Moms always know their children. Growing up I always knew that my son was developmentally different from my daughter. He was soooooo active , but I really thought that it was just because he was a boy. I am an elementary teacher and one year I had a student with add. His mom gave me some information about it and I started to research the topic. At 4 years of age we had our son evaluated and he was found to have adhd. We did not want to give him medication but found it was necessary once he was in first grade. The ritalin was amazing. He went from being a nonreader to one of the top in his class. School was always a challenge but we made it through. During these years we also went to numerous support groups, counseling sessions, and behavior management programs. When my son graduated high school he decided that he did not want to take ritalin anymore....he did not want to take drugs. At 18 he developed an "I can now do whatever I want" attitude and now at age 20 things have only gotten out of control. We made him leave over the weekend because of the disrespect that he has for his family. Lately he has been sneaking girls into his room very late at night and he sees nothing wrong with it. His latest female friend is 3 years older than him,covered with tatoos and piercings, holds no job, and was recently been kicked out of her home. We told our son that she could stay with us but one of them had to sleep on the couch. We thought that was being nice. Well of course he disobeyed. I had some major surgery last week and he didn't even care. All he cared about was himself and shacking up. He was also told that we would not allow him to have a motorcycle. Along with "his sweetie" came a motorcycle. We had to stick by our rules so we asked him to leave. It hurts so bad. Did we do the right thing? We do have our other children to think about too. PB
So sorry to hear you're struggling with this. Make sure to let him know you still love him and that he is welcome back anytime, but only so long as he meets the house-rules. He may need to hit a low-point in order to find himself and realize how much he needs and loves you and possibly needs therapy. Good luck.
Im really sorry to hear that bout your son, and it bites for you. I know for myself I had to hit the low low bottom before I realized what my reckless behavior was causing. Im only a college student, at 19, and of course theres tons of drinking. Our counselor, whom I go see, heard that I started to drink again, and not only drink on weekends but one week night I did. My first thought was I dont care what anyone has to say, its my life, a drinking isnt going ot hurt me, shes not my mother. I had several adults try to talk to me about it and I didnt listen, I didnt care. But this one day i got tired of it all, i got tired of pushing those who loved me, always being on the defensive side, pushing poeple to their limits to see how far I could push until they provide me right; your son may be doing this i dunno. But no matter what continue to let him know that you love him and he needs to know that you'll help him but it comes with certain conditions and he has to be willing to help himself. From October until Janurary I put up a huge fight with certain adults im really close to with at my college and the counselor. The counselor would tell me, Im not going to give up but you hve to be willing to change. Your son may want to be "good" or follow the rule but the impulisive/ reckless behavior may get the best of his good intentions. Alright so im not going to ramble anymore, just a few thoughts!
"Without a struggle, there can by no progres."- Fredick Douglas
Thank you for responding. Our son already knows that we love him so very much. We will do absolutely anything in order to help him. We fear that his brother and sisters missed out on so much growing up because we had to devote a lot of time and energy to only him......but we did not mind. I know that being 20 is a tough tough age....too young for some things, too old for others. Inside our son is a very warm person. He was always a kisser and it never bothered him to kiss us anywhere. We have to stand by our house rules.....being a parent is so hard....this is what tough love is about. Having a son with ADHD has made me a better person I think. As a teacher I truly understand how difficult it is for these kids. I do reach them and it makes me happy. People say that they understand how hard it is for us. The truth is unless you have a child with this disability you have no clue.
Volleyball......please do ramble...I need it.
Please God watch over HIM! PB
[B]hello paula b, yes i know what it is like to have a teenage son mine is 18 going on 19, he does not have adhd. my son has an attitude of you cannot tell me what to do, but you know what i keep on him , about coming home a certain time. the last 2 times he went out he came back an hour and a half late. so i grounded him for a month. with much complaint . but i stuck to my guns, sometimes fhe gets loud when he talks to me i will not tolerate it. you said something in your post about letting some woman sleep in you home? i am not judging, but my advice would be never do that again, it only makes your son think you will agree with him with anything. also putting yourself in jepardy as well. sometimes i think of throwing my son out, it might teach him to appreciate what he has now, and also to see how hard it is out there in the world, take care and keep us posted. god bless............
People say that they understand how hard it is for us. The truth is unless you have a child with this disability you have no clue.
Oh, Paula, my heart goes out to you. Even with a severely ADHD 13yo son, I know that I can't begin to imagine what you are going through. And you're right, it's preposterous for others to presume that they understand!
Saying a prayer for you and yours...
Last edited by index.html; 04-06-2004 at 08:34 AM.
