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What contact to expect from my teen...(5 Posts)
...who is 17, and has Asperger Syndrome and a history of suicidal ideation and self-harm, and is beginning to stay at their boyfriend's house for the weekend? As in, would you expect (or ask for) a phone call each day to 'check in', or just a good morning/good night text. Or nothing at all!
I don't want to smother or embarrass DS. but he has had mental health issues in the past and we have had be there a lot to support (only sporadic schooling since age 11 due to bullying). Also, DS' past boyfriends have been abusive physically and emotionally and, in one instance sexually and DS has hidden these things from us in the past.
DS is now dating a guy, a couple of year's older, who we have met and like, and he is now regularly staying over at his parents house. However, because of the Asperger's we really can be "out of sight out of mind" and if I didn't message DS I'm sure he wouldn't bother!!!
So, what to expect at this age? Can anyone help with what is 'normal' for an almost 18 year old who is beginning to have their own life and relationships? And how to balance that with natural protectiveness because of the above stuff?
So as not to drip feed DS is now enrolled on a college course which he loves and has a small group of friends who he sees regularly.
I struggle a bit with this too. My DS has also had mental health issues, has chronic health problems and very mild learning difficulties. He is 19 and up until 2 years ago rarely left home but now has a girlfriend, friends and a busy social life. Letting go has been hard at times, I want him to go out and do all the things he missed during his early teens but I also want to know he is ok.
I think a once a day check in is reasonable, by text or facebook. In fact I expect this from my other DS who doesn't have the same issues. Both my kids are fine with this. Generally I am not too strict about needing to know their exact movements but if they are going to be out unusually late or their plans change they would always tell me.
I have learnt to be a bit more relaxed about it over time, you get used to it and you build up trust. Doesn't mean I don't still worry sometimes though!
Mine (a bit older) let me have them on find friends and snapchat so I can see where they are and when last active. They live away and it really is about knowing they're alive!
I think pre 18 it's reasonable to expect knowing where they are and who with at all times. But I wouldn't have let them stay over with a partner or condone them being sexually active at that age.
^^ the 'condoning' bit is giving context to mine being more accepting of contact because of the dynamic, btw, not a random swipe.
I think because of the hystory of sh/ dodgy partners and ideation your need for reassurance is very reasonable and that's the angle I'd take. It's not about trusting him but your understandable need for reassurance.
DD recently turned 16 and in her case nothing at all. She's never been one for keeping in touch and we don't hear if she stays over at a friends house for a few days or a festival she's been to a couple of times. However, we do know who she's with, know she has responsible adults around who would keep on eye out for her like we would and also when she's expected to return.
I can fully understand why I guess you're nervous over your DS staying away. Maybe if he's away for the weekend ask him if he can contact you once just to touch base.