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ds 17 didn't come home till this afternoon....suitable punishment?

(46 Posts)
soaccidentprone Sun 07-Apr-13 16:35:48

ds1 17 went to work yesterday from 12 till 4pm. before he left for work I asked him if he was going out in the evening.

he said he didn't think so, but he'd see if anything was happening. I went to bed at 11 and had not heard from him, though I did text him at 10.30 asking him what he was doing. I have spoken to him several times about letting me know what he's doing in the evening if he isn't going to be home before I go to bed. he promised that he would.

anyway when I got up this morning he had not come home. I rang his mobile but it was out of charge. I took ds2 to a party at 12. when we got home at 2.45 ds1 was home. he said he has been to a party, got drunk and crashed at a friends house. I don't have a problem with that, but I do have a problem with the lack of communication.

to put it in to context - his df, my xh died when he was 5, my DM died 7 years ago and my df died 23 years ago. I try really hard reign in my fears about something terrible happen to them, and to set age appropriate boundaries for both ds1 and ds2, and have talked loads of time about freedom and responsibility.

so basically what do I do now? I have asked dh what he thought we be an appropriate response, but as him and ds1 don't get on he said he didn't know.

any ideas?

grounding/curtail freedom?

some kind of household job that'll take 1/2 a day ie cleaning out the shed?

not allowed out until his bedroom is loads tidier than it is now?

MissyMooandherBeaverofSteel Sun 07-Apr-13 16:39:41

I don't think you should punish a 17yo for a lack of thought, just ask him to be more considerate next time and let you know if he is staying out.

DontmindifIdo Sun 07-Apr-13 16:46:38

I think he's getting too old for punishment. Why not sit him down this evening and say you need to talk about respect for you and your feelings.

That you were scared something had happened to him. You don't think it's appropriate to punish him but can he think about your point of view?

Mondrian Sun 07-Apr-13 16:54:46

Perhaps have a long chat and explain the necessity of communication for you, give him a final warning and what the consequences will be next time it happens (withdrawal of a future mobile?). ... Maybe also good idea to deal with your fears, he deserves a normal relationship with you but without your fears.

mysteryfairy Sun 07-Apr-13 17:00:33

My DS age 17 has a habit of not coming home. Normally what happens is he goes on a planned thing and decides to sleepover somewhere but doesn't bother to let us know. I can guess this is what has happened but can't bring myself to go to bed etc without confirming it. I normally post in his FB that I am worried and ask anyone who knows where he is to get in touch plus I will FB message any of his friends who I know he is with. He hates this but brings it on himself and it normally results in a confirmation of where he is. It's difficult to punish but at the moment I have stopped DS's £100 a month pocket money - he has missed feb and march instalments and is in danger of missing April too as has already stayed out again this month. I am just buying odd bits he needs like I would for a much smaller child. My reasoning being I can't stop him going out etc but whilst he is not courteous enough to phone if he decides to stay out I am not funding the nights out. I am still paying for his phone contract so no obstacle to letting us know where he is except laziness, lack of organisation and indifference to our feelings.

Not sure if this would work for your son if he has a job though as he presumably could manage in that income?

TheSecondComing Sun 07-Apr-13 17:05:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

usualsuspect Sun 07-Apr-13 17:09:53

I don't think you can punish a 17 year old, I would have a chat about letting you know if hes coming home or not.

ScarletWomanoftheVillage Sun 07-Apr-13 17:23:02

I would ask your ds what he thinks the solution to this should be. Then perhaps you will have a constructive conversation about it.

Best of luck with it. It is a tricky one I know been there, T shirt and all that

Twinklestarstwinklestars Sun 07-Apr-13 17:27:19

I think he's too old too, just make sure he knows just to text/ring next time.

Iheartcrunchiebars Sun 07-Apr-13 17:29:02

He is living in your house and therefore needs to understand that he has to respect you. We always had to let my mum know what we were doing and what time we expected to be home. It's hardly a big deal to send a text saying 'going to a party, back later' then a follow up with 'staying over'. Would he be fine with you going AWOL over night and turning up the next day?

TheSecondComing Sun 07-Apr-13 17:29:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Startail Sun 07-Apr-13 17:39:02

My DDad would have gone ballistic and I'd have got the same roasting I would have done at 13.

I suspect my DD(15) would also find herself well and truly grounded if, in two or twenty two years, she stays out all night and doesn't ring.

Just because your phone is flat, doesn't mean you can't borrow a mates. You never know the house you are staying may even have a land line.

