We see children daily for a host of reasons. These children are suspected of using illicit substances, have behavioral problems, anger issues, gang affiliation and others problems.
However, to me, there is nothing that bothers me more than children who feel (for whatever reason) that they don’t belong. Sometimes the result is that they have disconnected from their faith, family and education. Sometimes kids, usually in their teens become defiant and want to take control of their own decision making. We often say that these teens want the independence of an adult but the responsibility of a child.
“Tommy” sat in my office and told me that he was tired of being told what to do. He said he had no freedom, and that his mother was trying to tell him who he could be friends with. He was being told where he could go, when he had to be home and he hated the authority exerted by school.
He (barely 16 years old) thought that his single mom just used him as a babysitter for his younger siblings while his she worked. He was using tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, and oftentimes left his younger siblings at alone while his mother was at work. Mom was infuriated! “If he can’t do what I tell him to do then he can just- get out! If he is not going to help me then what use is he to me or the family?”