Théun, my wife and I need some objective guidance concerning our son whom we only recently found out is taking drugs. What is our best approach in trying to help him through this challenge, because he is resisting us big time and will listen to nothing we have to offer?
Perhaps an objective example will help you to see the situation with your son much more CLEARLY!
Several years ago the parents of a certain young man named Y, then aged 17, approached me for guidance once they had found out that Y, by then already having been expelled from school, had become addicted to drugs. How they found out was that he had gone into the family safe whilst his parents were away for the weekend and helped himself to everything of value in the safe, including all of his mother's expensive jewelry, to sell along with the television set, the hi-fi equipment and various other valuables like cameras, in order to settle his debts with the drug dealers!
Questioned about this, Y admitted that the drug lords had demanded immediate settlement of his debts or else they would no longer extend his credit. Y's parents took this matter so seriously that they felt it was a family issue and therefore requested a telephone conference with me at which the entire family could be present to hear my guidance. I agreed. The conference took place the following day.
Once I had heard them out, my guidance was as follows, even though this is now heavily paraphrased for the purposes of brevity:
"Your son is already 17 years old, and has gone too far down the road to listen to any form of reasoning. Therefore there is NO POINT in trying to reason with him, or to argue with him, or in trying to convince him! He just WON'T listen! The best you can do for your son at this point in time is to become unutterably ruthless! Withdraw ALL financial support, kick him out on the streets and leave him be, so that he is FORCED to find himself some work in order to survive. Not being qualified in any way the ONLY type of work he will be able to find will be so poorly paid that he will not be able to AFFORD drugs!"
The entire family listened and agreed, except for the father, who I could sense was receiving the type of guidance he did NOT want to hear! At the end of the conference when I put down the phone, I started to cry. The apprentice who was working with me at the time the conference took place, and who had overheard the whole session, asked me why I was crying. I replied, "I am crying for Y. They love Y too much to take my guidance on board! They will love Y to death."
Later I heard that Y's father had indeed spurned my guidance, slamming me for being cold and heartless and that I clearly do NOT practice what I preach in terms of unconditional love!
Matters became worse as Y's parents kept supporting him, setting him up in his own flat, paying his bills for him, buying him a car, and even creating for Y a career within his father's company. They even bailed him out of prison at one stage. Then later I was told that at the age of 24, Y was found dead in his apartment, having overdosed himself with cocaine!