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ibelievet
ibelievet asks:
Q:

Please help! What should I do about my 15 year old son

My son will be 16 in August and he gets into trouble in school, almost got expelled the end of school this year.  He just acts out without thinking and then he gets in trouble.  He has also snuck out of the house and got picked up for being out after curfew.  He did 10 hours of community service.  Now he has gotten a citation for theft, which is a Class II misdemeanor.  My son and 2 other boys were walking around and one boy decided to go into someone's car to see what was in it.  My son went along with it and he told everyone that he did not take anything.  The theft was of a bottle of tylenol which they did not find on him or the other boy.  My son goes to trial in a month and I am very worried.  I don't know what will happen.  I can't get my son to understand what he is doing is wrong and I ground him, but he sneaks out.  His father isn't in his life and we have no other family.  My son strives for everyones attention and it seems he will do anything to get it.  I am just worried about his life and if he will make it through to graduation with the way he is going.  Nothing I say helps.  Please someone help me.
In Topics: Teen issues, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Hand in Hand
Jun 30, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

What a difficult time for both you and your son. I hope we can help you start to connect with him again and good things will come from there. Teens may feel grown up but they still need the important adults in their lives to reach out to them for genuine connection!

What I want you to try is this:Set aside some time when you promise yourself you're not going to guide him or teach him or get upset about anything he says, you're just going to be with him and enjoy the time together. You don't need to go anywhere, spend any money or make a big deal about it. You can start with as few as five minutes.

During that time, focus your mind on the good things about your son, the things you love about him, the fun times you have had together, the memories you cherish. Then just follow his lead. It may take a while for your availability to sink in. But what he needs here is to feel how much you care about him and want things to go well for him. That connection with you is vital to his well being and he can use it as an anchor to right himself in troubled times.

There's a link at the bottom of this note that talks more about how this process can work and the changes that are possible once he gets grounded in his connection to you once again.

Good luck to you both. Let us know how it goes,

Julianne Idleman
Hand in Hand Parenting
www.handinhandparenting.org
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