The more we attempt to enforce simple boundaries, the more defiant our 16 year old male becomes. The parents of 2 other friends dealing with same issues or worse, met with our kids and we informed them that we have agreed on a 10 pm weeknight curfew and midnight weekends, with limited stay overs based on permission from parents. Two of other boys' are from single mother family's and work through the day leaving their sons unattended and also bored. The teens have created a network for obtaining marijuana and rides. We deny them cell phones, money and rides; and reward only with supervised purchases (can't even require receipts...purchases are returned for cash). Now they are recruiting new friend resources to provide unsupervised rides and visits to alternative "blaze pads" with families and parents we have yet to learn about.
Last night's enforcement went array. Two new friends (one who drives) were here past 10. When we attempted to send them away and enforce the curfew (weeknight-family works), our son became belligerent and took off with them, spent the night out wherever, we don't know, along with one of the boys of the family we know. That boys mother was also TOLD he was spending the night out (without permission). That mother is resorted to total tolerance with no recourse, which our sone expects should be our reaction.
We're more than ready to have a psych or boarding resource confiscate our son; or send him to an environment where he appreciates what he would lose since we've exhausted all the recommended responses. In the short term, should we lock him out entirely? Our attempts to restrict access to food, showers, his room to the designated times and limits, are now useless.
I feel very used and ineffective. Local police over the last 6 months have already ticketed him to numerous class 3 misdemeanors here for truancy, runaway, curfew violations; but they only amount to juvenile referrals without much enforcement teeth. The local teens scoff at these methods because juvenile detention resources are overridden from gang extrocities and more severe crimes. Preventative family matters are lowered priority among the local courts, but the police are understanding and cooperative as best as they can when resources allow.
This is of course, according to son and friends' rationale, ALL the dads' fault for not spending enough time with him nor providing expected wants. Time that IS spent is associated with, "all is ok". This acting out has GOT to stop before serious injury or harm occurs. The behavioral admissions are refused unless the seriousness of "clear and present danger to self or others" is as acute as murder or assault and battery...Juvenile detention is not a deterrent nor a rehabilitative option. Family counseling was only being gamed by our son.
Again, what now? Tough love has many meanings and actions. What I've read about these various modalities of some hundred boarding schools has me very cynical about the possible abuses on that course, as well as the long term negative consequences. Naturally, we fear the worst.