Unsure of what to do!

My conversations with my 12-yr old son are so frustrating!Today he is angry because he keeps telling me that he is bored+wants to go back to school.I have made two attempts to take him back to school.Both times he got very anxious+upset.The last time,he was psychotic for 4 days+we almost had to take him to the hospital.If he is having a good day,he will go outside or go places with me.Most days he watches tv,reads,or plays computer/xbox games.I tried to discuss the stress issues he has with him to no avail.He keeps telling me things that have little or nothing to do with the conversation.The meds have helped him tremendously,but negative symptoms still there.How do I help a child that tells me he is “bored” and seems almost desperate to do something when he has no insight+seems to actually be unable to do much?!@SuprisedJ -I seem to remember that you had issues very young-any ideas?Anyone else have suggestions?


My situation is a little bit different because my Mom IS a high school math and science teacher and my Dad IS a middle school history and art teacher. In a way I was home schooled.

I was also put in tutor sessions at the community centers and the YMCA’s I also did a reading class through the library that met once a week in a small group.

There are on line algebra games so if he plays video games, why not slip in some educational ones.

As far as the anxiety of going to school, for a while I couldn’t do it. I was put on anxiety meds. But the semi-home school approach helped out the best. When I was doing well, I could be in class a bit more. But there were a lot of times the hustle and bustle and fast pace of the lessons were too hard to focus on.

I didn’t do well in a normal school setting.


What about school on the computer?
Here in Ky, they have something called k-12. Not sure where you are, but hopefully something in your area. Homeschooling would be great–even if you don`t do it yourself, there are a lot of parents that form a group and have their kids together for homeschool. Hope this helps.

K12 Academy looks good but they charge $4000 per year.

The IBLP homeschool kit is $675.00 per year. This is the homeschool the Duggar family children use. :family:

@Baked Beans+@bridgecomet-thank you for your replies.I have signed him up for a k-12online public school.Sad to say,but school is just one of many worries these days.I feel comfortable teaching him at home.@SurprisedJ-I guess my big problem is how to deal with him yelling at me because he’s bored +telling me all kinds of angry reasons that I’m not helping him when he can’t see the problem or that I am trying to help him.Many days,he has no interest in leaving the house.I know it isn’t healthy for people to hide in their homes+vegetate but I don’t know what to do.He gets overwhelmed easily+I can only push him so much.I tried to encourage him today to talk about what may be wrong with him.He always says he has no interest in finding out or trying to get better.I even offered to take him to store for a new game-not interested.Yet he will yell at me because he wants something to do.No matter what he comes up with(or me)-he won’t/can’t do.I don’t know if this is avolition or what.Very hard as a parent to see him seemingly desperate for activity in his life but unable to achieve anything!

At 12 my Mom just put her foot down that I will not yell at her. She ignored me if I yelled. Yelling at Mom when I was young was just a no-no. She would give me warning that if I kept yelling, she would leave. Then she would leave when I kept yelling.

But as far as discussing my Sz like we do today? It would have been like having an adult conversation with a 3 year old. Having siblings meant the family was always on the move. My Mom was just matter of fact, “Can’t leave you here alone, so you have to go with. Sorry, we still have to go do this.”

I am trying to earnestly think of some of the things my Mom did to get me out and going. If I recall any I will add another post to this thread.

One thing that was very different for me was I was very hyper. My parents got me into lots of physical activity to tire me out and calm me down.

Gardening is a physical activity that can be done at home. I remember being sort of, “Tough luck kid, your father needs your help in the back yard.” He had me cary stuff and dig stuff. Simple physical work and when I got tired enough, it was easier to concentrate and complete a thought.

For your son, at 12, I wouldn’t expect any insight, because even normal and healthy boys have no idea of cause and effect at 12, how could a kid facing what we face have any insight either?

Boys begin puberty between the ages of 9-14. Some of the brain is rewiring due to this as well. I’m sorry you have an illness and puberty to fight through.

Also, meds do so much, have you talked to your doc about this? I have read here many times that parents don’t want to bother the doc with a little thing like acting out in anger or complete inactivity. But that very well could be a med side effect or the lack of a med. I’d say talk to your doc about all you can.

My Mom did journal my behavior on specific meds, my reactions, when she noticed something different in my behavior as a med got introduced or taken away. I really wish I could remember what my Mom did off the top of my head.

Good luck and I’m rooting for you.

My son may be 20 now but a year ago he might as well have been 10-12, if that, in attitude and actions.

