Mr. Jolly, I really liked your article yesterday on the person who still suffers from the death of his or her mother. I have an issue with my son. I have tried to raise him right, but I am a single mother, and the boys he hangs with in school have taught him some really bad manners. He mouths off to me constantly, he comes home whenever he feels like it and he is not doing well in school at all. He is 14 but much bigger than me and too much for me to handle. I don’t want to lose my son to the streets and there are times when he has me afraid. Is there anything I can do to save my son and get him back?
A boy needs a man in his life to really know what life is about. Unfortunately, your son is learning from other boys who also don’t know any better. This is a crucial stage in his life because even though he is still not close to manhood, he is “feeling” like he is. The truth of the matter is that he is “nowhere close” to being ready for this world. I realize that as a single mother you are doing the best you can, but this appears to be a moment where you need a “dominant male figure” to address your boy. If you don’t have a male friend then I suggest calling your local police department and explaining the situation to them. While it is not the job of policemen to raise your child they just might take a vested interest in “rattling” his world a little bit to give him some better insight. For instance, they might be able to take him on a tour of the “city prison” to “show” him what they do with the incorrigible men who break the law. They can also send a man to “get in his face” and frighten him into seeing that his ways are wrong. A lot of people think that a child should never be beaten, but I am afraid I would have to disagree. If a child is getting out of hand, then “some” type of physical action may be required just to “save” the child (or at least the “threat” of it). I think it is better for a child to encounter physical action “before” being arrested as opposed to “during.” When a child grows up, that child is bound to “test” the limits of authority to learn what he or she can “get away” with. Your child has not yet met the proper “resistance” yet, and that is where a strong male figure can come in. In most areas, police would be happy to have a “heart to heart” conversion with your child, because the police know how to deal with deviant behavior. It couldn’t hurt to ask them. I have a police officer friend who said that he is always willing to address a young child who needs intervention in his life. I am sure there are plenty others who are willing to do the same. There is nothing wrong with reaching out to ask for help with your son. He needs to be saved “now BEFORE” it is too late. “One” strong encounter just might make a world of difference. Good luck to you and I wish you the very best.
Stephanie Mills and Brett Jolly before a concert