What To Do With An Out-Of-Control Child


Teenagers that are out of Control

I was approached the other day by a mother who has “custody” of her 15 year old son.  The child is out of control and is physically frightening and intimidating to mom.  Even though mom is technically the custodial parent, son lives with dad right now.  Dad is, however, entirely no help and blames mother for all the child’s problems.  At least once a month, when mom leaves for work the son takes advantage of the situation and invites friends over to mom’s house. They break  in and party and trash the home. The boy’s school grades where good, but are now failing.

Is there anything she can do?

The problem with the system is that from a “legal” standpoint, mom’s only “legal” option is to call the police on her own son. That is NEVER a good idea (from a parenting stand point) unless the child or another person’s physical safety is in immediate jeopardy!

In my opinion, this client’s problems are not “legal” in nature.  She mostly needs some parental empowerment.  I have since suggested she see a counselor to assist her in assessing her own parenting awareness while I work to help coach her through the parenting plan issues raised by this terrible situation.  I have also recommended the following two books:

Parenting Your Out-of-Control Teenager: 7 Steps to Reestablish Authority and Reclaim Love (Paperback)

The Whipped Parent: Hope for Parents Raising an Out-Of-Control Teen (Paperback)

Finally, I have recommended that she ask the court to appoint a parenting coordinator to help educate everyone… mother, father and the child …as to the concerns and options they each have for turning this situation around before a more serious situation arises.

Please keep your figures crossed that we are able to this young man’s life aimed back in a positive direction.