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#1 Keep Pounding

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:25 AM

Let just tell you a little about myself. When I was a juvenile I was into gangs and pretty much was in and out of Juvenile Hall since I was 13 years old. When I was 15 I was sent to the California Youth Authority ( pretty much a youth prison) until I was 21. When got out I still was not living a law abiding life but one day I woke up and said I did not want to live like this anymore. I stopped hanging around all my old friends and started a new chapter in life.

I started going to a local JC and started working on my AA degree. While attending school I met my future wife and after a year or so she turned up pregnant and we had are 1st kid. I dropped out of JC with only 9 units to get my AA degree and got a job. I started working for an Automotive shop and worked my way up to Store Manager within 2 years.

About a year after my 1st was born my drug addict sister was close to having my nephew taken away by CPS. Since I was making good money and finally in my life I was stable my sister begged me to take in my nephew. That was about 7 years ago.

My nephew is 13 years old now. I try so hard to steer him in the right direction but he will not listen. I am having such a hard time dealing with him. His grades are bad, he constantly lies and he just seems like he has no motivation to do any good. He is not bad like I was when I was his age. He is not into gangs and doing drugs. But he just has no desire to improve in school and he constantly lies about homework, what he ate when he got home, where all his school clothes that I bought him went I mean anything I can think of he lies about.

Today for instance he was given detention for fighting so he claims. So I call the school and ask the principal and she claims that she was not aware of any fight. So I email his teacher and he tells me that my nephew was given detention for being disrespectful and not listening. So I question him about it and he says the teacher is lying. I even let him read the email and he just keeps lying. I do not know what to do with this kid.

Can anyone give me some advice please.

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:05 AM

It's easy to say it's the kid, but maybe it's something around him that needs to change...look into his influences, see what they are. He is learning what he is doing from somewhere, something, or someone. What does he do with his spare time? What are his friends like? Has he had a secure attatchment and lost it? Do you help him socially? How is his social life/around other people/your kid? What do you mean when you say you steer him, what does this involve exactly? Any siddent changes in the family structure (more kids, death, moving)? A child's inborn temperment is just part of the problem (if at all), often times something in the world (enviroment) is fostering the behavior. Maybe he has had a problem transitioning.

#3 lightsout

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:10 AM

Well, I am no father, but I grew up with a ton of guys like that and, between ROTC instructors and football coaches, I saw what seemed to work.


It's not being overly a hard ass (which is required at times), but simply leveling as much as possible. Trying to put myself in your shoes here, I would simply take him somewhere where it's just you two (when I say "take", I mean drive him out to a lake/mountain/anywhere away from everything where he can't go anywhere for a few miles at least). Simply ask, "so what's up?". Figure out what's causing this. Don't break, because he will likely try to make you just give up. Take a military approach; you do it until you do it right. In this case, you stay until he talks and understands what the concern is with his behavior and understands that he WILL change. You also can't get frustrated/impatient, because that will be what he wants. You have to maintain your cool and make him understand that you are coming from a place of caring. Explain the value of a man's word. Explain the value of honesty and integrity. Explain the value of putting yourself around successful people.

Obviously, this is all easier said than done, but it does work. Whenever he gets into high school (should be next year, right?), make him get into ROTC. Don't allow him to quit or say no to it. They will break him of hanging around the wrong people and doing the wrong things, because that is all about being submissive/cooperative with authority and following a certain code of conduct. Plus, it could give him something to aspire to (going into the military).

The point in all of this is just to get him to see that he is on the wrong path and for him to pull it together. But you know that. Again, this is just what I would do. I am not saying this is the only way, but it is something that I have seen work.

#4 Herbert The Love Bug

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:16 AM

put him on Beyond Scared Straight or a program like that.

#5 Keep Pounding

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:19 AM

It's easy to say it's the kid, but maybe it's something around him that needs to change...look into his influences, see what they are. He is learning what he is doing from somewhere, something, or someone. What does he do with his spare time? What are his friends like? Has he had a secure attatchment and lost it? Do you help him socially? How is his social life/around other people/your kid? What do you mean when you say you steer him, what does this involve exactly? Any siddent changes in the family structure (more kids, death, moving)? A child's inborn temperment is just part of the problem (if at all), often times something in the world (enviroment) is fostering the behavior. Maybe he has had a problem transitioning.


