Skip to comments.Advice and Prayers for troubled kid
Posted on 12/03/2011 9:14:34 PM PST by Last Conservative in MoCo
I'll be honest: I just signed up today with a new name because I'm too ashamed to use the one I've been using on FR since early 2001. I'm asking for advice and prayers.
I'm a single (unwillingly divorced) mother, on my own for many years. Firstborn is doing very well in life. Younger kid is 17. He has always been a good, sweet, affectionate boy. Average intelligence, but kind of held back by a learning disability. Basically a B/C student if he tries hard. His scoutmaster, who is a former Marine colonel, his JROTC commander, his employers, neighbors, other kids' parents, teachers, everybody thought he was great. The Scoutmaster and JROTC commander both thought he'd be a very fine young officer with real leadership potential. He was really no trouble. We have been a churchgoing family, so I thought I could trust him and that he had learned good ethics.
Partly because his dad left a long time ago, my son has always felt as though he had to be the man of the house so he was even more interested than most kids in weapons and the military. He planned to enlist in the army after he turns 18 next May, when he graduates from high school. It's all he cares about in life. He doesn't have huge talents at anything else a person could do for a living. The promise of being able to join the army has been the carrot that's been dangled in front of his nose to keep him on track toward high school graduation. There was nothing anyone could do to get him interested in college before the Army. No, he was going in the US Army and kick him some hadji butt! He lived for the day he could go fight for his country. Kept assuring me seriously that he'd never do anything to mess up his chance to join the service. Such a great kid--I was so proud of him, and all the medals and honors he won for his great ROTC performance.
Yesterday afternoon a pair of police detectives came to my house. They showed me security camera photos of my son and two of his 18-year-old friends as they were burglarizing some nearby construction trailers in the middle of the night. They did a lot of damage in the course of breaking in, as well as stupid vandalism, and they took some expensive electronic equipment. Some other stuff had been taken--low-cost things I had seen in his bedroom, which he told me he bought. There was absolutely no question he did it. On the nights these crimes took place he was supposed to be spending the night at his best buddy's house.
He was with his father then, so I called his father, who talked to the cops and agreed to bring him into the police station. The cops talked to all of us. Apparently this has been going on for a few months with several episodes. The other kids are in worse trouble because they're 18, but they're all dumb kids, immature and very boy-like for their ages. I hadn't realized his other friends were eighteen.
All the parents thought we were doing the right thing and supervising our kids carefully, raising them right, praying with them and for them, but we weren't; we got outsmarted and lied to.
Things are very tough for me and my ex-husband, and I have no spare savings at all for fancy lawyers. I am out of work and broke, and my home business is not making any money. This is going to wreck us.
The cops say that a good attitude, real contrition, and a commitment to make restitution are important. The damage these idiots did was extensive and may run into five figures so restitution is not going to be easy, especially for a kid who has a criminal record that will make getting a job very hard. Since our son is a minor, the company whose stuff these fools vandalized could sue us, the parents. But ideally, with the right judge, the record will be sealed by the time he turns 18 and no one would know about it. I hope so. A felony conviction is kind of the end of hope of having a decent job and a decent life.
I don't know about a military career now, though. Not sure if they military can or will ask about former crimes when he applies to enlist. That's assuming he even can graduate from high school now.
His father is calm and logical. I am a wreck, crying sometimes, filled with utter horror that a boy I thought was a good, dear person could have done something so deeply wrong, several times. Also trying to figure out how I could have been stupid enough to think the boys were just playing XBox games when they were together. (That's what they were doing whenever they were at my house.)
Oh, one more thing: my stupid kid sprayed a racial slur on the walls of the shack they broke into. So now maybe the state's attorney is going to consider this a hate crime.
I have NO intention of sheltering my son or being an enabler or protecting him from the consequences of his crime, but on the other hand I don't want his life wrecked forever by stupidity committed when he was 17. Is it possible to have punishment in balance?
So please don't beat up on me, I'm already suffering enough. If anyone has suggestions or can spare a prayer for us, please. We need all the help we can get. Thoughts and ideas are welcome.
Sounds like he’s got some bad influencers in his life. Just dang. It’s tough enough being a teen w/o having to follow along with thugs like that.
I pray that all will work out well for him (and all of you) and that this will be the wake up call that he needs.
For recruiting enlisted just 2 short years ago the Army was handing out “moral waivers” left and right —this covered exactly the type of behavior you cite your son has unfortunately having committed.
Recently recruiting goals are WAY easier to meet, and so moral waivers are much harder to come by (same thing for tatoos).
I can’t say they’re NEVER given, only that it’s now considerably harder to get theme.
Anyone else know?
