drink and teen DSS

(38 Posts)
brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:27:32

I am looking for some perspectives on the latest incident with DSS. I do not want us to over-react, but ‘historically’, we have tended towards under-reaction and I’d like to avoid that as well.

DH and I went away for a long weekend (work conference, not a holiday). DSD is 18, DSS is 15. They are not very mature for their ages, and do not always have very good judgement about even quite small things. We debated leaving them on their own, to look after house and pets and selves for four days. We have had a few instances of quite bad behaviour from DSS in the last six months, but things seemed to be going along OK, and we thought it might even be a good thing to give them the responsibility. We had the usual sort of talk before we went, told them it was a big responsibility, and an opportunity to show us they could handle it. Neither of the kids has ever given us any previous cause for concern about drugs/drinking; DSD doesn’t drink and neither do her friends.

We didn’t hear much from them over the weekend, but DH had a daily check-in with DSD, who said everything was going fine. To make a long story a bit shorter, we found out when we came back that DSS had been out on Saturday and he came home with vomit on his jeans. DSD told us a rather evasive account of him coming home; DH then asked DSS who at first lied completely and said he’d fallen down a muddy hill; when told that his story didn’t match up with DSD’s, DSS changed his story and admitted to drinking but said the vomit was someone else’s, a girl who was too drunk to stand up. DSD, when pressed, said that he was acting “OK” when he came home but did smell of drink (of course, he had vomit on him); I think from her demeanour that there is more to the story, especially in light of her comment to DH on Saturday about them having had a row.

There was also, in DSS’s laundry basket, an undershirt with a great many obvious vomit stains on it. He says he has no idea what the stains are or where they came from. To me, this looks like evidence that is inconsistent with a girl having vomited once on his jeans; on the other hand, I obviously can’t really say for sure. I do not know what shirt he was wearing on top but there was nothing else in the laundry.

I am cross with both of them, frankly. DSD for covering for him and for not letting us know right away that he’d come home in such a state. DSS for the obvious reasons of law-breaking; lying to DH about it when asked; the fact that this is just the latest in a series of unacceptable behaviours (that include property damage, laying hands on me, and general disrespect to DH); and most of all for taking advantage of us going away like this.

So far, DH has told him only that he is grounded. When DSS asked how long for, DH said he had to think about it. DSS started getting bolshy and complained that he is being punished for doing the right thing by trying to help a girl who was sick.

I haven’t spoken to DSS about it at all; DH did. He did not ask any of what seem to me to be obvious questions – who were you with, where did you get the drink, who is the girl who was so drunk and what happened to her – Well. You can see that I am unimpressed. What do other people do in these kind of situations?

By the way, the vomited-upon jeans have been left for me to launder.

Make him launder his own stuff. He's 18, it happens. You'll never hear the truth, but hopefully it's taught him a lesson but probably not

And I wouldn't ground him, he's 18 he's an adult. He didn't have a mad orgy and trash the house. He went out and got drunk - that's what 18 year olds do.

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:29:33

No, he is 15.

Sorry - DSS is 15 got mixed up. Still, I wouldn't ground him, I'd just make him wash the stuff. And give him a good lecture. But grounding him will make no difference he'll do it again if he's going to do it again.

x-posts

You'll still never hear the truth. I wouldn't get too uptight about it, it happens more than once if my boys are anything to go by

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:32:25

I don't think we can stop him drinking by grounding him - but I think we can let him know that it's not acceptable to us. Not punishing him for this is not an option.
Thanks for the view though.

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:33:18

No, I don't think we ever will know what happened.

I do think we won't be leaving him at home unsupervised again for a long time, which is a shame.

Oh I'd punish him, I just wouldn't ground him.

He'd be doing his own laundry and ironing from now on for a start.

And loads of boring chores around the house.

Just not grounding - it doesn't achieve anything, and if you make them do chores then everybody wins grin well you do you get jobs done that otherwise don't be done or you have to do

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:34:54

He'd rather be grounded, I think! smile
But yeah, re-examining this laundry situation, for sure.

When I was 18 and my brother was 17 my parents went away and left me in charge.

He did loads of illegal stuff I won't mention and also (when I was out at work I worked in a Chinese) had a party and wrecked the house. Doors were broken. Windows smashed. Beds ruined with vomit and urine. Much alcohol was consumed, including the contents of my parent's drinks cabinet.

It could have been worse.

SlambangSweepstakeQueen Mon 22-Apr-13 10:36:32

Frankly I wouldn't leave a 15 year old alone for 4 days. But having said that I think you may be putting 2 and 2 together and making 5. How do you know dss wasn't vomited on by a girl? (lovely {hmm])

Why exactly is he being punished? Is it that he went out without permission? (What rules did you set about going out?) is it for drinking? (what are the rules about alcohol?) Is it about not telling the full stor? (well you did leave him alone for 4 days).

Giving him an unspecific length of time grounding for an unspecific 'crime' doesn't seem to be likely to encourage honesty and trust in he future.

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:42:01

We did not leave him alone; we left him with his 18-year-old sister.

The length of the grounding is not unspecified; DH told him he had to think about it, which is a different thing. He will be sat down and given a lecture and a punishment, probably this evening. I think it is fine to have said "I need to think about what the consequences of this are going to be".

I have said that I don't think we will ever know the full story. We will set consequences based on what he has admitted to, which is enough.

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:42:41

freddie, your parents presumably had a reaction to what your brother did?

If you do ground him make sure he's doing boring chores like washing windows, cutting the lawn, otherwise it's just an excuse to sit about moaning about how it's not fair, with nothing useful to show at the end of it.

Brdgrl - yes. It was all my fault. I should have stopped him. I needed to learn to take responsibility.

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:44:45

an unspecific 'crime'

specifically -
1) underage drinking
2) lying to DH
3) acting irresponsibly when he'd been asked (and agreed) to be on best behaviour whilst we were away

SonShines Mon 22-Apr-13 10:45:35

I think really you knew he couldn't be trusted (going on past, but recent, behaviour). So by going away you were kind of asking for it, sorry. This was obviously going to happen, and it could've been a lot worse, actually.

1 and 2 are fair enough, but 3 - what did you expect? he's 15 that's what happens - or at least it does fairly often with 15 year olds.

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:46:34

freddie, that seems very unfair to you. I am cross with DSD, but I also think it is a tough situation for her; she clearly is hiding something but she doesn't want her brother to get into trouble. I don't want to blame her for it; I just think it shows that the set-up - leaving her with him like that - isn't going to work and we should not do it again.

Oh I still think it was unfair and I am 45 grin

She won't grass on him and it's not really fair to expect her to.

NotMostPeople Mon 22-Apr-13 10:49:55

What did you expect he's 15?

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:51:18

I agree that these things happen - they did with me - but the other thing that happens, or should happen, is that parents impose consequences, right?

I totally expect him to get into trouble and do irresponsible things. And then we'll make sure he has consequences for it. And that's how he learns.

Really, I am glad for and did ask for other perspectives, but I have to be very clear in saying that I'm not asking whether he did something wrong - he did, because he broke the rules of our house, and he'll be punished for that.

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:53:06

What did you expect he's 15?

what does he expect?
When I was 15 and broke rules, I expected to get in trouble for it.

We expected him not to do this, because he has never done it before. That was a mistake, obviously, and as I have said, we will not be letting him have the same responsibility again.

brdgrl Mon 22-Apr-13 10:54:34

Sorry, just to say - I have to go to work now, so will reply later.

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