Well he does not have a lot of friends I know for sure, mainly just kids that he hangs out at school. He really only plays with a few kinds in are complex and that is only maybe a couple days a week at most. In his spare time he plays basketball at the YMCA, they have practices twice a week and then a game on Saturday. The kid is kind of a loner, anti social type. When I say steer him, I mean let him know what I went through as a kid and trying to teach him that the friends that tend to get you in trouble are really not your friends. I give him examples for my life experiences and hope that he takes heed to it.

#6 Keep Pounding

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:27 AM

Well, I am no father, but I grew up with a ton of guys like that and, between ROTC instructors and football coaches, I saw what seemed to work.


It's not being overly a hard ass (which is required at times), but simply leveling as much as possible. Trying to put myself in your shoes here, I would simply take him somewhere where it's just you two (when I say "take", I mean drive him out to a lake/mountain/anywhere away from everything where he can't go anywhere for a few miles at least). Simply ask, "so what's up?". Figure out what's causing this. Don't break, because he will likely try to make you just give up. Take a military approach; you do it until you do it right. In this case, you stay until he talks and understands what the concern is with his behavior and understands that he WILL change. You also can't get frustrated/impatient, because that will be what he wants. You have to maintain your cool and make him understand that you are coming from a place of caring. Explain the value of a man's word. Explain the value of honesty and integrity. Explain the value of putting yourself around successful people.

Obviously, this is all easier said than done, but it does work. Whenever he gets into high school (should be next year, right?), make him get into ROTC. Don't allow him to quit or say no to it. They will break him of hanging around the wrong people and doing the wrong things, because that is all about being submissive/cooperative with authority and following a certain code of conduct. Plus, it could give him something to aspire to (going into the military).

The point in all of this is just to get him to see that he is on the wrong path and for him to pull it together. But you know that. Again, this is just what I would do. I am not saying this is the only way, but it is something that I have seen work.



I think at times I am overly hard on him, but it seems the more relaxed I am with him the more he becomes non motivated. I think it was a good idea to just hit the road with him and take him fishing or camping just the two of us. Usually when we have family outings its my two girls and him. Maybe we need to have a guys night out only more often. He was held back one year so he is in the 7th grade. But I think ROTC will be a great for him.

I try and explain to him the path that he is going down will lead to what I went down, but I told him out of all my old friends, I am the only one with a job and taking care of whats important my family. He seems to understand that I was not always a Angel, but I want him to know that there was a time in my life that I had to make an important decision, and that was to become a man. I just dont want my nephew to go down the same dark path that I went down. Not a lot of people are able to get their lives back on track after they go down that road in life.

#7 lightsout

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 02:37 AM

I think at times I am overly hard on him, but it seems the more relaxed I am with him the more he becomes non motivated. I think it was a good idea to just hit the road with him and take him fishing or camping just the two of us. Usually when we have family outings its my two girls and him. Maybe we need to have a guys night out only more often. He was held back one year so he is in the 7th grade. But I think ROTC will be a great for him.

I try and explain to him the path that he is going down will lead to what I went down, but I told him out of all my old friends, I am the only one with a job and taking care of whats important my family. He seems to understand that I was not always a Angel, but I want him to know that there was a time in my life that I had to make an important decision, and that was to become a man. I just dont want my nephew to go down the same dark path that I went down. Not a lot of people are able to get their lives back on track after they go down that road in life.




Something that can work without you knowing...movies. Find movies with realistic heroes. Where the protagonist is damn near the perfect man. The kind of man you want him to become. Friday Night Lights, Black Hawk Down, Gridiron Gang, just to name a few. Make him sit with you and watch some of those. Don't say anything to him about why you're watching it, neither before nor after. It WILL sink in. People say "TV/movies shouldn't be used as a substitute for parenting", but sometimes, it can be effective (for better or worse). I know, looking back, I admired a lot of those types of realistic heroes in movies and TV and tried to emulate them, and I know it's a pretty common thing among adolescents, just from taking a couple classes on adolescent psychology (and having younger siblings where I saw the same thing happen). Just another idea of something you could do.

