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15 year old tried cigarettes!

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by mischloss, Jan 2, 2011.

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  1. mischloss

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    i am at my wits end....for a while now I have been periodically testing my son for Marijuana and cigarette usage through urine testing. Just cause he is 15 and running around with kids a lot and coming home late at night. He has agreed to this since it is a way to keep him on track. He also has ADD so does a lot of spontaneous and sometimes compulsive things...again to keep him on track...we test at will, if we think he is running around too much. So far he has come out clean. HOWEVER, the past two nights he has been to some teen clubs and so I warned him that I will be testing him soon for things which he said he was fine with. So this morning I performed the test and the nicotine came out positive...no mistaking about it. He denied for an hour until he was blue in the face. Stormed out and got a ride with a friend and then finally texted me and said that he "took a drag" but just to fit in. Anyway,....given that he is T1 (A1Cs for 7.7 at endos last week)....what do I do next? I detest smoking. None of us smoke in our house. I watched two uncles die from smoke related cancers. His grandparents smoke and are having health issues. I told him that I have zero tolerance for this behavior. We have now grounded him from driving...no more funding his car "buying" account...but other than that what are our next steps? We live in Georgia...I plan to call his pediatrician tomorrow and ask them if they need to see him. I am just devastated and so depressed. I have lost all trust in him. He has also been very slack lately with checking bg and taking his bg meter with him when he goes out at night. I feel like throwing in the towel at this point. :(
     
  2. Nancy in VA

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    I'm sorry you are going through this.

    As far as the smoking, you can only talk to him over and over. Talk about the dangers. Talk about peer pressure. Tell him how disappointed you are in him.

    But, a way to prevent him from smoking is to remove him from the environment. Running around with other 15-year-olds who are a bad influence - don't let him out of the house. Go Amish on him - he gets to go to school, a job (if he has one), and home - no where else. You can remove all luxuries from his room and leave him a mattress and his clothes and make him earn the other things back. If you don't like who he is running around with, don't let him.
     
  3. emm142

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    I think most teenagers try a cigarette at some point. I have, and I only did it once - one cigarette doesn't usually lead to addiction. If you're keeping up with the testing, you'll know if he does it again.
     
  4. Amy C.

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    I am sorry you have to deal with this.

    Peers have a tremendous influence on all people -- not just teens. Your son cannot help but to be influenced by the kids he runs around with, no one is that strong (not even adults!).

    If they drink, smoke, do drugs, steal, have sex, they will influence your son to do the same. Conversely, if your son's peers think it good to study, do homework, be polite to adults, this will influence your son to do the same.

    It works in both directions.

    You shouldn't keep the teen at home, to avoid all temptations. There is good peer influence he needs to see and to exhibit. You can ask that he look around for new friends and restrict his activities until he does so.

    My brother had slacker friends all through high school. My parents were never strong enough to make him find new friends. In the end, my brother did OK, but I wished my parents took more of a stand than they did.
     
  5. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    If he knew that you would be testing and he did it anyway, then either he doesn't care what your wishes are, or he wanted to get caught so that you'd reign him in.

    I don't know why being 15 means that he gets to run around a lot. Especially if you don't like the kids he's running with. Maybe he just isn't allowed to just go off as he wishes - he's only 15 after all.
     
  6. frizzyrazzy

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    It sounds like you're unhappy in general with all the "running around", so my suggestion (as the parent of a teen) is to not allow the "running around". If he's behaving inappropriately when out of your sight, then curtailing his freedom is really the only answer.
     
  7. mischloss

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    Nancy, I can't physically stop him. I tried the other night to stop him from going out to a club. His friend was coming to pick him up...16 year olds are driving now...he is the youngest per his birthday in his group so he only has a permit...the others can drive on their own. I grabbed my phone to call the kid's parents that i know and we got into a wrestling battle for the phone...he snatched it away from me...and deleted the phone number so I couldn't call them to stop him! He then punched a whole in our downstairs hall wall as he walked out. I called the police on him but they said that I can't legally stop him by force...they did talk to him the next day about "property damage" regarding our wall which he and a friend later patched up and painted. Made him repair all the damages...but as far as I am concerned the damage is done to our relationship. This happened on Christmas Day of all things....bummer. Then I find this out about the smoking. I had suspected for a while, since I have found lighters around his room or pocket for a while now. Always an excuse how it is someone else's or he needs it for safety etc.

