At 2:45AM I was woken by a call from the police to say that my 16 (nearly 17) yr old son was in the hospital and I had to call the A&E. I duly call to find that he's been rushed to the hospital with alcohol poisoning and has been in a serious condition (at one point they estimated that he had a 70% chance of dying), but they had managed to stabilise him. He was released this morning, still very drunk (for the life of me I can't understand why they let him go home in that state ), and I have had to deal with either him sobbing or being really aggressive all day (at one point I had to call the police he was getting that bad and their appearance did calm him down).
I'm not a bad parent, I'm really not, but because of last night's events, I will now have to deal with the Dutch equivalent of social services too. My son has also been referred to an out-patients clinic that deals with alcohol abuse in kids/teenagers (that's not a bad thing). I know I have vented about this before, but it makes me so angry that a country who allows kids to buy alcohol from the age of 16 and has a tolerating drugs attitude, turns around and blames the parents when things go wrong. Just for the record, I don't drink & have never smoked or used drugs, so he isn't being led by example here. I'm sure I'm to blame to some extent (being too soft with him), I raised him myself for 9 years, and to be honest I still am as my OH has a very hands-off attitude with him.
Thanks for letting me vent - it's been a long, hard day.
I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through that! Thank goodness he beat he odds and survived!
I'll keep you and your family in my thoughts...
I cannot even imagine what you are going through or how scared you must have been. I have a 2 year old - so I know nothing of this other than the stupid stuff that I did growing up. I really don't think there is anything that a parent can do - especially if it is legal for them to buy.
Just know that I am thinking about you and praying for you and your family - I am so glad that he made it through the night!
I'm sorry you're going through this. I know how you feel. My brother died from a prescription drug overdose last month. Your son's very lucky he survived. These kids think they're invincible and that it can't happen to them. Hopefully this will be a wake up call for him but you'll have to research how to deal with addictions. Here's a good site:
Good luck and give him a kick in the pants for me.
bonjovibabe, I'm so sorry to hear this happened. I raised three boys and the middle one battles with alcoholism (their dad was no help because he is also an alcoholic). I also don't drink or do drugs and NO YOU ARE NOT A BAD MOTHER!! Please, please when you get him help, make sure YOU get counseling, too! It's VERY important that you learn how not to be an enabler or be to soft on him. You need to hear from a professional how to handle this. I hope this episode wakes him up, I'll be praying for you and your son. If you need to talk feel free to PM me.
I don't really have any words of wisdom, but I just wanted to send you a big *HUG* because I'm sure you need one. My prayers are with you and your family.
I'm so glad that your son survived and that he has such a caring mother! Hopefully this will be a wake-up call and he'll finally realise how dangerous alcohol and drugs can be! My love and thoughts are with you and your family!
I agree with the poster who said that kids think they are invincible. It's so scary, because the ydon't realize how quickly you can lose your life. Hopefully, this will be a wakeup call for him.
You're not a bad parent. He's just a kid, and sometimes they made stupid, scary choices that they have to pay for later. Thank God he's alive.
(((hugs))) to you. Good luck! (Please tell me he at least had a monster hangover. )
God as a Mother I can only imagine what you felt when you got that phone call.........that is just the worst thing any of us want to hear when the phone rings at that time of the night.
Thank God he survived.........hopefully he'll realize that he's been given a second chance to live. I know you said kids can buy alcohol at 16 in your country, and yes that does make it easier for them, but we have the same issues here in the US and the drinking age is 21.
There's a wealthy town in RI that has lost 3 teenagers in different incidents all due to alcohol. These kids were all 16 and under. It just seems like someone else said, they think their invincible, even these kids who have lost close friends, still find a way to get alcohol and continue to drink.
I hope everything works out for you guys, I'll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
P.S. Jsmith, I'm so sorry about your brother, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as well.
Thank God he is alive.
Kids do NOT think, but they will (hopefully) get wiser as they get older.
