14yr old DS obsessed with first girlfriend - need advice.(22 Posts)
My almost 14yrs DS is a normal, polite, sensitive, bright, boy who has become completely obsessed with 2 girls in his year since January. Since then he has started getting into trouble at school, his attitude has changed, his grades have dropped and all he seems to do is text these girls obsessively. The only silver lining is that it appears to be reciprocated. His Head of Year has written warning me that these girls are seen as a bad influence on him, although couldn't give me any advice as to how to handle it. He is now 'officially' dating one of them and they are constantly texting how much they love each other.
I've started to remove his phone over night as I've stopped trusting him to not text her. he met up with these girls yesterday and apparently spent 6hrs sitting around our little village and the park just chatting. Don't judge me too harshly but I checked his messages for the first time ever and, basically, it appears that they jumped on a train somewhere and my Ds and his
harlot girlfriend spent part of the 6 hours with their tops off groping each other. I obv don't have all facts but this would appear to be the situation.
Question - have I completely invaded his privacy and do I deserve to be shot? Should I own up to what I've done and bollock him for lying and ground him? Should I just be a lot stricter as to his whereabouts in the future? Should I mention the groping in public?
I have no doubt now that this is a very dangerous relationship these 3 have going on - full of teenage angst and drama - and my son sees himself as responsible for these girls' emotional wellbeing....to the detriment of everything else. I have no doubt that he will lie if he has to in order to see her.
How do I manage this situation??? I feel clueless!
I was going to try and be helpful, until you called her a harlot.
I honestly meant it tongue in cheek - she is a nice girl - I'm just worried about how to handle this emotionally with him.
Well, the groping is probably par for the course with teenagers..... so I wouldn't be too harsh on him there... I'd mention that it's distasteful in public and that both of them should have a bit more self respect... but if you shame him then he will assume you are censoring him. Which is a big nono.
If his grades aren't going well due to his socialising then ground him. Take away allowances etc until he gets back in line. How is he affording his phone etc? These are all privileges that he should only get for toeing the line.
If I could work out how to edit my post I would, as I didn't mean to be flippant.....just trying to see the lighter side of it and didn't mean to cause offence, SirBoob.....
I have a similar aged Ds2 and his big brother who is 21. Based on my experience my advice would be to welcome the girls into your home and make every effort to get to know them.
They are all at the mercy of their hormones at this age and are neither rational nor reasonable ( generally). This means the adults need to make even more effort to be calm and understanding. This attitude( again just my view) takes the drama out of the situation and allows a calmer relationship to develop.
Thanks MrsC - should I admit that I looked at his phone....hence I know about the groping...?
I wouldn't admit about seeing the phone, but make it clear that the phone is in fact your property because you pay for it... so if he is doing anything he shouldn't then it's an easy privilege to lose.
Groping wise.... white lie? Say that a friend or a neighbour or something says she saw him? Don't go into detail - he'll probably drop himself in it trying to cover for himself
I'd stay impartial as possible though and just say its normal to want to be in a relationship etc but getting so close in public is distasteful and cheap. (But hey-we've all snogged on a street corner eh?)
I'd also recommend inviting the girl over for dinner. If they're in a relationship then you should be getting to know who he is spending time with etc. She'll either be better than you thought in person, or maybe the thought of meeting you will put her off him and she'll leave him alone?
It's a nightmare...but I remember being a wild teenager and heavy handedness only makes it worse.
The biggest problem I have, tbh, is that I know the lengths I went to at that age to see boys - the lies I told, etc - and I now 'get' all those parents who would condone behaviour my parents wouldn't tolerate with the agreement that it was better to happen under their roof then in fields somewhere.......but at 13/14???? Do I need to worry about his girlfriend or should I just be focusing on my son? I've seen in her text this evening that she's lying to her parents in order to come over tomorrow to see him for 3 hours.....does my responsibility extend to her as well? i.e. should I be sitting them both down for a heart to heart chat?
I wouldn't be letting things happen under your roof, I don't agree with that either at that age. But it's unlikely that they wouldn't be snogging like mad in your house. But that's fine (for me anyway). So doors open at all times etc.
It's probably quite likely that if you get involved (ie: invite her over for pizza or whatever) that she will either reciprocate with her family and your son or she will keep him away from her family. If she keeps him hidden from her family and constantly lies it means that this is just a fling for her and she is not serious about a relationship with your son. Their relationship is likely to end soon in that case.
I wouldn't heart to heart chat them. But if they're in your house I would probably make a double edged comment about "If you two are watching a film upstairs make sure the door is open at all times. I'm too young to be a grandmother."
Just embarrass the hell out of them basically
Once you have met the girl etc I'd probably have a chat with your son, lead in with "Well it was nice to meet Julie, she seems quite nice. She said she wanted to do XX when she leaves school.... what do you think of that?" Get him talking to you about her without realising and you can talk to him about his relationship without sitting him down for an excruciating birds and bees conversation.
At this age it's so easy to think your parents are mutants and don't understand you. If you can be as nonchalant but firm as possible I think that would be a great stance to take that he is unable to argue with as it's very fair and not invasive/prying.
Thanks so much, MrsC and GracePH - finally feel calm enough to sleep. If anyone else has any views, I'm keen to hear all opinions .
I would imagine, based on my hormonal teenage years, that in part the angst filled sneaking around behind parents backs will be part of the attraction as it creates the drama! As others have suggested I would invite her and friends over, have them for dinner, allow them to hang out and have some privacy at yours.. that will keep it where you can keep an eye and normalise it..hopefully then they might lose interest anyway
Dory I have a DD 17, I don't have any experience of sons.