PS —U seem like a really great person. I’m praying 4u. And him.
I have a 17 year old son also. I’ll definitely be saying a prayer for you.
I think kids domreally stupid things at this age.
At my son’s Christian school, 25 seniors just got suspended. One of them was house sitting at a neighbors, and she had a huge party. They caused thousands of dollars of damage. There was drugs and alchohol. One of them took a freshman girl who then had sex with one of the senior guys.
Then, they all posted about it with pictures on Facebook.
Il pray that everything turns out ok for your son.
Hang in there, Mom—you’re doing the best you can.
Pray—and I’ll be praying with you.
With his good upbringing, he will fall back on that someday.
Prayers for all of you. Kids will put you through the wringer won’t they?
I can only suggest what I would in your situation.
I’d take him to the poor side of town to show all the down and outs. Many of them also had various dreams and goals that went sideways because they were stupid in their youth.
It might help to walk the straight line, if he realizes that he could be one of them if he doesn’t smarten up.
Thats because YOU were supervising them. Whenever I hear about a supposed hanging out at a friends house I get nervous. There are only a very select few people that I trust to supervise my children.
Either way, whats done is whats done. You live and you learn.
Is your son genuinely remorseful or just remorseful because he got caught?
Upset, disillusioned, and bitterly disappointed? Sure. I don't blame you.
It was his choice, despite being taught better, and it sounds as if this was out of character.
His actions and behaviour will tell you how much, and all 'friend loyalty' aside, I pray he realizes that what he did was wrong.
Of course, you both have my prayers that he will learn from this without the lifelong destruction it can wreak on him, and will never repeat this sort of behaviour. And you have my prayers that God will help you handle the stress associated with the situation gracefully, as He wills.
Father, Pour your joyful peace into this womans heart at this moment. Let your goodness pass in front of her, allow full restoration of faith, hope and love fall over her, and her son like a divine covering. You promised that no one can be snatched from your hand, I ask in Jesus name that all Soul ties with this life be broken, that those ends be restored in purity and love in you in Jesus name. Thank you for doing that now. I ask for mercy for this young man and he is able to fully forgive the people that have hurt him in his life so that he can receive your forgiveness. Thank you for doing that in an amazing way, in Jesus name.
i have no answers but i will pray for you and your son... Prayers up
This breaks my heart. I understand what you are going through. I don’t know what to say and I am not the Padre, but I can say this: Jesus Lord our salvation, take hold of this child and lead him into the path you wish him to be on. I believe in my heart that he is a good kid.
Search his heart and lead him Father. Please. You said if we gather before you, You will answer. We stand on this. We see him as an officer in the military; Please let this be.
Again, I am not the Padre but I believe in you and I believe in this kid.
Make it so Father. And look over his mom if it is in Your will.
In Jesus name
If I was fairly punished for the stupidest things I did (and got away with, for the most part) in my younger years, I’d have been dead or in jail before I was 30.
There but by the grace of God...
There is still a good chance that he can get his record expunged. The military might still be an option. I pray that you can navigate these rapids and get to smooth water again. His life could still be turned around. Many have done far, far worse, and have gone on to grow up, mature, and become fine men.
I think most FReepers are honored that you chose the advice
of the real Americans that make up FreeRepublic.
That being said, there is no simple solution.
My only advice is that you seek out the very best Lawyer
that deals in juvenile crime.
Do not rely on a GP lawyer.
I once knew a lawyer, later became a judge, in west Tennessee that was so good, he could have walked Oswald.
Some of these lawyers have unbelievable success.
Not everyone learns things the same way. Sometimes they need to learn things through adversity because a gentler approach would have no effect with them - even though it might with another type of person.
I pray whatever he has to face gets him back on the right track and that he learns the lessons God is attempting to get him to learn at this point in his life.
Prayers that everything turns out OK.
Many of us have experienced similar distress, yet parents are essential in the lives of their children. The work of God and of parents is often done in difficult or near impossible conditions.
I was a scheming kid at that age. I just didn't get caught. Smoking dope, drinking, pulling weird heists and drag racing. One of my buddies had a cavalier that was set up to turn off certain lights on the car for such activities. We were nerds. There is no reason to lose faith in your son. I was even an Eagle Scout. If you see remorse in your sons eyes, he will be alright. This will be just a lesson learned about the way things work in a civilized society and what ever punishment he gets is an education. He is young and I am sure it will set in. Did you think about talking with the property owner to make amends and keep the cops/law out of it? Not pressing charges? Maybe the kid can work off the damage. That is what happened in my day.
I am glad that FR is coming together for a friend.
Seems lately we have been divided over trivial things.
May it all work out in Gods will