#8 MadHatter

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 05:23 AM

I think it was a good idea to just hit the road with him and take him fishing or camping just the two of us. Usually when we have family outings its my two girls and him. Maybe we need to have a guys night out only more often. He was held back one year so he is in the 7th grade. But I think ROTC will be a great for him.

I try and explain to him the path that he is going down will lead to what I went down, but I told him out of all my old friends, I am the only one with a job and taking care of whats important my family. He seems to understand that I was not always a Angel, but I want him to know that there was a time in my life that I had to make an important decision, and that was to become a man. I just dont want my nephew to go down the same dark path that I went down. Not a lot of people are able to get their lives back on track after they go down that road in life.


First, I just want to say tha you are a testament to internal fortitude to have overcome your past and gotten your life straightened out. It took a ton of character and hard work. Well done.

Now on to your nephew. I do think that spending some one on one time with him might go a long way. Not the preaching or lecturing kind of time....but letting him know you are there to listen. Share your past experiences with him and just let him know where it led you and where you would have ended up without a major epiphany in your life.

Talk TO him...not AT him. Maybe he will open up to you and let you know what is going on. Don't be judgemental, but show him that you genuinely care about what happens to him....not because you think he is screwing up but because you really care.

It may take some time, but hopefully you get through to him.

He is lucky to have someone like you that has stepped into his life.

#9 Anybodyhome

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:29 AM

He may believe that the stories he comes up with in the lies are in some way making him look more manly, more macho, more tough guy... like you were. Maybe he has the idea he needs to impress you by being a tough guy. After all, getting detention for a fight sure sounds a lot more badass than detention for being disrespectful. And maybe he needs to be this alter-ego or have this alternate personality to be part of the group and he thinks it'll help him make friends.

For some reason he feels the need to be someone else, so he makes up stories about his behavior, his life, his everyday routine. He simply does not like himself, has some pretty serious self-esteem issues likely stemming from the fact his mother dumped him. The hardest thing to do will be to convince the kid it was his mother and not him that was the problem. Now, you can't make the mom out to be a real POS, because she's family and it'll push him further away. But if you were to have the sit down and explain it to him like adults talking, that's the first sign of respect toward him, his mother and yourself.

On more than one occasion I was staring CYA time in the face when I was a kid. But a lot of people saw bigger and better things in my future. The last time I had an issue that could have made me CYA property, a juvenile judge had a sit-down with my father and a few short months later, after I graduated from HS early, was off to the Navy. Best thing that ever happened to me and I'll always be thankful that judge never let me walk into the courtroom and to my father who had the sit-down with me and laid it out.

#10 ARSEN

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 06:57 AM

He needs to change his peers.

#11 Mrs Pantherfan

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

Where's his mother now? Does she have any type of interaction with him?

It could be he feels that she up and abandoned him so why should he give a sh*t about anything or anyone....they're just going to up and leave him the minute he does start to care so why bother. He's angry..which in all honesty is completely understandable

What's the relationship like between him and your wife?

Can you get him to any type of therapy? He needs to talk to somebody ...I am a huge supporter of it, I've used it in the past and it's worked wonders for me.

#12 catfang

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:02 AM

^ This. Get him to talk to somebody. I'm struggling with my 17-yr old son, although he's doing ok in school. The one thing I can offer is don't waver on your convictions. It will be hard but it will be worth it for him in the end.

Congrats on your turnaround, and major kudos to you (and your wife) for taking in a family member like that.

#13 Floppin

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:12 AM

The lying comes from somewhere, it's a learned habit. I'm not going to type a long explanation because it still brings up painful memories. So I'll keep it short.

My stepdad was an asshole, a HUGE douchebag. He would get extremely angry about mundane poo and take it out on me. I saw my mom lie to him all the time so that he wouldn't get mad about poo. I learned to lie all the time. I lied about everything, to avoid upsetting anyone. It turned me into a pathological liar, I had a complete bullshit life story for people until I was in my mid twenties. My friends didn't even know who or what I really was, or what I had actually done in my past. It was a behavior that was extremely hard to break - I still struggle.

You need to figure out why he's lying, and fix it. It WILL fug his life up if he continues the behavior.

#14 Scrumtrilescent

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

And remember....the middle school/jr high years are the devil for any kid.

#15 catfang

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

And remember....the middle school/jr high years are the devil for any kid.


True, middle school more than HS in my experience (personal and as a father)


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