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Help for teen with unbearable home situation

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    TruBrit1959posted 2 years ago

    My daughter's 'boyfriend' is almost 17.  They are both very good kids, straight As, never caught doing anything inappropriate.  Boyfriends (adoptive) parents are unbelievably harsh with him, he is almost never allowed out (except to neighbors to work, or to church), the once or twice he has been allowed out in the last 7 months we have known him he is picked up at 8.30pm, he is now forbidden from seeing my daughter (no clue why), or even other friends, constantly has to work at home chores, mother will not allow him to talk on the phone, reads all texts and even his older sister who is 19 and left home can only talk to him on speaker phone with parents present.  He is absolutely at his wits end, wants to leave.   I would welcome him to stay with us but that would be considered harboring a runaway I believe unless his parents gave permission (highly unlikely).  Would CPS consider his treatment emotional abuse?  What on earth should he do?  His older siblings (they adopted three) left home and cannot stand the parents either.  I have never seen a teen treated that way.  Anyone have any suggestions?

    1. HowardBThiname profile image90
      HowardBThinameposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      It's always tough when you think a child is being treated unfairly. But as you say - since there is relatively no physical abuse (just some pushing), CPS is unlikely to step in. That doesn't mean you can't call and report that you feel the kid is being emotionally traumatized - maybe a home visit would help the parents see that they're being over protective.

      I'm sure your daughter feels hurt by the parents' decision not to let their son see her - but it offers her a good life lesson for when she will one day have children -- to allow them a little more leeway.

      Yeah - you could get into hot water harboring the kid. So - that's probably not the best idea.

      One thing you mention is good news - the kid's grades. They always say that when something is going wrong at home - one of the first indicators is that a kid's grades will drop. Since he's still straight A's, that's a good sign that his home life might be more enjoyable than he's letting your daughter know.

      If I were you - I'd call the parents and tell them that I'm concerned about their decision not to allow their son to associate with your daughter and ask if there is a reason why they made that decision. Sometimes, just confronting the parents on their behavior has the same effect as lancing a wound. It releases a lot of pent-up pressure.

      Be aware, however, that there is always - although it's a long shot - the possibility that the boy is using his parents as an excuse to stop seeing your daughter. Kids do screwy things like that - when they don't want to hurt someone's feelings. Like I said - that's probably a long shot - but be prepared for nearly anything. Your daughter, being a kind-hearted soul, might take him at his word, when his word might not be all that reliable.

      If the kid is truly in a bad home situation - it will probably begin to show in his grades when school starts in the fall. On the other hand - he doesn't have too much longer until he can leave. If he runs now - he could endanger his future and end up in a place that is so much worse than his home.

      I'm sorry to hear you're going through this. You're obviously a very caring a loving mother and want to see all children treated with love and respect. Hang in there.

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        TruBrit1959posted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Thanks for the input.  The mother is obsessively controlling and has the most awful things to say about the older kids who left (the son got in a car wreck and she said she wished it had been worse...)  Just bizarre.  I did email them a couple of weeks ago because my daughter unfriended the mother on facebook and that generated a whole lot of unpleasant comments.  I told both parents that if they had a problem with my daughter they should take it up with me directly, but also suggested they consult a counselor and sent them the following website link and suggested they compare the norms with the suggested boundaries for teens and try and come to a happy medium.

        http://www.parenttrust.org/for-families … teenagers/

        That did nothing to help and clearly offended them and they told me to mind my own business.  I absolutely guarantee that the young man isn't trying to break up with my daughter - he has asked us for help and sneaked on to their home phone quietly in the early hours of this morning in tears.
        I am considering meeting up with him secretly if he can get away and talking with him and maybe the both of us calling CPS or a youth counselor to get advice.   I am sending my daughter to stay with family in England for a month to take the heat off.  Other than that, I think I will maybe buy him a tracphone and clandestinely support him in the hope he can stay at home.  At least he can call if he needs to talk.  I truly respect parents rights to make decisions but emotional cruelty and depriving him of any normality just makes me so angry as he doesn't deserve it.  Mother is just a control freak with a very mean streak.  :-(  Very sad.