Thank you for your thought and prayers. It's been 3 days since I have seen him. Today was tough...I spent a lot of time crying...Tonight I have to go to see my mom because it is her birthday and she'll start questioning me. No one in my family or my husband's family understands this disability. They just think that we are awful parents.
alrigh one thing im great at is rambling, glad I can help you. Im turning 20 this summer, and unfortunately my parents didnt devote much time to me. Im a triplet and my parents do foster care. They didnt realize I wasn't being just "lazy" or stupid until i was in 4th grade. I got put on meds the following year but after that i was never put on it again. It wasnt until i went to college and put myself on meds. I wanted to do great in school, i wanted to do better than my sisters that im always compared to, for once i wanted to stand on top. Your son sounds like he has great intentions, and really loves ya'll for what you have done for him. And im 110% he is greatful for ya'll. Does he have a lot of responsiblity? I know you dont want to hear this, but give him time, he'll realize his reckless behavior. As for your other children, talk to them about the situation and how they feel on an idividual bases. Maybe they can give you some insights. Having an ADHD is frustrating as it but I can only imagine how u feel as the parent. You want to understand them and look inside and see how it is and why we think or act the way we do. IM sure you may know this but close your eyes imagine a room full of filing cabnets that are in an organized fashion and theres a lightblub in the room. This is what a normal persons brain works, now turn the light blub off, fling all that papers around, pretent a tornado went through......thats how my brain feels nonstop. I know when i went through my defient stage i was also depressed. I felt like everyone expected me to screw up and i was always the "bad" girl who got into trouble with my parents (nothing with the law) so eventually i got tired of trying to prove others wrong and took on that role. Your son may see that you believe in him but sometimes it has to come from an outside source. A family's love can be a very powerful thing but sometimes outside pressures can over take the love and support a family may give. He may be thinking you guys just say that to say it....i know it sounds weird but trust me. one little critism strikes right to the heart like very sharp arrow but a compliment barely touches a person because of the walls that are put up. This may all sound very silly but i've learned from my own experiences. I started to slip back into my old habits, somtimes its like what am i doing?!?! All this work and im getting no where, i feel stuck a lot of times. But thank God I feel people at my school who care for me tremendously and some what has taken on the role that my parents never did. I'll be praying for your family and your son. Keep your head up, im sure your an awesome parent and only want the best for your son. Try not to be so hard on yourself.....it takes time. I recenlty read a student leadership book and there was a cute little memo that someone wrote out that was from God, and it said "I'll solve these problems on my own time, not yours". Sounded kinda harsh but it got the point across. Sometimes you just need to continue what ur doing and pray to God that he will help you through this hard time and give you guidance to do what you need to do. I hope everything gets better soon. If i come up with anything else that may help out i'll be sure to reply to you!
"Without a struggle, there can by no progres."- Fredick Douglas
I've been that son. I wasn't diagnosed with ADD until I was 20 and on my way to jail. My first daughter had been born only a month earlier and I had spent the last 3 years of my life drinking and doing a lot of recreational drugs and not caring about anything. Sometimes, we have to hit rock bottom (and I mean bottom) before we realize that there are better things in life. All we can do is stand by the ones we love and be there to help when they are ready to accept it. Constant reassurance that you are there for your son is all you can offer. Don't over do it and don't let him become a sponge, constantly taking whatever you offer with no thanks. Remember, we always love our children regardless of the fact that we may dislike the way they act.
My heart goes out to you for what you're going through. I put my mom through the same thing. I know she loves me very much and is very happy that I'm medicated now and have a rich and happy life with my own family. That is the upside....the downside is that I feel never ending guilt knowing the torture that she went through watching me develop and being unable to stop the mistakes I was making. At age 28 I am eternally grateful to her for her neverending patience, love and support for me and all of my friends that she and my dad tried to help. I never realized it but watching them try and help my friends with their personal problems helped me to identify my own and has given me an insight into my own life that most people my age are only just starting to explore.
My final word of advice is this small piece of wisdom that everyone needs to know,
"People will grow up only when they are ready to, have patience."
Everyone has given me lots of encouragement. Thank you so much. I know my son came home last night....late....very late...but he knew that I was still awake because the lights were still on in my room. He did not come in, he only snuck his motorcycle out of the yard. I was up for hours afterward just worrying...Where is he going? Where is he staying? Is he eating correctly? We even made sure last night that we made extra for dinner just in case. The only way I can sleep these days is if I take something. My doctor has tried to prescribe meds to help me stop worrying and thinking at night so that I get some rest. I have a chronic disease that requires lots of rest and lately I can tell that I'm not getting enough.
So what does it mean to hit rock bottom? How low is the bottom? My son truly knows that we love him...he hears us say it to him every day.
