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Too harsh?????

(12 Posts)
CherryMonster Sun 18-Nov-12 00:59:14

please be gentle with me, this is my first post in this topic. i have 4 dc's, the eldest boy will be 14 in a few months. we live in a horrible area, and he is friends (if thats what you call it) with some really vile children. there are 3 in particular who i detest (not going in to why, but anti social behaviour comes in to it) whenever he hangs around with these children, he seems to come out with attitude in every other word, and behaves badly.
tonight, i told him to be in by 8pm as its bloody freezing, and i was going out. his uncle was looking after him and the other dc's. he came in, grabbed his food and then went out again saying he was staying at his friends house. this friend is one i have forbidden him from staying with because he is horrible (truly horrible, causes lots of problems around here). he refused to come home, spoke to me really badly. i went to the cinema as my best friend had booked the tickets, and i wasnt going to let him spoil it as it was a gift from her for helping her out recently. i told him that if he wasnt home by the time i got in, i would get the police to go and fetch him out. i phoned him as i came out of the cinema, and told him he had 20 minutes to get home. after much arguing he did. i have now told him he is grounded until i decide otherwise, have taken his xbox off him, changed his facebook password and gone into his phone to get all his friends numbers so that i have them if i need them at any time. am i being too harsh on him?

amazingmumof6 Sun 18-Nov-12 01:59:50

no and no and no!
I would have done the same things!

he knew what he was supposed to do and deliberately disobeyed you! that's not on.
he's not only a fool for getting into bad company, he's also undermining your authority by arguing with you and setting a bad example for the younger children!

he not only has to apologize to you for his unacceptable behaviour, but to the younger ones as well - that will teach him a lesson that he's being responsible for others
hopefully he'll realize his actions affect the whole family

LongTimeLurking Sun 18-Nov-12 08:00:21

Mixed feelings from me,
I think 'grounded until I decide otherwise' is unfair; grounded yes but any punishment should be clear. I would say to him you are grounded for X number of weeks for clarity.

Confiscating the Xbox, phone and taking the phone numbers, are fair enough I think. Infact a good idea to get contact numbers incase he disappears again.

Changing the facebook password I strongly disagree with, but I'm not sure why!

LongTimeLurking Sun 18-Nov-12 08:02:27

To be clear, if you were to say no more facebook or internet for X weeks as punishment I think that would be ok. Just for me, something doesn't sit right about locking him out of his own account.

marriednotdead Sun 18-Nov-12 08:09:11

Well done! He needs to understand that you are the adult and that he cannot make decisions like that without your agreement. The fact that he came home, despite arguing first, means that you do still have control.

I agree that there should be a time limit on grounding, as a 'carrot' to work towards. Of course it will be dependent on apology, and improved attitude/behaviour.

Not sure about the Facebook password thing either...

NewFerry Sun 18-Nov-12 08:20:38

I understand you being very angry with him, but I am a bit concerned that your reaction was if you dont come home I will get the police involved. Obv I don't know the back story but that threat feels a little extreme.

Also, he did actually come home, albeit after arguments etc. by grounding him, taking his Xbox, locking him out of Facebook, and taking details from his phone, that's a lot of penalties. Where would it leave you re penalties if he hadn't come home?

Finally, he let you access his FB account so you could change the password? And let you access his phone to get the numbers? That shows a level of trust on his part, please tread carefully not to break that. At the moment, he is still respecting your values and concerns more than this group of friends. Can you work with him on building up those values you share?

3b1g Sun 18-Nov-12 08:25:24

I don't think you are being too harsh at all. Going out with his friends and being on Facebook are both privileges that require him to have s minimum standard of responsibility and maturity (for his own safety if nothing else). Until he can demonstrate that he is ready for these kind of freedoms then I would not feel at all comfortable with just letting him out there.
The x-box is slightly different as there's only so much trouble he can get into with that (unless communicating with others online).

brighterfuture Sun 18-Nov-12 10:12:41

You are probably right to come on strong whilst he's 14 because if you wait till he's 15/16 it may well be much harder to get him to do as you ask.

