teenagers/need advice about violence

  1. I have a unique problem. I have five kids, 22, 20, 19, 17 and 14. My two oldest are off in college, the 19 year old lives with us and goes to college, works part time. The 17 year old is special needs with some psyc issues and other problems and we home school her. The 14 year old is fine. My problem is the 19 year old, almost 20, has always had a horrible temper. Lately he has been calling everyone here every name in the book. He treats us horribly. Today I had to pull him off his 17 year old sister and he was choking her and calling her horrible names, which Iwas there and broke it up or else I am sure the 17 year old may have been killed as it was a horrible fight. We have tried everything to reach this child. Talking, therapy, time outs, grounding which now he is to big for, we have told him his behavior is unacceptable. He said to me it was good I was here today to break up this fist fight/choking or he would have killed her. He said to her if she ever said anything to him again, he would kill her. Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom? I have told my husband I cannot live with the violence and he or I are going to go......I grew up in a physically and mentally abusive home and I just cannot live like that...............anyone have any other ideas I can try?

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    About renerian

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 7,472; Likes: 49
    RN, MS home health


  3. by   renerian
    I need to say none of these children have ever seen any violence in our home. I think he learned his hatred from his friends. He is very prejudiced which none of us are here. He hates blacks, jews, chinese, mexican and korean. He did not learn any of this from us. We have never spanked nor mistreated our children. We have always talked things out. I just don't see any way out except kicking him out which I think is not good but I don't think the rest of us have to be exposed to his violent tirades.......

  4. by   ptnurse
    My heart goes out to you renerian. I don't have a lot of experience in this area. I do know that if you have one child who has a violent temper, you are going to have to do something to protect your other kids. This boy needs a psych evaluation. If I remember correctly the peak time for disorders like schizophrenia to start is in the late teens to early twenties. Most often in males. For what it is worth, you have my best wishes. I would really like to know how this works out, if you would not mind keeping us posted.
  5. by   researchrabbit
    Is the 19-year-old seeing a therapist? If not, that could be a place to start.

    It may also be time to have him move out of the house until he can control himself...it has to be safe for you and the others who are there.

    It's really important, too, to put the blame where it belongs -- which is NOT on you! He is old enough to take responsibility for his actions. Some kids don't learn until they are forced to do so.
  6. by   renerian
    Thanks research and ptnurse. Yes he saw a therapist for about six months for his anger plus he was caught stealing a gram scale at school, yes we figure it was for drugs, which none of us have done, his friends again. He calls us MF and all kinds of horrible names. I told hubby today either he goes or I do as I just cannot live with physical outbursts........

    Even when he was little his fuse was about 1/8 of an inch. He can't take much..

  7. by   PennyLane
    renerian--I've never been in a situation like that before, but I would take his threats very seriously. I agree with ptnurse that he needs a psych evaluation. Maybe there is a medication for him that will even him out, with therapy. I would address this asap for the safety of your family. (((((renerian)))))
  8. by   renerian
    Thanks Mel. I am going to suggest a re-evaluation to hubby. Something has got to help him. He punched a hole in his bedroom wall lately too.

    thanks for the warm vibes,

  9. by   PennyLane
    Let us know how it goes.
  10. by   colleen10
    Hi Renerian,

    I'm sorry for what you and your family are experiencing right now.

    Is your son open to therapy and anger management and when he was going was he getting better?

    He doesn't sound like a too terribly awful person since you got him to go to a therapist just 6 months ago and he is in school and working.

    I agree that kicking him out of the nest may not be the best solution if the people he would most likely turn to, his friends, have their own issues with prejudice and drugs. But, is it possible that some of this anger is stemming from him remaning in the nest? I guess I am thinking back to when I was a senior in high school. I got early acceptance into college and basically for 9 months I could not wait to fly the nest. Even though I had good relationships with my family it was a rather unnerving and emotional time for me.

    The only way I can describe it is that I was completely ready to be out of my parents house yet I was stuck there.

    Maybe he is on the verge of adulthood and ready to be on his own but he's at home and it is causing him to act out.

    I don't know, just my thoughts and experiences.

    Take care and best of luck,

  11. by   Furball
    My heart goes out to you Renarian...been there.
    Last edit by Furball on Jan 1, '03
    I don't know how to help you renerian, and I don't even know what to say as far as advice. But you and your family ar in my thoughts.

    Please, think of your safety. He's proven himself to be a danger to others, and for some psych units, that is all that's required.

    Other than stealing a gram scale, have you ever before suspected drugs?

  13. by   renerian
    WE have caught him, heather, with drugs twice but they were always someone else's.......uh huh........he was in therapy but he has always maintained it is someone else's fault or problem. He has such a soft side he just is so angry at us. I think that someone here had a good thought. I know he was yelling at us the other day as he was so angry we would not park our cars in the street as he wanted to keep his car in the garage all winter. We said no mom and dad are keeping their cars in there. He got so angry and once again stormed off. He has always been like that but the trash that came out of his mouth today and the choking scared me to pieces. He could have a drug problem.....I am waiting for dad to come home. Thanks heather, colleen and furball for some insight.......Phew I am glad the other kids are doing okay LOL.

  14. by   canoehead
    I am not experienced in these problems but would have to say that some behaviours are just not acceptable. Physically attacking someone weaker is one of them. Punching a hole in the bedroom wall I could tolerate, but he would have to do the repairs.

    Is he apologetic between episodes, or does he maintain that the problems are someone else's fault? Where your or your family's safety is in danger he should know that he will have to leave, even if you have to call the police to escort him out, if he hurts or physically threatens anyone in your family again. He is old enough to be accountable for his own actions. Remember too that he is also responsible for his choice of friends- that is not something you can fix, even though it upsets you.

    In any case, make your plan and stick to it. I hope things get better.