My son continues to shock me more each day


#1

He is 17 will be 18 in June.
Tonite I caught him in a lie- said he was late coming home because he had to go back to his girlfriend's (she is 16) house to get the movie they were watching from her laptop. Why her laptop? Because they were in her bedroom.......sitting on her bed.........with the door closed.

He has let straight A's slip to B's and a C.
Sends/receives texts during school- doesn't care that she is in school also.
Had his hours cut at work from 20 to 4 because he was kissing gf at work and not working.

Had boss call me to ask that I do not let him take his phone to work due to excessive texting.
I Went inside gf's house one night, because I thought the idea of taking a 7 year old (her sis) out to a movie at 9pm on a weeknight was odd, only to find out she lied to her mother-they were going to be alone at home- mom was going out.
Was involved in a car accident with gf. Police feel she was texting. She totaled her car- air bags deployed- the works. She/he continue to text while driving sometimes.
He found a ipod at a movie theater while with gf. Showed it to me and said he was going to hack the lock and sell on ebay.
Overheard him say to gf he wants to lay down with her on top of him.

All this in the last 7 weeks since meeting this girl.

THIS IS NOT MY SON!

I have no idea what is wrong with him. I cannot sleep tonite, I can only cry. I asked him to not go in her bedroom when he left. He said he wouldn't. Her mom obviously doesn't care. I told him I would call her mom and ask that they are not in her bedroom- I wouldn't allow that in my house- he said I better not- I will ruin everything. Said he can't wait to leave home- (even though he's going to be home for the next 4 yrs at local college.)

I told him he will not be seeing her at her home anymore. She will have to see him here. He says HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS TO DO WHEN HE IS 18.

I can't just sit and watch him be anymore destructive. We have talks about temptation, near occasions of sin, etc. and he listens,,,,,,,,but I feel it has fallen on deaf ears. Every day or so is a new surprise with him....... I have been so proud of him until lately........I hate to say it, but I feel like I will be a hypocrite if I have a graduation party for him and all I will hear is how great he is, "a good guy" .

I am so hurt by his choices.......... I wish Mother's Day was not this Sunday............. he is my only child........... I thought I did my best........ apparently not. HOW CAN I HELP HIM??? I am so sad right now.


#2

My dear lady, the first thing you need to do is calm down and relax. The situation you describe is not the end of the world, and is in fact quite normal. So lets go through your dilemma.

The simple answer is that your son is in love. Compounding this, he is young, his hormones are raging and he is at an age where most boys are easily distracted from study. I can relate rather well with the way your son is acting at the moment. When you first start dating the only thing you can think about is your girlfriend; it's perfectly natural. Study, job, family all these take a back seat in your mind - all you want to do is see your special girl again as soon as possible. However, in the end you get over the initial excitement and go back to being yourself. Your son is just going through the honeymoon phase, so I wouldn't worry about it. Ah young love. :)

Now as to your concerns about them having sex. Well, you can preach and cry to him all you want, but if they're both going to do it, you can't really stop them. Following him over to his girlfriend's house, telling him off, putting down strict rules, these things are not going to help the situation. In fact, it's only going to encourage your son. Teenagers just can't be told; if you tell them they can't do something, then they will most certainly do it. You need to remember that your son is no longer a child and probably resents you treating him as such. I know I was the same with my parents. Your son is nearly an adult with his own decisions to make in life, so your best course of action is treat him as an adult. He will respect this approach more, although he may not totally agree with you, he is likely to respect your wishes and meet you halfway. I'm going to be yelled down by a legion of Cath-bots here, but.....if he is hell-bent on having sex with his girlfriend, then make sure he is safe; I can't stress that enough. Again, talk to him as an adult about this, not a child.

The sms-ing while driving should be your biggest concern. If both he and his girlfriend continue to do so, then their chances of having a fatal accident or killing someone else are increased astronomically. I believe this is something you should talk to him about above all other things. In Australia then penalty for driving while text-ing on your phone is quite serious; not only are you fined heavily, but you are also likely to loose your license. It is as dangerous as driving under the influence. I would surprised if the penalties are not the same for most other westernised countries.

Lastly, I can see that how much you love your son. :) Although he probably finds you rather annoying at the moment, you sound like a wonderful mother and I don't doubt that he loves you very much. A man will always need his mum, so just try and be there for him rather than pester him to death. ;)


#3

Completely in my humble opinion:

This boy is still your child living under your roof. He needs to follow your rules and you do not live for his convenience. Take away his cell phone, limit his interaction with this girl to your house and lay down the law. I would make an appointment with your priest and go with your son to talk about all this. Do not leave anything out. Let him know that this behavior will not continue anymore.

