8012558 tn?1399308657

I am depressed because of my son's behavior

My son is 12 years old and I love him so much. I am 37, divorced since I was 33 and dating a wonderful man for the past 9 months. I also have 17 year old daughter that I am so proud off, full time job, goldendoodle MAX and my own place.
My son had issues with behaving in school and home since he was in 1st grade. I always babied him because I felt sorry that his dad wasn't in his life (his choice, remarried, had another child) and I try to give both my kids plenty of love and stability even though I was going through some depression times after my divorce. I gave up dating for over 3 years after my divorce to care for my kids. My son has uveitis and seeing 3 different specialist right now for his condition. I am the only parent that takes him to doctors, church, school conferences, etc. It can be very overwhelming at times and I knew that I had to seek help to be able to stay strong for my kids (I was diagnosed with PTSD too; result of growing up in Bosnia during the war and many bad memories).
My son was funny, chatty boy that start developing some self esteem issues starting the school. He complains about bulling, teasing by other kids and have hard time to connect with other kids. He seeks attention, but in a negative ways and sometimes get himself in trouble because of it. I am receiving e-mails from teachers and principal for his misbehaving (distracting class, very disorganized, fight with other boy, etc.). He also have issue with competing assignments and turning his homework in. I am constantly checking on him, policing his school website for grades, having talks with him, and I am exhausted.
My daughter is opposite person and I never had to remind her of anything. She is 4.1 GPA right now and going above and beyond in everything that she does. I ask my self what did I do wrong with my son? I know they are two different people, but what scares me is that he shows very little emotions or initiative that he wants to change. We are seeing therapist together right now and he also have hard time to open up to him. We are in the process of testing him for ADHD . The biggest thing that I fear is that he is going to grow up with lack of ambition, being someone who lies all the time (he does it now and daily bases; just cannot tell the truth) and develop more issues outside the home when he gets older (drugs, alcohol, trouble with law, etc.).
His actions are effecting everyone in house. When I get "another" e-mail from teacher or when I catch him in another lie, it really put me in depressive mode where I feel helpless, hurt, sad, angry, all of it at the same time. I don't feel like doing anything or going anywhere because I feel I cannot enjoy life if carrying this bargain on me. He is grounded from everything now and I don't even know how to discipline him any more. I feel nothing works. I was taking one thing at the time from him and he end up being without TV, games, phone, computer, etc. It didn't motivate him to improve and he still makes wrong choices even though he knows they are wrong and he will get him self in trouble. I was on Zoloft for 2 years after my divorce and I am considering putting myself back on because I have a hard time to control my feelings and actions when my son is doing this. I feel I am loosing control, patience and my mind sometimes.

Please, if anyone has a child with a similar issue offer some advice. Is this going to go away so I can enjoy my son and show him my unconditional love for him. Now I find it very hard to show him affection because every time I do, he makes another wrong choice and I feel he doesn't care how is that effecting me. I love him and I would try anything to help him.

Excuse  "accent" in my writing. English is my second language.

Thank you!
7 Responses
973741 tn?1342342773
Hi there.  I'm really sorry it is so tough.  Parenting is a really hard job and single moms deserve medals!  Hats off to you for working so hard and picking up where their dad dropped the ball and doing your very best to make a good life for them.  

First, I'd really try not to compare your daughter and son.  All kids are different people and rarely are two exactly alike.  They also were different ages when their dad left and he's a boy and that loss of father is going to affect him in a different way than her.  Boys seem to really suffer by not having their dad in their life and he very well may have a lot of emotions about essentially being completely abandoned by him.  That hurts.  I would so try to be there for him to talk and vent to and even a therapist may help.  

I think it is smart to get to the root cause.  Very well, he could be suffering emotionally.  Even though you've tried so hard, it doesn't mean it won't continue to hurt.  Ya know?  It's not a knock on you that he may be hurting---  life happens n ways we sometimes can't predict and we just have to do the best we can.  And perhaps add/adhd is part of the problem.  

