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Old 11-02-2005, 01:15 PM
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Trouble With 14 Year Old Son

Hi.. my name is Kelley. I stumbled upon this site while searching for some advice with my 14 year old son. I have custody of him, but he now chooses to stay with his father. He is failing in school, and is not compliaint with all of my house rules. He is playing one parent against the other. Or I should say he started that way any way. Now I'm just out of the loop! I have tried to drag him home and make him stay and go by my house rules, but his father allows him to go there and do what ever he wants. Now the school is saying that we need to do something because the Dad is enabling my son to do what he wants and get away with it. I have tried for months to talk to the father but he will not respond to me. He tells our son that its not his place to be mad at him if he doesn't tell me where he is or where is going to be, but he must call and tell his father. I have spoken with the schools set up counseling and tons of things but his father will not make our son go. Nor will he communicate with me about anything. When I speak to my son and tell him that its important to have rules and stablilty he continues to feel that Dad is where he needs to be. The school now wants to get srs and health services involved. My son's counsler at school is advising me to attend a meeting with everyone involved and turn over my son to his father for full custody since my son will not come home here without running.. My ex husband allows my 14 year old to come and go as he pleases. As well as detentioins, suspensions and failing school. He still allows our son to do what he wants with no consequences, and still no communicating with me. I hear it from the school. I really don't know what I can do. Any ideas? I've done everything from setting up counseling, anger managment, meetings with school and chasing kiddoe down and making him come home. It has all fallen apart and his Dad is allowing our son to fail. Thanks for letting me talk.
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Old 11-02-2005, 04:24 PM
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I feel for you. I would think that you would be able to have your son put into a juvenial dedention center to get the schooling, counciling, etc. that he needs and get him away from his father until Dad grows up. Basically your son has run away from home (you) and his father is not doing anything to return him to his legal home.

I would talk to the school councilor and anyone else you can about your legal resourses to help your son get on the right track. I know in some states you would be legally liable for your son's lack of attendance at school because you have custody of him.

Roberta
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Old 11-03-2005, 10:32 PM
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do you and your ex actually have joint custody with you being the custodial parent?? If you have sole custody, where you are the one to make any decisions about what your son does then your ex should be able to be held in contempt of a court order-mainly the custody agreement. If you actually have joint custody-where he also has a say in what your son does it will be harder to get him out of loop. Have you gotten the police involved when your son has gone to his dad?? If you/they don't want to put him in juvenile detention for a while, maybe they'll agree to have him under house arrest where he'll have to go to school and be at your house or they will pick him up and he will have to go to juvenile detention for awhile.
You really need a lawyer, social worker and judge who are willing to look outside the 'box' for a fix to this problem before your son ends up in real trouble. But if none of this is an option it might be to your advantage to give custody to your ex and really make him the responsible adult, he may change and be harder on your son when he realizes that the authorities will come after him if your son isn't going to school, etc.
I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Take care.
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Old 11-04-2005, 06:25 AM
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I agree with the posters above, as well as your school's counseler. Fourteen year olds aren't always sensible-surprise. I'm sure you can see already that the harder you pull to hang on the harder he's going to keep trying to break away. If there's no concern of abuse, I'd send him to dad.
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Old 11-04-2005, 07:23 AM
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trouble with 14 year old son

Looks like 'daddy' needs the consequences. He is encouraging your son to do the things he is doing. On purpose, probably as a source of irritation and grief for you. Get an attorney before you do as the school has suggested. That will solve their problem and may heap more on to you. Find out from the school attorney what THEY will do for you and your son IF you go to court. Get all the information from the school about what is going on with your son...behavior, what they have tried to do,etc., the meetings that you have made, etc. Be sure to include all types of communication that your ex has had with the school.

Sounds like a family court session is in order. A good judge will tell your ex that if his son does not comply with the school (esp. truency) that HE himself will be held in contempt of court, be fined, go to jail, etc. He is using your son as a way of 'getting' you. HE Sounds like a real jerk and certainly not responsible enough for or WHO deserves custody of a child.

One thing I will caution you about though, IF you do give full custody to him, he can, in most states, come back on you for child support - another way to 'get' you. Which might be what this is all about anyway, IN MY OPINION. Even if the judge says you don't have to pay him support, some laws will allow him to get a re-evaluation after a certain time.

Good luck to you and your son.

Barbara
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Old 11-04-2005, 09:53 AM
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See a lawyer and get this into Family Court.. they have huge resources to help you deal with this... do it now before it gets totally out of hand....
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Old 11-04-2005, 01:08 PM
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I really agree with trekmom and the others. Maybe its time your ex takes on the responsibility of raising your son. It seems like they both need to learn the hard way. If you have sole custody you may be able to file incorrigibility charges against your son. that will put him on probation but he'll live with you. He will have many rules to follow~attend school, have a curfew, chores, etc. Doing this will amaze you at how quick a turn around can be.

Good Luck.

Coll
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Old 11-04-2005, 02:32 PM
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I had the same problem with a 15 year old, nothing you can do, really. Just leave your door open, chat with him when you can, and let him learn the hard way. I tried to get my son to stay home with me, but he wouldn't and went to live with the ex. He doesn't talk to me at all, but I hope I raised him well enough while I could so that he will be able to care for himself....Good Luck, hon!
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Old 11-05-2005, 09:50 AM
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I'm sorry, but saying there is nothing you can do, is what makes them incorrigible. As parents, we MUST keep a handle on our children and not indulge them so much. Parents are afraid of their kids, and that attitude of wringing your hands and saying there is nothing you can do is what enables them. Parents have a responsibility to their children to take control and put them on the right track.

There is PLENTY you can do.
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Old 11-08-2005, 08:13 AM
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The worse thing you can do is nothing! Contact a lawyer ASAP. Your son will never succeed in life by doing whatever he wants at age 14! He needs the discipline and rules more now than ever. He is spreading his wings, but needs the proper guidance (obviously, not Dad) to help him in the right direction. Don't give up!!
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