Posted by: Bad mom? | 2008/01/25

difficult son of nearly 15

My son is turning 15 in a few days time. He has become extremely disrespectful over the last year. If I reprimand him for something he has done wrong, he goes into his bedroom and destroys everything in it. He swears and shouts, saying "What are you going to do about it". He has had drug issues from last year, and I suspect the marijuana is back. When I try and talk to him to find out why he is behaving the way he does, he walks away from me. I have offered to take him for therapy. The school psychologist told me that it is pointless sending him back to school this year, as he is always absent and does not want an education. There is nothing they can do to help him/me. Nowadays he just ignores everyone at home and only talks to his friends (when he talks to friends, he is completely normal and chirpy towards them). Maybe it is because the other day when I cleaned his room, I found signs of marijuana abuse, and told him that if he uses drugs in my house. Once again this triggered a distasteful situation. Please help as I am at my wits' end, and I have a young daughter at home, and all this conflict is not good for her. Please help?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageTeen expert

Hi there,

if you suspect the substance abuse is the main problem and from his behaviour it is clear that things have spiralled out of control, you need to consider a psychiatric intervention, preferable of an in-patient nature.

If you are in the Cape Town area I suggest you contact the Adolescent Unit at Kenilworth Clinic on 021 763 4500. If you are elsewhere in the country they may be able to tell you of units in other parts of SA.

I suggest you dont wait any longer as the problem is already serious if he is not attending school.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Darb | 2008/01/29

The situation did not occur overnight I imagine... the fact that it has deteriorated to such an extent means that you failed (as a parent) to manage the relationship. So you now have to do damage control and turn the relationship around. First be honest and open with him that you think the relationship is not healthy and that you would really like to build up a good relationship with him - learn about his needs and desires and he can learn about yours and to offer support to each other where you can. Be open and communicate. Make him feel part of the solution - value his thoughts and perceptions and DO NOT be denfensive. Admit where things are not right and commit to improve. Maybe make a deal that once a month you each will do things that the other has planned.

Reply to Darb
Posted by: I also have a teenager | 2008/01/28

My son is 14 and can also be extremely difficult to handle, he doesn't smoke, but still. I just wanted to tell you that there is a lot of misconseption about dagga/marijuana. It DOES NOT make you agressive, the absolute opposite. It makes you calm and relaxed. The problem is that you chill so much that you don't worry about school work etc. You could always take him to the doctor for a drug screening. (urine test) Maybe it is something more than dagga. Then maybe you could go and see a trained counsilor to help you, help him. A lot of kids start with dagga and move on to other things. They say that you should be strick but supportive - you know, tough love. Maybe something else is bothering him and he doesn't know how to handle it or talk about it. I hope you find an answer to the situation. before I go, I don't think your a bad mom, I think your a good and conserned mom.

Reply to I also have a teenager

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