Saturday, 25 March 2017

Testing boundaries and planning to contain

Teenage years are a funny time. In theory they're a time where teenagers are learning the skills that will take them through to adulthood so they are naturally becoming more independant and moving away from reliance on parents and family. This is great if they a) haven't suffered trauma and the resulting damage to their neural pathways and b) can learn from their mistakes. Herein lies the problem with boy wonder and his peers with similar backgrounds.

At the time when most teens are moving away from their families and are becoming more influenced by their peers I've found that teens who've suffered trauma need more support, structure and boundaries that they don't necesarily want. They know it all, they think they can have it all and think their parents are out to ruin their lives.

So we get the staying out past curfew, fudging where they are and disappearing acts with the added melt downs and abuse when they finally reappear.

What helped here was clear plans that he knew in advance and as reminded of before he went out.  He had a time to be in that was the same every night with no variation. If he wasn't in and hadn't made contact to say he would be late he was aware he would be reported missing to the police as a vulnerable person. This was explained as me being his mum who loved him and who had responsibility for him. I'd tell the police who he was with and they would take it from there. Tough shit if they knocked his friends up or annoyed them - they soon started to make sure he arrived home on time.

Hint - the police have also been great here at kicking ass with the social workers when needed 😉

There was no discussion on it and I was clear and have had to follow through twice.

I'm not saying it would work for everyone but it certainly did here. Now he's in supported living and over 18 it's still the same procedure as he's a vulnerable adult and so they have a risk assessment. Unfortunately they've had to use it more than I ever did because now he's over 18 and allegedly an adult he thinks he can do what he wants.

Herein lies the second issue. As an alledged adult he can to an extent do what he wants but social care have a duty of care too. And as soon as they realise that he still needs structure and boundaries I'm sure me and them will sing from the same hymn sheet. Wish me luck?

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