    As far as trying it only one time...when we first tested him...he confessed that he had smoked one cigarette and that he hated it and would never do it again...that was one year ago and now he has been lying to us.
     
  8. LizinTX

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    First off, I'm sorry, that he has made you at your wits end.

    Secondly, it sounds like you have several problems here and have lumped them all together. The smoking problem, taking care of his D and then staying out late at night while running around with questionable friends.

    If it were me, I would probably get rid of those friends. Clearly he can't stand up to their peer pressure.

    Then I would talk to him about the smoking, calmly and rationally, without fighting, did he like it? Make him feel good? Bad? What exactly. Then talk to him about the dangers of smoking and what can happen. You don't want to give the impression that you condone the behaviour, but you also want to open up the lines of communication.

    And lastly, I am going to suggest family counseling. You said you felt devastated and depressed, and that you felt like throwing in the towel. I believe you both would benefit greatly. It sounds like he is trying to find his place in the world and isn't making the best choices by slacking off on D care and then picking friends that would cause him to stay out late and smoke. A good counselor can help you both get back on track and on the same page.

    Good luck.

    *I was writing mine, when you gave that very enlightening update. Forget what I said about talking to him about the smoking, and run to the counselor. He also has anger management issues and he needs help now, and so do you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  9. hawkeyegirl

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    You may not be able to physically stop him, but you can (1) cancel his phone plan; (2) cut off the discretionary funds; (3) take away computer, iPod, video games, etc. If he doesn't respect you enough to follow your rules, why should you be providing him with any luxuries?

    You didn't say - is the child's father in the picture? What does he have to say about all of this?
     
  10. mischloss

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    Lizin,

    Two years ago when he was 13 we tried counseling...both as a family and then one on one for him....we did this for over a year with minimal improvement. The only good thing that came out of it was that he was tested for ADHD/ADD and found to have ADD and put on Vyvanse which helps with his studies and completing tasks at school. The other thing they found with him is that he has very little to no empathy what so ever about anyone or thing. He has also been labeled as a bully at one point during middle school, has had a number of behavior issues at school in the past and even was caught for stealing by police over this past summer. A host of issues...this is just the latest in a great huge pile. I kid my husband that I need my own reality show cause no one would believe our lives. I am a working parent and so am not home during school hours...he refuses to come home on the school bus anymore and chooses to "hang out" at a local taco shop here with his pals and then "hitch" a ride home around 6 or 7pm...sometimes he goes from the taco shop straight to a "gathering" and doesn't come home until like 10pm even on a school night.

    Short of hiring a bodyguard to accompany him everywhere, I don't see how we can manage to keep him from doing anything.
     
  11. LizinTX

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    Is there a place in your state for troubled teen boys? In Texas, it is called Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, they take troubled boys just like yours and turn them into productive men. Please Google Cal Farley's Boys Ranch, and then see if you have something like this in your state.

    There is hope and help, we just have to find it, and figure out what works.

    ((((HUGS))))
     
  12. mischloss

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    Hawkeyegirl,

    Yes his father is here and my husband...we are both the biological parents of my son. His father tried to reason with him and then tries the yelling method. Nothing seems to get threw to the kid. He has a little "prepaid" card that I fill up for food money and such...which I have now not funded so that he can't go out. I have tried taking away, laptop, xbox etc. Phone is very hard since it has the GPS system on it and I use it to at least keep some kind of track on him when he is going around town. And being a diabetic I feel that would be the last thing to cut off since it still is a lifeline if anything happens to him medically. That is the reason we got him the phone in the first place.

    Let me just say that the kids he hangs with a very affluent kids. Most put on a very good face and are very polite and nice with grownups...live in gorgeous houses...then when they have gatherings...seems like they go wild...I hear that the parents are "in the house" but this is hear se most of the time. i don't have every parents home number to verify....
     
  13. Flutterby

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    Sorry you are dealing with this. He's 15, he's a minor.. I would take away every form of communication with his 'group'.. phone and computer, definitely. Then the ipods, and video games. I wouldn't give him money for anything but school lunch. And if you can load his lunch card through an online source, I'd do that. I think every teenager tries to smoke at one point or another, but combined with all the other stuff, he needs to know you are his parent, and you make the rules.
     
  14. mischloss

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    Lizin, I will try to Google the Boys ranch...the counselor suggested 'boarding school' but they are about 10-15 grand a year! Something we can't afford to do. Believe me i would have shipped him out two years ago! Thanks for the support. I feel very helpless in all this.
     
