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Setting Boundaires with Teen-Result may mean they have to move out of home.

Community Member

Hi, I have been on a 4 year journey with my now 17 year old. We have been through alot including, leaving school, supporting him and his pregnant girlfriend and then young baby (not my son's baby), drug use, mental health issues, him moving out of home to another town. Without getting into it all but that is a quick overview. Currently, my son is staying with me and my 2 other children aged 7 and 9.  My 17 year old is currently not working, studying and doesn't do much with his time. I am struggling with this as I have boundaries around drugs and behaviour which I have spoken to him about. He has started vaping and yesterday sat in my car vaping while I was at an activity with my other children.  I was quite upset as he know how I feel about this, he didn't seem to care about my boundaries and we were all about to get in the car.  I appreciaite that this may not seem like a big deal but I have alarm bells going off everywhere due to previous experiences!  I feel like I want to say to hime-Work or study or you can't live with me.  This may mean he goes and couch surfs..I am a single mum and have previously felt unsafe around my 17 year when he gets upset and don't want to be in this situation again.. How do you put boundaries in place if that means you feel liek you are puching your child away?  Hope that makes sense and thank you for your reply. 

5 Replies 5


Hi Kim3, 

Thank you for sharing this here. We hope you find some comfort in the kindness and understanding of our lovely community members. We’re sure we’ll hear more from them. 

It sounds like you are a really caring and supportive parent, and it sounds like you’ve taken some incredibly important steps. It’s so important, that while caring for your son, you are aware of your own emotional wellbeing. Please remember to reach out any time you feel you are struggling, to the Beyond Blue helpline on 1300 22 4636, or you can reach our counsellors via webchat, here.   We can hear your love and care for your children shine through. It sounds like you might not be feeling so connected in your relationship though, and that’s really tough. If you’d like to talk these things through, you can also reach out to Parentline on 1300 30 1300 or Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277 for a bit of support and advice around relationships and parenting.  

Please continue to share here, whenever you feel comfortable. You never know how your story might help others who can relate to what you’re going through.   

Kind regards, 

Sophie M 

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Kim3,


Welcome to the community and welcome to the forums. I hope you can find some helpful support and advice here. I'm sorry to hear that you've been a having a tough time with your 17 y.o. It sounds like it had been difficult supporting him through his issues as well as setting boundaries.


As Sophie M, mentioned it is very important that you are supported throughout this. Regarding your son, my first instinct (not having children of my own) would be to encourage him to seek help for his health issues. Fortunately there are a range of services available these days, but to me the most relevant service that comes to mind might be headspace (link attached here). They offer a walk in service that provides support in the form of one to one counselling for 12 - 25 year olds. This includes mental health, physical health, work and study support and drug and alcohol support. In addition to this there are crisis oriented services such as Kids Helpline that offer 24/7 webchat and online counselling for young people. 


In terms of setting boundaries and drug and alcohol issues, I'm aware that the people over at Carers Australia have some information regarding this. I have found a page on their NSW website which has info as well as an eLearning module for carers who might be in a similar situation to yours. Another helpful resource may be Family Drug Support 1300 368 186 who provide 24/7 support and information to carers like yourself. They have some information on setting boundaries here: https://www.fds.org.au/coping-tips/setting-boundaries/ 


I hope some of the information and resources I've provided may be of use to you. Please update us on how you're going and I hope you can find some further support on these forums also. 💙




Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Kim, a difficult situation for you because how sure are you that he's not using drugs as he could be doing this when he's not with you or locks himself away in his bedroom, especially as he is vaping when your not there with him and is doing what pleases him.

This can't be a good influence on your two other children and setting a bad example in every way possible and understand why you believe he should be either working and/or studying, however, either way this may be difficult for him to achieve and miss work and/or does the same with studying because he may just want to live off the system.

You can't necessarily tell him to leave until he turns 18, but he can decide for himself if this is what he wants to do, but this doesn't solve your problem.

The other concern you have is with your other two children, aged 7 and 9 and directing them in an appropriate direction and not to be influenced by him

Can you please get back to us so we can continue this conversation.

Life Member.

Community Champion
Community Champion


Thanks for reaching out here. 
Sophie  Bob and Geoff have written supportive and helpful replies. 

You have been through a lot with your son in last 4  years and are concerned about his influence on your younger children. 
It is difficult if he does not feel he needs to observe your boundaries. 
Do you feel you are getting support you need .?

What support would help you.?
it is hard as a single parent when you are concerned for your younger children as well as trying to support your son. 

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Kim3,


Im sorry this is happening.


I understand that your son may be doing drugs, if he is doing this it can effect his behaviour.


You could try to encourage him to intervene with his drug addiction now while he is still young, sometimes drug addiction can take people down some dark paths and they could end up being on the wrong side of the law.


For your son to overcome what he is going through he will need love and support.


I understand that sometimes we don’t want the behaviour around us so we try to push the person away but this really isn’t helpful to the one who is struggling it can make them worse.


I understand that you to may need support for what you are dealing with you could start at your gp and discuss what you are dealing with.


Your son could also see his gp to discuss what he is going through.