He might resent you right now. You make it sound as if he hasn't really tested his boundaries before this and it might come as a shock to you. I don't disagree that this is normal behavior for an older teen, but it still needs to be stopped. It is not respectful to you as a person, much less his mom.

You are a good mother. One day he will appreciate you.


#4

You need to get some control over your son. Some discipline would help. Otherwise this will just go on. You are the parent, not him. You should calm down and then set some rules which you will not ignore when he does such things.


#5

have you talked to the girl’s mother, she should become your new best friend, she is the one who allowed the bedroom time. If you don’t rein this in, call a lawyer and get informed on laws in your state on paternity and child support and impart them to your son, because you are headed for grandmahood a lot sooner than you like. I can tell you that teenage boys like all men do not respond well to shrieking, nagging, yelling, whining, tears, threats, or being treated like a child. I am trying to figure out why he still has the phone in his possession if he is texting outside the box, and why he was not fired outright from his job, and why he is still driving around town if he is not following your rules.


#6

He's 17, what do you expect? I wouldn't worry too much about it, I daresay many conservative Catholics on this very forum did all kinds of unsavory stuff when they were that age but later grew out of it.

If you're paying for his cell phone threaten to cancel it if he texts while driving.


#7

[quote="lovedbyHim, post:1, topic:197665"]

THIS IS NOT MY SON!

[/quote]

Correct--this is your son's hormones and emotions. ;)

I'm in agreement with PrayerShark on this one. Is this change in behavior good? No. Productive? No. Acceptable? No.

Normal? YES!!

Said he can't wait to leave home

If I had a nickel for every time I've heard that, I could buy out Warren Buffett.

He says HE CAN DO WHATEVER HE WANTS TO DO WHEN HE IS 18.

Technically, true...but the flip side of the coin is, YOU are no longer obligated to HIM, either--to let him live rent-free in your house, or to buy his groceries, or pay his phone bills, etc. Sounds like he needs to be reminded of this--I don't necessarily mean as an ultimatum, but rather a wake-up call. Although in the eyes of the law, he is an adult and free to do as he pleases, the reality is that he still depends on you, and out of respect for you continuing to keep him free of charge, he owes you big-time.

However, you are going to have to let go of some of this. You cannot police his behavior outside of your home 24/7 (although you can enforce whatever rules you want when he is in your house, or borrowing your property, such as a car). In other words, you can set rules and demand that they be followed concerning his behavior in your house (he can't have female company in his room with the door closed) and while driving your car (NO TEXTING!!). But when he goes to his girlfriend's house--this is beyond your control. Accept and pray.

I've been through much worse with my daughter; I've thrown her out of the house so she had to live in her car for a few days; I've even called the police on her several times. I can't tell you how many times I've cried myself to sleep over her behavior. But being a bright girl, she learned very quickly that turning 18 wasn't the magical answer to all her problems, and she did eventually come to realize that she has a pretty good setup here (she is a college dropout, is working, but doesn't make enough to support herself) and has made an effort to meet me halfway as far as expectations of behavior. She now plans to re-enter school this fall, and is even re-taking the ACT to improve her score (and her chances at a scholarship).

We have talks about temptation, near occasions of sin, etc. and he listens,,,,,,,,but I feel it has fallen on deaf ears.

Not so much as you might think--I've been surprised by what my daughters retain after they seemingly "tuned out" my lectures and pep talks.

When you fall in love, you stop thinking. But as PrayerShark said, the "honeymoon" will be over soon, he'll start thinking again, and I'm certain that you'll find that he DID listen to you--his hormones and emotions were just too out of control to act on it.

I thought I did my best........ apparently not.

WRONG!! You are a WONDERFUL mom!! Again, although your son's behavior is frustrating, confusing, hurtful--it's NORMAL for a young man his age. It sounds like you've laid a strong foundation that he'll have to fall back on once his head clears up again.

Remember that you are not alone--almost everyone who has parented teens has been through this to some degree. It DOES pass.

Miz


#8

“You’d better not?” Your son is giving you orders and you accept that? Where is his father in all this? If my daughter got in trouble at work for texting she would lose her cell phone. If I found out she was texting while driving she would lose her cell phone and her car keys.

Somewhere along the way you lost the will to parent this boy.The first incident should have prompted an immediate serious response from you. He will be 18 very shortly. Set down ground rules now, enforce them and if he can’t live with them you need to tell him to start looking for someplace else to live.

