I got was a break before the son picked up where dad left off, destroying my finances and trust. I am glad I’ve never bought a home to anchor me here. I won’t stay here and watch these slow suicides. I will make myself available for emotional support, but no kind of enabling. I will always hope that his lobes are working well by his mid 20s and that he will have awakened to his actions. But when your kid doesn’t wake up, you have to make peace with it and go on with life. I’ve already known the loss of a baby, and you can either let depression take you (literally or figuratively) or you can rise up and rebuild your life into something better than before. I may sound optimistic, but I’m not. I’m realistic, with an ounce of hope. I feel despair at some point most days of the week. It seems neverending. And the home stretch is always the worst. You see your freedom, yet you’re still down in it. Each day is about battling that urge to not come out of my room (my bed, even), battling depressed thoughts, focusing (hard under stress) on my studies (community college is a great, free distraction), navigating a non-existent social life (even if you’re more of a loner, you should try to make a friend or two who understands, preferably in real life), battling the government when they get involved (sending your car to impound, tickets that arrived in your name), and whatever other misery the lobe-challenged individual brings into your world. It’s an out of control situation so the stress is high. The best way to regain control is to have your plan for reacting to the kid’s behavior and a plan for blowing off steam when you get a break from the kid. My plan includes the kid knowing that the impound was a one time thing. If it goes again, it either stays there or (if I can afford it), I will get the car out and store it for myself. I don’t pay my son’s cell phone bills. Nor his gas. If he wants his car to ‘go’, he has to have a job. I can’t imagine him not working, but money/materialism/shopping is one of his vices. I don’t have to lecture that I don’t have the money to pay for his fun. It wouldn’t happen if I were rich either. I hope the best for all of us. We’re screaming so loud to get our country to take addiction and mental illness seriously. For now, we have each other…which will probably go a lot further than the government’s idea of loving care (prison and more prison). Peace.

  10. My son’s daughter is 20 years old, has two children and is trashing his newly bought home. She is threatening everyone who lives there. Is there someone or organization we can call to get help. The police will not do anything and I am afraid this may lead to someone getting seriously hurt or worse. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

  11. We have a 17 year old soon to be 18 year old. Since grade 10, it has been hell, chasing pot smokers and drug deals off of our property. He has 6 credits left to get for high school. He missed more than 50% of his year. Brought drugs home and was advertising on his Instagram account that he was selling right out of our home. We confronted him and he ran with a car. Gone 2 weeks begged to come home. Home 2 days found pot a huge bag. We called the police. Arrested they found Coke on him. He has been hone on and off when he acts out he runs. He has been hone 5 weeks, taken cars without permission, had his GF overnight without permission, took my car brought it back smelling of pot and found pot in his room. We said zero tolerance to drugs in our home. You think he would get it. We are drawing up yet another family contract. His new line is that we can’t make him leave. This new contract will outline that his refusal to comply with the rules is a clear indication that he does not want to reside under our roof my our rules. He will F$&@ up again in less than 5 days. We are prepared to cut him loose. I agree this article is bunk. He need to find bottom and he is not dragging us with him. Don’t need to change the locks again because this time we didn’t give him a key.

  12. To the Author:
    You offered little to no solutions. Basically, you just said sympathy is supposed to override all else? We’re supposed to sit here and let them destroy our lives? Get the car impounded, pay for all the random fines/tickets, let them destroy the house, verbally abuse and threaten us, sell drugs (probably storing drugs here) so that our homes can be taken under America’s insane civil asset forfeiture/robbery laws? We’re supposed to lose everything, including our mental health for the one kid who doesn’t give two sh!ts about anyone but himself?

    Like I said, you gave no real solutions for the kids who are an ACTUAL problem (by actual I don’t mean a gay or pregnant kid – I mean ones who risk your safety and the credit you’ve built over decades and don’t care what harm they bring to your home). Guess I still have to keep looking. In the US, we can’t make them leave until they’re 18. That’s ridiculous because this country also makes a financial killing out of charging 17 year olds as adults in the courts so they can collect those ‘adult’ fines. Hypocrites.

