Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from satamasy. Show satamasy's posts

    Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    I'm at a loss as to how to deal with my 16 year-old nephew.  His world-view has become exceedingly intolerant. 
     
    On Facebook, his page is festooned with Nazi symbolism and quotes from Joseph Goebbels.  Unless you happen to be a white heterosexual male who happens to hate God, love guns and vote Republican, he has nothing nice to say about you. I find many of his postings offensive.  

    This is certainly not how he was brought up to behave and I have taken great pains to deal with these comments in a positive manner but am rapidly losing patience with the intolerant whelp.

    We'd always been very close since he's the first nephew in the family and also my godchild and i've always been very generous with my birthday and Christmas gifts to him.  As he's grown older, these gifts have been in the form of cash.  

    This year I'm thinking of making donations in his name to the ADL, the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign Fund.  His siblings would receive their usual cash gifts.  Is this a brilliant idea - or am I being a boor? 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Maldenlady. Show Maldenlady's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    Do you have any idea of where he's picking up these attitudes?  What's influencing him? 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from satamasy. Show satamasy's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    In Response to Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request:
    Do you have any idea of where he's picking up these attitudes?  What's influencing him? 
    Posted by Maldenlady


    It's complicated - but in a nutshell, his parents had an extremely nasty divorce, and there are bad feelings all around.  He walked away from the family when my nephew was almost five - and since then my nephew has been doing everything a kid can do to get his father's approval.   

    I have reason to suspect this is coming from his father:  He has had a fascination with Nazism and claimed it was a part of his German heritage worth exploring.  The same goes for the interest in the KKK:

    They actually had a booth at the Indiana State Fair and my nephew picked up some of their literatire.  His father says he would never deny his child the opportunity to 'explore' these things b/c it is 'all part of growing up' and will ultimately make my nephew a 'better' person.

    I know he wasn't brought up this way, and I sense he knows he's being horribly racist, but I also worry that he's going along with his father's interests in a desperate attempt to keep him in his life, and finding it hard to think for himself.

    It is just so freaking sad...........
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Amethyst2. Show Amethyst2's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    Oh, boy....my heart sinks....

    Well, it doesn't sound like the kind of situation where a conversation with the father would do any good; it is also questionable that the son would listen to other opinions.  It sounds like this is about the father/son bond, and unfortunately right now the "glue" is this hateful influence...

    Are there any other male influences in his life, that he might listen to?  Try to let him know that there other men with different ideas?  Not as a competition for the father, but just some male influence who can get him to think...for right now, just someone to talk to.  Hopefully, in time, some other "glue" for the relationship will come to light...

    Having said all that, my father's side of the family was *very* German.  He's got a photograph taken around the turn of the 20th century, of the original immigrants from Hille, Germany.  In that photograph is every stereotype of the German..the lovely Rheinmaiden; the stately, tall military man; the bearded and, uh, rotund gentleman.  There is much in German heritage that's very rich.  Germany gave great artists and poetry...expose him to that side of the heritage.
     
    I have German friends who are human rights advocates, who know all about the horrors of the Holocaust.  I'm tellin' ya, these days in Germany the idea of espousing Nazism as anything other than a horrible, shameful period of German history is abhorent to Germans.  There are laws in Germany against the singing of Nazi songs in public; Nazi symbols and gestures; and Holocaust denial.  Germans aren't proud of that period of their history...let the young man know that...See if you can introduce him to some actual modern-day Germans...



     








     




     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    Sadly, there is no advice to be had.  He is of the age where he can make up his own mind about what he believes and is forming his life view.  It can change from this point, but that change would totally have to be driven by HIS desire to not be that way anymore.  You cannot do a thing but sit by and watch the trainwreck.  You have no more power to push a train back on its tracks than your nephew back on his.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    Why not spend more time w/ him?  If you spend time w/ him and serve as a positive role model, perhaps he'll change his tune?  I would think that time you spend w/ him would be more valuable than any cash gift you could give him. 