He is your son. Parenting isn’t easy. They are not always going to like you. You still have to parent anyway.


#9

[quote="bnbkaine, post:3, topic:197665"]
Completely in my humble opinion:

This boy is still your child living under your roof. He needs to follow your rules and you do not live for his convenience. Take away his cell phone, limit his interaction with this girl to your house and lay down the law. I would make an appointment with your priest and go with your son to talk about all this. Do not leave anything out. Let him know that this behavior will not continue anymore.

He might resent you right now. You make it sound as if he hasn't really tested his boundaries before this and it might come as a shock to you. I don't disagree that this is normal behavior for an older teen, but it still needs to be stopped. It is not respectful to you as a person, much less his mom.

You are a good mother. One day he will appreciate you.

[/quote]

Be careful, though. Don't alienante him so much that he bolts out the door the moment he turns 18. Sounds like he could get into trouble and he needs you even though he doesn't realize it.


#10

Do you ever listen to Dr. Ray Guarendi? He has ten kids and gives advice regarding these types of situations all the time. Having listened to him for years, I think he will probably remind you that everything your son is doing is financially supported by you, and therfore can be cut off by you.

I’ve heard him on these stations:
www.relevantradio.com
www.avemariaradio.com

He’s not going anywhere. Rent is expensive, and he can’t even keep a job.

Please don’t listen to people who tell you that “you can’t stop them” from occasions of mortal sin. There is nothing Catholic about this advice. People who didn’t stop their own kids bad behavior don’t like to think they could have done something different (sometimes they couldn’t) and try to extrapolate that on all kids. Misery loves company - don’t join them.


#11

OP here..............

Thank you for all the words of encouragement. I am so sad and disappointed right now I told him I could not talk to him right now. Maybe later. He is my only son and I feel like 17 and 11/12 years have gone down the tubes.

I agree with posters in many directions- he will do what he wants- he's going to be a young adult- but I thought that I was helping and guiding him to the direction that THIS BEHAVIOUR is not what he really wants. Or needs for his soul. I can't even look at him right now. He told me he was at a movie with a friend that had sexual situations and left to refill his Coke, twice. But it's ok to imitate this in real life? I don't get it.

I also agree this is MY house, I do not want the police involved in MY life for statutory rape (if it ever went that far, I know I am jumping the gun, here) I am not going to put up with immoral behaviour in my home. I wouldn't let a college-aged boarder with these kinds of values live in my home. Much less my son.

So his father and I are unsure what rules we can install for someone who is an adult.

In my own little perfect world, I would say- " break up with this girl you've only known for 7 weeks, and you can use the car and we will send you to college." But I know he won't do that and will sneak around to see her anyway.

And, her mother* speaks very little english. Only Polish. Her aunt who is 23 and is not a good role model, speaks english. On the night I felt funny about dropping him off at her house, I was later told by my son that her mom was mad that I barged in asking questions. Which is baloney. I asked outside the apartment door downstairs if I could come in to say hi to her mom, and she okayed it first. My husband wants to tell someone that we do not approve of the bedroom thing, but WHO do we talk to?

Sure we can say you can only see her at our house or a public place, but can we, has anyone, done this type of restriction, for lack of better word, with an 18 yr old?*


#12

Well make it seem as if they are not restrictions....

"Son we like Sally, when you want spend time with her, you are more than welcome to invite her over. We'd prefer you seeing her here, than at her house alone. It doesn't look proper if you are at her house alone, anyway. Things can happen, hormones can happen and something you will regret could happen. Invite her over here. I'll make dinner, snacks etc. she needs to leave by 11:00 and I'll be happy to drive her home for you."

Also, "I need your grades to get better. If they don't Sally can't come over anymore. Also, your boss has complained. Do you realize it's a privilige to have a job in this economy. He's paying you to work. If you aren't working, be honest and maybe give your job to someone who will."

And finally, "Son, we love you and you have been a very great son. Keep it up."


