How do you deal with a teenager who is failing in school, addicted to computer games, often misbehaves and even lies to you? I do know that teenagers really go through a tough time growing up (for I have experienced it myself) but I really do not know anymore what to do with our teenager at home.

In my family, we were all raised with love and trust. My parents instilled in us the virtue of responsibility, honesty and industry. Although we had our share of rebelliousness in the past, my sister and I were more or less well-behaved. We never really gave our parents a headache. In fact, I even think we made our parents proud by getting into the state university and graduating with honors.

The problem now lies in our adopted brother. You see, we had F when he was just 3 years old when his father (my dad's cousin) asked my parents if they could take care of one of his children since, because of poverty, he could no longer provide for the needs of most of his children. That was the beginning. So far, F has been living with our family for almost 12 years. He was treated like another child (raised with love and affection). He even has his own room and was given everything he needed. I just don't understand now how someone, who was raised the same way as we were raised, behave so differently.

I've been reading up lately on how to manage teenagers. I have read about various cases of teenagers, especially boys, who seem to hate school and rebel against their parents. There are even cases that get into vices like smoking, drinking and even drugs. Well, I know for a fact that F already knows how to smoke and drink. He even admits to us that he has been doing that. But drugs? I simply could not allow the time to come when we have to make an intervention and send him for drug detoxification. I would cry tears and blood when we get to the point that he needs to be put in a drug rehab.

Maybe I had been so understanding and trusting when it came to my brother. Maybe it's because that was the way my parents handled us. That kind of treatment worked for us and we responded well. But in the case of my brother, I don't think this kind of method will work. What style do you think will work? All I can think of now is to storm heaven with prayers.


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