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boys never in +++

(19 Posts)
hilary2012 Sat 11-May-13 15:12:57

I basically drop my 14 yr old son off at friends on Fridays and don't see him again until Sunday when we have a row to make him come home for lunch!!! He sleeps at various friends houses-feel like he dissapears. He's Ok in the week, but never wants to be around at w/e. Are all teenagers like this?......

ihatethecold Sat 11-May-13 15:15:41

No wink

hilary2012 Sat 11-May-13 15:31:36

Care to elaborate?? I dont know what to do to 'make' him want to stay around at home - I've bought table tennis tables, basketball hoops, he has x-box now, but still the pull of his peers is greater. He also hangs around with older kids - 16. I sometimes wonder if it's not some sort of replacement for his estranged father who he hasn't seen in a couple of years.........

LineRunner Sat 11-May-13 15:32:14

No, I don't think that all teenagers are.

I guess from what you say that you find it OK to stand up to him (IYSWIM) about other things, such as school/homework and going to bed?

My DS is just 15 and whilst he's trying to put his own foot down about going out and being independent, I also find I have to put my foot down about the stuff that matters to me such as knowing where is is and what he's doing. What does your DS do Friday to Sunday? If it's boardgames or X-Box, that's different I suppose from going out to random places.

hilary2012 Sat 11-May-13 15:57:28

Well he always lets me know where he is and who he's with. We speak and text over the weekend. As to what they are doing; I think there is a lot of hanging around with mates, possibly some naughty stuff....but how do you verify without following him??, but also football, xbox, films etc. I just find it odd that all of a sudden (over the last 4 months) I virtually don't see him at all during the w/e. If we ever have people over or family stuff he'll be around ( sometimes a little grumpily but he'll be there!) I often feel that all I do is nag him; to be in on time, to do his homework, to tidy his room, so i guess I do find it difficult at the weekend to say "you're staying in because I want you to!"......

LineRunner Sat 11-May-13 16:06:59

It sounds ok .... except what's the 'naughty stuff'??

Do you invite your DS's friends over to your house? Just wondering what the big attraction is of sleeping somewhere else. It is entirely practical, eg getting home is difficult? My teenage DD stays at her friend's sometimes just because it's easier, frankly.

AcrylicPlexiglass Sat 11-May-13 16:18:38

tell him he can't! he needs time at home. lay down some rules about it. he can stay one weekend night per fortnight at a friend's house and have a mate over to his for one night the next weekend, type of thing. I think you are giving him too much say in the situation, tbh. he needs to feel that You are ultimately in charge and call the shots still at this age, imo. plus he needs supervision. You don't know what he is getting up to during all those hours away from you.

hilary2012 Sat 11-May-13 17:43:58

They do sometimes invite friends over, but 'yes' we live in a little village a 40 minute walk from any town or activity. Basically once they get to our house that's it; there's nothing to do apart from stay in ......As for the naughty stuff I know that some of his older friends do smoke and sometimes drink a beer or two. My boy has told me this, so he's not hiding anything. I have never seen mine drunk or smelling of smoke , but I am a bit worried about cannabis as one of their friends mother's is convinced that her son is smoking regularly!!
Hello acrylicplexiglass - I very much call the shots all week; he has to be in by 7, do all his homework and tidy room before any pocket money. But I did use to say that he was not allowed 2 sleepovers in a row and now that has sort of slipped away.....

AcrylicPlexiglass Sat 11-May-13 19:52:55

Hi again Hilary. Sorry, hope it didn't sound like I was saying you are not currently causing the shots generally. I'm sure you're doing a great job.

But my eyes have recently been opened wide to the significant dangers inherent in allowing some kids this age too long a leash- my just turned 14 year old son is very, very, very lucky not to have a police caution or even a criminal record after being caught grafittiing and smoking weed with a couple of mates. I had no idea. Thought he might have tried cigarettes possibly ( though hoped not!) but otherwise, despite knowing that he is quite silly at times and susceptible to doing things in order to impress his friends, was utterly oblivious to his activities or, crucially, that this kind of thing started so early among his peer group, most of whom are quite well-off and "middle class". This all happened while he was supposedly at a friend's house and again I had, somewhat naively, assumed that the friend's parents were providing some sort of supervision... I could not have been more wrong; they did not even appear to pick up their son when the police called themshock, leaving me and the other boy's mum to bail him out.

It just brought home to me that young people this age will sometimes get up to quite serious mischief if they are out of parental sight for too long. I have become far, far more strict and I would never ever agree to two nights and days out on the trot without being absolutely clear that they were either staying in (with parents keeping some sort of eye) or that if they were going out it was somewhere specific and safe with a reasonable curfew and, importantly, that they weren't just hanging about in the local area. Even then I would not allow it every weekend as I would miss them too much! I am becoming so aware that they will probably be off quite soon- only 4 more years till uni or work will beckon, if they don't end up in young offenders institutions or off their minds on drugs first! I know I cannot do this forever but the longer I can enjoy their company and delay them getting into trouble by giving them too much freedom to possibly experiment in stupid ways that could affect the rest of their lives, the better, imo. Initially my boy kicked against it but over time I think it has become clear that he actually appreciates the boundaries to some extent. Despite the stupidity described above, he hasn't actually reached the "Fuck you, mum and dad, I will do what I want" stage, thankfully.

kaumana Sat 11-May-13 21:24:46

I have to agree with Acrylic. I have recently had a chat with a friend who could have written your post Hilary, her son like yours spends every weekend crashing at some random pals. She thought that this was the norm. Uh, no, the truth being her son's pals parents were getting royally pissed off with having a random teen pitching up and expecting to stay, disrupting plans they had but were put in an awkward position as the teen said he had told his mum he was staying at theirs.

