As a former rebellious teen, I feel obligated to give you some advice … but I’m coming up blank! How independent is your son? I’m very independent (stubborn!), and I had to work thru all my teenage angst on my own. My parents did put me in counseling, but it only made me rebel more. Your son and I sound quite similar (although I’m sure I was much worse), so at least I can offer that there’s hope? I’ve since moved on past my teenage years, graduated college, gotten the full-time job, converted to Catholicism, and have found the man I’ll be spending the rest of my life with. My mom and I have patched up our once very troubled relationship and we enjoy spending a lot of time together (she let me move back home to save money :rolleyes: )!
You sound like you’re providing your son with a lot - the Mass, an active spiritual life, and the fact that you’re looking for help here tells me that you really care about him. In the back of his mind somewhere, he knows all this. It’s a great sign that he has a job and is being received well by coworkers - that indicates his attitude is more than likely a rebellion against his parents instead of against the world. Being able to function in society is a good indicator that he’s not getting into too much trouble - once a teen draws away from everyone/thing that’s when I’d start to worry about more serious issues.
You mentioned that he’s “NOT” into drugs, drinking, sex or pornography - how confident are you that you can say this so emphatically? If he is (and I’m not saying he is, merely spitballing ideas here), the fact that he has to hide these actions from you may be contributing to his unresponsiveness. Again, I’m not suggesting he is doing these things, but he might have somethings that he’s not telling you about.
Some questions you may already have considered: What about your sons friends? Do you like them? Do you know them? Do you talk to their parents (not in a “I’m checking up on my son” type way, but a “we see each other at Church and chit-chat” kind of way)? Is he involved in any extracurriculars at school? Sports? Drama? Have his teachers seen a change in his behavior?
I don’t know what the best way to deal with your son may be, because when I was between 13 - 18 there was no good way to deal with me! I hate to tell you you’re in a lose-lose situation, but sometimes I think parenting (I’m not one yet, so this is all speculation) is a lot of holding your breath and allowing your children to fall (hopefully not too far!) and letting them learn to pick themselves up. Like I said, if your son’s still doing well at work and he isn’t failing any classes at school - he’s probably not getting into major trouble and that’s good. Just stick by him and let him know you love him! Sorry I can’t offer any concrete advice, but I will pray for you and your son, that you both might come out of this with a stronger relationship than you have right now. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific behavior questions.