This is what I started doing. I can be as empathetic as I want however my son was capable of making the choice to yell or not yell at me. Swearing was a big one. I looked into how discipline ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder). I still have the basic apartment rules taped to our coffee table. My son wanted to use me as a venting tool. If he had excessive energy etc then push mom’s buttons until we are arguing so that he can release his own frustrations. So many times I told him “I love you however I am your mother and I deserve to be talked to and treated with respect.” Trying to have reasonable conversations with him regarding rules and discipline was pointless as he would throw anything and everything into the conversation to avoid taking responsibility for his actions or words. That is a choice, denial, in my opinion. I can have empathy for anosognosia but not outright defiant denial.

I can’t make my son see what I see when it comes to his insight into what he is capable or not capable of (school etc) however I can make the choice to walk away from negative attitudes and behaviors. He can argue, be bored, swear, be rude with himself and by himself. I withdraw…

Thank you @Surprised J for your input!Your parents sound like they were really on the ball!I feel better letting the whole insight issue go for now.He is young+we have a long journey ahead of us.My son has always enjoyed the outdoors and working.It seems like when I push him out of his comfort zone(which can vary daily)he gets worked up and starts getting off-the-hook upset.Just mentioning going back to school causes him to withdraw into himself.I do keep a daily journal to reflect on meds changes or patterns in his behavior.I have read many people talking about the negative symptoms.I guess I hoped because of his age,it wouldn’t be as bad but he has some serious negative symptoms!His Abilify is at 10mg now+I see more improvement.Slowly his sense of humor is creeping back.The pdoc probably wishes I didn’t ask so much!LOL I prepare a mini presentation for her each month!We only get to see her once a month and she is very busy.Anything you can remember/think of is welcome.I’m trying to take everything I’m learning and try to make it fit a child.You are the only person I’ve talked with so far that can help provide insight on that aspect of it.Thanks again!

@BarbieBF-thank you so much for your advice!Despite the age difference,you could be talking about my son.I need some help developing boundaries with him.Would it be possible for you to post your basic apartment rules?I have a feeling that may help me.I’m never sure how much to push him.I have realized lately that he takes his frustration out on me.Honestly,I’m terribly afraid of him having another psychotic episode.I know,realistically,this is probably going to happen someday.Because he has type1 diabetes,I will have to make a 3hr drive to a university hospital that can manage(hopefully)his mental health+diabetes.When he gets close to 14,the hospital will let him join their early psychosis program+maybe we will have access to more resources.I don’t want to start developing a dysfunctional relationship with him because of sz+not knowing where/when to put boundaries.Thanks!

That is a very good sign.

That is when my family said they noticed an improvement and I was coming back to myself. There are others here who use a sense of humor as a way to tell if they are doing better or worse.

I know that on days where I don’t find anything funny and nothing amuses me, I end up not having a good day. But normally I like being funny and making people laugh. My whole family uses humor. My sis got her leg cut open by the fin of her surf board, right through the wet suit. When she was in the lobby of the ER, she was a stand-up comic. She uses humor to be brave. I use humor to feel better.

Based on what I read about disciplining ADHD and ODD I had to pick the behaviors that I wanted to work on the most. With my son it was swearing and slamming doors plus the drugs.

Apartment Rules
Do own laundry
Clean up own messes
Try not to swear - Zero tolerance swearing at Mom or Frank
No slamming doors
Drugs, bongs, hookahs, pipes, alcohol, etc. - zero tolerance in apartment
No rolling cigarettes in living room - do in own bedroom
No chewing tobacco or pipe tobacco in living room - own bedroom
Sleep in own bed
Consequences of swearing excessively or at Mom or Frank and slamming doors, not going to bed or sleeping on couch is no internet.
Consequence of not going to school on time is no laptop.
Drugs, bongs, hookahs, pipes, alcohol, etc. will be thrown away.
Chewing tobacco, pipe & tobacco if in living room will be thrown away.