    I wouldn't even necessarily address the interest in Nazism.  He's 16.  He may just be getting into it to get some attention.  Making a gift in his name to the ADL is just obnoxious.  Spend time w/ the kid instead. 
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    The kid is militant, angry, and into all these things wholeheartedly.  How do you suggest she spend time with him without "going there?"  He's there all the time...
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    if you scroll to the bottom of anyone's Facebook profile you'll see the options to report them. You can report any instances of hate or racist speech on Facebook. You should report his page if it is overtly racist or hateful. You should see if any other relatives on Facebook will do the same.

    Other than that, treat it as an addiction. He's addicted to hate, it makes him feel better for some reason. You can try and get his mother and other family involved in an intervention. I'd reach out to the NAACP and similar groups to see if there are support groups or helpful literature on this type of thing for you. You should also alert his school to the content of his Facebook page, as he could pose a danger to other students. The guidence counselors might also be able to meet with him and get him some help.
    Most addicts have to hit rock bottom to realize they need help, but seeing as though this addiction can mostly cause pain to others, not just himself, I'm afraid to think of what rock bottom would be.

    And I do think you should try and spend more time with him. There's no way he'd be pursuing this negative outlet if he had a positive outlet that he enjoyed- like sports or music. Maybe you can find a positive activity that he enjoys that you can either do with him or support him in. Even if all he likes are video games, you could still go to an arcade and have a good time.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    I think if you sit him down and make a big  deal out if it you are going to make it worse.

    Offer to spend time w/ the kid.  If he's wearing an armband or some other nazi symbol [other than like a T shirt], then you could ask him to take it off for the time being.  Honestly, I've seen some super offensive T shirts that kids wear that are more offensive than any Nazi symbol.  You need to pick and choose your battles, esp where the kid is 16.  Spend time w/ the kid, set a role model and listen to what he wants to talk about. Chances are if you give the kid other options, esp if he was a good, sweet kid to start w/, he'll come around.

    Or you could just complain on line, report him on facebook and make donations in his name to the ADL.  All things that are going to P him off and make him want to act out more to 'get back' at you.

    The only thing the OP has said has indicated that he is making nasty posts on Facebook.  Even though it's not a blind, b/c people know who you are, it's easier to say things on line [esp if you are a teen] than in real life.  Unless this kid is setting cats on fire, bullying neighborhood kids, attending Nazi rallys or displaying behavior that REALLY requires professional intervention, notifying his school or the authorities is not the right thing to do. It's like shooting a mouse w/ an Uzi. I'm not making light of what he's doing, but you are really going to be getting into overkill and probably isolate the kid further.  He's pissed b/c mom and dad divorced and probably aren't paying him the kind of attention he wants. 

    Doesn't anyone remember being 16? You think you know everything, adults are stupid and you say stuff just to get a rise out of people. 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from satamasy. Show satamasy's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    Amethyst2:

    Thank you for helping me see this as it is:  this is about the father/son bond.  As  mentioned earlier, the divorce between the parents was probably one of the nastier divorces you could imagine and my nephew's participation was encouraged by his father.  Naturally there are hard feelings all around.

    He encouraged my nephew's participation in the custody battle by giving him favored status:  My nephew's gifts from his father were always better than the gifts his siblings got & he was always treated better more favorably than they were.  I suspect my nephew thought this favored status would continue once he moved in with Dad.

    Unfortunately, my nephew is not the boy his father wants him to be:  he's not gifted academically, artistically, or graced with and particular athletic abilities.  His coaches say he has a serious lack of respect for authority and his siblings say he's too much of a bully to have any serious friends.  Meanwhile, they are the ones who are doing well in school, sports and socially -  so naturally Dad has diverted his favored status onto them.    

    I'd love to be there for him and would give anything if I could - but as he now lives 800 miles away, my access to him is limited.  His father is a lawyer, and aunts & uncles have no legal rights for visitation, so I would not put it past the father to take legal action against me.  To say I don't trust the man is putting it mildly. 

    As Amethyst2 said: right now the "glue" binding them together is this hateful influence.  Calling attention to his intolerance is seen as an attack on his father.  Facebook is the only way I can stay in touch with him - but I've been 'un-friended' by him, so communication has been cut off.

    Perhaps I should just disengage and watch the train-wreck, but as a god-parent, I feel an obligation to encourage my nephew to be the best person he can possibly  be.  

