From the mailbag:
My 16 year old son is hanging out with a bunch of jerks who don't care about school, don't care about success, don't really care about anything that requires time and effort.
Unfortunately, my son is hanging out with them. I tried to forbid him to see them but he snuck out anyways.
Hopeless in Detroit"
Now *that* is one tough situation…and you're probably not going to like my idea.
MamaBear tends to be a wee bit insane when it comes to walking the path of what's right and what's wrong. So she tends to bring out the big guns there asap.
If your son is dabbling with turning to the Dark Side, you must approach this with a two-part method.
Part 1 – Open communications *any* way possible.
Is your son still willing to talk with you? If so, you're ahead of the game! But during your first conversation, *listen* more than you *talk*.
Try to get at what his friends offer him that satisfies his soul.
The art of talking so someone will listen can be quite difficult if you're not used to it. Be sure to read:
- How to Talk So Others Will Hear And Listen So Others Will Share
- Engaging Cooperation
- 6 Ways To Communicate Clearly With Your Teen
Now, if your teen is *not* open to talking with you, it will be 'way more difficult!
- You can write him a note and leave it on his pillow. Encourage him to write something back.
- You can start a free WordPress blog over at http://www.wordpress.com and write *to* him every day. The lack of actual confrontation might encourage him to talk sometime in the future.
While trying to reach your teen this way, do part 2:
Part 2 – Ask your local police for help.
Does your town have a juvenile justice program in effect?
You can learn more at the Juvenile Justice resources. It includes:
- Helping America’s Youth
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
- National Gang Center
- Project ChildSafe
- Project Safe Childhood
- Safer Schools
- Youth Violence Prevention
Research there…and see what you can find that will speak to your son's heart and soul.
Lots of empathy for your journey – it will be really tough, but reclaiming your child from evil is always a worthy goal.