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Old 05-22-2009, 07:20 AM
 
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activities and therapy.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Northglenn, Colorado
3,689 posts, read 9,253,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
My 15 yo is very destructive. He pretty much always has been. It is really, really getting old. We moved into our house about 4 years ago and bought him a new bedroom set (his other was a hand-me-down) and furniture. A couple months later I discovered he had drawn on it and carved things on it. Same with his desk and window sill. He claims he is bored and that's why he destroys things. And unfortunately, he is now grounded due to lighting things on fire in his room (not the first time) so he says it's going to get worse now.

So I have come up with a plan and I would like some imput. I am first going to clean out his room from all unnecessary, and flammable, things. Then I will begin charging him for anything he destroys/ruins. When he runs out of money, I will give him extra chores and "pay" him for the chores only to collect the money for the destroyed items.

Does this sound like a good plan? If anyone has any other suggestions please provide them. I am at a loss right now.
take everything out of his room except for a mattress, pillow and a blanket. Remove his door from the hinges and only give things back to him when he can prove to you that he can be responsible for items he owns.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:11 AM
 
2,385 posts, read 3,704,642 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
My 15 yo is very destructive. He pretty much always has been. It is really, really getting old. We moved into our house about 4 years ago and bought him a new bedroom set (his other was a hand-me-down) and furniture. A couple months later I discovered he had drawn on it and carved things on it. Same with his desk and window sill. He claims he is bored and that's why he destroys things. And unfortunately, he is now grounded due to lighting things on fire in his room (not the first time) so he says it's going to get worse now.

So I have come up with a plan and I would like some imput. I am first going to clean out his room from all unnecessary, and flammable, things. Then I will begin charging him for anything he destroys/ruins. When he runs out of money, I will give him extra chores and "pay" him for the chores only to collect the money for the destroyed items.

Does this sound like a good plan? If anyone has any other suggestions please provide them. I am at a loss right now.
The way your son is acting sounds like a cry for help to me. Beyond that, I don't know what to tell you because it's very hard to help teenagers, as they need guidance but are hell bent on individuating themselves from their parents (as they should be, it's a normal phase).

Other than the fire-setting, I say that if he wants to live with destroyed furniture, let him live that way until he moves out. Just don't buy him anymore stuff, or if you do, make sure it's cheap so that if he destroys it, it won't be any extra money out of your wallet.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:41 AM
 
3,422 posts, read 9,436,301 times
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Originally Posted by boilrmkr View Post
I think I saw something on Dr. Phil about punishing kids. He said to remove EVERYTHING from their room except the bed and a blanket.
Its called room stripping, and it is not only beneficial for children with conduct/oppositional disorders but also for ASD kids (the removal of stimuli can help them)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bowian View Post

You may want to read "The Explosive Child." His behavior sound not sound very explosive but it is self-destructive. The book may have some good tips for you.

Good luck.
Excellent book. Wish I lived near Ross Greene's clinic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noahma View Post
take everything out of his room except for a mattress, pillow and a blanket. Remove his door from the hinges and only give things back to him when he can prove to you that he can be responsible for items he owns.
Again the room stripping suggestion. This helps you as well because he can't hide things that can cause problems (weapons, drugs, etc...).

I have no further suggestions. i wish you well. Parenting can be painful.
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:17 PM
 
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Your son is very angry and controlling and a potential threat to anyone living in your home. He is destroying furniture yet you want to pay him to do chores? He should be doing chores because he is part of the family. Have him get a job outside the home or mowing lawns for the summer to earn money to pay you back for the damages.

You need to get him to the pediatrician and then have him evaluated by a psychiatrist. He really needs it now!
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:39 PM
 
1,091 posts, read 3,233,444 times
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I've read the other responses.
There is no way to "child-proof" the room or the world of a 15-year-old.
They're too independent, too mobile.
Taking away his desk, door, and mattress is pointless.
If he wants to find things to burn and destroy, he will find them, both within and outside of your home.

If you seriously think he's out of control or a danger to himself or others, then he needs to be in a locked in-patient psychiatric facility, perhaps.

However, in the OP you mention "grounding' him.
Does he comply with this?
By the time my son was fifteen, "grounding" was pointless.
He'd just say "F--- you" and walk out the door, pushing me out of the way to do so, if necessary.
If you still have enough control over the boy to ground him, then perhaps the situation is not as bleak as other posters seem to think.

Basically, here's my personal take: the things you gave him for his room, the new bedroom set, etc: those are his personal belongings. You gave them to him. When he moves out in a couple of years, he'll probably take them with him.
What teenage boy actually cares about fine home furnishings? A nice new bedroom set would've only embarrassed my son. He wants his friends to think he's tough and cool when they come into his room, not to think that he's some overprivileged mama's boy.
Perhaps your son is trying to personalize his furniture by carving it up.
Perhaps he honestly likes it better that way. Maybe beat-up, carved, battered and burned furniture better fits the image he's trying to portray. It's his furniture, and his room. Maybe he, like my son and many other teenage boys, is trying for some bad-ass image. Maybe the torn-up furniture helps further that image. Why worry about what he's done with it? It's his stuff. It's no reflection on you.

On the other hand, burning things might constitute a fire hazard and a danger to the rest of the family.
It is your right and your responsibility to forbid him to burn random things in his room, if he's doing it in a way that's likely to endanger your home and family.

I don't know.
You know your son. None of us do.
I'm surprised a teen so blatantly destructive and threatening ("It's going to get worse now") would comply with grounding or any other restriction or punishment, but if he will, kudos to you; you've got better control over your boy than I've got over mine.