    The question is: when do I know when it is time to walk away? 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from JEnvie. Show JEnvie's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    ALF - boy do i remember (unfortunately) i put a picture on my wall of charles manson to shake my parents up
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from mezzogal1124. Show mezzogal1124's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    In Response to Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request:
    Perhaps I should just disengage and watch the train-wreck, but as a god-parent, I feel an obligation to encourage my nephew to be the best person he can possibly  be.   The question is: when do I know when it is time to walk away? 
    Posted by satamasy


    Satamasy, I'm sorry you're in this situation.  It's a sad one, and it's obviously causing you a lot of stress. 

    Being a godparent can be a complicated role because you feel a deep sense of responsibility toward your godchild; however, ultimately he/she is not yours to raise.  It's difficult, but you've got to let this go.  It sounds like you've done all you can to be a great godmother.  Unfortunately, he's shown that he doesn't seem to want you in his life right now (by unfriending you on Facebook).  If you try making donations to the groups you suggested, you're just going to come across as a self-righteous meddler.

    When Christmas comes around, I would send him a gift as usual, although feel free to not be as generous this time around since he rudely unfriended you.  Accompany the gift with a card, simply stating that you hope he is well, miss talking with him, and that you're always there if he wants to talk or visit.  That way, you're leaving the door open to communication and taking a neutral ground.  Good luck.
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    satamasey,

    First, I thought (think) you are a man, based on what you wrote.  Not that it matters, just my impression.  The first thing I don't understand is why you have not mentioned your nephew's mother in any of your posts.  If his father is not your brother, then his mother must be your sister (unless these are inlaws, and neither of them are blood relatives), in which case, it's your wife's brother or sister?

    I just don't understand why she isn't in the mix, and why you haven't talked to her.   Are you saying they don't have joint custody and the mother doesn't even see your nephew?  Sorry, but this is confusing b/c speaking to his mother would be the first thing to do, IMHO.

    Otherwise, if he's unfriended you, it's probably b/c he feels he needs his space and is cutting ties with "his old life" that includes you.  That's very sad, but it's part of his defiance and part of his new identity, and even if it hurts you, you have to deal with it.  I feel your pain, as that is very hurtful.

    I wouldn't wait until the holidays to send him a card.  Send him a card any old time.  Just to say hi.  Or send him an email?  Be sure to let him know you miss him very much, tell him some news from home (what ever you used to have in common or news about Boston sports or whatever) and even send him something really really small (again a little token, something funny that you used to have in common that might make him smile) and see if he might possibly contact you to thank you.  Don't let the ice get too thick. Keep breaking it.  He's just a kid inside, and he's the same person inside that you knew, he really is.  It's hard to know if this is a phase, if he thinks it's cool, if he's so desperate for his father's approval, etc., but that's just something you can't control. 

    Best to think about what you can control, like keeping in touch with him and making sure he knows that just because he lives 800 miles away, he's still in your thoughts.   I would also send him some pics once in a while, either in email, or in hardcopy.  Don't be a pest, but don't let the distance build up a wall, b/c that's what he expects, and he needs you to care, even if he doesn't realize it. 
    All my best. 

    ps my Dad was born and raised in the city of Berlin, and believe me, it is sad to think that there are people who are influencing their kids to think that all Germany stands for is something so distorted from the truth.  Very sad. 
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    This is very sad.  He sounds like a very angry young man.  I just hope he doesn't act out any of these thought patterns or he could end up down a path he can't return from.

    You keep saying he wasn't brought up this way, but it sounds like his dad IS bringing him up this way.  When that is occurring, it's very hard for someone in your position to "change" the behavior or thought patterns; the parental influence is too strong.  As others have said IF you can spend time with him without being overwhelmed by his philosophies and can open him up to other experiences, that is probably the most you can do.

    Whether you decide to hold back gifts is completely up to you, however if you want a relationship with him (in the future, if now is impossible) it's probably best not to do something like the donations you mentioned (although I can understand why you might want to do that). 

    I hope he grows out of it.  It is very disturbing to me that his dad seems to think expressing intolerance and hate will make his son a "better person".  I also think the information you've heard from school official is disturbing. Hopefully those around him are on the watch for any red flags that he might be capable of hurting himself or others.

