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Teenager staying out all night drinking with friends

(15 Posts)
Alvah Sun 18-Dec-16 11:01:42

It has been a while since I posted here, as things have been much better. When DS turned 14 he rebelled and was out of control for a while - it was hell. We had aggression, holes in walls, drinking, drugs, staying out all weekend, school refusal, trouble with police and clear mental health issues.

For almost a year now things have been so much better. He's not been going out much at weekends, hardly been drinking, staying away from drugs, been very pleasant to be around, focusing on school and we've had no anger outbursts. There have been the odd mishap when out drinking, but mostly no issues.

The improvement clearly came along with having a girlfriend. She was here a lot and he seemed happy with that. However they have broken up recently, and the last two weekends he's been out with his friends again. Also in the weekdays, he's been down at his friends a lot after school. He seems to have missed them. His now ex-girlfriend hates drinking/drugs ams wanted them to stay here instead. This suited me very well, I feel I've had a years respite.

The improvement also came along with me stepping back. When I first discovered he was experimenting with drink/drugs I came down on him guns blazing. I grounded him, stopped his money, spoke to the school, took him the GP, called the police if he refused to come home, searched his room etc. We fought like cat and dog, and neither would back down. It was the worst time of our lives as a family. He was told by family liason officer that unless he started following my house rules he could be taken into care. I was told by social worker that because of his age and temperament, coming up to 15 then, I couldn't control his behaviour only my response to it. He told me to let him go a bit, and so did the police... I employed a different tactic, which was to stop fighting with him, and instead take a supportive stance. I stopped searching his room, and actively supported him and trusted him instead. Letting him know that the choices he made were his own and that I would always love him no matter what, but that if he got in trouble with police etc. it would be out of my hands.

I had been going out looking for him at weekend nights and had the police drag him out of a party. He ran off and the next night vandalised property with another boy. He was charged for this and being in possession of cannabis. I didn't know what to do. I was also extremely mortified, as we not a typical troubled family, but all is otherwise well. Still I was embarrassed to go to the shops. I realised he had to take responsibility for his actions, not me.

Now, coming up to 16, and without his girlfriend, he's been back out drinking with his mates. I am terrified that we are going to relive the nightmare we went through, or that he will become a drinker... Since that time, I've not been able to say to him, 'no, you can't go out with your friends' because he took that power and freedom during his rebellion. He is keen to get his own place, and if he had the money he would move out the day he was 16. I am so struggling with him being out at night at a party, not knowing if there's drugs or if he would take them again.

I see posts from people's teens drinking small amounts of alcohol and involved in sports and other activities, and I feel rotten inside. There are plenty of teens around here much worse than mine, and many were younger than mine was when they started going out partying. And I know it's 'normal' for a 16 year old to go out drinking, but I find it so hard. I don't sleep at all when he is out. It's horrible.

Just needed to get that off my chest as no one I talk to about it makes me feel any better - just worse. Especially my family.

Anyone else struggling with similar issues?

BratFarrarsPony Sun 18-Dec-16 11:07:06

First of all whatever I say is not in judgement. My son also 'went off the rails' quite spectacularly.

what stood out to me is this ..

" When I first discovered he was experimenting with drink/drugs I came down on him guns blazing. I grounded him, stopped his money, spoke to the school, took him the GP, called the police if he refused to come home, searched his room etc. We fought like cat and dog, and neither would back down "

this obviously did not really work. Now he is nearly 16 if you continue like this you will just push him away until he leaves, which he will be quite capable of.

YOu need to try a different approach if you want to keep him at home.

Alvah Sun 18-Dec-16 11:40:48

Thank you for your reply, BratFarrarsPony.

I appreciate your post, and I agree with you. I will lose him if I try and control him again. but it is so difficult standing back and watching it happen, as I feel I should stop him, but I can't. It makes me feel useless and powerless as a parent.

I hope he will learn faster by making mistakes...He got really drunk last night and came home this morning still under the influence, he was sick and has gone to bed. He wasn't going to drink last night because they had had a night out on Friday, but they had a last minute stupid idea late at night, and got someone to buy them drink. I hate it.

He wasn't too impressed though, he said sorry for not coming home, that it was a shit night and feels absolutely rubbish today (which makes me quite pleased). I felt really annoyed with him in the night though, because I'm stuck here worrying about him.

I'm trying so hard to let go, and trust he will be okay, but I'm scared and annoyed.

exWifebeginsat40 Sun 18-Dec-16 12:04:18

is there anything that happened around the time he started acting out? not saying this is anything like your situation, but i properly fucked my
life up from about 14 onwards. home was awful but nobody wanted to connect the dots and so my place in the family as black sheep was cemented.

keep talking, keep telling him you love him. sending strength.