Unless you are reciprocating/ in contact with the other parents, you can be assured that there are parents
wondering why you are letting a 14 year old free reign.

kaumana Sat 11-May-13 22:52:56

...or others not giving a flying toss what their kids are up to while under their "care".

AcrylicPlexiglass Sun 12-May-13 00:04:55

Really agree with kaumana too that having your son round every weekend may be a bit of a pain for the friends' parents! Do you ever check with them that it's ok? My sons have one friend who is kind of free range and rarely seems to spend time at home. He's a lovely kid and I'm fond of him having seen so much of him (!) but I do sometimes have to pack him off home. He is quite well known among my local parent friends with kids his age... I always make him ring his folks to tell them where he is and he looks kind of surprised. They've never rung up to find him and I wonder if he'd quite like them to show a bit more interest. I do think there is a danger that if you don't put your foot down a bit more and insist that your son spends time at home he may wrongly think you don't care. Which would be massively sad and ironic given that you care so much and really want him to be at home more.

hilary2012 Sun 12-May-13 09:27:17

I do always make a point of speaking to the parents where he is staying (MUCH to his embaressment I might add) Until very recently I wouldnt let him stay out until I had spoken to a parent, but realised that I was the only parent doing this and that none of their friends parents ever called when they stayed at ours, so thought eventually I was being over protective, and also my boy kept accusing me of not trusting him....It's hard to judge sometimes (especially when you're a single parent, if you're too much) They frequently say I am too much, too protective, too nosey; not like any of their friends parents!! Their father is not on the scene at all - they havent seen him in 2 years....
Anyway the parents I have spoken to have assured that they don't mind at all; that my boy is well behaved and lovely (!) and no bother............
As for trouble, last year he did get into some , quite a lot actually and things did start going downhill at school. But he really turned things around dramatically, is doing well at school and hasnt been in any trouble at all for the last year. So I do need to show that I trust him and respect him for all that he has done to change things.........mmmm bloody complicated teenage boys ;-) Also he is very much still interested in pleasing me - I am scared to death of that 'fuck you' stage x

AcrylicPlexiglass Sun 12-May-13 10:50:43

But can't you just say "of course I don't trust you, you are 14"? Any 14 year old developing normally will be pushing boundaries for all they're worth, overtly or behind the scenes according to their circumstances and personalities. That will include pulling the wool over their parents' eyes whenever necessary- i.e. whenever their parents will not approve of and forbid something they want to do or find out about and punish something they have already done. As far as I'm concerned trust is the least of my worries- I don't trust any young teenager any more than I would trust a toddler and especially not my own ones! I don't really respect them either, tbh, as in esteem/honour/admire them. I like them, love them and think they are lovely with some great qualities but they are too young and silly to be figures of respect, imo. And who would want it any other way?

samonly Wed 15-May-13 05:19:48

I can only agree with sentiments expressed re parents phoning to check - mine is at the end of the random "crashing at a friend's" phase aged 17 and I wish we had supervised more closely at 15-16- he is deeply regretting the amount of school work that he didn't do for GCSEs which turned out fine, but he didn't learn how to put in 'solid' work hours which is very hard at as level, when you've accustomed yourself to being out Fri/Sat/Sun morn. And what they were up to, very similar, and very detritmental to focus. It seemed to be an age where many other parents were getting divorced (although not us) and teens were quick to exploit slight ambiguity of where they might be expected home - and loss of concentration on the part of parents (least of their worries). One child of divorcing parents practically lived with us every weekend (14-15) and I minded more when mine starting doing the same thing to other people (15-16) but it was very difficult to reinstate boundaries that had already been crossed. It was also a good way for him to hide from real school difficulties and blossoming anxiety issue. It might not just be that they are getting away from their 'boring' houses, but escaping from other things.

hilary2012 Thu 16-May-13 17:06:40

Oddly enough he rang for me to pick him up last saturday to come home! We then had a chat and I said only 1 sleepover per w/e unless something excpetional was going on, and he agreed! Watch this space............ ;-) But I do agree that there is an element of escapism in this, getting away from real issues that bug him ; like his dad not being around, and struggling with homework, and having to grow up soooooo quickly. Mine are doing things at 14 that I either never did or didn't do till much later. Also it's the frequency of things that worries me- at 16 I sometimes went to parties and drank a beer or 2, sometimes smoked a cigarette or 2. But these days I feel that the social culture is so much different - it's not the exception; it's the rule; it's what kids do at 14/15/16 - regularly! :-(

samonly Fri 17-May-13 14:49:28

It sounds like a good move - after all 3 years of this kind of thing I wish I had been nosey earlier. A lady at CAMHS told me that the car is the best place for this kind of chat as they don't have to make eye contact (although you also can't smell their breath or see how shifty they are looking). Oh, and it was also the prime time that they did that online porn thing he tells me now (at sleepovers after playing FIFA got boring). But it sounds like things are a bit better. Good luck!

kaumana Fri 17-May-13 23:59:34

Glad to hear that you will get to spend some time with your DS at the weekends.

This is a hard age to navigate, however, I'm concerned that you assume the negatives as a norm. As a parent of the same age, I can assure you that some will do as you say but the majority will not.

hilary2012 Sat 18-May-13 09:35:57

Well he came home as promised last night, although I did sneakily look at a text he sent to his mate early on in the evening which said "how many Budd's are you getting?" So a bit bitter sweet....yep always to do the talking in the car thing, as if I sit him down and look him in the eye he clams up!! I really feel like a sargeant major, barking out rules and orders, sniffing breath, checking under beds!! When does this end? What happened to my lovely 11 year old ;-)

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