What do i do??


Okay i have 8 children my oldest daughter has made some really bad choices and now my 15 yr old son is doing the same. He pushed his dad around and i caught him trying to sneak out of the house last night to go to a girls house …to do what ( sex) i am sure. I guess this is not the first time either. My husband and i are faithful Catholics we don’t miss mass we pray as a family …i don’t know what we did wrong to raise children who seem to have any morals and no respect. What i am asking is how should we punish this and what we can do to stop these things from happening with our other children
Prayers please


At this age, it’s really a matter of taking away priveleges. You and your husband are going to need to sit down and talk this through so that you can act as a united front on this. Your husband really does need to stand up and be an authority figure, and you need to support him in that role. A 15 year old boy should not be pushing his father around.

I recommend getting together with your husband and your son and coming up with a behvior contract, spelling out what is acceptable and what isn’t and what the specific consequences are for unacceptable behavior. Then you and your husband need to make sure that you consistently follow through on handing out the negative consequences.


It might do well to have the poliece on your side. Perhaps an officer you know could give him a good scare. If not, record and viedo tape, if possible, so you can get services for your son through the government. Alarms on the window (if thats how he’s sneaking out).



The police are not babysitters, and the kid isn’t committing any crimes as far as is known. That way lies disaster.

Also, what ‘services’ does the government provide for horny fifteen-year-olds? Free saltpeter dietary supplements? I’m not aware of any such thing. If the parents want to change their son’s behavior (which, as far as ‘sneaking out’ goes, may be ill-advised by this point; respect is another matter) they’re going to have to do it by parenting, not through the cops or government social services.


As for how you raised them . . . don’t be so hard on yourselves. Kids have minds of their own and will make their own decisions at some point. Unfortunately, they aren’t always the same decisions we would make!

If the kids are at home, there should be ground rules. I’d read up on some Dr. Ray Guarendi, see what he suggests for teens. Maybe you’ll find something helpful. —KCT


Any parent of teens will tell you that at a certain age, they “know it all”. We took our children to church weekly, they were in CCD, they went to Catholic school, we had family worship at night, and they still got into trouble as teens. All you can do is hang in there and trust that their upbringing will bear fruit.
Now that our children are grown, that has happened. They’re either married with children or in college, and seem to have settled down. It will happen, don’t worry too much.
And don’t blame yourself, you did what you could. The best thing you can do is talk to them “mano e mano” and treat them with respect, and tell them that while you love and cherish them, they are making bad choices and you want them to make good choices. Even if they make bad choices, continue to love and appreciate them and show it!


The police are not babysitters, and the kid isn’t committing any crimes as far as is known. That way lies disaster.

If a 15yo shoves his teacher, boss, or even a friend its a crime. Even slapping someone in the face, tripping them, shoving them is not acceptable in society. It is a crime to shove his dad around too!!! Its actually more abhorable that he could do it to his own dad.

I agree that poliece are not babysitters, but they are the authority that keeps one in control after one has outgrown parental control. OP’s son has mistreated his parents beyone what is normal (extreme) teen behavior. And after parents comes the law.

Documenting violence can help you get a “child in need of supervision” document which can help you, especally if he’s into drugs and you don’t know it can create misery for rest of your life.


If someone can’t raise a child through fifteen, they shouldn’t be a parent in the first place. If a son or daughter is that much of a problem and the parents aren’t willing to face up to their responsibilities, foster parenting or emancipation are both options.

Calling the police on a young adult to send him to juvie over family issues is possibly the biggest mistake there is to be made. It’ll warp and hurt him beyond almost anything else. You thought he didn’t like or respect you before? You’re in for a whole new world if (if, not when) he comes back. And what’s more, you will deserve it.

Drugs? Don’t make me laugh. Parental malfeasance is far more damaging – I should know.


I so totally disagree! I have raised 18 foster kids through their teens, my 20 yo ds, 17 yo ds, and 15 yo dd. It isn’t necessarily what the police can or will do, it is the fear of knowing that will be the consequence for violent behavior. From the time my kids were toddlers, I told them if I ever caught them using drugs or drinking underage, I would personally drive them to the police station and turn them in… and you know what? So far I haven’t had a problem with either. Granted, I will admit I know my 20 yo has and does drink, but not while he lived in my house! He lives in his own house, so he has his own rules and consequences.


