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"35 percent of the children in that counties foster care system could have remained safely in their own homes had the right kinds of help been provided." ~Broward County Florida admin.

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Tough Love for Out of Control Teen

Posted December 8, 2005

Annette is having trouble getting through to her teenage son who is trying to run the household, his way. The son uses CPS as a club with which to beat his mother with, when he's out of line...

My name is Annette B., I am a hardworking single parent. I have been engaged to my fiance for about two years now, we still plan to marry in the near future.

I have a 15 year old son who uses CPS when he does not want to comply with the rules. This all started in October 2001, when my son was disruptive in his sixth grade class and refused to follow the rules in our home. I proceeded to spank him (he was 10 at that time) and left it as that.

Then two days later, I received a call from a CPS worker, at my place of employment stating I had to meet with him. His name was Mr. Martinez, He goes to tell me that I should no longer spank my child. Basically, telling me and my boyfiend at the time that I am not a decent parent and degraded me as if I had beat him with a whip. I was furious I fought the determination of his findings and it was noted on my son's file.

I went on with my life at that point. In October 2002, I was at my mothers home using the internet looking for apartment. My son needed a hair cut, my boyfriend (fiance) asked my son to get a natural pick to comb out his hair. My son refused and he flicked him on his ear. Then proceded to cut his hair and my fiance and I went home.

My meddling mother and sister, typed a letter and sent it CPS requestiong that neither he or I be allowed to have contact with my son. My sister even called CPS stating that my fiance beat him and was punching him when he was cutting his hair.

I was no more that 5 feet from the "alleged" beating and I did not see the beating that my sister called CPS about. My son created the "alleged beating" for the CPS worker (Vernon Greene - a new one) who interviewed my son and my sister and mother. He later met with my son for a second time without my mother and sister being present. He found inconsistantcies in the stories from my mother and sister and son. When he finally contacted both of us, he stated the my sons story was a made up lie.

My son wanted to live out of state with my older sister and her husband. So, I sent him. He returned to me in June of this year. I was living in a studio apartment with my fiance, so he stayed with my mother until September of this year. We then moved into a three bedroom apartment with my son, my fiance and his nephew who is the same age as my son. I enrolled him in school, where he would lie about his homework not to do it. He refused to take a bath or comply with the house rules.

I had to meet with his teachers to find out why he won't do his work in class. So I started to keep up with his work and ask him questions about what needed to be done and his progress. He would say that he does not have to answer to me. He went this past weekend to visit my mother and sister again. He came home on Sunday, refused to eat or to hold a conversation, then went into his room. A few hours later he decided to come into my room crying stating that his stomach hurt. I asked him if he ate or is it something else? I called my mother who proceeded to argue about my son eating habits and lack of conversation, which snowballed into a argument. I'm now estranged from my mother and family.

I told my son to leave my room so I could cool off. Later that evening, I went to check on him and he was gone. He had run away to my mothers house. At this time, I called my fiance to tell him that he had just ran away. I called my mothers house, my sister answered the phone. I asked for my son, she said she was not returning him to me.

We went to the school on monday and talked to the principal and his counselor and explained the situation about my son. We were assured that they would help us to get him home. I already knew that I would be seeing CPS for the third time and was just waiting for the call.

On Tuesday, I called to see if my son was in school. They had pulled him out of class. I was on speaker phone with his counselor, the principal and my son. He stated that my boyfriend beat him and that I had watched and let him. So, he was performing like an Oscar contender.

This is a lie and I am tired of defending myself and my fiance. My son does not want to be told anything, he wants to be dirty and refuses to bathe, to do chores and schoolwork.

I got the expected call today and I'm just fustrated and so is he. How is it that the state of california has 20% of all of their children in fostercare. We are tired of the abuse from my son and California, as well as from the school district. The article I read gave me hope. I want people in this country to know that children use CPS as a restraint for parents.

Thank you for reading this letter. I'm a bit long winded.

Sincerely,
Annette B.

Dear Annette,

What I am going to say may sound harsh but sometimes the truth is.

The school system has trained children in this type of behavior and it sounds like your son is convinced that he is the one in charge, so let him be in charge, give him what he's asking for.

Let me explain. You see it's only been in the past 50-100 years in this country that we have attempted to keep children from taking on any responsibility, not deeming them adults until they are 18 or 21. We don't allow children to grow up and learn to make good decisions, while they are still at home. This is part of the problem.

Had your son been born in a different era, he would have been expected to take on adult responsibilities by this time. Young men and women used to marry at 13 or 14, they held jobs and cared for their own homes. This is part of the problem, young adults have nothing to keep them occupied, they are bored, selfish and lazy.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that children as young as 13 should get married but they should be taking on responsibilities at home. They should learn to run a business, keep track of their finances, learn how to do their income taxes, pay bills and earn their keep. How else will they know how to do those things when they are turned lose at 18?

I suggest you tell CPS to take him or better yet, let them put him in a juvenile detention center or boys camp, one where he will be required to work and participate. Tell your son that when he wants to begin being a part of the family and pulling his end of the workload that you will allow him to come back home, but not until.

When he finally decides he wants back out of the system (CPS), which may be next to impossible, he may get out by writing a letter to the court to rebut his original claims of abuse and assert his will to return to his mother. Leave the entire matter up to him to fix.

It's called tough love and some children need to be reminded that the world does not owe them a living. By allowing him to continue to abuse you and your fiance, you are preventing him from growing up and facing reality, something he needs a strong dose of. He will continue in this type of behavior as long as you allow it.

I warned you my advice would sound a little harsh but some children just need a cold dose of the truth.

I do wish you well and hope that your son finds his way soon. Give yourself permission to make those hard decisions and stop letting your son bully you.

Hugs,
~Annette M. Hall