#13

In my opinion, a case like this confirms my views on society. The reason your son is rebelling against you is because he does not fear you or the consequences. The word fear is one that we have tried to erase in the modern world. We no longer call Fear of the Lord a spiritual gift. It is now "awe and wonder". The real reason why teens fall off track is because they feel as if they have nothing to fear. At a young age, many these days have not been brought up to have to make difficult choices and face consequences if they fail. Of course, there are always those that will that have the gift of foresight and see where their actions will end up ultimately but not everyone has that foresight and emotions can cloud reason. However, in the past young people had at a minimum a certain fear and respect for their parents and those in charge of them. There didnt use to be any of this child abuse **** for physical punishment. I personally think we have gone way too far and in trying to stop serious physical abuse we have gotten rid of most discipline. Words are cheap and usually worthless especially with young men in disciplining. For some young men and boys, I think physical punishment suits them better since it is the type of disciplining they can understand. I know for me thats about the only darn thing I would actually understand since to me words were a sign of weakness and being a pushover.

Rarely do kids out of nowhere jump off the wagon. There is almost always a series of events that takes places that leads up to it. There is a good chance that in this case your son was let off the hook or he didnt learn his lesson in smaller instances and even some medium instances which then escalated as time went on and he got more bolder. He has nothing to fear or respect from you because he has learned that he can boss you around and there will be no meaningful consequences. Words are very cheap especially to men. To girls, words do normally work better than they do with men. It is not full proof but in general men especially in teen years are driven by testosterone and will do whatever they heck they want to do unless someone that they respect and fear gets in their way. The only kids I know that didnt get into huge amounts of trouble or didnt have problems with discipline at some point in high school or college were those that had parents that from an early age demanded respect and delivered on real consequences if their rules were not obeyed.

I think the loss of faith among youngsters is very similar. Parents do not teach the faith and hope that magically the kids will learn it. Parents send their kids to overpriced Catholic and private schools to learn the faith. However, these places almost always cater their faith training to the lowest common denominator and do not challenge the students out of fear that a student will rebel against the church in college for getting a poor grade in a religion class if they didnt all get straight As or Bs in the class. In church classes, they are even more of a joke. They are taught only about the lovey dovey version of Christ which makes them view the church through the lenses of merely a feel good relationship with Christ. Sin and the real consequences of sin are sadly ignored in the church. I have yet to hear a sermon in 23 years that talked about the reality of hell. Hell was not even mentioned in my confirmation classes. Take away the consequences and people will eventually not care. I will take it a step further. A key difference between liberals and conservatives these days in the church is that liberals in general dont believe there are real consequences for our personal actions while conservatives do.


#14

Where is the girl’s father? :confused:


#15

A couple of questions:

Is this the first girl whose shown an interest in him romanticaly? or the first that's been so "available" physically? If so, he's likely not thinking in any sort of rational way, but rather simply enjoying the feelings and sensations that are new for him.

Likewise, does she seem to be the sort of girl that ties her self-esteem to what she can make a boy do? There have always been girls whose self-esteem is directly linked to being able to make a boy take her side over his parents or friends, to disobey his boss or teacher to do something with her, to put off schoolwork or chores to be with her. If she is one of those girlsthen there's no hope for a healthy balance there-if she isn't #1, then she isn't interested in being with him. Of course it ends eventually because the guy typically ends up with no job, no friends, etc and thus has nothing to put her in front of and she tires of him.

A good friend of mine was in a relationship like that and his father and I had a heck of a time helping him to see how unhealthy it was. Fortunately he did and went on to better prospects while she's been married three times. :rolleyes:

You need to control the environment and insist on certain behaviour with consequences for it not occurring. If all that fails, send him to relatives for the summer.


#16

I think you have probably heard before that men have a brain and a pns and only blood enough for one of them at a time. The son is not thinking rationally.

Place limits on his contact with her, and point out to him, in a kind way, that nothing good has happened since they got together and several bad things have happened (grades and work suffering). Ask him how this could be the best thing that ever happened to him if the results aren’t the best things that ever happened to him?

Don’t be afraid to restrict time with her. Don’t be afraid to call the girl’s parents and talk to them about this.

If you play your cards right, maybe you can get* them* to forbid her from seeing him!


#17

jmcrae-

Her father is in Poland. I believe she has never met him. I know her mother came to the states with her when she was under a year old. Mom is about 38-40 I am guessing. But daughter takes cues from her aunt who is not a good role model- gold digger type, I hate to make assumptions but this is from the gf;s own mouth.

mjs1987-I agree with the lack of the role of the domestic church. I teach CCD to kindergarten kids and have witness it in the learning of their prayers. So I have been active in church, encouraged my son to participate as catechist for CCD, altar server, VBS, and we *regularly *go to confession.

Physical punishment? He did get an occasional spank on the behind, but now I feel I will only get hit back. A yr ago I lightly slapped his mouth for some vile utterance and he hit back- and yes he paid for it.