  13. I got kicked out of the home because I often broke curfew, skipped school, and got pregnant when I was 14 & 16, that’s how I discovered unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy, and many other factors play a part in determining if someone truly loves you. My mom was abusive in every way throughout my 13 year stay with her, and she was totally unstable. We found ourselves homeless on MANY occasions, riding city buses & trains all night till the daylight as a means to have a place to be & sleep. My siblings and I would have to wash up in train station bathrooms and change clothes there so we can make it to school on time. I would pray throughout the school day that she could find us some shelter placement because no family would let us spend nights at their home because of her. My younger brother and I frequently ran away to my grandmother & aunt’s house (they lived together) late at night when we could escape, only to have her call the police who just returned us to our abusive, unstable mother who always had a severe beating waiting for us when we returned to privacy. After asking question later on in life, my grandmother, aunt, and other family members proclaimed that they knew not what we were going through as far as the maltreatment goes. I found that very hard to believe after looking at older photos shown to me of me & my siblings. I and others (non-family members) who viewed these photos with me clearly pointed out malnutrition, lack of grooming, bruises & scars. Even more, I had a many of black eyes in different photos, and my frail siblings and I are rarely ever smiling in any of them. Back to the story, because my mother was sent to jail for arson (burning down our apartment building), my grandmother & aunt were asked to become temporary guardians of us to prevent us from becoming state wards and being possibly split up. Both obliged, and my aunt agreed to become the primary caretaker & decision maker for us. My aunt took so-called parenting classes offered and paid for by the state to complete state requirements for being a foster parent. My siblings and I resided in a shelter with her until my mother’s guilty verdict was handed down, and from there the state assisted both my aunt & grandmother in the purchase of a home for us in a aesthetically pleasing neighborhood full of high racism. We moved in with them at this point, and I discovered through my exploration of the community that there were few families in the community who looked like us, and they definitely didn’t have the family composition we had; most were 2 parent, well to do households inclusive of pets! By this point I was a relieved 13yr. old who was relieved that my brothers had a stable place to live, but I had particularly lost any INKLING that my grandmother and aunt truly loved me being that every time my younger brother and I ran away, her actions placed up back in the hands of abuse. By this time, i really hungered and craved love. I wanted to experience it, I wanted to be hugged, kissed, told and shown I was loved; I saw this in exhibited by parents in the households of the 2 friends I had. I wanted a mother and father to ( I never knew my father), a happy home. Both my aunt & grandmother worked, so they barely had time for us. As long as we followed the house rules (curfew, go to school, stay out of trouble) everything was cool. There were know hugs or kisses involved, barely conversation. My aunt asked if I was sexually active, I said no & that was that. I was already in my first year of H.S, and had already missed almost half the year (my grandma & aunt gained custody of me & my siblings about this time), and I was already engaged in my first sexual encounter & relationship (so I thought) with a guy who went to my H.S. who was a senior, and I thought he REALLY LOVED ME! Long story short, I had no idea sex could lead to pregnancy, and I got pregnant. I told a friend, and her mom suggested I go to the planned parenthood clinic to seek help. So, I skipped school and there is where I found I was pregnant, and the Dr. explained to me how pregnancy occurs. I told my boyfriend, but he didn’t care, and avoided me the entire rest of the day. I returned home but never said a word to anyone in the house, but one day my grandmother saw me eating several servings of pickles. She said, “pregnant people eat pickles,” my aunt then said we were going to the Dr. the next day. I never said a word, I was afraid, ashamed, embarrassed, and really just wanted to kill myself. After the appt. & our return home, she asked what I wanted to do. I told my aunt, “whatever you think I should do.” She suggested abortion because I was now only 14yrs. old and didn’t need a baby. So I said ok because I just wanted the shame & embarrassment to go away. Afterwards, my aunt started me on birth control, i transferred into the neighborhood H.S and put forth my best effort in attaining A’s & B’s. I joined the girl’s basketball team, made a new friend, and began participating in teenage life. However, my family never came to my games, and my grades didn’t seem to mean much to my aunt. I began not to care & got this idea that I would create my own family. I decided I would have a baby, that way I could have something to love who will love me back. At 16, I got pregnant again intentionally and still never said anything until my grandmother noticed my weight gain. Again my aunt asked if I was pregnant, I lied and said no. Truth was revealed via a Dr’s appt, and upon returning home I was given an ultimatum. My aunt asked me what was I going to do, I sat in silence. My grandma said from her bedroom, “I ain’t taking care of no babies cause I raised all my kids!” My aunt then told me if I keep the baby I would have to get out, If I have the abortion I could stay. I immediately said that I was keeping my baby, my aunt then said she would call the caseworker so he could remove me from the home. My caseworker came by the house 2 days later and offered various social services that would remove strain from my aunt and grandma in regards to the baby. My aunt rejected, and told him I must leave because she has my brothers to care for. 1 week later I found an after-school job at a national grocery chain, and I went to school in the day and worked in the evenings. 3 mos. later my worker found a temporary holding spot in the main state home for state wards. He promised he would continue to look for me a home for pregnant teens & take me there after I was processed at the main facility. 2 weeks later I was sent to a catholic adult/teen temporary home for pregnant women. This place was for the homeless, and for those whose parents hid them there until they had there babies & placed them for adoption; these teens then returned home afterwards. My family came to visit once out of the 5 mos. I was there. From there I went to a teen parent facility in hopes of getting into transitional living and then onto independent living. I am now 19, my son is 2, i’m in independent living, in college, and my beautiful son is well taken care of; I kiss & hug him all the time. While I still crave a mother’s love, family love, I do LOVE my beautiful son! I’ve visited my family two times, but they make me feel like an embarrassment. There really is no connection, barely conversation, but I just smile & pretend I’m not angry with them until I can fully process everything. I know I have a role in this because I got pregnant 2x’s, broke curfew many times, and this had to cause my aunt stress & worry (especially since she didn’t have children of her own). I sincerely apologized to both my aunt & grandma for my choices, but I’m too fearful to let them know how much I’m angry with them because I feel they never tried to find out my backstory, what I’d been through, or the mental, physical, emotional, & spiritual trauma my mother subjected me to for 13yrs.!!! This abuse has damaged me in many ways, but they’re the type of people I CAN’T TALK to about ANY OF THIS! They feel if you talk about the past, or harbor anger then you’re being negative. They take a stance similar to the “Get Over It, Don’t Talk About It.” Yet, the brightest part of my visits in their home is seeing my brothers who are now 14 and 9. What should I do? Why do I crave their acceptance & love? I’m not in counseling at all.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

six − 3 =