Monday, January 25, 2010

An Encouraging Story: Turning a Teen's Life Around

I met a man at a professional meeting: let’s call him “Jeff”. When I talked with him about my book, he said he could have used it a few years ago. He and his wife would have liked the reassurance of knowing things would work out.

Jeff’s daughter “Beth” was a wild teen: drinking, smoking cigarettes and pot, hanging out with much older boys although she was repeatedly told she wasn’t allowed to see them. She’d react with anger, screaming and yelling, cursing her parents and bullying them.

By the time she was 15, Jeff and his wife had endured enough. They were terrified for her, afraid of her, and had finally reached a decision. They needed help and relief and had to do something. They found an educational consultant who tested Beth and had many forms for the parents and teachers to complete. She was bright but angry with no respect for her parents. The consultant recommended three different boarding schools and helped Jeff and his wife through the process of selecting a school and sending their child away.

They sent her to a boarding school for troubled teens in another state, not providing a real explanation to family and friends other than to say she wanted to go to a boarding school. They didn’t tell the truth: it would have been humiliating to share how horrible it had been in their home.

Once Beth had received a lot of therapy and started to mature, they started to repair their relationship. While she was away, the parents went in for counseling each day to cope with their situation, not blame each other, and learn how to be parents.

Beth was away until she turned 18. Having earned her high school degree she was ready for college. Jeff and his wife had used her college savings to pay for boarding school, so she went to community college while working full-time, earning her associates degree last year. She’s off at college now and on-track in her family relationships.

Jeff said just a few years ago they didn’t know if she’d make it to age 18 but now her future is bright.

It’s an encouraging story, isn’t it?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Barry Bonds' Son & Restraining Order

An article in the local paper caught my eye a month ago. Nikolai Bonds, Barry Bonds’ 20-year-old son, “was booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, vandalism and other crimes at the home of his mother, Sun Bonds.” During their argument, he allegedly threw a door knob at his mother and caused around $400 worth of damages. He also allegedly spit in her face, blocked her from leaving, and threatened an officer. He was released after posting $50,000 bail.

The court granted a restraining order, barring him from contacting his mother or coming within 100 yards of her.

I can’t imagine what was going on in that household that precipitated all of this, but if it all happened as charged, it must have been pretty scary. It’s got to be horrible to have to get a restraining order against your own child, but sometimes you have to protect yourself against your child.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Family on the Mend Following Loss and Arrest

Her son, James, died two years ago. He was 17, drunk and alone in an accident.

When Jim turned 15, she saw the same attitude, language, bad crowd, laziness in school, and out all night drinking that she saw with her first child.

This time around, Jim was taken to the police station and he called her.

It’s a terrible call to receive, but it’s better than the last time she was notified.

Because Jim understood what real tragedy, heartbreak and loss was like, and she knew he missed his brother tremendously, she thought he would be immune to this same path. She brushed off some of her concerns, overlooked others, and didn’t deal with his situation.

The court mandated a drug and alcohol abuse treatment center for Jim, and it was exactly what he needed. Meanwhile, she and her family started attending therapy and Al-Anon meetings so they could change their family dynamics.
She said there was significant improvement in their home life, their communication, and their kids’ attitudes as a result of this work.
You can find Al-Anon meetings at