What kinds of consequences does he face in school?  I would tread lightly on the major consequences at home.  If he is doing the best that he can and they are punishing him at school . . .  as you are seeing, it won't help to be totally punishing him at home.  Then he may just give up.  

Let us know how the add/adhd evaluation turns out.  peace
8012558 tn?1399308657
Thank you for your response. I agree with you about trying not to compare my two kids. My son already commented to me that he is not his sister, he is not perfect and he feel like he is disappointment. It hurts me to hear him saying that and I am trying my best to avoid using my daughter as a example. I told him that I don't need him to be perfect I just want him to do "his" best. What is really frustrating is that he is very smart kid (his grades are A's and B's), but he needs to be monitored daily to make sure his homework is done. All his teachers are saying the same thing; when he is actually doing the work and he is paying attention, he is one the smartest kids in the classroom. That is why I think he is not doing his best and what he is capable of for whatever reason; he is choosing not do the work because he says "I forgot" (very frustrating) or because he thinks he can get away with it.
The therapist says that many kids go through a faze of laying at some point when they are at this age, but he has these symptoms since he was very young. I am afraid that he is going to continue and have bad relationships through out his life because he can not be honest. I try my best to be a role model for my kids and it is very frustrating to see him going with different path.
I came to this country when I was 21 with my ex-husband and my 8-month old daughter. I didn't know the language, but that didn't stop me from doing better for my self. I was always a fighter, achiever, and very independent. I have very good career, respected in my company, and I accomplished everything with hard work and honesty.  That is what I want for my kids. Maybe they are going to choose different type's of life, maybe one will be more successful then the other, but I don't want them to achieve anything with cheating, shortcuts, lying, etc. What ever they end up to be or have, I just hope they are going to get there being honorable citizens.
School punished him with detentions. He had many lunch detentions, morning detentions, recess detentions, etc. They also having him (with my agreement) seeing school counselor too.
I am seeing counselor today again. Every time things go well, something goes wrong the next day. Every time he takes one good step forward, he takes three bad steps backward. He does have many characteristics of a kid that may have ADHD, but I am not sure if the lying is one of the side facts. I am afraid that in his mind, being diagnosed with ADHD, he will use it as a excuse for everything else.

And please, anyone else out there that have a similar issue I need a advise, how you forgive your ex, his dad, for abounding them? I have very hard time with that, which I know it is only hurting me and people around me. I know that I cannot change anything, I cannot make him be involved or care to see them, but I am just full of hate towards him sometimes. I don't understand how someone can live only 20 minutes away and never care to see them or talk to them . Nothing for their birthday's, nothing for Christmas, to check on his kids health, nothing....I go to church and pray that God gives me a power to forgive him for everything (he was physically and mentally abusive alcoholic throughout our marriage). I stayed because I didn't want my kids to grow up without both parents (I know now it is a wrong decision) and because divorce was very rare in my family. I am mad at him and I cannot wish him well. As a Christian (Catholic) woman that is raising her kids with all the Christian values) I am struggling with myself even thinking about forgiving him. Most days I wish that he pays for what he is putting my kids through. That somehow he can feel same pain that I do, and that my kids do when they ask me "why he is cutting us out of his life, what did we do to him"? It's very hard and I get very emotional. I feel anger inside to the point that If I would have opportunity to hurt him in any way that I think I would enjoy it. Most of the time I am not proud of that, but I cannot help it. I know, in reality, I would never do anything stupid, but I do fantasized sometimes of different scenarios :)

I am sorry, for writing the book here, but reading other people's views helps me. Just righting down all of this right now, making me feel like some weight is lifting of my chest.