  15. MamaC

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    If you shut off his funds and take away his wheels/phone etc., his peers will soon get sick of the freeloader tagging along. I think it's time for some tough love.

    If counseling didn't work the first time, I suggest you find another counselor and give it another shot. Repeat as necessary until you find the right fit.

    Are there other children in the family?
     
  16. Nancy in VA

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    Maria: Unfortunately, I know another mother who is in the same place as you. Her child doesn't have diabetes, but has a lot of the same problems and attitudes your son does. Unfortunately, she is now tyring to deal with him through the court / legal system because nothing else has worked. He steals from them, comes and goes as he pleases, etc. He is now on probation so she has taken to reporting him each and every time he has an infraction. I have no words to explain the anguish she goes through but she is where you are - she is no longer able to control him and is just hoping to get him into a state facility to help him. I hope you can derail him before he reaches that point.

    I would definitely be taking away his phone and electronics. If you can't stop him from leaving the house, you can stop him from getting back in and you should be able to report his as a delinquent (do you have curfews of any sort in your area) or as a missing person to help maybe get some support in this area.
     
  17. selketine

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    Well - no good advice from me but I did know a co-worker who had a similar problem with one of his sons. That child was a handful - and I think they finally did end up sending him to a "military" school - perhaps also one meant for difficult children.

    I noticed you mentioned the ADHD diagnosis - was he diagnosed as "oppositional"? That is sometimes a factor that goes with ADHD. My older one is ADD (not hyper) and not oppositional - but he does take meds. This made me wonder if there were meds JUST for the oppositional form of adhd.

    Does his pedi have suggestions?

    I hope you find some answers.
     
  18. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    I'm not sure I understand why smoking is such a big deal. The other behaviour you describe will destroy his future long before Mr. Marlboro gets him.

    I agree with MamaC. ... get help. If your last attempt failed to work, try a new therapist. If that one doesn't work, try another.

    What other option is there? To give up and let him end up in jail, or worse?
     
  19. Flutterby

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    whatever you do, don't give up.. Ihave a cousin that is loads of trouble.. he's parents have basically given up.. they can't deal anymore.. they let it go to long.. he's now 18 and they've had it.. I had another cousin that did the same thing, same situation, parents gave up, she died of drug and alcohol abuse 3 years ago.. After she died everyone questioned why no one did more.. YOU are the parent, you control what funds and and 'toys' he has. I also agree that smoking is the least of the worries right now.
     
  20. mischloss

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    Hi all, thanks for replying....as far as the smoking yes, it is one of the issues, not the most important maybe but just one more nail in the coffin. And no they have said for the most part he doesn't have ODD. The thing that gets me so upset is that we really try to be strict about his comings and goings...I text or call him every so often to see where he is, what he is doing, when he will be home. For the most part, he plays the role and is on track with things....but it is like there are some nice days and pleasant days and then whammo he does something very destructive or stupid out of the blue. Smoking, stealing (in the past), getting in trouble in school, etc. Okay people have said to me...he is just a boy...he is a teenager, let him learn...blah, blah, but being ADD and Type 1 on top of everything makes me a nervous Nelly about when the next "episode" will hit. I am dreading next year when he supposedly will have a license to drive on his own.

    I am currently restricting driving at all for the "hole in the wall" infraction. I have not put any funds on his pre paid card so that he can't be running around town...one post was right about being a freeloader...he is way too charming and can always manage a handout or a 'sleepover" from one of the parents of the kids he hangs with. And let me tell you some of them are very blas? about their own kids...where they are and when they are coming home. One parent told me to loosen up! But of course their kid is not type 1 either.

    As far as taking everything away from him, if we do that then there is nothing left to punish him with. We will run out of things to take away...which leaves us with no leverage. I really don't want to have to go down the road of courts and legal action. I just don't know how to get through to him and so far neither has school counselors, mentors, teachers, or psychologists. I can't even tell you all how many teachers and counselors begin the sentence like this "Your son is brilliant and can be such a great kid, if only....and then they trail off about all the stuff he has been doing. I hear the disappointment in their voices since they all thing he has such potential.

    The character that would most be like him...if I could let you all picture him in your mind is Matt Damon's character in "Good Will Hunting"....when I saw that movie I sobbed. Matt and my son can be twins in personality.
     
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