Eventually they come to understand and live by the moral lessons you have taught them.
You are not a bad parent- he is just being a "stupid" kid. Part of growing up for most of us.
(((BIG HUG))) I can't imagine getting that phone call as a parent.
Hopefully, things will get better. I won't get into my family dynamics but both my brothers did the same thing *and worse*. My parents still don't know how they raised 3 kids that are all so vastly different.
Thank you all so much for your kind words. I managed to get some sleep last night, but I'm still exhausted.
I would love to think that my son has learnt his lesson, but I don't think he has. Today he is acting like nothing happened and it's no big deal, he is being his usual beligerant self. The fact that I am luck to not be arranging his funeral today is none of his concern - how do you deal with an attitude like that?!
Jsmith, my sympathies. I lost my sister suddenly 6 years ago at age 29 from an acute viral heart infection. We weren't very close, but she was my only sibling and to lose her hit hard. She left 3 boys behind (and was a single mom). I loathe sayings like 'time will heal', because although to some extent that is true, the death of someone close to you will always leave a void that can't be filled.
I haven't heard from any of the 'authorities' yet, but my mother is driving me mad by ringing every couple of hours (I know she's concerned, but she a drama queen and always manages to turn everything in to something about her - sigh!).
I know you said kids can buy alcohol at 16 in your country, and yes that does make it easier for them, but we have the same issues here in the US and the drinking age is 21.
I think in many ways the higher drinking age makes it worse because kids sneak around. I don't know if it's still happening but less than 10 years ago the big thing where I live was for the underage crowd to get alcohol and drive around on the back roads while they got drunk. And the driver was drinking too most of the time.
Kids doing stupid stuff doesn't make anyone a bad parent. I don't think any way of raising your kids will ensure that they won't do idiotic things.
My heart goes out to you and your son...Drinking is drinking no matter what age you do it. My father is an alcoholic...I can never remember a time spent with him when he was without some type of alcohol. It's a disease. Please get help for him and surround yourself with a loving support group. It may be a peer pressure issue. Friends have a great big role in the lives of teens. My prayers are with you both.
I am very sure you are not a bad parent. There are just those times where kids are influenced by their friends and of what they see outside the home. I hope he's all better now and so are you. Take care.
Bonjovibabe let us know how you two are doing. I hope everything is looking up for both of you, you're still in my prayers.
Hi, just wanted to check in on you. How are things with your son?
Like nothing happened!He's been going out, but has not come home drunk (or even smelling of alcohol) again. Now weed, he's been plenty stinky in that dept!
Tomorrow he goes to see the child abuse people (I still can't explain just how offended I am with that!). He will be interviewed on his own and because he's over 16 they can't tell us anything unless he agrees to it. Then then plan to interview us at a later date with his permission. So basically he's adult enough to decide whether we can be told about stuff, but we are still considered to be to blame for him acting like an idiot - yeah, that makes sense!
Good Grief! I am so sorry that the social services are accusing you of child abuse because of what your son did. They go after good parents and many times leave children in actual need hanging out to dry.
Your son's actions in no way say that you are a bad parent. Kids have so much available to them these days and many have the attitude that the world owes them everything. My 15 year old has this problem. I took him to the doctor because I thought he might be bipolar. The doctor told my son that he is fine and that he has S*** HEAD TEENAGER SYNDROME.
I wish I knew how to help you. It helped a little when I wrote a long letter to my son to explain how I felt about things and gave him examples of real problems that other members of the family had had and did not turn to alcohol or drugs. I have a new rule now. If he does not come home at the required time I turn off his phone. He has to pay for the texting service. If he comes home at least 10 minutes early then I take $1 off of the $20 he owes me each month. If he is disrespectful to me, then he loses his phone. If he has lost his phone use and he is still disrespectful he is grounded and the door to his room will be removed. If things were to continue, he will lose the TV, radio, CD player, games, etc. This was started Sunday. He has made it home 15-30 minutes early and his attitude has improved dramatically. I told him that there were no negotiations on these new rules. He also knows that we can drug test him at any time. If he fails, then he loses all privileges until he is clean. At home drug tests (here in the US) can detect the use of weed up to 40 days from the last use.
