This reply was originally posted by user parentcoachjoyce in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
I strongly disagree with the idea of contacting the college. This is your son’s problem to solve (if there is in fact a problem) and your son’s consequences to learn. And besides, he might be telling you the truth.
I know that the consequences would be severe and life changing, but nevertheless, they are his lessons to learn. Better he can learn them now; it can save him a lot of pain in the future when the stakes could even be higher.
I think salvaging and preserving your relationship with him is just as important in this scenario as any of the other things going on. If you go to the college, you could destroy that relationship forever.
You might even want to consider apologizing to him for jumping to conclusions. Tell him you were just worried for him but that you trust him and believe he knows right from wrong and will make good decisions.
We all deserve to be “innocent until proven guilty” and it’s human nature to live up to someone’s expectations of us. If he thinks that in your eyes he’s a liar and a cheat, he will rise to that level every time; there’s really “no point” not to (in his mind) since he sees that you’ve already decided who and what he “is”. Does that make sense?
Parent Coach, School Counselor, mom of adult son with ADHD.