Any comments or questions are welcomed.
189897 tn?1441126518
  I will get back to you when I have some more time, but in the meantime check out this last post by me.  I really think it applies here.    http://www.medhelp.org/posts/ADD---ADHD/what-do-you-do-with-a-child-who-lies-all-the-time/show/1225758#post_10153131
189897 tn?1441126518
   Hi Mila,
     I am also the CL on the ADHD forum and your son has all of the classic symptoms of a child with ADHD or ADD.  Check out this link for those symptoms.  http://www.help4adhd.org/en/about/what/WWK1
    And as I pointed out in the above post, lying is present is 49% of the kids with AD/HD.
   The very sad thing to me ( and the reason I have been posting here for many years) is that I spent  years  in the school system as a principal and a teacher and saw kids being punished for something that they had no control over.   And what was even worse is that the children who were not diagnosed (in time) grew up with anxieties, depression, and eventually many went on to self-medication (drugs).  
   So it is really important to find out what is going on.   Probably because he is a smart child, this was not caught sooner.  I am guessing that he probably has ADD or "predominantly inattentive type" because it probably would have been noticed sooner if he was hyper.
  I do have a lot of resources that can help you - help him.  Please let me know how the ADHD evaluation goes.
   I wish I could give you good advice on forgiving your ex.  I can't comprehend somebody completely their child or family.  One thought that just hit me is that ADHD is typically inherited.  If your ex has it - his life could be a mess by now, which might partially explain his actions.  ADHD can effect people like that.   But, for now.  I don't think that you forgive.  You just deal with the present and move forward.  Hopefully, we can help with that. Best wishes!
8012558 tn?1399308657
Thank you so much Sandman2 for writing back. I read your posting about lying and kids with ADHD. I was very surprised to see how lying is very much so characteristic of many kids with this condition. I never before thought that ADHD could be a reason that he is telling these lies. I admit that I made many mistakes with my son and I just hope that is not too late for him.
He had a signs (now when I look back) from the early age. He was never a bad kid, but we started noticing things when he started going to school. He was the kid that couldn't seat still, talked during the class, distracted other kids next to him, lied about little things, etc. All his teachers would tell me the same thing, "it's just a boy thing". He had no signs of anger or being super hyperactive ( to me that meant bouncing of the walls all the time), but his mouth was going on all the time and he always wanted to be in the center of the attention. He is very impulsive still with his actions and just cannot control it. He talks when he know he shouldn't, when you talk to him he cannot stay focused for a long time and starts move his body, making random noises, etc.  Now, he is talking more back to me, arguing with sister all the time (which is a total opposite) and have a hard time to connect with kids in school (we moved last summer and he had to switch the school).