Relationships at the age of 14 tend to be very intense ime. I did what others have suggested, invite the gf over for a casual pizza and salad meal and try and get to know her a little bit. I also agree with insisting the door is left open at this age.
I personally wouldn't have a heart-to-heart with both of them - your responsibility is to your DS. My DD would have been embarrassed and not able to speak to a bf's mother so she wouldn't have been able to contribute to the conversation, and it could have made things worse. I also think that at this age, the kids feel very grown-up as they are 'in a relationship' but deep down, they are still 14yo children. Speaking to them may give the relationship more importance than it deserves.
I wouldn't mention that I have seen the text messages if I were you, but I would remind him that as you pay for the phone that is a privilege that could easily be withdrawn should his schoolwork etc. seriously suffer. Perhaps a general chat about behaving in a respectful manner would be the best way to go.
It is a very difficult balance to strike - on the one hand you want to protect them, but on the other hand you don't want to give them the impression that you think their relationship is so important that you need to discuss it all the time. Ime with DD, these early relationships tend to be very short-lived, so it may all be over quite soon.
Good luck, having teens is hard.
My 15 year old DS is like this, obsessed with 14 year old girl and has been for about 6 months. (I started a thread a couple of weeks ago about him being heartbroken when he caught her snogging another boy at a party). The simple answer is there's nothing you can do to stop him liking her, just be supportive and try to get to know her until it fizzles out. This girl my son likes has now said she and my son should start 'seeing each other' again but not tell anyone! Although he's really unhappy with this he's agreed because to him it's better than nothing. So although I hate the way she upsets him all the time and plays with his emotions, I'm still chatty and pleasant to her when she comes to our house (through gritted teeth) even though I wish he would just forget all about her. As for the groping, I don't see what you'll gain by telling him you know about it. They will be doing this at their age, I know I was. Usually in my parents front room with the door closed because for some reason I wasn't allowed boys in my bedroom but downstairs with the door shut was ok??
scherazadey It is so hard isn't it when your DC are in relationships and the other person sets these conditions like 'seeing each other but not telling anyone' which everyone knows is unacceptable but the DC go along with it, because as you say, it is better than nothing.
DD used to accept these sorts of conditions with bfs when she was younger, but I am pleased to say that now she is older she has become more assertive. I think that only by having the experience of relationships when she was younger is she now able to see these conditions for what they were and now realises that she is able to expect more.
She is at the end of year 12 and many of her friends (boys and girls) are starting out on their first relationships and she has many stories of various things that these boys and girls will put up with in a relationship because 'it is better than being single'.
So, although it is painful at the time, in the long run, your DS will learn from this and be much better equipped to deal with girls when he is a bit older. I know what you mean about being pleasant through gritted teeth though, I have had to do the same myself.
I think town is 'safer' than the countryside tbh... My DS2 is 13 and has his first girlfriend too, and I am working on the principle that the more public the place, the less opportunity there is for them to get up to anything inappropriate!
So far, I am counting myself lucky. For a start, DS2 and his GF talk and talk and talk (and text and do Facetime and FB!), and other than pecks on the cheek there doesn't seem to be anything physical going on at all. Also, his mum and I have introduced ourselves to each other, and are communicating regularly, so we know what's going on. They are spending a lot of their time together also in the company of one parent or the other, doing social 'family' things. And GF's mum and I have agreed that if they go into bedrooms, the doors stay wide open... It feels very reassuring that we have similar expectations and 'rules'... Is there any way you can introduce yourself to the girl's mum too, Dory?
I'm hoping that the gf will agree to pizza over at our house at some point, so that either I can pick her up from home (and meet her folks) or get them to pick up. Part of the issue is that my DS has said that her parents are super strict and so she hasn't told them about him - so she's basically sneaking around behind their backs. Not ideal, but I don't want to judge as she's not my daughter......So pleased you've managed to make contact with your DS's gf's mother, Flow4, that would be a great result for us.
I think you just have to let this one run its course. Maybe get to know the girlfriend?
Rather be batshit crazy at 14 over a girl, than at 21 and act like a child in a relationship. (Says the bitter ex girlfriend of a 24 year old 'man' when I was 22).
she hasn't told them about him - so she's basically sneaking around behind their backs
I don't think she's sneaking around behind anyone's back. Sneaking would be being told not to do something, then doing it in secret. She just doesn't feel comfortable telling her parents yet - at what stage in a relationship are you supposed to let Mum and Dad know?
Every family is different in it's attitude to relationships and I'd be giving her the benefit of doubt. She's not doing anything wrong.
allegraLilac - agree with your sentiments about better to be 14, then 24 and acting like a child! But, when I refer to 'sneaking' - she's lying to her parents about her whereabouts in order to see my DS. To get to our house she has to catch a train into London, then out again - and I know she's been forbidden to do that. I also found out this morning that DS had lied about going to the village on Tuesday - he and the girls had caught a train up to London on their own.
Didn't go as mental as I wanted to, but have confiscated his phone as punishment.
Is this just standard practice for teenagers??? Up til this year my son wouldn't have said boo to a goose, and now he's stroppy with his teachers, lying to us and getting in trouble . This is in no way his gf's fault - but they don't seem to be a good influence on each other.
I think it is standard practice. Sometimes they will 'wander off course'. I'd say its part of a learning/growing up process. He, in no way, sounds like a bad person and he will grow out of this - after he's learned a few lessons about relationships.
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