Being back when you said you would be and calling if you are delayed are tattooed on my soul. I never didn't.

That was the exchange for my D tea total Dad transporting us to and from far flung village discos and turning a blind eye to the underage consumption of cider (and gin and lime).

Viviennemary Sun 07-Apr-13 17:51:23

I don't think he should be punished. But should be made to understand that you were very worried indeed. And the next time he plans to do this he must let you know. It will get through eventually. I don't think you can stop yourself worrying. So he must let you know.

Ledkr Sun 07-Apr-13 17:54:25

I have 3 grown ds and if they stay here they let me know if they are not coming back even if its only a text. It's polite and he should get used to doing it.

flow4 Mon 08-Apr-13 00:31:04

It's thoughtless and not acceptable, but there is no way you can actually punish him at 17.

I've also been there, done that - what worked with my DS was making him think about how he would feel if I disappeared off the radar for 24 hours. He realised he wouldn't like it, and since then has reliably let me know where he is.

It may have just been a forgetful slip-up, but IME teens can sometimes go through a patch of deliberately not telling their parents where they are, if they feel that they're being over-supervised... It's as if they force you to deal with their absence, if you aren't letting go naturally.

I also think it would be a good idea to deal with your fears and anxieties. It sounds like you are still dealing with old bereavements, and these are affecting your parenting now. Perhaps ask your GP about some counselling?

PTA Mon 08-Apr-13 00:45:56

Please, please, please sit down with him and emphasis how rude it is to do this, not only for your own sake but also for future partners/gf/bf.

We were all brought up to tell our parents where we were going (at least initially), who we were with and when we would be back. If we changed our plans, we rang and told them (pre-mobile phones so yes it meant hunting for change, finding a working phone box or shouting to be heard over the noise in a club).

Even as an adult (mid 20's), if I was staying with my parents for the weekend I would still do the same (where, who, when back).

My dh didn't have ths drilled into him and I find it really rude when I hear the front door go and he is just going to post a letter. The letter box is only down the street and it's not like he has to ask permission, I just find it rude that he would leave the house without saying he is going.

I may also press the point home to your son that in an extreme case (fire, landslip, structural damage of some sort) he could be putting the emergency services at risk as they would have to assume he was still in the building if you were not able to tell them otherwise. I know it's extreme and highly unlikely but it might make him think about being so inconsiderate.

syl1985 Mon 08-Apr-13 02:14:02

It's hard to say what's best to do for me in your situation, because my eldest is only 7 instead of 17 years of age.

What I think that I'd do:
I wouldn't even allow him to hang out at a friends place to get drunk there and stay there for the night.
I wouldn't want my child to hang around with such teenagers/adults.

Because alcohol is the only legally sold hard drugs. The difference between soft and hard drugs is this.

Causes serious health problems if you've been taking it over a period of time. For example smoking. It'll take years before permanent body damage becomes life threatening. Someone might even smoke his full adult life and still doesn't get killed by this addiction.

This is toxic, but also gives a nice feeling. That's why people take this stuff. For example alcohol it mostly attacks the brain.
With small quantities you can already see the differences in a person. It's becoming more and more difficult for the person to move his/her body and to think clearly.

Take to much of it in a short time and you'll get into a coma.
Take a bit to much and if medical help comes to late you'll not wake up anymore from your coma. Or during the drunken state you've done something harmful and dangerous to yourself or others.

See the many deaths caused in traffic by drink drivers.
Or other problems caused by alcohol.

It might look like fun getting drunk with his mates. But every time the alcohol attacks his brain and other body parts like the liver.

First you've got to deal with the immediate attack of the alcohol on the brain. Now you're dealing with the long term damages that alcohol can have on your body.

Just a class won't kill you. It might even be good for you to have just one glass from time to time.

Getting really drunk once, isn't so bad. But doing it on a regular basis is dangerous, causes harm to brain, liver, kidneys and other body parts. It could also become an addiction.

That's why I'd totally not allow my kid to do that or hang out with people who's idea of having a good time is getting totally drunk.

Then not letting you know where he's. That must be so terrible for you. After all the people you already have lost in your life.

He's 17 and in one year he'll become 18... an adult!!!
He'll need to learn to behave like one. That's taking responsibility and understanding that there's someone at home who cares about you and deserves to know where you're.

Having a flat battery on his phone is a bad excuse. He should make sure it's charged or take his charger with him.

How to punish him... I don't know.
I'd tell him it's time to grow up.
Taking responsibility and stop getting drunk.

