We have children brought in office daily by parents for a host of reasons. Their children are thought to be using illicit substances, behavioral problems, anger issues, gang affiliation and others. 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 children, usually in their teens, become defiant and want to take control of their own decision making. I 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 who he could be with, and he hated the authority exerted by school.
Tommy just turned 16 years old, and thought that his single mom just used him as a babysitter for his younger siblings while his mother worked. Tommy was using tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana, and oftentimes left his younger siblings at home or 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?”
A throwaway child is a child who no longer recognizes or accepts parental control and through frustration, that parent simply tells the child to leave home with the “clothes on his/her back. Oftentimes, these children do not have the street-survival skills to make it on their own and become ripe for exploitation by older and more sophisticated street people.
Parenting 101 He is not your spouse nor the father of your other children. He needs to be in school, involved with positive and constructive activities, and you need to create some quality time with him alone, and let him know how much he is loved.