    ETA:  I missed the 800 miles away part.  I like yogafriend's advice to keep in touch, even if it's one-sided, so your nephew/godson knows you care about him.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    In Response to Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request:
    I think if you sit him down and make a big  deal out if it you are going to make it worse. Offer to spend time w/ the kid.  If he's wearing an armband or some other nazi symbol [other than like a T shirt], then you could ask him to take it off for the time being.  Honestly, I've seen some super offensive T shirts that kids wear that are more offensive than any Nazi symbol.  You need to pick and choose your battles, esp where the kid is 16.  Spend time w/ the kid, set a role model and listen to what he wants to talk about. Chances are if you give the kid other options, esp if he was a good, sweet kid to start w/, he'll come around. Or you could just complain on line, report him on facebook and make donations in his name to the ADL.  All things that are going to P him off and make him want to act out more to 'get back' at you. The only thing the OP has said has indicated that he is making nasty posts on Facebook.  Even though it's not a blind, b/c people know who you are, it's easier to say things on line [esp if you are a teen] than in real life.  Unless this kid is setting cats on fire, bullying neighborhood kids, attending Nazi rallys or displaying behavior that REALLY requires professional intervention, notifying his school or the authorities is not the right thing to do. It's like shooting a mouse w/ an Uzi. I'm not making light of what he's doing, but you are really going to be getting into overkill and probably isolate the kid further.  He's pissed b/c mom and dad divorced and probably aren't paying him the kind of attention he wants.  Doesn't anyone remember being 16? You think you know everything, adults are stupid and you say stuff just to get a rise out of people. 
    Posted by ALF72


    First off, what you say on Facebook is there forever unless you delete it. This could hurt his prospects for college and future employment. Not to mention the fact that it could be very upsetting to classmates and friends. He needs to understand that what he says online can have a severe impact on his life. Wheny ou report a Facebook page, it doesn't tell the person who reported it. They either choose to delete the profile or not. If they delete the rpofile or the offensive material, they explain to the user why.

    Second, I remember being 17, and that same year I remember hearing how some dienfranchised kids into Nazism in Colorado shot up their school. Dylan and Eric never set cats on fire or bullied kids at school. They were bullied. They just played video games, listened to music, wrote in their diaries, and got really into Nazism and other violence online. Their parents didn't know what they did online and didn't think either had the capacity to harm anyone. If someone who had seen what they were doing online had reported it to the school, maybe the massacre could have been prevented.
    Never underestimate an angry and hateful teenager. They do not fully understand the consequences of their behavior and this can make them dangerous to themselves and others. You have no idea how they will lash out. Maybe his next way of getting attention will be to hurt someone. Or maybe he'll let a friend tattoo a swastika on his forehead with a needle and some ink from a pen. Treat it as an addiction. If he were on meth or heroin, you'd do a lot more than just try to spend time with him.

    It's shocking and appalling that his father is a lawyer. I would think it would behoove him to dissuade his son from radical leanings as it could hurt his law practice if anyone found out about it.
    I'd be tempted to email the link of the boy's public profile to his office.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    It only takes one to disengage.  Acting as if this isn't true becomes, from his perspective, badgering no matter how you approach him.  Write him a letter that pours out all your concern and love for him and your desire to keep in touch and be an influence in his life like old times.  Writing it down will be cathartic for you and will give him something "in writing" he can hold on to and read and reread as the mood strikes him.  I can almost guarantee he'll keep it because no one will know about it - he can hide it away where only he'll have access to it.  No sense tossing it; it will mean a lot to him whether he admits it to himself or you at this point.

