What can I do?(61 Posts)
Ds is 17 next month. He has a girlfriend. He asks to stay over at hers so we set a compromise of one weekend a month, the rest of the time he goes after work until 10pm then he needs to be home. He has had his weekend at hers last weekend. So this weekend gone, he was to be home.
He went to hers on the Saturday afternoon (I said twice that he had to be home at 10pm that evening) it's now Tuesday and he's still not home. He sent me a text at 10.02pm on the Saturday saying he would be home early in the morning (I never replied to this text) He didn't come home.
Today he casually comes home to get something during his lunch break-no apology, no hi mum-nothing.
I have told him I would appreciate it if he was home by 8pm tonight so we can talk.
I still have parental responsibility for him until he is 18, regardless if he is a working young man, I have made him aware of this. I want to give him freedom but within that, respect for his parents and the rules we set.
Now I need advice on what to say to him considering what I have said to him so far seems to go in one ear and out the other and he still does as he pleases, regardless of the worry he is causing me and his dad.
What did you do in between Sunday and Tuesday to track him down? I'd have been frantic if he'd said he'd be home Sunday morning and then gone missing. Did you not have any contact with him at all?
Perhaps he is reaching the age where the emphasis needs to move away from the "rules" to common courtesy?
IMO parental responsibility, in this situation, sounds like something you are just holding over him, and if he feels like you aren't respecting him then he is unlikely to respect you back.
What is the reason for it only being once a month? He is working, is he still at school?
I will add that mine aren't teenagers yet, but my teenage years were miserable and my parents lost me completely at 17.5 when I left and never went home.
He works full time. He used to have courtesy towards us and I'm guessing he thought that one text covered him for being away more than one night. I think I dont see the need to be at this girls place every night and every weekend. He should have 'him' time as well as being with her. Can't be healthy not to be doing 'lads' things as well.
I didn't keep track of him over the Sunday to Tuesday period, no. I assumed he was with her the whole time considering he had already text and asked to stay at hers the Friday to Sunday and I said no. He had an appointment the Saturday afternoon which he seemed to had forgotten about. I said he could go to hers after the appointment and be home for the 10pm. He didn't come back.
I respect him-I don't get it back though. If I did he wouldn't have just 'disappeared' over the 3 days without contacting while he was gone.
I clearly make him miserable so maybe he's better off staying away.
I must add he's on regular medication and didn't take any with him on the Saturday afternoon-he has missed 12 tablets so far. His text said he had left medication there the last time he stayed. Considering he takes enough to cover him for the time he's away, he can't be taking it regularly or the correct dose. Hardly a responsible way to behave.
What were your reasons for not allowing him to spend the bank holiday weekend with his girlfriend?
It sounds like you are imposing arbitrary restrictions on his free time ('him' time??) and he has finally got fed up of it.
Telling you he was going to be home and then not turning up was disrespectful, that certainly needs to be addressed. But it's going to be hard to argue that you were worried about him when you made no attempt to contact him in that time.
I think I dont see the need to be at this girls place every night and every weekend. He should have 'him' time as well as being with her. Can't be healthy not to be doing 'lads' things as well.
That is one of life's lessons that is only learnt through experience and making mistakes. He has to learn that for himself. You trying to stand in the way of this relationship is only pushing him further towards it, as evidenced by his behaviour over the weekend.
If he is working full time, and is holding down that job well, I really think you need to let go of the weekends at his girlfriends at least. He is almost 17. Soon he will be an adult and you won't have PR to hold over him. Now is the time to set the groundwork. Let him make his own choices, but insist that he lets you know where he is and when he will be at home. He won't communicate with you if he feels judged. You say you respect him, and that may be true, but in setting the once a month rule you have put your status as his parent above his relationship, and in HIS eyes that probably says you don't respect him, his choices or his relationship.
As for the medication issue, you need to address that, but only in a concern for him way. That too is something he will have to learn for himself.
Why doesn't he bring the girlfriend to your home a couple of evenings if you want him at home and he wants to see his girlfriend that would kill two birds with one stone.
I asked him to come home after workto chat. Well his dad and i got told we are boring, he threw in his dads face that hes 'only my step dad'& that his two brothers are only his half brothers. He wont bring his girlfriend round, I have said many times she is welcome. He has shut us out completely. He packed a bag and left.
I feel like a rubbish mum and I miss my son.
Oh dear. At nearly 17 and working FT I am afraid I would have been letting him make his own decisions about what he considered "him" time. So what if he doesn't spend much time with "the lads". He is young, in love and probably shagging his brains out and loving it (hopefully the GF is over 16).
