Q & A: Struggling with Our Grandson

Question:
URGENT! In 2004 I retired after 30+ years as accountant in the aerospace industry. About 15 months later, we inherited our teenage grandson to live with us because he got into very serious legal problems and placed on 3 yr probation, 2 years are remaining. His probation has a 7 pm curfew requiring that he be in our house every day by 7 pm. He could not continue living with his mother, our daughter, even though she lives close by and remains active in his life. I am his legal appointed guardian. He is now 16. He has made great improvements overall his life during the past year but struggles with keeping his probation curfew. We have just learned he is possibly using marijuana. He has great potential to be a good student, athlete, and a positive contribution to society. But if he continues to violate his probation, he will likely end up in a Texas Youth Commission facility for a long time. I need help establishing consequences, setting boundaries and whatever else you can offer. He functions very well in a structured environment with well-defined and enforced boundaries.


Answer:
My advice to you is to hold your grandson accountable for missed curfews and for any other activities that violate his probation. I would get to know his probation officer quite well (if you don’t already) then report each and every violation immediately to that officer. Be sure to let your grandson know that this will be your new “policy” for dealing with his non-compliance until he can demonstrate more responsible behavior.

You may also ask the probation department to begin administering random drug tests and or even try using an electronic home monitoring device. The “threat” of this may be all he needs to straighten up.

The products on our site (www.teenbehaviorcontracts.com) could be very helpful, especially if your grandson responds well to structure and consistency. You could use the behavior program and the contracts together to establish some clear behavioral expectations as well as the privileges and consequences that will result from his behavior.

I hope this helps.