    You cannot fix this, and putting guilt and burden on yourself over it is a futile waste of energy and pain of your own.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    In Response to Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request:
    In Response to Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request : First off, what you say on Facebook is there forever unless you delete it. This could hurt his prospects for college and future employment. Not to mention the fact that it could be very upsetting to classmates and friends. He needs to understand that what he says online can have a severe impact on his life. Wheny ou report a Facebook page, it doesn't tell the person who reported it. They either choose to delete the profile or not. If they delete the rpofile or the offensive material, they explain to the user why. Second, I remember being 17, and that same year I remember hearing how some dienfranchised kids into Nazism in Colorado shot up their school. Dylan and Eric never set cats on fire or bullied kids at school. They were bullied. They just played video games, listened to music, wrote in their diaries, and got really into Nazism and other violence online. Their parents didn't know what they did online and didn't think either had the capacity to harm anyone. If someone who had seen what they were doing online had reported it to the school, maybe the massacre could have been prevented. Never underestimate an angry and hateful teenager. They do not fully understand the consequences of their behavior and this can make them dangerous to themselves and others. You have no idea how they will lash out. Maybe his next way of getting attention will be to hurt someone. Or maybe he'll let a friend tattoo a swastika on his forehead with a needle and some ink from a pen. Treat it as an addiction. If he were on meth or heroin, you'd do a lot more than just try to spend time with him. It's shocking and appalling that his father is a lawyer. I would think it would behoove him to dissuade his son from radical leanings as it could hurt his law practice if anyone found out about it. I'd be tempted to email the link of the boy's public profile to his office.
    Posted by pinkkittie27


    Do you even read entire posts?  I replied to the first post which indicated that the kid was just making obnoxious FB posts.  I don't see that as a huge deal.  The OP has since added additional information.

    I still don't see the need to involve the authorities. What's wrong w/ trying to solve things on your own? Why do the 'big guns' always need to come out?  I would talk to my sister [sounds like his relationship to the kid is though the mother] and she what's going on and try to re-establish contact.

    FWIW, Columbine involved kids who were bullied, not kids who bullied.  Per the OP's latest post, sounds like the kid is a bully.  Totally different scenario. Yes, it should be dealt with, but I'd try it at the family level before I went and involved the police and teachers. Do you have any idea how fast social services would be in there?  Just what this kid needs - to be ripped away from his family yet again. Isn't the divorce what triggered all this? I can only imagine what would happen if CPS started sticking it's nose in there. 

    Also, I fail to see any possible comparision between a meth/heroin addiction and an unhealthy interest in Nazism.  As for the kid's father being a lawyer, being a lawyer doesnt' exempt you from anything, nor does it make you better than anyone else.  Lawyer's kids are just as messed up as everyone else's kids.  I don't see how involving the dad's law practice would resolve anything.  The bar isn't going to do anything. They might refer the dad to some psychiatrists, but other than that, it doesn't affect the dad's ability to practice law.  Hell, the BBO includes websites for drug and alcohol addiction when they send out the yearly info; being an addict or alcoholic does not bar you from practicing law, per se. The BBO is always more concerned w/ how you manage client's funds, or whether you mishandle a case b/c you are high/drunk.  Otherwise, they don't get too involved as long as you pay your yearly fee. 
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

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    In Response to Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request:
    In Response to Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request : Do you even read entire posts?  I replied to the first post which indicated that the kid was just making obnoxious FB posts.  I don't see that as a huge deal.  The OP has since added additional information. I still don't see the need to involve the authorities. What's wrong w/ trying to solve things on your own? Why do the 'big guns' always need to come out?  I would talk to my sister [sounds like his relationship to the kid is though the mother] and she what's going on and try to re-establish contact. FWIW, Columbine involved kids who were bullied, not kids who bullied.  Per the OP's latest post, sounds like the kid is a bully.  Totally different scenario. Yes, it should be dealt with, but I'd try it at the family level before I went and involved the police and teachers. Do you have any idea how fast social services would be in there?  Just what this kid needs - to be ripped away from his family yet again. Isn't the divorce what triggered all this? I can only imagine what would happen if CPS started sticking it's nose in there.  Also, I fail to see any possible comparision between a meth/heroin addiction and an unhealthy interest in Nazism.  As for the kid's father being a lawyer, being a lawyer doesnt' exempt you from anything, nor does it make you better than anyone else.  Lawyer's kids are just as messed up as everyone else's kids.  I don't see how involving the dad's law practice would resolve anything.  The bar isn't going to do anything. They might refer the dad to some psychiatrists, but other than that, it doesn't affect the dad's ability to practice law.  Hell, the BBO includes websites for drug and alcohol addiction when they send out the yearly info; being an addict or alcoholic does not bar you from practicing law, per se. The BBO is always more concerned w/ how you manage client's funds, or whether you mishandle a case b/c you are high/drunk.  Otherwise, they don't get too involved as long as you pay your yearly fee. 
    Posted by ALF72


    Do you read posts?