Good luck to you.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:00 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 1,296,445 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jane72 View Post
However, in the OP you mention "grounding' him.
Does he comply with this?
By the time my son was fifteen, "grounding" was pointless.
He'd just say "F--- you" and walk out the door, pushing me out of the way to do so, if necessary.
If you still have enough control over the boy to ground him, then perhaps the situation is not as bleak as other posters seem to think.

Basically, here's my personal take: the things you gave him for his room, the new bedroom set, etc: those are his personal belongings. You gave them to him. When he moves out in a couple of years, he'll probably take them with him.
What teenage boy actually cares about fine home furnishings? A nice new bedroom set would've only embarrassed my son. He wants his friends to think he's tough and cool when they come into his room, not to think that he's some overprivileged mama's boy.
Perhaps your son is trying to personalize his furniture by carving it up.
Perhaps he honestly likes it better that way. Maybe beat-up, carved, battered and burned furniture better fits the image he's trying to portray. It's his furniture, and his room. Maybe he, like my son and many other teenage boys, is trying for some bad-ass image. Maybe the torn-up furniture helps further that image. Why worry about what he's done with it? It's his stuff. It's no reflection on you.

On the other hand, burning things might constitute a fire hazard and a danger to the rest of the family.
It is your right and your responsibility to forbid him to burn random things in his room, if he's doing it in a way that's likely to endanger your home and family.

I don't know.
You know your son. None of us do.
I'm surprised a teen so blatantly destructive and threatening ("It's going to get worse now") would comply with grounding or any other restriction or punishment, but if he will, kudos to you; you've got better control over your boy than I've got over mine.

Good luck to you.
As far as the grounding goes, he complies to a point. The other day he was supposed to walk home from school and was expected to be home by 3:00. Well he came home at 5:00 with a B.S story about going the long way and stopping at a friends house for water. He will not just walk out, more like sneak out when we are not home. He knows now that I will call the house at random times and he must pick up.

When it is me disciplining him he will stand up to me. However, if it is another authority figure, he will back down. My husband (his step-father) works second shift so he is rarely here to help with discipline. But he will back me up later as needed.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:15 PM
 
1,091 posts, read 3,233,444 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamom1 View Post
As far as the grounding goes, he complies to a point. The other day he was supposed to walk home from school and was expected to be home by 3:00. Well he came home at 5:00 with a B.S story about going the long way and stopping at a friends house for water. He will not just walk out, more like sneak out when we are not home. He knows now that I will call the house at random times and he must pick up.

When it is me disciplining him he will stand up to me. However, if it is another authority figure, he will back down. My husband (his step-father) works second shift so he is rarely here to help with discipline. But he will back me up later as needed.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this.
I don't know the answer, but you're not alone.
I have many female friends (not to mention myself) who are at their wits' end about what to do with their teenage sons.

I can only hope that if we get them through these difficult years in one piece, maybe they'll calm down, come to their senses, and straighten out in their 20s or 30s.
I've seen that happen with many of my "bad boy" peers from when I was a teen.
Of course, some small percentage of them- maybe 10%- did not straighten up. They grew up to be bad men, and are now probably in prison, drug-addicted, homeless, or dead.
But the majority of "troubled teen boys" I knew when I was young (which was quite a few, actually) grew up to be fairly normal men. I would have to include my husband in this category.

So I have hope that my son can straighten up eventually too, and you should have hope for yours as well.

Sometimes life teaches them the lessons that we, as parents, aren't able to.
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:09 PM
 
Location: Nova Scotia
458 posts, read 1,136,602 times
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I will tell you my youngest daughter has been my handful. She went through the fire bug phase and it scared the crap out of me. She burned her PILLOWS. Big burn holes in them. So I made her sleep with those pillows without a pillow case, very uncomfortable, so I am told. Then I brought her to our hospital in the burn unit and asked the dr on duty If we can have a "look see" I explained why and he was happy to oblige, one less victim he would have to treat he said. So we had a look see and she was nearly sick to her stomach with what she saw. Afterwards I asked the doctor if he had time to talk to her about being burned. I also asked him not to sugar coat anything.

Since that day she has not even looked at fire. She also went through a stealing phase. For that I asked the local Police Captain to have a chat with her. He is also a loyal customer of mine. So he came to our house in his cruiser, I kid you not and asked for her to come with him. He put her in the back of his car and drove to the city hall, also police station. He sat her down and had a chat, then put her in an empty cell, with my permission and let her sit there for 20 mins. Seemed longer to her.

I guess what I am saying is when you have a teen who is doing the things yours is doing cleaning a toilet for money he will not see won't work, to him it is just cleaning a toilet. To you you think you are teachin a lesson. Which you are not you are only teaching him how to clean a toilet. I am a firm believer that the punishment has to fit the crime. What does extra chores have to do with fires, that can and will KILL your family if something goes wrong? I say, talk to your local hospital and police station and see what they can do. Mind you I live in a very small very rural town. But I am sure no matter what size city/town you live in they would want to help.

I had to swallow my own pride, in feeling I was a bad parent to raise a child who would do this, and swallow the embarrasment that may follow living in such a small town and do what I thought was best for my child. I wish and hope you get to him, you are a caring mom, it shows, I know the frustration and impatience that you are feeling. But if you show him what can and will happen with his actions it may help. Also extra activies to keep him less "bored" may help. But I do not think that is the issue. My daughter is in a lot of sports, of her chosing and it did not stop her.

((((HUGS))))
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Old 05-23-2009, 07:12 PM
 
Location: Here and There
2,539 posts, read 3,273,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelstress View Post
I don't think it's a good idea to give a wood sculpting set to a potential firebug.

I have a feeling he's going to need something more than a hobby... like a psychiatrist to examine that fire thing.

I think you have a serious problem on your hands.
Yes she does, definitely time for a professional!
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