Well, I have experience with teenage children but, my son seems to be a special case of some sort. To give background, he is actually my stepson. He was raised by his abusive grandmother. She took advantage of his mother and father's breakup right after he was born and his severe medical issues at birth to go to court and get custody of him. She then effectively shut the parents out of his life and raised him believing that nobody in a HUGE family wanted him, except for her. She completely isolated him, allowing no friends, contact with other family members, etc.
We recently were able to hire an attorney to gain custody of him. He has stated he is MUCH happier with us, has a life and friends, gets to do neat things that other kids do,etc.
Now we come to the problems. He shows no remorse for doing things he's not supposed to, even if they hurt other people, he lies constantly about everything, steals from family and friends, treats his friends horribly to the point where he doesn't have many anymore, shows no respect for the "boys don't hit girls" rules, is completely inconsiderate to his mother and myself but, jumps to when his dad says anything, seems to show a lack of empathy or compassion unless it's the cats or dog.
Recently, his obsession has been with drawing pictures of women tied up, gaged, blindfolded, whipped, beaten, etc. On top of the other problems we have been experiencing, I have to honestly say I'm scared. Of him and for him. He's seeing a psychologist but, it's not making very much headway right now. Has anyone else experienced anything like that? If so, how did you get past it/get your child(ren) help?
You stepson may benefit from having some kind of therapeutic aide, which can sometimes be provided for by the school. A male would certainly be preferred over a female and it must be someone who can model appropriate behaviors towards others out in the community. Something like a big brother or a mentor.
You may also need to set up some kind of strict consequences and be able to enforce them without much effort. I don't know what those could be but I do know that he will be subject to consquences from the community at large (peers, police, etc.). You can also set up some rewards for appropriate behaviors.
If at anytime his behavior is a threat to you, call the police.
Thank you for your response. Honestly, what we are dealing with, since he was excessively punished in his former home (only clothes allowed in his room, no tv, no recreational, etc) he seems to have developed a "So what, you can't do anything else to me that hasn't already been done" attitude toward discipline.
He sees his psychologist next week and we only pray he can get through to him. My stepson's father is very "hands-on" in trying to teach him right from wrong, empathy and compassions, values and morals. It does not seem to be working very well.
Hopefully, his psychologist WILL be able to get through to him and offer up some ways to curtail the long list of behavioral problems that the psych feels "may" be some form of antisocial behavior. Sadly, the teens today are required to grow up faster and know more about all forms of abuse than we ever had to deal with growing up. Their childhoods are very short-lived and I feel this could be an addition to so many kids having a wide variety of problems. Maybe life numbs them? Who knows?
It's not uncommon for teenagers to develop that "so what" attitude. Even if you smother him with love (or even just surround him with it) there is a good chance he will refuse it and actually may escalate his behaviors in hopes for punishment. Two reasons for this; 1) he does not believe he deserves that love and 2) it hurts. Even putting a soothing balm on a cut on the body can hurt.
It will take time and patience and an understanding heart - even for the psychologist.
You're right about kids today growing up too fast. It's just one of the many problems our society places upon....itself.
Do pursue the idea of an aide or mentor or big brother through school or a community agency. Good luck.