    I never said to contact the police, I don't know where you're getting that. The reason I said to alert the school is so that they can monitor him and try to help him. That's why they have guidance counselors. That's why they have in-school tolerance training. It's why they have anti-bullying policies. It's for his own good and for the good of his classmates
    From what I know the government can't take your kid away because of your political or religious views. That's the 1st amendment. Kids openly demonstrate in KKK rallies all the time. It's perfectly legal.

    My point is that if he's doing this to get attention, then people need to pay attention. Ignoring it or dismissing it may make him escalate his behavior.

    I advocated reporting his Facebook page because it is anonymous, and because it would send a message to him that maybe he should watch what he's saying online. If he's being offensive to get a response, getting kicked off Facebook is a pretty clear response.

    The reason I was shocked that his father was a lawyer is because I would think a lawyer would know that if his kid gets charged with assault for bullying a kid and they can prove it was racially motivated, it's a hate crime and carries a heavier sentence. I thought that maybe he'd also know that you have littloe to no privacy online and that what his kid posts on Facebook could severely impact his future. But maybe he's one of lawyers who doesn't believe in hate crimes, and maybe he's a luddite who doesn't use Facebook.
    And while the Bar might not care, his co-workers or clients might. Especially if any of them are Jewish or African American.

    as for the meth/heroin comparison: he is doing something unhealthy to seek attention and cope with stress in his life. Hate is his drug, and it is just as destructive as any other substance he could consume. Just as you teach an addict that they don't have to turn to drugs to cope with stress, he can be taught that doesn't have to turn to hate to cope with his problems.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    By involving the school and guidance counselors you are necessarily involving the police.  Teachers and guidance counselors have mandatory reporting requirements for suspected child abuse and situations like this.  My poor cousin [who is now 19] made some stupid remark when she was 16 along the lines of "I wish I were dead", or "I'd be better off dead" after breaking up w/ her boyfriend.  The comment was heard by other students at school who 'told' on her.  The girl was locked up in a psychiatric ward for a week for 'observation'.  She then had regular sessions w/ the school psychiatrist.  Her parents went along w/ it b/c mom wants to stay friends w/ the townies and 'not make waves' by making a big deal.  Granted, this is a small, upscale town, but talk about overkill. She was exhibiting typical teenage girl angst and hyperbole.  Needless to say, she selected a college as far away from home as possible and rarely comes home to visit. 

    If you mention anything along the lines of Columbine w/ a twist of Nazism to the school, you are going to have the police in there [and possibly the FBI] so fast your head will spin.  The school is going to be more concerned w/ avoiding any kind of liability than they are w/ helping the kid.  Sad, but true.  Get mom to look into getting him to go to a psychiatrist, even if just to process the divorce.

    Or here's a novel idea, go back to court for a revisiting of custody.  Mom can present her  concerns/observations to the court and the judge can consider everything.  They can seal the records and have a closed hearing for something like this.  If the kid is really as scary as the OP suggets, this is the best option.  The judge can appoint a GAL to represent the kid and determine if counseling is necessary or if an adjustment of custody would be in his best interest.  

    GL.  
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from CorsiCombover. Show CorsiCombover's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    In Response to Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request:
    The Reds could lose Gary Matthews Jr. to free agency if they don't call him up by July 24th, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Matthews has an out clause that will enable him to opt out of the deal he signed with the Reds if he isn't in the majors.

    Matthews, 36 in August, has hit well at Triple-A Louisville, but the Reds already have Jay Bruce, Jonny Gomes, Drew Stubbs, Laynce Nix and Chris Heisey on their active roster. In 93 minor league plate appearances, Matthews has posted a .310/.355/.494 line, but has not posted an OPS above .700 in the majors since 2007.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    ALF- the police are not ivolved unless there has been a specific threat made towards himself, the school, or his classmates. The OP has not mentioned anything like that, so I don't believe they'd have any reason to contact the police.
    This would also not qualify as child abuse as per the 1st amendment. You can teach your kid to believe anything you want, it's not illegal. As long as his father isn't verbally or physically abusing him, DSS isn't going to investigate or take him away.
    You are aware that holding racist or Nazism beliefs is not illegal, aren't you? No one can be arrested simply because they're racist. They can only be arrested if they make threats or incite violence. The OP hasn't mentioned anything of that nature, so that is why I don't believe the police can be or should be involved.