Alvah Sun 18-Dec-16 12:40:18

Thank you exWife.

Things have been a bit tense with him from he was little, especially when I got pregnant with DS2. He would have rages and he's always been a 'rebel'; a bit insecure and very independent.

I think at 14, he realised his own power. He left his dad who he had a difficult relationship with, and at the same time friends were accessing alcohol/weed. Friends were having sleepovers, and less protective parents, so I think he felt 'fuck it, I've had enough of this. I'm going to go out and have fun with my friends'. I'd never had my kids at weekends before, so it was a shock to suddenly have an angry teen at home.

When it was bad, and he'd been drinking he said he me and his dad had totally messed him up, with the arguing and conflicts. We split when he was 5. He refused to go back to his dad at 14, and has stuck to it, after 10 years of weekends there. Dad can be aggressive, controlling and in my opinion emotionally abusive.

Your last words brought tears to my eyes, I must know deep down that this is the best way forward - just loving him, being here and offering a 'safe' haven. He is the sweetest boy, when he feels trusted, loved and respected.

It's just hard to trust he'll be safe when out partying hmm

Thanks for sharing your experience.

BratFarrarsPony Sun 18-Dec-16 12:42:45

" this is the best way forward - just loving him, being here and offering a 'safe' haven "

yes this ... ^ ^

hang in there OP I know it is a terrible worry.

Thingscanonlygetbetter41 Sun 18-Dec-16 16:33:55

No advice as such but going through exactly the same thing flowers with my DD. Is he in school at the moment ?

Thingscanonlygetbetter41 Sun 18-Dec-16 16:35:27

Everyone advises me "ground her" but how the heck do you ground a child who will walk straight out whatever I say/do. All I'm doing at the moment is asking for regular texts of where she is so I know she's safe, I can't stop her.

Alvah Sun 18-Dec-16 16:45:29

BratFarrarsPony - thank you confirming. I needed some confirmation that this is the best approach flowers

Alvah Sun 18-Dec-16 17:04:47

Thingscanonlygetbetter - thank you for your post. It means a lot flowers

I know, there comes a time where the power balance tips over and grounding loses it's power.

He was pretty good at messaging me, letting me know where he was and that he was okay. But last night he didn't and when he finally did, he was really drunk, I could tell from his messages.

He is in school this year, and attendance is good. But last year attendance was down to 50% at one point sad

Is your DD in school?

Sorry you are going through the same. Sending you some comradeship flowers

Thank you

Thingscanonlygetbetter41 Sun 18-Dec-16 18:37:47

My DD is in a specialist school for children's with behavioural difficulties. Yeah dd pushes against power so anything I do sanction wise she just ups the anti, weekends are spent panicking with very little sleep. I posted last week and no one replied ! I try and just keep things as positive as possible but it's such a difficult time, sometimes I'm strong sometimes I feel like running away !

Alvah Sun 18-Dec-16 19:10:23

Thingscanonlygetbetter - I'm sorry no one replied. I would have if I'd seen it!

It is so hard. I also am awake all night when he's out. Adrenaline pumping and feeling sick confused

My DS got so much worse when I fought him, he also upped the anti with every move I made. In the end I let go, and only then did we manage to reach a compromise of some sort.

I hope you manage to hold out, I guess as they mature things improve...? They may need us to believe in them, for them to believe in themselves star

Thingscanonlygetbetter41 Sun 18-Dec-16 19:39:27

Yeah that's the route I'm taking I hate arguing and panicking 24/7 so we reached a compromise that if she was staying out she'd text me address and who she's with. I'm often called between 2-4 to go and pick her up which has a major impact on my weekends but I'm
To scared to say no incase something bad happened.

Thingscanonlygetbetter41 Sun 18-Dec-16 19:41:16

I know that adrenaline feeling, I've actually lost weight one small triumph !

Alvah Sun 18-Dec-16 20:37:05

I can relate to that. I think I am on tenterhooks, fearing something bad will happen, therefore cannot sleep.

No weight loss yet, but last year I lost weight and looked ill sad

Last year I used to pick DS and friends up every weekend, but that was at 11.30 ish of the train. Now they stay in town, so always in walking distance.

Only positive for me is that I don't think he'll go completely haywire again, as he has exams in school coming up, and is suffering badly today. Next weekend is Christmas and he has promised to stay at home with us star

Hang in there! Hope you get some peace at Christmas 🎅

Best wishes!

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