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Old 05-18-2009, 07:14 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 797,431 times
Reputation: 447

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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.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:21 PM
 
9,700 posts, read 6,982,687 times
Reputation: 6002
gosh I am sorry, kids can be hard can't they. I would address the boredom first and foremost. get him into a sport. srt/ music something that he wants to do. sounds like he doesn't feel like there is anything worthwhile to do with himself so he might as well whittle a little on the desk. I am serious when I saw maybe he should try wood sculpting. he needs an outlet. I tried charging my kid and it never worked for me!
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Australia
1,489 posts, read 1,723,232 times
Reputation: 1645
I would go get some professional advice and have some nice strong fellows to back you up.

How about taking everything out of the kids room. Bed, desk, clothes everything. Just a bare room. Then let him "buy back" what he wants. He could buy things back by doing chores. I am sure after he has slept on the floor in his one set of clothes he will start to see the value in what you provide.

Its gona be tough whatever you do.

But you will need to know what you are going to do.
Why you are doing it
You will need strength and persistance.
And back up. Support from professionals, friends and partner.

Good luck.
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Old 05-18-2009, 07:53 PM
 
Location: nc
436 posts, read 797,431 times
Reputation: 447
Quote:
Originally Posted by hothulamaui View Post
gosh I am sorry, kids can be hard can't they. I would address the boredom first and foremost. get him into a sport. srt/ music something that he wants to do. sounds like he doesn't feel like there is anything worthwhile to do with himself so he might as well whittle a little on the desk. I am serious when I saw maybe he should try wood sculpting. he needs an outlet. I tried charging my kid and it never worked for me!
He plays drums and loves to ride his bike around town. When the weather is bad he can't ride his bike. If it is early in the morning or late in the night he can't play the drums or the neighbors complain. I bought him drum pads to make them quieter but he won't use them. He is very shy so he doesn't hang out with friends very often.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:10 PM
 
5,962 posts, read 5,028,040 times
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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.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:41 PM
 
10,118 posts, read 11,404,553 times
Reputation: 9210
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.

He's threatening you??? He is much to old to use being bored as a reason for being destructive. That should have been dispensed with when he was 4.

After the first time he carved things his ability to do so should have been curbed. Take all carving stuff away from him. Hire a babysitter (an adult) if you need to watch him. Tell him that if he is going to act like a baby you are going to treat him like one.

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.

I would take EVERYTHING out of his room other than the mattress, and sleeping stuff. I would also take the door off of his bedroom door. He acts like a baby, treat him accordingly.

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.

How about he gets a job? Why should you pay him to do chores? He lives in your house, he should do chores because he is part of the family.

Does this sound like a good plan? If anyone has any other suggestions please provide them. I am at a loss right now.
I do not know you but it seems like he is a kid who has always had entertainment provided to him and he does not know how to keep himself occupied at an age appropriate level. Perhaps having a job would take up some of his time and give him less time to be destructive. Meanwhile, you are far to nice to him. He is being destructive in your house and you are failing to hold him accountable for his actions.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Boca Raton
9,342 posts, read 16,458,745 times
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If he is now starting fires, I think you should seek professional help.
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Old 05-18-2009, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Boerne area
700 posts, read 923,580 times
Reputation: 827
Fires are a big red flag, please seek help - how does he do in school? Does he have friends? Speak to the counselor at school and get a referral for a psychological evaluation/screening/therapy - something!
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Old 05-18-2009, 09:21 PM
 
1,986 posts, read 2,461,642 times
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I am not one to ever advocate professional help, but with him starting fires, he needs someone besides you figuring out what to do.

Maybe go to your local fire station and talk with a couple firefighters and ask advice.
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Old 05-18-2009, 10:01 PM
 
Location: Chicago 'burbs'
1,022 posts, read 2,230,697 times
Reputation: 679
I agree with Momma bear. Take EVERYTHING, including his door! He cannot be trusted. I would also seel professional help ASAP. Call the doctor today!!
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