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Sweet Angry 15 Year Old Son

by Judy
(MA)

Hello. Today my 15 year old son received a 5 day suspension from school for confronting another student who "ratted" him out for something that happened the day before.

According to my son this boy needed to be put in his place and realize that he cannot "mess" (not his exact words) around with him. My son had to be removed from the situation after he starting shoving the the boy around.

My husband and I separated 3 years ago and since then my son has become a completely different person. Yes, I do blame myself.


I was the primary caregiver for 12 years of his life and I left to get away from his father. Although I've tried to remain active in his life, we all know it's not the same.

Anyway my son will admit that he doesn't care about anything or anyone. That life is the way it is and there is nothing you can do to make it better. He's also mentioned to me that he doesn't plan on living after he's 25 because that's all the time he needs to do what he needs to do in his life.

He refuses to talk to anyone and insists that it wouldn't matter anyway. He doesn't think there is a problem "It's just the way I grew up," he says.

When he was younger he was full of compassion and love for everyone and I feel as though I have stripped that from him. Can you please tell me where or how I can help get my sweet gentle loving child back?

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Judy, and thanks for telling your story here. I understand your concern for your son. It sounds like his thinking is going in a pretty negative direction. I will try to help.

I don't know what kind of cooperation you get from him, but it needs to be clear that you are the authority in your home. If not, he will feel that he is in charge, and that will be very destructive for him. This program will help, if it seems like it would work for you.

I would also suggest that you try to spend one-on-one time with him, doing things he likes to do. You need to join him in his world to understand what's going on. His anger has good reasons for being there, and you need to know what they are. He is a good person with a good heart, but as you know, he's wounded. He needs to know someone cares and is willing to listen without judging or trying to fix him.

One other solution I would offer is family counseling with me. If you're not in my area (Dallas), we could do it by phone or Skype. This would of course require his cooperation and willingness to show up for the sessions. It would also be helpful to you to get some individual counseling, to help you with your parenting and personal healing.

I hope this is helpful.

Believe in your son, and believe in yourself. See the best in both of you.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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