        1. HowardBThiname profile image90
          HowardBThinameposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Thanks for clearing up those points. It appears as though the mother has some insecurity issues - as evidenced by her reaction to your daughter unfriending her on Facebook. That right there goes to show that she's emotionally immature. Her refusal to let her son see your daughter could be childish retaliation on her part.

          You're probably wise to send your daughter away for a while. This must be so hard on her and it will give her a break from the issue. I agree that CPS would be a good route to take - especially if the kid could meet them with you. If worst comes to worst - perhaps he can file for emancipation and then he could legally stay with you.

          I don't envy you these problems, and I hope you look out for yourself in this mess. It's easy to do so much for others that your own life suffers. But, you have shown us one thing - you are a good and caring mother.

  2. Nouveau Skeptic profile image77
    Nouveau Skepticposted 2 years ago

    If nothing they do amounts to abuse... well he has less than a year until he is able to leave home?

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      TruBrit1959posted 2 years ago in reply to this

      There has been some minor pushing, shoving by the father by nothing else.  Just another year and a quarter (until he is 18) of emotional torment cannot be healthy for him.

  3. Nouveau Skeptic profile image77
    Nouveau Skepticposted 2 years ago

    You would do better getting someone official (e.g. teacher, social worker) to speak to him.  An insecure mother could cause you huge issues over secretly meeting their minor child alone and without their knowledge.

    1. Lisa HW profile image83
      Lisa HWposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      ....I'd add that a very secure mother may cause you even more trouble if she can sue you for contributing to any problems she's already having with her son, causing problems she otherwise wouldn't be having, and/or contributing to spreading lies or exaggerations about her.

  4. Lisa HW profile image83
    Lisa HWposted 2 years ago

    Second- and third-hand versions of stories about something like this aren't enough for outsiders to form opinions or otherwise think they're qualified to try to help.

    The best thing this kid and/or someone concerned about him could do (I think) is talk to one of the school counselors (or even just the principal at the school privately - or else just go ahead and call CPS (who may/may not already know something about what's going on in the home anyway).

    First, all A's in school isn't necessarily a sign that all is otherwise well with the kid and/or the home.  Some kids thrive well in school because it's the only place they feel good (rather than because all is great at home).

    Second, the adoption factor may not even be a factor.  It may be, particularly if a child was adopted older (and with issues).  For all anyone knows, this kid could have issues that nobody else knows about.  For example, maybe he's emotionally immature (or worse), and the mother has to treat him differently than other kids his age should/would be.

    (Look up how narcissists manage to see themselves as victims and/or manage to convince others that they're victims.)    Maybe there's some reason the mother is at wits' end and kind of "lost it" with regard to the accident.

    This may sound harsh, but third....

    If I had a daughter that age with a boyfriend with family issues of that variety I wouldn't particularly encourage the relationship.  If his mother is a "borderline monster" or else if he's a kid with issues that aren't apparent if he's on his best behavior, neither of those is a great recipe for a healthy, late-teens, boy.

    You don't know that you're not hearing someone's exaggerations and/or that you're not hearing something like the boyfriend's polite excuses for trying to, maybe, break up with your daughter (or else at least not go out as frequently as she wants).

    To me, the best thing (if he hasn't done this already) would be for him to talk to his school counselor or else ask his mother/parents to set up an appointment for him with a private counselor  (for one reason he wants to say or another); but if he really feels desperate and unable to hang in for another several months then call a line that offers kids help or else call CPS himself.

    For all you know, the mother may be doing your daughter (and you) a big favor - and your job is to pay attention to what's healthy/safe/best for her,.   Let the right people look into the matter (if there's "a matter" at all) and concern yourself with your own daughter's well-being.

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    TruBrit1959posted 2 years ago

    Thanks for everyone's input.  I will help the young man to instigate a session with a counselor and his parents to try and come to some more normal arrangement.