We talk about Purgetory and Hell being indeed real. I pray at home and their is religious material all over my home. We attend mass every Sunday and if someone misses or is not in a state of grace, we do not take communion.

So again, I don't know where I went wrong. We have had age-appropriate talks- nice, meaningful, not preachy talks since he was in 6th grade. He knows what we expect from him. I just don't get why it all goes out the door when he is with this girl.

Here's a kicker for ya- he was in a girls bedroom just HOURS after receiving the sacrament of recconciliation!!!!!!!!!!**


#18

Non-servium-

SECOND gf. Same stuff, different girl. Controled by the last one. But at least she was ambitious, school was very important and did not dress imodestly like current one.

She does seem to be the way you describe- she told my son that her old bf, who is her biology class and is polish, tried to make her "do things she didn't want to". Recently told my son this same boy was at a party and she was alone with him, and he "almost raped" her. Since then this same boy has been over to her house.

I told my son that she may be playing him. That if I were "almost raped" I wouldn't want to be alone in a room with MY DOCTOR, :eek: and if she is going to dress the way she does, she is not putting herself in a postion that says NO, but MAYBE??!!

**


#19

Okay, I posted earlier but deleted it since it didn't make sense after I read the OPs latest post.

Men do not think rationally when they are in love/lust/infatuation like this. God gave us a p*n*s and a brain and only blood enough for one of them at a time, as someone said once.

Yes, someone who is 18 and living on you dime can be required to live under your rules. The art of persuasion is needed, though, to not alienate your son but bring him back around to your side. Don't set up a situation where he runs from you into her arms. Teens are dramatic, and they eat that up.

Just deal with him. He is not allowed to visit at her house because you can not even talk to the mother. A 23 year old aunt is simply a co-conspirator. You have no idea what is going on here.

He must repair his work relationship and stop texting at all hours of the day and in all situations. It's rude, will get him fired, or could get him killed. If he's in an injury accident while texting, and he's 18, buddy, he and the parents and in deep trouble.


#20

I don't have any kids so I don't have any advice that comes from experience. I am sure that as a mom this must be one of the hardest things you need to face. I am simply point out a possible reason for your son's drastic change in behaviour.

I was the best behaved kid any parent could want. My mom was SO proud of my good behaviour. Little did she know I was by NO means an angel. I was simply an EXTREMLY shy kid who did not have the 'guts' to misbehave. I also was NOT creative when it came to inventing bad behaviour. My peers tell me about things they did as kids and everyone in the group has been there and done that and such thoughts would never have entered my mind.

So since I could not dream up bad things to do, I never did them. And since I never had the guts to join in bad behaviour, I was never disciplined. And since I had a certain amount of self esteem, I always ignored being made fun of for being a goody goody.

In grade 4, a new girl moved in across the street. Her mother let her do what she wanted. (much like your son's gf's mom by the sound of it). Guess where I spent all my time????? I the new girl's house. I could do things I had never heard of (which when you are 10 is fun). It was a new found freedom and man was it great.

Perhaps your son's outward good behaviour was not for the noble reason's most mom hope it is for. And he obviously found somewhere to go to let his pent up rebellious streak out.

The solution: Come up with some age appropriate rules he and you can live with. Always sitck to your beliefs. The most important thing you need to remember is no matter how your son turns out, you need to look in the mirror and be proud YOU did the right thing. You can't control him.

Now, a BIG word of caution. After a few months of going over to this new girls house, the thrill of misbehaving was over. It no longer interested me. And to be honest, her sneaky little behavours turn from getting me to help her gang up on someone to her ganging up on me and mistreating me. You can be sure I did not like that one bit. So why did I spend grade 4 to the end of high school at her house??? Because my parents disliked her so much that when I needed to talk about how she hurt me, I didn't dare. The only thing my dad would have said is 'See I told you she was no good'. When she got me to do things that I KNEW were wrong, I made sure my parents did not find out about it since they would forbid me from seeing her. I did NOT want my parents controlling how much time I spent with her. I wanted to learn that by myself. So because of the game I played, I grew up to be an adult who had NO skills in walking away from bad relationships. And I spent most of my adult life with people who mistreated me.

If EVER your son cries on your shoulder about how his GF hurt him. BE A SUPPORT. Don't let your son see the twinkle in your eye 'Finally they will break up'. Show him you want to support him and will respect his decision. This could turn into a great opportunity for him to learn to say no to bad behaviour and have his mom to thank for it

Ok, easier said than done. I know. That is why we need to have God come help us out

CM


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