I recently bought him a laptop and the conditions of it are that he pay me back $50 a month and go to the YMCA for his schooling/GED twice a week or I take it back. Until it’s paid for it is my laptop. Once he lost the internet for over 8 days. A day for each offense of swearing at me and slamming doors. It got bad before it got better because he wanted to test and see how far he could push. Well I stood firm on the consequences. My son seems to identify with his addictions and one of them is nicotine so pipes, chewing tobacco, cigars… I have thrown out tins of snuff/chewing tobacco if I find it in the living room. He brings in alcohol sometimes, I find it and down the drain it goes. He tells me how unfair I am being and that he has rights… I have rights too and this is my apartment, my utilities and my rules. For me I think I find not arguing with him to be the hardest part. I can handle his temper tantrums. I have had 2 kids so I recognize temper tantrums, pouting and immature behavior. It’s hard watching a 20 year old act like a 6 year old with a 20 year old body/strength however I refuse to be afraid of my own son so if it gets to that point then I will have him removed from the home and I have let him know that I have no problem with calling 911. He is accountable for his actions, unless in full blown psychosis. So I walked away from him a lot. Left the home when needed. Refused to talk to him even when he was accusing me of being rude by ignoring him. I also try to take into consideration that he wouldn’t/won’t follow these guidelines/rules without my help :smile: They are on the coffee table but he doesn’t look at them. It’s more for my benefit that I can point to them when he doesn’t follow them and remind him that they are there and that I expect him to follow them. State the rules in a matter of fact tone and walk away from the ensuing argument… As long as he starts to clean up a mess but doesn’t finish, I go behind him and pick up the rest. As long as he doesn’t argue with me when I wake him up from the couch to go to bed… I remind him and help him with his laundry and bedding. Point out when he is swearing more. When these things are slipping, he is slipping so I know he isn’t sleeping right or smoking more pot or sometimes missing meds. Mom becomes more “controlling” :wink: I try to get him out more. It has been noted by his past workers then even though my son fights against it and lashes out, he in fact does a lot better when the boundaries are more firmly in place so I get to be the bad guy which is fine with me. I am mom after all :smile:

At the moment things are good. He is going to the YMCA. Because he wants to? or because I have followed through on consequence and stood my ground? He says it is because he wants to however I think it’s because he believes I will take away his laptop and I will. As with both my kids I try not to discipline when upset and I try not to threaten things I am not willing to follow through on.

I didn’t cause it, I can’t control it and I can’t cure it. A phrase that I saw on the old forum that has stuck with me. I refuse to let something I can’t control, control me or how my home or I am treated. I can’t stop breaks. I can’t stop him from using completely. I can’t control what he thinks or feels. I can however demand that I be treated with respect as a human being. I am mom, not a door mat.

Sorry I tend to write a lot…

I love that. My Mom would say that too when I was acting out and she was done.

Follow through is key… Please forgive an off topic story…

There were some kids playing in the sand box at the park while I was working. (I work for the park’s dept helping with the gardens) The Mom was yelling at one of the kids… "I’m going to count to three, do you hear me? I’m going to count to three… ONE… TWO… I mean It, I’m going to count to three, you’ll be in trouble… ONE… are you listening, I’m going to count to three… "

I heard the 7 or so year old tell his friend… “I can do what ever I want because my Mom is stupid and doesn’t know how to count to thee. I never get in trouble, so I don’t have to listen to her.”

If that is his attitude at 7, he’s going to be a joy when he’s 16 right?

Follow through and sticking to it is SO important. My Mom has taught me that.

@BarbieBF-yes,I definitely needed your advice!Everything you said was spot on.It is so helpful to know I am not the only mom struggling with this!You have more "grown up"issues to deal with then I do+it sounds like you are doing excellent.I know it can’t be easy!I have a feeling I may be heading your way for advice in the future.Thank you so much!

@SurprisedJ-I had to chuckle at your story about the kids in the park.No one likes an out-of-control brat!You and BarbieBF are right about setting limits and following through with them.It sounds like such an easy thing,but can get so complicated when you throw the mental health issues in.Yes,his sense of humor has started to make a comeback.I can’t explain the joy of hearing a giggle come from someone who has been so lost.I have spent tons of money on books,countless hours looking for resources in the state/country and endless nights wondering how to get through tomorrows.This forum has,by far,given me the most understanding,insight and hope.Thank you for giving me some much needed peace! ( :

It’s seeing/hearing things like a giggle or laugh that makes it all worth it. I love it when my son walks by me and pats me on the head. There were a lot of days that I felt completely lost, at wits end, ready to just give in. I’m sure there will be again as psychosis seems to like to make itself known regardless of what we do.

