Ask an expert

25 Jul 2008

19 year old boy - father needs advice
I have no idea what to do with my son who is already 19. He dropped out of school during his second attempt at grd10, he then lazed around more in the streets than anything else, my ex phoned and said that he is using drugs and virtualy sleeps on the street, only comes home once a week and looks as if he is about to die etc.

I got him off the streets, cleaned him up, bought him some new clothes, had a long chat with him and then flew him out of the country with the hope of saving him to become something or at least self reliant. He is still lazy while I' m trying to get him into something somewhere, only God knows, and according to my current wife, does not even want to bath and brush his teeth and is pretty much a slob.

The country where he is at currently with my wife only speak french. The have english schools but refuse him because of his age. I thought about the military, but the SANDF need a matric, so do the Brits I believe. I thought about sending him to a kibbutz, this would perhaps help with his social skills, I really don' t know what to with this guy. Do have any suggestions or know any place in the world that can help get this guy on track. Somewhere that has routine and discipline. Some family members and friends suggest that I throw him back on the streets. That would be easy if I knew he could fend for himself, although he is 19, emotionaly he is probably around 14 or 15.

Any ideas?

Answer 452 views
Teen expert
teen expert

01 Jan 0001


if he has reverted to previous behaviours do you think he has started abusing substances again? As a first step I suggest ruling this out because if he is continuing to use his situation will not improve unless he goes for rehabilitation - if this is the case choose a facility that will also carry out therapy both individually and as a family.

You need to come together as a family to help him because as you say he is emotionally younger than his years which is very common when people have struggled with addiction. Throwing him back on the streets will change nothing, and given you see him as 14 or 15 would you do that to someone of that age?

Consider rehab and you may have to take a court order if he refuses to go - he doesnt have to be under 18 for this in RSA. He needs support and boundaries to help him.
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9362 votes
67% - 19305 votes