Have you talked to him about what he likes about this boy ? Is he exciting to be around, will he gain esteem with his peers if he hangs out with him ?

My Ds 16 has some very unsavoury friends but rather than condemning them outright I have always tried to talk about their qualities as well as the things I don't like so my Ds can't accuse me of being judgemental.

This has worked for me as he is open with me about stupid things they've done etc. Or how he thinks they are maybe messing up. It hasn't stopped him being friends with them sad but at least I can communicate with him.

With one particular friend of my Ds , having realised there was no way I could get in the way of their friendship, I instead asked him over , fed him , talked to him and generally tried to accept him. I could see the qualities in him that Ds liked and became more forgiving of his skally ways and actually had some good chats with both of them about dodgy lifestyle choices.
Fortuantely Ds seems to not see him much anymore smile

I know how stressful it is when they mix with the "wrong" crowd. Its a fine line between showing them they have to be respectful to your rules without setting yourself up in opposition to them as they will only push harder !

CherryMonster Sun 18-Nov-12 11:56:18

i think my biggest issue is that i have been nice towards these boys, and receive nothing but rudeness in return. i will stress that these boys are all younger than ds1, am wondering if maybe that has something to do with this, in that he see's what they are allowed to do, at younger ages. my problem with that is that i also know their parents, and not one of the boys has been brought up rather than dragged, you really can see where they get it from. alcoholics, drug dealers and general all round nasty parents. i do feel sorry for them, but i have my own problems, i cant help theirs.

he will get facebook back when he has earned it. this was all said at 11.30 last night. on the bus, talking to my friend i was all set to ground him until christmas 2013. i will stress that this has not been the first time we have had such issues, but the most severe by a long shot.

the reason i would have to involve the police is because i have 3 other dc's at home, no car and some of these friends live the other side of town. i cant go out on foot looking for him in the middle of the night, especially at this time of year.

LongTimeLurking Sun 18-Nov-12 16:58:27

Not sure you would get a great response from the police to be honest. They generally have better things to do than be running around after kids who have broken their curfew.

Also, with all those punishments I'm not sure what options you leave yourself if he goes one step further next time?

flow4 Sun 18-Nov-12 20:04:57

I have a lot of sympathy. It's horrible and frightening when your DC begins to get involved with people you don't like and don't trust, isn't it?

You have picked a 'high risk' strategy - cracking down very hard. It might work. Your DS came back and handed over his 'phone, so your authority is obviously still strong. He may be suitably chastened, and you may have succeeded in heading off other problems.

On the other hand, you may find he thinks you have been over-the-top and unfair, and he may be angry, 'fight back' or rebel. He was out of order, clearly; but you have thrown every possible punishment at him. If he bridles at this, or argues, or rebels, you really have nowhere else to go. And then your authority over him will be seriously damaged.

And next time he wants to go somewhere you have told him he's not allowed, he may think he might as well go, because you can't punish him any more than you did when he did come home.

A cautionary tale... I had a strong relationship and authority over my son when he was 13. I expected him to be in earlier than his peers, and he was given less freedom. I grounded him and removed privileges if he broke rules. It worked. Until he was 14. sad I can vividly remember the last time I grounded him... He shouted "No!" and moved towards the door. I stepped between it and him... And he laughed at me, and climbed out the window. angry It was the beginning of a lot of stress...

The teenage years are a time when the clear-cut rules of childhood (generally) stop working. As a parent, you need to learn to negotiate. There will be things you don't like that you still tolerate, for the sake of keeping your relationship with your DC strong and healthy, and to help him grow up and become independent. It is hard (harder when you have younger children, I think) but it is what happens, with most teenagers... This could be the beginning...

(By the way... Don't have any illusions: if you call the police because he doesn't come home at the time you said, they will record your call and do nothing, unless they have good reason to believe he may be in danger).

popcornchicken Sun 18-Nov-12 22:14:00

I am just turned twenty so just gone through this stage. I am sure your son will realise the police won't go looking just because he is late in.

So he come home and got punished if it was me next time I wouldn't come in.

I would try not too slag the friends of too much either,

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