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Old 05-21-2010, 04:14 PM
 
275 posts, read 301,698 times
Reputation: 94

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The backstory... my boyfriend has a 17-year-old step-brother who is past what some would refer to as "troubled". He's depressed. He cuts himself. He lives with his mother a couple hours away from us. He dropped out of high school 2-3 years ago, drinks, is involved in drugs, and who knows what else. He lives a very improversihed lifestyle with his mother.

We got to see him for a couple hours this past weekend and it seemed to bring out a lot of emotion in both my boyfriend and myself. It saddened me to hear him talk to his older brother (my boyfriend), who you can tell he admires so such. But his conversation surrounded topics such as drug abuse and clubbing. He seems to have no self-worth whatsoever.


My boyfriend had much of the same lifestyle until he was about 15, when he pulled himself out of it and moved several states away to live with his grandparents. He went from a kid into drugs/drinking and stealing, to a now college graduate pursuing his law degree. We both feel terrible that his brother cannot reap the same benefits he did, as the grandmother that once raised my boyfriend has passed away and the grandfather is nearly 80. The extended family seems unable to assist as well or unwilling to burden themselves.

After seeing how upset my boyfriend is over his brother, I haven't stopped thinking about what we can do. I feel like we have to do something. However, our situation isn't the best. We are moving to a large metro area soon, about 8-10 hours from home. I have two children already from my previous marriage. BF will be in law school and I will be finishing my BS in psychology. I don't know anyone else that has ever been in any situation like this to talk to but I have concerns. I would love to be able to look at my boyfriend and say "Hey.. let's take your brother with us and give him a real chance at life." but I'm not that confident yet.

Things were going to be tough financially already but we could make it work. My biggest concerns are:

The safety and welfare of my children when bringing such an unstable person into our home

The welfare of my realtionship with my boyfriend

What if he doesn't respond to us? He would get more attention from us, but it comes with him finishing school, working, having rules, etc. I wouldn't expect him to like this even though it's clear he's craving guidance and direction.

How long do we allow him to stay with us? It can't be a permanent situation. At some point he must support himself. It's hard tot hink of commiting myself to this situation not knowing how long it will take. We have plans in place for our own family too. To marry and have children when we are both finished school. I wouldn't want to hinder those plans as they already feel so far away.

His brother will be 18 this summer. I am concerned as well what effect that will have as to how much control we would really have over him.

Oh my I hope someone has some advice!
Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,302 posts, read 1,803,879 times
Reputation: 1361
Job Corp.. fer real offer him a chance to go futher on his own efforts .. he can sign up and live in the state you do and get paid for being there .. I would offer that as a sincere way of helping him move forwards in life ..
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:41 PM
 
275 posts, read 301,698 times
Reputation: 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Faworki1947 View Post
Job Corp.. fer real offer him a chance to go futher on his own efforts .. he can sign up and live in the state you do and get paid for being there .. I would offer that as a sincere way of helping him move forwards in life ..

I know nothing about the JobCorp. Do you have any experience with it yourself?
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Old 05-21-2010, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Minnesota
1,302 posts, read 1,803,879 times
Reputation: 1361
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellenbosley View Post
I know nothing about the JobCorp. Do you have any experience with it yourself?
gov program for teens.. they get education.. job training and needed help in growing up
yes .. 2 of my grand kids did that and found that life was good !

look thru the link I offered .. it tells so much about this program and how helpfull it is for the kids and the families ..

JOB CORPS
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Old 05-21-2010, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
2,395 posts, read 4,090,956 times
Reputation: 1662
Do not bring this person into your children's life. It is too risky for them. Try to find him other help but not in your house.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:58 PM
 
4,502 posts, read 8,051,718 times
Reputation: 3938
JobCorps sounds like a great idea.

I absolutely would NOT bring him into your home when you have 2 younger children there -- not to mention, he may steal from you guys in order to get drugs, etc.

I would invite him over (maybe you can take him out somewhere and leave the kids with a sitter) and talk to him about Job Corps. Download/print the info for him. Tell him if he's interested in having a better life, you two will be behind him 100%.
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Old 05-22-2010, 11:16 PM
 
Location: Wilmington, NC
410 posts, read 754,564 times
Reputation: 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniellenbosley View Post
My biggest concerns are:

The safety and welfare of my children when bringing such an unstable person into our home
Don't do it! Your kids deserve a stable household. You are asking for nothing but trouble if you let his brother live with you!

What if he did something to one of your kids? You would never forgive yourself and neither would your kids. Also what kind of parent are you going to be to your own kids if the constant focus is on the troubled kid? And trust me it takes a LOT of energy to deal with a troubled teenager.

This is coming from someone who had a stepson with many similar issues (he was younger though and luckily I got out of the situation before it got as bad as your boyfriend's brother). It was awful - turmoil and arguing on a daily basis. Almost every day something dramatic happened - fights at school, teacher phone calls, cuts all over his arms, etc. I'm so glad I got my kids away from it quickly!
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:03 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,438,478 times
Reputation: 28790
Your having younger children influences me to believe it's better to find him other alternatives.

JobCorp is a great idea.

There's also the National Guard Youth Challenge.

It's a 17 month military boarding high school program for drop outs between the ages of 16-18.

National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program

It's completely free. There is no obligation to join the National Guard after participating in this program.

What are the chances that your boyfriend could convince him to enter into JobCorps or the National Guard Youth Challenge?
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Old 05-23-2010, 12:21 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 50,438,478 times
Reputation: 28790
I have to add that I'm always shocked that many states allow high school students to drop out at 16.

My state doesn't allow dropping out of high school until 17---with a parent's signature. Without a parent's signature, students can't drop out until 18.

Since the OP's boyfriend's brother will be 18 this summer, he dropped out at 15 or 16. I think that is just way too young for a state to allow students to drop out!
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Old 05-23-2010, 10:55 AM
 
47,585 posts, read 35,904,646 times
Reputation: 21592
I think you have to look at your situation. You're in school, working, you have small children, you are only living with a boyfriend, not the father of your children, you're moving. You're not in a position to take in a 17 year old drug addict with emotional problems.

I think the best thing would be to find him a rehab or residential job corp program.

I know one older couple that actually called the cops on their own son about that age so he would be arrested and then sent to another city - cut off from bad friends - and placed in a supervised living arrangement and placed in a job program and everything has worked out, he got put on the right track but his own married, employed parents couldn't do it on their own.
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