I feel by evaluating my son for ADHD and learning about this condition, it opened my eyes on so many different levels. I understand now why he is doing something that I just couldn't explain before.
I knew that his dad had ADHD (never diagnosed). I knew very little about that condition before and when I thought about people with ADHD, I pictured people who were very hyperactive and did the bad things as a result of that. I know, it doesn't sounds very intelligent. His dad was super hyperactive, always had to be on the go, he made so many bad decisions  even though he knew how bad consequences could be. He was alcoholic, he lied, he cheated, he was aggressive, liked to blame other people for his mistakes (usually me when we were married), etc. It never crossed my mind that my son inherited that from him. Your response above made me realized that he could have. I think that I am just scared that my son is going to grow up and be the same way his dad is.
189897 tn?1441126518
        If you learn all about ADHD and how to help your son, I can pretty well guarantee you that he will not "grow up and be the same way his dad is."
       Unfortunately, his dad did not have the resources that your son does. :)
Avatar universal
I feel your pain, believe me.  One thing  I know for sure without a doubt in my mind, is that the word “Choice” is a dangerous word for kids, especially for pre teens and teens.  It gives them an option to make a bad choice, and they should not have that empowerment.  That’s what turning 18 is for.  It’s up to us as parents to decide what choices we allow them to have and to guide them, and to lead them to the right ones, so when they become legal adults they will be smart.  If we don’t , others will,  Other kids , even adults, especially at school. For example, my child actually told me that even his principal agreed with him and said that I was too protective.  And he wasn’t making it up.  A lot of kids in my town have a lot of freedom to do whatever they want without supervision because that’s just how they’re raised. There’s also a lot of problems with kids in this town, so my point proven.   Now where in the world does that principal  get the idea to think it’s ok to undermind  my  right and my authority with my own child?  I’m trying to raise him with respect, and rules,  the right way, and her comment to my son is teaching him disrespect,  disrespect for his own mom at that.   How dare she.  Unbelievable people in the world today.   Another thing that I am most certain of,  when kids have no supervision and are allowed to do whatever they want, it’s  clearly probable  they will get into trouble. Every time  I hear this happened, and that happened, and so and so , and on the news ,  I always say “keep your kids home, keep your kids off the streets, Mind your kids!   Supervision !   Hello!    Sorry, just these things and the stupidity make me so mad.   I, like you have an older child that excelled beyond also.  Circumstances has lead up to issues now with my youngest and most definitely triggered by interferences of others.  I don’t know your child or you , or your situation personally, so I am just gonna say, don’t be too quick to put him on medication. Seems to be the answer you get when no one has a solution. I’ve known kids who have been put on medications to only make matters worse.  You are smart, you are the  mom, don’t let anyone disrespect you in front of your child,  it’s damaging to them, and it happens all the time.  Even when you’re not with your child. The power of suggestion is ..well.. very powerful. Good or bad.  And this is what’s going on in the world today with our kids.  Think, and  redirect things to how you want,  in a positive direction. You’ve got the power. You don’t need any prescription medication either. I promise .   Wishing all the best for you and your family.     And,  I just want to comment on the  “ADHD “  problem that every other child seems to be “diagnosed “ with,  as I stated, I also have an older child who excelled beyond, and in fact in college, who when was younger I was told had “ADHD” and needed medication. I said absolutely not , then my kid will develop problems. To me it was just common sense instincts.  Some kids that have  “ADHD” like symptoms don’t necessarily have ADHD at all.  It’s just their personality character at the time, it may even be learned behavior.  So be careful, and good luck to you .  
Wow, one thing I have learned over the years as the CL on this site as well as on the adhd site (https://www.medhelp.org/forums/ADD---ADHD/show/175) is that when someone spends the time and effort to write a post as long as yours.....there is something going on that they feel deeply about.    Hopefully we might also be able to help you as we did the original poster.

First, I do agree with you that, "Some kids that have  “ADHD” like symptoms don’t necessarily have ADHD at all.  It’s just their personality character at the time, it may even be learned behavior."   And usually its an overworked pediatrician that made a snap judgement without following DSM guidelines that has led to making the situation even worse.

Second, I would like to point out that that just turning 18 does not guarantee a kid will start making good choices.  Lots of kids in college prove that every Easter vacation (or weekend).   But, I can guarantee you that a kid with adhd who has not had help with his medical condition will not start making good choices at 18.   Heck, I have helped adults with adhd/add who finally realized they had adhd/add and  became aware of why they had been unknowingly making all those bad decisions.  
But, I certainly agree with you when you said, "It’s up to us as parents to decide what choices we allow them to have and to guide them, and to lead them to the right ones."

Your comment on the principal was interesting.   The principal did not say you were too protective.....your child did.  And ya, the principal probably should not have agreed with him.  However, it was your child who chose to report this back to you.  I have worked enough with kids (37 years in education) to know that your child (unless they were in primary school) did this on purpose.    

And I suspect that what is going on right now with your child is the reason for your heartfelt post.   As the CL on the adhd site, I read all the current research and posts on adhd.   The information out now is quantitatively better then even just 10 years ago.  One that just came my way was pretty good.   Check out point 12.  Let me know what you think and certainly if I can be of a resource to you.  Best wishes...
       The link is.....https://www.additudemag.com/what-is-adhd-symptoms-hidden-parents-educators/
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