We are doing good, knock on wood :wink:. He doesn’t see what I see though. Just the other day we were talking about what he can or can’t do on his own. He seems to think he is capable of working 10 hr days 5-7 days a week even though he can’t get up on his own for schooling 2 days a week. He wants me to back off a bit and let him smoke more pot and let him bring alcohol into the home etc. I asked him where he thought he would be without me keeping him stable and he thinks he would be right were he is. He would be inpatient within a month I’m sure as he doesn’t take his meds when he gets high/drunk. I have to point out the rules that he breaks when he gets high (cigars in living room, more swearing and sleeping on couch) because he doesn’t remember. He’s been drinking vodka (I had to search his room again and found the bottle yesterday), smoking pot, missing some meds and the red flags are all there. More swearing, forgetful and asking the same thing numerous times, up and down all night, not eating regular meals so less healthy, smoking more and wanting more of his neurontin/gabapentin then prescribed. He wanted me to explain to him what red flags I was seeing but he wanted me to do it in one short sentence with him picking apart and denying each one and not letting me explain them lol another red flag…

I told him off a bit actually and he took it so he is not slipping as much as I was fearing. I make it clear I will fight him if needed to keep him stable. Later that day during another conversation he commented that he trusted me because I’m his mom, so I guess I’m doing something right lol. We actually came to an agreement that on Monday I will back off and he can prove to me that he is capable of doing things on his own since he thinks he can. Maybe it’s time for a little reality check. If he doesn’t get up for school I take the laptop so I told him that he will have the chance to back up what he is saying. If he wants a job with my hubby then he needs to prove that he can get up on his own and make it to work on time without mommies help since he is an adult/man. I will not get him up on Monday. If he is not up by 9 when it is time for him to be AT school then laptop is mine for the day. I have made it clear that I will be dressed and ready to leave the apartment as I won’t be party to any arguments/discussions regarding this. At first he was all in then he tried to back out. He may need a couple of chances trying to get up on time… So start setting your alarm and getting up on Saturday, that way there is 2 days of trying before Monday. His meds are sedating so it’s not his fault he can’t get up… Go to bed earlier since he is on less meds and I know he doesn’t need more then 10 hrs. His grandmother used to let him get away with blaming being pot high/sedated on his meds but I can tell the difference after a year living with him.

Sorry I’m venting a bit… It gets hard dealing with these confabulations/delusions regarding his ability to do things. He is stable enough to start growing up and take responsibility for his words and choices.

I guess my point is, none of it is easy. Being unsure becomes normal. Hard becomes easier :wink:

Unsure what to do… yup :smile:

So my son got up at 8:59… I don’t know whether to be impressed, amused or pissed off. He pushes things until I have no choice but to push back and I really don’t like it. First he tells me that he never leaves until 9:10 anyways. Rarely do I get him out the door before 9 as he does push everything to the last minute. However that was not our agreement for today and the goal is always for him to be at school for 9. Being on time is not 20-40 minutes late. I even set his alarm for 7:30 and called him to wake up to it which he did. He says that he told me he would make a mistake and not get up… I’m not sure pre-planing a mistake can be considered a mistake and I didn’t agree that it was ok.

I am impressed that he did leave at 9:25 even though I told him that the discipline is still happening. I think he is hoping that I will give in. If I give in then Wednesday it will be “You let me do this on Monday…” Also if I don’t follow through than all the hard times leading up to this will be thrown out the window as I have just shown him that I don’t follow through on what I say. All this started because he thinks he can take care of himself, get up and work long hours and be on time for work and remain healthy and stable without my help. I think in this instance my instincts as mom can not be ignored.

That went well… not. Started with slamming doors, then throwing and breaking things then I got called a F’ing disgusting bitch. 3 new holes in his bedroom door from him hitting it and pieces of wood and other broken things littering his floor that apparently I can clean up since it’s my apartment. Followed with the I’m moving in with dad…

The joys of a 20 year old having a 10 year old temper tantrum. :astonished:

@BarbieBF-good grief!When I read your posts,I feel like looking over my shoulder.It seems like you must be in my house somewhere!LOL My son is levelling out somewhat.We are seeing more fair days-with a good/bad day thrown in occasionally.The Abilify seems to help with his mood.Although,it doesn’t take much to stress him out and that’s when he acts out.The pdoc said that his sz will transform as he ages.The way she said it didn’t sound good!I’m guessin the teenage years will be rough(sigh).I enjoy reading about you+your son.Every evening,for about 3-4 hours,there is a gap in his medication and it feels like an alien has taken over my son.I’m thankful that I’m not alone in this!

It does help to not be alone in these ups and downs. I’m calmer now however it’s been a struggle to get my own frustrations under control today. The teenager years, how I wish we could get past them lol however I guess that’s where psychosis has left it’s mark on his cognitive development.

That sucks that you have that 3-4 hours to deal with every evening. I’m glad that my sharing helps as it helps me too.

your situation is so tough…please know you are being thought of…hang tougn