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Is it OK to kick a child out of the house for breaking rules?

Biblitz, you old yoicks,

My husband and I married when my son was eight. He's 15 now. My husband has always been good to him and provided well for him. My husband is very strict so when my son breaks the rules there are consequences to be paid and I agree with that. Throughout the years my son has broken many rules. What really bothers my husband more than anything is that my son has taken things out of the house that don't belong to him. For example, he took my cell phone, he took a camera then, when confronted my son will lie about touching these things, even with the proof set out before his eyes. And he won't apologize for anything unless I tell him he should apologize. Then one day last year he was suspended for 2 days from school because he and two other boys stole a camera from school. Of course he was punished. His grades have dropped and he just doesn't seem to care about his grades lately. Last week my husband's phone charger went missing and he accused my son of taking the charger. That was the last straw, my husband told him he had to leave the house because he refused to live in a house with a thief. He said that he refuses to live in his own house and have to lock up his own belonging. So, I dropped my son off at my mothers for a few days. My mom lives in senior housing so he can't stay there. I asked my husband if I can bring him home and my husband said NO! I agree with tough love butO my son is 15 years old. I have no where to send him. I want him home with me. I know that he has done wrong but I think kicking him out is not the answer. I think that we should bring him home and continue to work with him and hopefully he will get on track. Do you think that my husband is right to kick a 15 year old boy out of the house? Can't I face abandonment charges if I don't bring him back home, because he can't stay at my moms and I have no where nor no one to send him to?

Biblitz replies:

You will BOTH face abondonment/failing to provide necessities charges if you continue in this line. Happily, though, it would prompt a full investigation by family services authorities, who might get to the bottom of your son's issues. Why is he stealing, one wonders? Why is he languishing in school? Why does he seem to have given up? Was he stealing, for instance, to raise money the only way he knows how to finance his escape and, if so, why?

Doesn't sound like much of a love fest at your place, frankly.

Kids don't 'turn bad' suddenly. There are old issues here that are coming to a head. Things have been bad for quite awhile, I imagine. At 15, son has no doubt had a bellyful and release does not appear immiment. You would be well advised to make appt with a therapist/counsellor with experience in family conflicts and prepare to LISTEN as well as talk. You may not like what you hear but you should probably hear it, anyway. The typical refrain, '... I was doing my best ...' won't cut it, I'm afraid. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The fact that you actually agreed to send your son to your mother selfishly imperiling her living arrangements suggests your parenting priorities and problem-solving techniques are seriously flawed. Admit that you need help.

Certainly your son does. He needs your loyalty now more than ever. Don't abandon ship no matter what Nazi husband says.

Saddest of all, it sounds like Nazi's stuff is a lot more important to him than either of you. Now at least you know. Act accordingly.

TinyTeaman

Consequences for dropping out of school illegally?

What are the consequence for dropping out of school illegally? In Ontario Canada. Also i am planning on going back to school so please don't preach to me how what i did was dumb because i know that now I just want to know what will happen to me (or my parents) when the law finds out that ive been out of school since i was 14. I am now 16. So if anyone knows could you let me know

Biblitz replies:

None! You will no doubt - NO DOUBT! - be greeted by principal, veeps and teachers alike as the Prodigal Son. These people are in the business of getting young people through the bunker of the teenage years. They take it personally when one of you cuts loose. In return for giving them another chance, they'll probably move heaven and earth to ensure this time you make it! USE them effectively! Seek their wisdom and advocacy to overcome whatever it was that made you leave. Respectfully make appts after school for help recovering all you've missed. You will no doubt be amazed at this non-adversarial approach so take advantage of it. You may need these people for job/post-secondary applications later on and they'll be pleased to assist. EVEN IF you were something of a troubled/trouble-making teen! Good huh?

Legally, Ontario's School Act is probably similar to B.C.'s, which does not require attendance. This is to facilitate home schooling and other educational alternatives that became popular when funding cuts decimated the once high standards of Cdn public education.

So relax and settle in to the love. The gods will protect you. Don't let them down!

Added bonus: All the people you didn't like when you left will be at a different level so not underfoot. Many will probably be glad to see you back! Cool, huh?

TinyTeaman
ProdigalSon

The troubling Parable of the Prodigal Son, eloquently interpreted by Rembrandt, the great Dutch master, seems unhelpfully to promote equally both dutiful and errant whelp. Nevertheless, it serves to remind even the most reluctant parent of the obligation to provide life's necessaries to the young 'uns, which may mean forgiving them occasionally when they yield as we all do to temptation.

... We'll forgive each other 'til we both turn blue, then we'll whistle and go fishin' in heaven.

More on the duty to provide necessaries of life to children:

215. (1) Every one is under a legal duty

(a) as a parent, foster parent, guardian or head of a family, to provide necessaries of life for a child under the age of sixteen years;

(b) to provide necessaries of life to their spouse or common-law partner; and

(c) to provide necessaries of life to a person under his charge if that person

(i) is unable, by reason of detention, age, illness, mental disorder or other cause, to withdraw himself from that charge, and

(ii) is unable to provide himself with necessaries of life.

(From the Criminal Code of Canada accessed online Nov. 22/09)

Thinking of bolting?

Thinking of leaving home with few, if any, job skills? Give yourself a brisk awakening with the Income Assistance Estimator to see how impossibly little you'll receive even in resource-rich British Columbia, Canada.



Note, too, that a full inquiry is made regarding assets, employment and financial (for minors, family) history, giving authorities (on behalf of stressed taxpayers) more than a passing interest in keeping dependants at home.