    I never said to mention anything about Columbine to the school. What I did recommend was bringing his online activity to their attention. If he's posting it online, it's there for anyone to see. It's not like he's scribbling it in a journal, and if he doesn't know the difference he needs to understand that difference and the consequences ASAP.

    As for your unrelated story about someone who made threats to herself (which the OP's nephew has not):
    I had a friend who made statements like "I'd be better off dead" after her boyfriend dumped her. Then she took an entire bottle of meds, her mother found her unconcious and barely breathing. She had to be revived by EMTs and rushed to the hospital to have her stomach pumped. I'm sure a week in a psych ward would have been preferrable in hindsight, seeing as though she had to spend almost a month in the psych ward after trying to OD.

    The girl you describe was lucky to have friends who were concerned enough about her mental well being to say something, they may have saved her life regardless of what she says now. And if the police are notified that someone is a danger to themselves it's not a matter of her parents "going along with it", it's mandatory that the person be placed under psychiatric supervision until they are deemed no longer a threat to themselves. I really don't see what's so bad about visit the school therapist. She clearly had low self-esteem to make those statements after a breakup whether she meant them or whether she was being dramatic to garner attention. Anyone can benefit from a little therapy, and I'm she she did as well.

    No one can tell the difference between overly melodramatic statements and explicit intent when it comes to adolescents. They are extremely impulsive and have poor capacity for understand the consequences fo their actions. It's always better to err on the side of caution.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    You brought up Columbine, not me.

    I'm glad you don't think that the police need to be involved but manadatory reporting by definition means that if eachers or guidance counselors suspect child abuse, or that someone "could" be a danger to themselves or others, or that something just ain't right, they MUST report them to the authorities. There is no wiggle room; their teaching licenses are on the line, so they are more likely to be overly cautious and report than not.

    Yes, I am aware that holding unpopular views is not illegal. That doesn't mean that some teacher isn't going to report them.  I personally think the OP is making much ado about nothing. The kid is 16. Unless he starts doing more than posting offensive messages online, I would just ignore it.  Obviously stay in touch w/ the kid as much as you can, but don't make too much of a big deal out of it.  The OP should also talk to his sister and urge her to revisit hte custody issue if she is that concerned about her son.

    As for my cousin having low self esteem, nothing could be further from the truth. She's very attractive, chatty, popular and on several sports teams [unlike her cousin, me, who was bookish and preferred Latin class to gym].  Like most 19 yos, she has an overdeveloped sense of self.  Nice kid, but like most her age, she feels entitled to things, so when she doesn't get them right away, it's like the sky is falling. It was absolutly appalling that someone ratted her out for saying 'OMG, I wish I were dead' b/c she broke up w/ her boyfriend.  It's even more appalling that they put her in a psych ward for a week.  Hell, I say "I wish I were dead" or "God, kill me now!" several times per week! I'm not serious.  I don't actually wish I were dead.  But teachers are so afraid of liability and of being dinged for not reporting something that they go way too far sometimes. 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: Kind-Of/Sort-Of Relationship Adviuce request

    I brought up Columbien because no one took what those kids were doing seriously. They did what you suggest doing, shrugging it off as typical teenage shenannigans.

    The teachers can report all they want, if there's no proof of threats or violence the police can't do anything.

    He wants someone to make a big deal out of it. He wants the attention. He wants to know people are paying attention to what he does and care about his behavior. So make a big deal out of it.

    And I hate to break it to you, but attractive, chatty, popular kids on sports teams can have low self-esteem. None of those things give any indication as to her mental state. Some attractive, chatty popular kids have eating disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, etc. etc. etc. An attractive, chatty, popular girl on the cheerleading squad at my high school tried to kill herself, she was bullemic too. Her family had no idea.
    You can't shout "Fire" in a movie theater and you can't go around saying you're going to kill yourself when something unfortunate happens. I hope she learned her lesson. And I hope she was thankful that her friends cared that much about her well-being.
     

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