Quote of the Week

"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way" ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Summary of 2-5-05 Meeting
Posted by:Ken Sutton--Saturday, February 05, 2005

Fifteen parents representing ten families attended our last meeting on February 5. We were happy to see some first-timers and always glad to see so many regulars keep coming back. This was our best-attended meeting to date. Thanks everyone for your support.

We spent the first part of the meeting catching up with each family’s situation. After more coffee, donuts, and toasted bagels we launched into the following role-play.

An 18-year old is home for his thanksgiving visit from Abraxas I. Unbeknownst to the parents and the Probation Officer, he has been writing his old girlfriend. He denies that she is his old girlfriend but he admits that they have done lots of drugs and drug selling together.

She calls him on the home pass. He wants the mother to take him to the mall to meet her. The parents know who she is and they confront the youth for being in contact with her at all.

The real father played the father. A first timer volunteered to play the mother. I played the youth. Everyone chose a “coach.” My coach was the teenager’s real mother. She called “time out” several times and provided strategies for me. Even with that excellent coaching, I am afraid that I was no match for these parents. They simply were not buying any of what I was selling.

At my coach’s suggestion, I finally gave up on that whole “take me to the mall” approach. I told them they were right and I had to rethink that one- blah blah blah. However, could they at least talk to my PO about mandating the Christmas visit because I am trying so hard? They saw the switch immediately and they were still not buying. In fact, that just gave them the chance to point out that they are not rescuing me from the consequences of my behavior any longer. I would have to earn my next visit home.

Well, I did not want to hear that! So I told them they can just stop visiting me at Abraxas until I have earned an off grounds pass because It was just too hard for me to see them up at Abraxas. I was tired of my family seeing me in “jail.” My dad said, “Ok, son if that’s the way you want it.”

Drat! Darn it! I wanted to punish them for not allowing me to get my own way. I wanted them to be hurt. I wanted them to try hard to convince me that it was good for me if they still visited me twice a month. I wanted to see them beg! I was going to be as unmovable as they were when they would not give me my way. Let them squirm; if they were not going to budge, neither was I.

They only thing is- they did not take the bait. Dad said “OK, son if that is the way you want it.” Now, I really kind of want those old visits. But I can’t let them know that. Crap. Nothing seems to work with these people anymore. Maybe I will not even come home to live with them when I leave Abraxas I. That will hurt them plenty. They will see.

My hat is off to two sharp parents. These parents were taking the opportunity to show me that when I get home things will be different. Valerie and I are very proud to have such strong parents in our group.

Lots of good discussion followed. Apparently, many of the teens use the “switch” when they cannot get their own way with their parents. Buy me new shoes seems to be a popular last resort for teens as a way to at least get something out of the deal, even if they have a ton of nice shoes already.

If you have any questions, please call 412-580-4051 for more information. If the weather is very bad, you can also call that number early on meeting morning to hear an outgoing message that training is cancelled. (Valerie will have my cell phone while I am off.)


Lloyd Woodward
Aftercare Specialist Probation Officer
(412) 247-6365

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