He did have a girlfriend. Actually we were shocked that he had a relationship with someone for so long. He went out with her for 14 months. Our family adored her. She was so good for him. They broke up a while back and lately he's been dating someone we are not fond of....tatoos, piercings, no job, no home. Believe me I do not stereotype anyone. I give anyone a chance. I love all kids...that's why I am a teacher. I'm not blaming her, but I'm sure she has had some influence on him. I know sex has been one of those influences.
I am not an overly religious person but I do pray. I've been praying for my boy for 20 years. He has always been a challenge but I would not have changed anything in my life. My mom keeps telling me...Paula, God only gives us what we can handle. Our croose in life that we have to bear only make us stronger. I believe that too. This cross has been quite heavy and at times downright burdensome, but I 'll continue to carry it for the rest of my life. I love him so very very much.
I know you're hurting right now but you need to put the ball in your son's court and see what he does with it. If you keep trying to protect him, he'll just rebel in more dangerous ways. If a motorcycle is not allowed, he'll try something else when you're not looking. Let him make his own decisions and let him fall on his face. You don't learn that there's potholes in the road if you don't walk it. You have to fall into a few before you realize that making dumb choices just isn't going to do much good for you.
All of us need to be a little reckless as kids or we do it as adults when there's much more at stake. As a mom, I understand the fear of the motorcycle, but as much as I hate to say it, there's nothing bad about it other than our overwhelming mommy fear that something is going to hurt our baby and we only see the risk associated with not being encapsulated in a huge vehicle. That's part of your job at a mom, to worry. I still am amazed that any male makes it to adulthood without the women in their lives protecting them! LOL
Please, just take a step back and watch him grow. I'm not a mom to an adult, but I've got a 9 yr old that I've protected so much that I've caused more problems then I prevented. I am taking parenting classes and had the little epiphany yesterday during a session. It has caused him some problems with self-esteem because I have not allowed him to become his own person. I wanted so badly to protect him from all the bad in the world that I overwhelmed him more than had I stepped back.
I'm not saying it will be easy, it will be one of the hardest things you'll ever do...but despite our feelings that they need our imput and protection to keep from doing something stupid, God has his own angels watching out for them...that's the only thing I can think of as to why so many men make it to adult hood. He will do fine and by letting him go, you'll be bringing him closer to you. Good luck.
If you don't experience anything bad, you'll never appreciate the good when it comes around!!!
My son called me a little while ago. We talked for a bit...he wanted to know how I made out after my surgery and he asked several times how everyone was doing. I told him that when he is ready we will talk. I think he realizes that this time it is very serious. He is still such a little boy under that grown-up exterior. He called from work so he really didn't have time to talk. I told him that we all love him so very very much.
I don't know if you have read my posts but my step-son is only 9 and his attitude is just like your 19 yr old boy. "I'll do what I want, speak to you however I feel and you can't stop me"
I totally agree with your "tough love" stance.
I hate to think what my boy will be like at 19 if his father doesn't get him under control soon.
The "Rock bottom" point that I mentioned before is not necessarily as bad as it sounds. Basically, at some point, your son will likely realize that there is something more to life than hanging out with friends and riding motorbikes or something will happen where he will have to make a decision between the life he has now and something better. When I held my first daughter in my arms (I was 20) I knew that I wanted something better for myself and for her and I made the decision to start trying. It wasn't until a couple of months later when I was diagnosed with ADD and started my meds that I had the mental tools to be able to follow through with that decision but that was my turning point where I decided that it was time to grow up.
If you're concerned about his diet then drop him a homemade meal once and a while. Maybe something for him and his friends. It can't hurt anything. My parents hated my friends when I was going through this phase but because they cared about me, they extended that care to those others in my life that were obviously important to me. It wasn't a forced thing, they never told my friends anything or talked to them about it...they were just there. When my best friend had his first daughter, my mom brought them down an old second hand baby monitor and one of those excersaucer things...no strings attached. She just left them at the apartment. Maybe that will work for your son. If he likes motorbikes get him some tickets to a motor bike show for him and his friends. Just give them to him and tell him to enjoy them.
I'm trying to offer you some insight into what is going through your son's head and the things that helped me get out of a similar situation. Please don't take any of this as criticism. Your son may have found, for the first time in his life, a group of people who accept him as he is...not as someone with ADD or as the kid who acts weird in class. He probably feels alot less pressure to be "normal" with this group of friends. I know that some of the people that I hung around with during that time in my life are still in the same place I left them but those of my friends who had people around them who cared about them have gone very far from the high school drop out/alcoholic/drug users that they were.
I know its easy for me to say this but it may actually be the truth...be patient, be accepting and above all else...just be there when he finally decides he really does need you. It will happen.