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Out-of-Control behaviors

Teenage son finds bad friends

Question:

My stepson doesn't have a drug problem, and since he was 3, he has lived in a nurturing, safe environment. However, he has been exhibiting out-of-control behaviors over the last year or so. He has been expelled from school and has theft and assault charges. Can you help or do you know who can? We don't have much money, and Medicaid is our only insurance.

Answer:

It may be a good idea to have a third party intervene in this situation. Your stepson is definitely struggling with something in his life, and that is causing this change. Perhaps a counselor could talk with him and get to the bottom if it. There are counselors who accept Medicaid payment, and we recommend that you schedule an appointment with one as soon as possible.

We assume that your stepson is without privileges at home due to his behavior. He may even be on probation, which has restrictions of its own, for his law violations. At home, he should NOT have access to electronics (including a cellphone), a vehicle or other privileges that should be earned by meeting expectations and lost when he fails to meet them.

To motivate your stepson to not only attend the counseling appointment but also participate, let him know that he can begin earning some of his privileges back by working with the counselor and participating in the sessions.

Good luck, and we hope that throughout this change you have not lowered your expectations for your stepson or become inconsistent in enforcing the rules in your home. Sometimes our children's behaviors can punish parents into doing that.

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