This may not help you, but maybe it will give you some ideas on how to deal with him.
May God be with you and your son.
Aw, I'm sorry. I know how frustrating that is. And it doesn't make you a bad parent. Michelle gave really good advice. I hope you find something that works for you and your son. I know at that age it's hard to stop them from doing whatever they want but try to take away any privileges you can so his life is a little harder. ( I still want to go there and kick him in the behind) Mostly, keep communicating with him and clearly explain the dangers of his drug and alcohol use and express your love for him. I really hope he comes around soon.
I think you should show him jsmith's video about her brother. It was very moving! I wish I could help, but have no advice to give. This is one of those things yh\\ou don't understand unless you've been through it. I am sorry you're having to deal with this.
I am sitting here just crying because I am living a very similar nightmare. My son is 17 almost 18. Drinks, smokes things he shouldn't, and has skipped so much school that he has to go to court over it.
Tonight I lost my husband because of all my son has been doing, and me being powerless to really do anything about his behavior. My life has fallen apart. I thought my husband was my best friend, but I am finding out that the only time he has been in my corner is when everything is smooth sailing, but the minute things get rough I am to blame for it all, and he becomes the selfish person everyone kept telling me he was, but I didn't want to see it. I just don't know what to do. I feel for you bonjovibabe, I totally understand where you are coming from. But I have no solutions for you because I have no solutions for me. I have barked up every tree, tried everything I can think of and afford to get my son help, to no avail. I have even written Dr. Phil several times with absolutely no response from his people.
So I probably will again have to stop doing cakes, because very soon I will be homeless again for the second time in my life. I just don't think I can do this again.
Aw, Cakesdivine, I'm sorry. It sounds like things are pretty terrible for you right now. I know that between your husband and your son you don't know what to do but to me it sounds like you could really benefit from visiting a counselor for yourself. They'd be able to help you learn to deal with the things going on around you. I'd give up on Dr. Phil and get a decent counselor. (I don't really like him. )
Bonjovibabe and cakesdivine I am so sorry to hear of your troubles. The only thing I can do is pray for you guys. Get a strong support group around you to get you through, mine is my church family.
My husband and I are the teen class SS teachers and we've seen quite a bit. Bullheaded, yes, most of them are. I hope everything works out for you both. I call it the Teen disease.
Well we made it through last night's festivities. He came home at 3:30 and wasn't drunk. He kept the appointment with the child abuse people yesterday and they are going to help him with his anxiety & paranoia problems. They told him that the tests they did at the hospital that night came back positive for speed, COCAINE (OMG!!!) and E (he swears he took none of those things that night, but had tried cocaine around Xmas time). They also said that he had been taken into the ER recently suffering problems with E, this he also denies and cannot remember at all! I certainly have no knowledge of that happening (and wouldn't they call the parents under such circumstances?).
I know a lot of this has to do with the kids he mixes with these days, they are all the same. 18 months ago he was more independent - he used to go out free-running which, whilst not the safest sport, kept him occupied & burnt off all his wired energy (he has unmedicated ADHD). Then he broke his collarbone which left him unable to do that for months and that's when he got in with this crowd of friends & this all started.
He takes his high school exams over the next couple of months, and I have no idea if he will even pass. He certainly hasn't done any work for them. I have even considered sending him back to the UK to live with my parents, but they are in their 60s and it wouldn't be fair to burden them with all of this too. I'm sure I would just be swapping one set of problems for another (gang culture etc).
Cakesdivine - honey, my problems are nothing compared to yours and I really feel for you. Is he still considered a child in the US? Is there no rehab facility for kids you can get him into that is funded by the state?