We are a family of three and moved from Colombia, S.A., 6.5 years ago to Bethesda, MD, from the most beautiful home. However, it wasn't our home, it was my parents-in-law's home. It is a big land, so we had our place, but still, we had some common areas like the dining room. To make a long story short, when we moved to the USA we didn't move like many unfortunate people who come here because they were living under horrible conditions. For us, it was the other way around, but it was either starting over in the USA moving away from our comfort zone or risking to lose my green card which I had for the past 35 years. So, I made the decision and stayed. My husband and my son joined me two months later. I'm a US citizen now and so is my son, my husband will hopefully get his citizenship September 2018.

Today, six years later, my son has become a lost teenager. He's never been a straight A student because he has ADHD and it's hard for him to concentrate. But, he would get B's and C's. This year he is a senior, and he has decided to give up on school altogether! His grades became worse by the end of his junior year when he started to smoke a lot of weed. However, since the beginning of this year, he hasn't attended 95% of the classes, and we received a letter from the county stating that we can go to jail for 30 days and pay a fine. Regardless, he continues with the same attitude. We finally got him to see a psychologist, but that hasn't made any positive impact on him at all. Even his friends are worried about him, at least his old friends not the 'new friends.' I haven't been able to concentrate at work to the point that my boss obligated me to take time off! My husband has an excellent job now, and this would probably be the only thing that is holding us back from leaving to Miami where we can stay at my mother-in-law's vacation apartment until we get settled. I also forgot to mention that my husband and I don't love where we live. Moving to Miami could also give us a chance to start over at a place where we have family and enjoy a lot more than Bethesda. However, we are risking my husband's stable job and all the health benefits we have through his company. Should we take the risk and move to Miami to get our son away from the hole he's digging himself into?

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    Some more information that would be helpful: What kind of treatment is he getting for the ADHD condition? And what kind of reaction did he get for his B and C grades? Does he have any plans beyond his senior year? How long has he been seeing the psychologist? Sorry about the array of questions, but while it is clear you are the one suffering, knowing more about your son would help most :).
    – Layna
    Nov 22, 2017 at 14:46
  • At 18 there is not a lot you can do legally to force him to do anything. If you move, he could choose to stay put and there is nothing you can do to make him move with you. With the drug and other issues he might have a tough time paying rent, but it's really his call unless he wants help.
    – pojo-guy
    Nov 23, 2017 at 3:54
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    You think he would be motivated to finish school in maiami? Or can't find weed there? I think the clue is that he needs to find something that motivates him.
    – Batavia
    Nov 23, 2017 at 18:55
  • Weed is everywhere so moving to Miami will not solve the weed smoking problem. I think you need to make him understand he is getting sucked into an American trap of pure unsuccessful in America. To not take advantage of education opportunities in America is a huge mistake and to get sucked into that American teenage trap of working a job to one day maybe make $30 an hour is not good enough either. Ask him what are his dreams, his career path, etc. and start talking like and what High School dropping out means for his future, his family one day, he only has this chance now while he's young.
    – Facebook
    Dec 18, 2017 at 23:40
  • You need to drill into his head over and over again about the weed always going to be there but these 18 - 20's are not and this opportunity will slip away all because of a flower that will be there once he's a doctor if he chooses to smoke then perhaps. I'm just saying, you need to throw real world example of what is at stake with his future and what they means for his survival. This is all too common in America and I saw it years ago and have been in my kids' ears before they hit puberty, etc. and it's painful for them to feel I'm disappointed or disrespected by them. Don't give up!!
    – Facebook
    Dec 18, 2017 at 23:43

1 Answer 1


Moving away would only help your son if the thing that is causing him to neglect school and smoke weed instead is related to your current location. But there's a good chance that his location is not why he is showing this behavior.

Have you talked (and I mean really talked) about what is causing this behavior? Remember that people don't start with drugs to make their life better, they start to make their life less bad. Happy people rarely get addicted to drugs.

Find out what is making him unhappy, and try to help him fix that. Don't try to run away from the problem, because you'll almost certainly just be taking the problem along, because it's something your son feels or thinks, not something his environment is causing.

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