There's no fun in ruining a good healthy body. If he thinks differently then tell him or force him to have a look at a clinic where they treat alcoholics.

Maybe he can help out over there for a day or so. What kind of work is he doing? Something good? Let him have a look at some jobs and people who do have a good life.

Ask him what he'd like to be. Or how he wants his life to look like in a couple of years time.
He'd most likely go for having a good life. Tell him to work on it. That work has got to start now.

That good life doesn't come by chance.
All these people had to work hard for it!

Maybe a way to let him do what you want is to give money for it. Maybe that'll push him to have a look at these things.
Give him something when he worked for a day with alcoholics. And when he made some positive changes in his life.

Tell him not to go and hang out with these friends for at least a week and think of something if he still does that. After you have had that terrible night and didn't know anything about where or how he was. He sure deserves some kind of severe punishment!!!

Take care,


cory Mon 08-Apr-13 09:55:46

I think you would have to deal with it in the same way as you would deal with it if a partner/dh or other adult living in your home behaved in the same way. That is, show him how upset you are and how he must never treat you like that at all, but don't bring punishment into it as such. Much better for him to learn to think of himself as an adult- so when he misbehaves, he gets the unpleasantness that would be coming to an adult, not the type you would mete out to a child.

beatlegirl Mon 08-Apr-13 11:05:32

Sylvia, what an odd response! The OP has stated that she doesn't mind her son drinking. Good luck with your DS's teenage years! You are in for a rough ride if you think you can dictate who a 17 year old is friends with.

OP, one thing I picked up on- you said that when you got up you realised he hadn't been home. This means you slept just fine, so you can't say that you were 'worried sick', because, quite simply, you weren't.

You cannot punish a 17 year old. He's an adult. He could have left home a year ago. I agree with all those who say chat with him about respect (for you, by not having you worried) and personal safety (for him, by having someone know where he is).

He was wrong to stay out all night without calling, but you need to handle with care. Bollocking him like a 13 year old will get you nowhere.

PollyLogos Mon 08-Apr-13 11:19:12

I've always asked my children to text me if they're going to be very late or stay out all night, I also told them that I didn't need to know where they were or who they were with just that they wouldn't be back til morning. They always text. I know they're ok and they don't feel I'm asking for too many details.

syl1985 Mon 08-Apr-13 15:56:32


That's why I started with saying this:

"It's hard to say what's best to do for me in your situation, because my eldest is only 7 instead of 17 years of age.

What I think that I'd do:
I wouldn't even allow him to hang out at a friends place to get drunk there and stay there for the night.
I wouldn't want my child to hang around with such teenagers/adults".

To make it clear that I'd handle these things differently.

I don't judge someone and not my own kids by their age. If they behave like a child they get punished like a child.
If they behave like adults then I'll treat them as so.

Don't tell me that getting drunk with mates and not letting anyone know where you're is adult behavior. If we as adults in an adult life would do that on a regular basis then we're getting into trouble for sure.

syl1985 Mon 08-Apr-13 16:11:24

Sorry forgot to ad.

I also don't care if my child is 17 or 27. I absolutely won't stand on the sideline and don't do anything. If I know he was destroying his body by drinking alcohol to much and on a regular basis.

Will my child get angry about it.
For sure.
Will my interference work?

I don't know, but it's better then doing nothing at all.

My children don't go to school, I teach them at home.
It's already starting now.

Very tragically we lost at the beginning of this year a friend of us due to years of smoking.
We told our 7 year old the whole truth. In a way that he was able to understand afcourse.

He went to the funeral and didn't had any problem with it.

He knows what happened to this man. He also seems to have accepted that we all are going to die at some point. Just like we all have been born.

Sadly, but he has seen for himself at a young age that smoking can make your life a lot shorter then you'd like.

There's no better school then the school of life.
There's also no harder school then that, but we all got to accept at some point in our lives that life isn't always fair or is going to be soft on us.
Best and easier to accept that sooner then later.


NatashaBee Mon 08-Apr-13 16:24:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

beatlegirl Mon 08-Apr-13 17:12:06

LOL! You'll be lucky if your kid is still in touch with you at 27!

TheBuskersDog Mon 08-Apr-13 17:40:55

Sylvia, not really helpful to insinuate the OP's son would not be going out drinking with his mates if she had home-edded him and kept him away from these terrible influences.
Yes, sadly some people die as a result of drinking alcohol but most of us do not. I actually think that most people who get drunk with mates are not children, i.e. under 16, so that cannot really be classed as childish behaviour, immature maybe but not childish.

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