Cranky 15 year old!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
Cranky 15 year old!
7
Mon, 10-13-2003 - 8:37pm
Hi.

This is my first time looking for advise. It certainly isn't the end of the world, but...

My 15 year old son has his 1st girlfriend. She lives 30 minutes away, which is also a toll call. (huge phone bill) He does get to see her most weekends. This past Friday, I drove him to her high school football game. Dropped him off at 7, picked him up at 11:00, drove his friends home. Saturday night I picked her up and drove her home. Got home at midnight. Sunday I took my kids to my parents, a 2 hour drive each way. Work on Monday.

He's upset because I won't drive him to her house tonight. Since I drove all weekend, worked all day, I don't feel like making 2 one hour round trips. Now I'm getting the silent treatment.

Is this a stage. Do I ignore his behavior, send him to his room, give him some "mother's guilt"?

Thanks for any advise!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
In reply to: echo6
Mon, 10-13-2003 - 8:49pm
I think you let him know he's darn lucky you let him have a 'girlfriend' period.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: echo6
Mon, 10-13-2003 - 11:43pm
Boy, I agree with jlsjjsmom. It also doesn't matter if it's a stage or not. You have gone WAAAAAAAAY beyond the 'call of duty' with all that driving!! You've even driven his friends home! I posted a post on Surviving MIddle School some time back that was about having more issues with parents than kids and a LOT of them had to do with why does it seem like NO ONE ELSE drives??

As for your son, let him give you the silent treatment. Just tell him next time he decides to have an attitude you'll return the favor through silence, meaning NO I'm NOT driving you to her house. And let him know it's indefinite; don't give him a time frame. Tell him the VERY next time he responds with anything less than a 'ok mom, thanks for the times you HAVE driven me" that you won't be driving to her house until you see a consistent change in his response. Meaning, next time he asks, the answer is no. The time after that it's STILL no even if his response was good the prior time; it has to show at least two consistently proper responses before a 'yes' happens again. And that the next time he responds this way, it'll be three consistently favorable responses before you drive again. This (a) puts the ball into HIS court and (b) paves the road for YOU ahead of time and (c) teaches him how to accept 'no' gracefully (even if he's just gritting his teeth and saying the right words; practice makes perfect ;-) - or at least gets it started, lol).

He's only acting this way because he thinks he *can*. :-)

ARGHHHH! Kids! LOL

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: echo6
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 9:03am
I would tell him that if he is going to pull an attitude, he can forget about your being his personal taxi next weekend. He should be really grateful that you drive him as much as you do. Kids just don't understand that driving is really stressful, especially where I live. Good luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
In reply to: echo6
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 12:21pm
Many thanks for the insight. I'll follow through!! I know I'm trying to be a bit too nice, since my husband left and wants a divorce (no custody issues). I have to watch myself!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: echo6
Tue, 10-14-2003 - 3:08pm
Let him have an attitude and hide out in his room! Monday night is a school night!!! And so is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday!!! No reason for you to drive him to his girlfriend's house after spending most of the week-end in her company. He should be doing his homework and chores and she should be doing hers!!!! If you allow him to call her (frequently) during the week I would say that is enough for 15 year olds. Those calls can be limited also and he can help pay for anything over the limit set by you. You did your duty by driving him there and back all week-end.

Especially in your current circumstance, you will not be doing him any favors by giving in to "attitude" which all those age fifteen like to display. (my dd turns 16 next week!) He needs to understand your life right now and not expect you to give in to his demands. If you need to, sit down with him and figure out if and when, how often, what nights, you are willing to drive him over there. Week nights, during school would be out for me!! And do her parents reciprocate in the driving????

Good luck!

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: echo6
Wed, 10-15-2003 - 8:23pm
I mainly agree with the other posts but also have some additional thoughts.

I think that I would "start fresh" with him. Tell him that his pouty attitude about not getting his way was immature and unacceptable, but you are willing to overlook it this time. Explain to him that all the driving back and forth is expensive and time consuming, and your time is valuable. If you can show him the mileage and what it costs in gasoline even better. Tell him how much driving you ARE willing to do and how late--I think once per weekend is reasonable. If he wants to see her the other day then her parents can bring her to your house and you will drive them in your town if necessary.

Then tell him what kind of attitude you expect from him, and what the consequence will be for unacceptable attitude. I think that it is only fair to give him a warning beforehand unless you had already warned him before. Often our kids behave the way they do because that's what they have "gotten away with" in the past.

That said, my dd often asks for a permission etc that we typically deny, because "you never know unless you try". So I wouldn't get mad at him for asking for something unreasonable, but would respnd if he gives attitude when you (calmly) say no. And remember that he IS 15 and it is pretty normal at that age to think only of himself and take his parent(s) for granted. Not that it is acceptable; just normal. You may have to set him straight and set the limits repeatedly.

As for the phone bills, you could make him pay for some or all of the expense. That's the reality of having an out of town gf.

You mentioned that you "have to watch yourself" because of the divorce proceedings. Your son may be picking up on that and taking advantage of it.

While you are doing all of that driving look at the bright side: it gives you more time with your son. Some of the best convos that I've had with my kids have been while in the car, especially when it is dark out. They seemed more comfortable opening up when we couldn't see each other's faces! Enjoy it while it lasts, like another post mentioned these 15yo romances often don't last very long and his next gf may be a block away.

There's never a dull moment with teens--Good luck!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2003
In reply to: echo6
Sat, 10-18-2003 - 8:23pm
Thanks for the help. (and the gf's parents do meet halfway sometimes) Just put a nix on a Thursday night hockey game. The tickets were at a special price, but I did say no, it's a school/work night and a 90 minute drive. I suppose it's all good practice for when my daughter hits her teens:)