Teenage Son, Dad Issues
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|Wed, 06-05-2013 - 12:11am|
I have a soon to be 15 year old & of course it's proving to be quite challenging. I suppose the most challenging part is that there isn't a rule book other than to go by how you were raised and what you experienced. I am not a delusional parent. I know that my son has had sex and experimented with drugs (marijuana). I am not scared of marijuana & have known many smokers in life, including my own mother. Though I am personally not one, I think it should be legal, but this doesn't mean I want my teen using it on a regular basis.
I know that it seems that every word out of his mouth these days seem to be lies or some type of manipulation to get what he wants. I know that he is not in the minority. However, it is quite a challenge in finding the line between establishing boundaries, keeping him safe while at the same time not locking him up and throwing away the key til he's 18. Where is that book that tells you what freedom to give and at what age?! While I did choose to write this under the "troubled teen" category, I question it's authenticity b/c I am one who believes that many of the lines that my son has crossed are an essential part to him growing up. However, I do know that highschool has been a major factor in many of his behaviors - b/c let's face it, they don't drug test the basketball team or have in school daycare for nothing these days. Teens are doing drugs and having sex. For those who have "children" who have no interest in these extracurriculars, I am jealous. We are planning a move, which I think will possibly be beneficial in some ways, however b/c both his dad & I work jobs, though home schooling would be ideal, it isn't really an option.
Another part of our son's issues is the fact that his father & I are on different pages as far as parenting & communication is lacking. While our bottom line is basically the same, our ways in which we achieve it are totally different. I have had to teach our son to cook (which he still doesn't show initiative towards), wash clothes & even buy him shaving stuff b/c his dad hasn't taught him how to do any of it....I suppose if he doesn't he doesn't have to face the fact that he's growing up. I refer to him as a "man-child", b/c that's exactly what he is. If it confuses the h*ll out of me, I know it does him. If his dad had it his way, he would lock him up til he was 18 (he thinks me letting him spend the night w/a friend is the end of the world - our son has spent the night w/friends less than 5 nights his whole life). He gets extremely upset & angry w/our son (he tells me that "this is parenting", which I assume b/c I don't act crazy, rant & rave, I'm not doing a good job of it), while I take a more laid back approach, though I do indeed have parenting skills. His last rant & rave was that he lost a text book that we will have to pay $70 for & that he made an F on his report card due to "sleeping in class". Do these issues need to be addressed, yes, but are they the end of the world? No.
I'm pretty sure one of my downfalls is that I did not have hovering parent's growing up. By the time I was his age I was pretty much self-sufficient & while I did answer as far as where I was going etc., I was given a lot of freedom. I did experiment w/drugs, alcohol & sex - I did make mistakes which were sometimes very costly, but I did maintain good grades, graduated from HS & went to college etc. I didn't end up on a street corner prostituting myself for drugs. I think mostly the people that do, are the ones who had no parents at all who cared, or ones that cared too much. Because of those years of learning about myself & about life, I think I did get a greater sense of self and was able to make wiser decisions as I got older. I know that I would like for our son to wait until college to get all of this out of his system, I wonder if it's really realistic? I do know that I have made it clear that I will do random drug testing & his freedom will be limited until there is at least -more- trust there (I doubt I will ever fully trust him at this point in life), but I am unsure if being the raging/crazy "parent" is the answer. I definitely know that I don't agree with his dad's approach of thinking that locking him in his room until he's 18 is the best thing for him. He accuses me of "being his friend" rather than his parent...while he can't even communicate with him about anything...meaning they really don't even have a relationship. Sometimes I think it's his dad's overbearingness and their lack of connection that contributes to his immaturity and poor decisions..tho I don't openly blame or blame him. Not to mention, his decisions when he was that age weren't any better. And isn't it the kids that go to college and die of alcohol poisioning b/c they were too sheltered and went out into the real world & lost their minds?! You can't just unleash a tamed animal out into the wild & expect them to survive Hmmmm.