I have no idea how I’ll deal with these issues if I ever one day have children but I can give advice on what I think shoud have been done for me and my ciblings. Have you done everything possible to educate your children on the consequences of their actions and what could happen? You can use examples that you know of. Of course they will respond with the it can’t happen to me because I am the invincible teenager attitude but you probably can at least try to reason with them. Sit down and have a nice debate with them and question them on why they want to act a certain way and what benefits they see for their actions. Perhaps there are other issues like a lack of communication or something involved with the family. I don’t think punishing severely is going to do any good since it will just make them be even worse when they are old enough to get away from you and out of your house. That is my opinion. You are much better at continuing to educate and convince your children to have good Catholic morals. Of course some punishment for disobediance such as sneaking out at night is probably necessary. My dad was way too lenient with my sister in that regard which is probably why she kept on doing it. However, because nothing was forced on her she has matured and developed good morals.


Thank you everyone for your responses …we have instilled morals and have talked about anything and everything you can think of that our children are going to face in this world …there is open comunication in our home and they all know that they can come to us with anything …and we are understanding and are there for our kids and have allways been. 14 yrs ago we lost a little boy to SIDS and his older brother is who we are having problems with ( not sure if this has had an inpact of some sort which i am sure it has) i honestly believe that when he broke the rule about having a girlfriend before 18 was the beginning of our problems. Do you think that losing his brother has anything to do with this? I have grounded him from the phone computer and he is doing extra work around here and is not allowed to go anywhere for at least a month. Should i call the girls parents and let them know …or what?


I tend to agree with this - because I work for the county government and see disaster after disaster from getting the government involved with family matters…
did I understand/read that the son is pushing his father around? That is assault…and may need to be dealt with in such a way as to make it very clear that lifting a hand to another human being in anger could land you right SMACK behind bars and in a boatload of trouble…
so says me, like I am a big ol expert…

you are in my prayers…


I think the not having a girlfriedn before age 18 is the root of the problem. He is probably so mad at you for this that he might be saying the heck with your catholic morals since they are punishing him so then instead of being taught to have a chaste relationship he wants to just go all out since he is already breaking one of your rules by even having a girlfriend. What difference does it make if he breaks the rest of them with that girl. Just my opinion.


*assuming wjp is joking :rolleyes:

St. Monica is a great intercessor!

God bless


I’m not joking though. What is so wrong with having a chaste relationship at the age of 16? I think being overly protective going even beyond the restrictions already there for one to be a faithful practicing Catholic is going to really tick a teenager off. I bet many if not a majority will disregard them entirely as a result of being forced to follow above and beyond the rules and not given trust that they can be faithful good practicing Catholics which is exactly what prohibiting one from having a boyfriend or girlfriend before the age of 18 is in my opinon, a lack of trust.


Ok, I see. Sorry for my misunderstanding. I will have to disagree with you though (not to sidetrack thread). Dating (and by this I mean a single boy-girl relationship) is ordered to marriage. I am not sure what you mean by “being overly protective going even beyond the restrictions alreayd there for one to be a faithful practicing Catholic”…the Church does not have specific guidelines for time of dating onset. However, we are instructed to obey our parents. If a parent does not feel that their child is mature enough to be in a relationship, we aer called to follow their wishes in this respect. This is not necessarily a lack of trust, but an understanding of the purpose of dating and the preparedness of the individual entering into that relationship.

You speak of being ticked off at being expected to perform “above and beyond the rules”. I am not entirely sure which rules you are referring to. I do disagree with the child rebelling specifically because of this requirement…and I would challenge that if this rebellion does occur it is a result of something other than the “no dating before 18” rule. As the OP mentioned, the concern is in the area of chastity (amongst other things). To say “I disagree with this, therefore I will disregard all teachings on the basis of this” is not a valid argument.



i love you and will pray for you and the family



I am not sure i understand …let me know if this is right …That because i put the rule down for not dating until 18 you think that is why he is rebelling everything that we have taught him?
hmmm i can remember being 15 and i remember 15 yr old boys i am sure that none of them were mature enough to handle a relationship with a girl…raging hormones and not knowing what to do with them would have an impact on how they acted with their girlfriend…lead us not into temptation …i think at 15 that is just asking for trouble …As a parent of 8 children i know that they are all different and that each will come with their own personality…i guess what i am saying is that with prayer and open communication things will work themselves out …i pray…THe world is so hard for kids these days there are so many kids out there that don’t have any morals or rules it is tough for mine that do when they are or seem like they are the only ones that do.


I said I agree 15 might be too young but disagree that 16 is still too young and I think teenagers like to rebel when given to many rules and when they rebel they will rebel and do things they normally would not do if given less harsh rules. I think compromising and education is good. Of course as I mentioned I can only go by what I think would have worked for me or my ciblings.


Dating is for when you are ready to get married. Most people aren’t ready to get married when they are only 16 years old.

Before that, kids need to hang out in mixed groups and get to know people of the opposite sex as friends, but not pair off. Dating without the intention to marry is nothing more than a dress rehearsal for divorce, since if they don’t intend to marry, then at some point, they are going to have to break up.

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