I got a letter in the mail the other day from someone who wanted advice about their 13 year old son. I guess they knew I was a Probation Officer and had a lot of experience with adolescents and relationship problems. They were correct on both counts, for not only did I supervise juveniles, and even work in a juvenile detention facility (jail for kids); but I had a domestic violence caseload as well. Right up my alley don’t cha think? But I was reluctant to answer. I’m retired now, and the only hallucinations I want to share are my own, NOT, yours. But I’ll share this one anyway.
Our 13 year old son Billy has been acting strangely of late. He no longer plays with the other neighborhood boys, but stays in his room all day listening to weird music and reading dirty magazines. One day I opened his door, and his room smelled like a forest fire. His eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and he didn’t make any sense whatsoever.. We found a small baggie of some green, leafy material; which Billy insisted was an herbal seasoning a friend gave him to spice up his food: he sometimes suffers the extremes of eating nothing at all, to eating us out of house and home.
Worse yet Hansi, Billy has his hands down his pants at all hours of the day. When we confront him, Billy says he’s just re-arranging his underwear. Why that causes him to get so out of breath is beyond me. We’ve even gotten reports from school that Billy has been found hastily re-arranging his underwear in both the Boys bathroom and Gym locker room.
Is there a cause for concern here? What shall we do??
Signed…Confused in California.
Here’s what I replied:
Dear Confused in California,
Being a parent is no easy task these days. But I really think you don’t have too much to worry about; Billy sounds like an All American Boy to me. That burning smell in his room was probably just incense. He is no doubt exploring eastern religions, and that dazed and confused look on his face was just the result of being suddenly wakened from some deep state of meditation. I think you’d be less worried if you took some of that spice his friend gave him, and sprinkled it on your salad some evening.
Regarding his “underwear re-arranging”, why he’s just playing with his Weewee. And if God has granted him the gift of having one, well, it’s his duty (not to mention responsibility) to figure out how it works; life doesn’t come with an instruction manual. And before you go rushing off to pre-register him as a sex offender, I think some simple behavior modification techniques would help with his problems at school. Billy just isn’t aware of social boundaries, that’s all. My advice is to duct-tape a cardboard sign to his waist which reads “Don’t play with your Weewee”. That way he’ll be reminded of what’s appropriate, and what’s not. Even his peers at school will gladly join in by reminding Billy not to play with his Weewee.
Hope that was of help. I think you have nothing to worry about. I’ll address Billy’s torturing of animals and setting fires in another post.
Well…If you have any problems you want old Hansi to help you with, just leave an anonymous comment and I’ll get to work on it. Be sure to leave your name and address, so I know where to send my reply.