I would have focused mainly on the good manners aspect of letting you know where he is, but after that I think you have to acknowledge the time for controlling that is past.
I would apologise and try and build some bridges if I were you.
His girlfriend is the same age as him.
So I'm to let him get on with it. It's so hard.
He also dropped into the conversation that he was helping a mate give up crack. How lovely that my Ds is helping another human being how caring, then my thought was how the hell does my 17 year old help someone with an addiction? He's learning to grow up himself?
Why is having a teen so hard and confusing??
He's almost and adult. He could join the army now or get married. Let him decide for himself what he does with his free time, he isn't a child.
The hardest part of motherhood - letting go. All you can do is be there for him when he needs you. He will be back, but I think it has to be more on his terms than yours really.
Gosh, I would have been really upset at 17 if my parents thought I couldn't manage/organise my own time. I would understand a bit more if he was studying and needed time to revise, but really it's up to him how he spends his free time. He might regret not spending more time with 'the lads' when he's older, he might not but that's a lesson he's got to learn for himself.
It's not so confusing though, he's almost a man. He deserves to decide where and how his down time is spent. It's hard to adjust the balance from adult/child to adult/adult but it's worth it. Maybe focusing on him letting someone know where he is or when he's due back is the way to go rather than imposing curfews.
I have two young babies-I can't have him coming and going at all hours so by compromising and having a 10pm curfew week nights and him staying at his girlfriends two weekends out of four, I thought that was fair?
I wanted the best for my ds, i hate to think of him shacking up in a cramp two bed flat that is already homing 5 people plus him, sleeping on the floor. its his choice to live like that. its not what a mum wants for her son.
I will concentrate on my two little ones and let him get on with it.
Im confused, does his girlfriend live in a cramped 2 bed flat? I think you're overreacting a bit, just because he stays at his girlfriends doesn't mean he's moving in with her full time. And what do you mean you wanted better for him?
The rule when I was that age was that I could stay out if I wanted (although I was doing a levels) but had to make sure my dad knew exactly where I was and exactly when I was going to be back.
Your last post seems very all or nothing OP. Are you now washing your hands off him because he is not towing the line?
I feel very sorry for him actually. Where is your willingness to trust him to make his own choices? Where is your respect for the adult he is becoming? You said that you respect him, but I am afraid it doesn't sound like you do.
I agree with slice, it doesn't have to be all or nothing. A bit more freedom doesn't mean you have to 'concentrate on your little ones and let him get on with it'. It sounds like you think you're going to lose him to a drug den if you allow him to stay at his girlfriends!
What about saying if he's coming home it needs to be by 10 so as not to disrupt the whole house and if he's staying out he needs to let you know by say 8 so you can lock up and get settled?
OP my mother acted like you did when I was a teen. I left at 16 because I knew better
Asking him to let you know if he's not returning home by a certain time is a fair compromise. What about when he turns 18 and is going out drinking, you would still expect him to be home at 10pm? Be serious now, when I was that age (God that makes me sound old) I frequently didn't get home till 2/3am. Wasn't drinking, wasn't smoking or doing drugs just sat outside our workplace talking and having fun.
He's at his GFs house. He's safe, any problems he can contact you. You need to let him grow up.
Its being young and in love...working...not wanting to come home where there are little ones is understanding as he is nearly 17y...Just knowing where he is surely is OK..? Sometimes things happen that we wouldn't wish for our children...but don't risk a bad relationship with him...Accept it, be happy to see him when you do...He is more likely to return...
Unfortunately there isn't much you can do, except expect him to have the common courtesy to let you know where he is if he is living with you.
Its hard for them and you adjusting to them growing up.
So since my last post, I have had a call from his boss. He is doing an apprenticeship. He didn't turn up for work today. I also found out that he has had his probation extended TWICE since September. She stated that he had been turning up late for work, lying about where he has been (as he had told different stories to different people) and not dressing in the uniform provided. He has had many meeting to discuss the issues and nothing is changing. So it seems that yes, being at this girls has had an effect on him.
She lives at home with her mum, 3 sisters and the mums boyfriend stays there also. So its a 5 person flat and my DS would make that 6. It's a small flat for that amount of people so no I am not overreacting at all. I don't know that he's safe-I have to assume he is.
I am not washing my hands with him, I am just pissed off right now and I have gone out of my way (as any decent parent does) to help him progress and make something of his life yet losing his apprenticeship and being a bum is a better life. Of course I want more for him.
When he turns 18 he can have a key and I would ask that he would be kind enough to threw up outside before he comes in drunk and to crawl up the stairs to his room quietly. I was young once so I do know he is growing up and that I need to let him but I also want my two young babies to not be woken by him. hence the curfew.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.