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Teenage son is headed down the wrong path
An_254490 posted:
I am the single mother of two young men. I have a 12 year old and a 15 year old. They are both very smart and mean the world to me. In the last 6 months I have noticed small changes to big changes in my 15 year old. Over the summer I didn't really think there was a problem but by August he started behaving bad and I could tell something was going on. He was caught lying to me when I picked him up from the mall after the police called me about underage smoking. I then found out he didnt stay at his buddies house the night before but a girls house. That was not ok by me. He also pierced his ears with his friends and it was pretty bloody. I know that piercing his ears without permission isn't the worst thing, but then I found out he had smoked weed. I had no idea at the time that he was drinking alcohol too. I have taken his phone and grounded him, but it has not helped and he even ran away one night. I have started making calls and I am looking to get him into counseling as well as myself so that we can stop this path of distruction. Last year he was a football player with great grades and this year he doesn't want to do anything. He won't talk to me. He just wants me to let him do what he wants. Of course that's his response. I know that I'm looking for counseling now, but I feel like I have failed him somewhere for him taking this turn for the worse. We live a simple life. We have one income for the 3 of us and I try to do as much as I can with my kids. There has never been an abusive stepdad in the picture and I have not brought anyone home. My focus has been on my kids and their well being. My son says I have been too strict. I did have an 8pm curfew for him, but I allowed him to spend the weekend at his friends, go to mall, events and birthday parties. I ask him to check in with me over the weekend and he does, but he's not always telling me the truth as I have found out. I just need some advice. Am I too strict? Did my rules make my son rebel?

Thanks for all advice,
Stressed Out Mom
sluggo45692 responded:
No your not to strict. No your rules didn't make your son rebel. They are there to try to make sure he is safe. Look at who he hangs with and what their family is like.

I have 2 children. A 24 year old and a 16 year old. I was still married to my ex when my oldest (girl) was 15. The ex harped that I was only the girls step-dad. I married my ex when the girl was 1.5 years old. I was the only dad she knew. She was a good girl until about 14. I was working 16 hrs plus and her mother let her run. She went through the drugs and boys and partying. I separated with my ex when she was 18. My ex threw her out before she could finish school. I could only do so much with her. I consider her lucky. No kids, no jail, and infections. I lost a lot of sleep and still love her.

My son is now 16. He's now stretching the boundries. The difference is I can talk to him. He has a cerfew, he has to let me know where he's at and who he's with. We have discussed what to do if stupid stuff is going on. I only work 8 hours a day. He knows about girls and sex. He's been in trouble with stupid stuff, being late, not beinging where he's suppost to be. He knows what life would be like if he screws up.

Have him sit down with an adult friend, teacher, or pastor. Try to find out what's going on in his head. Your not failing him if your trying to help him. If gangs are a problem in your area, get him to a intervention of some kind. Your church, school, or law enforcement should have something to help you. It's better to stop the problems while they are small.

Have patients and understanding for him. He's 15 and he's changing from mommy's little boy to a young man. It's hard for both of you. Good Luck
An_254490 replied to sluggo45692's response:
Thank you sluggo45692. I really appreciate your response. It's so hard to raise two boys on my own. As they get older they get harder. Without their father or a father figure in the picture to help it makes it hard for me to enforce the rules. They are both taller than me and think I'm joking when I tell them they can't do something. They are two very smart kids and behave well most of the time, but when they want to do something it's a different story. The joys of raising kids! I just have to stay strong and continue to show my boys the right way and hope they see it too.

Also, since I wrote my post we talked to a counselor and that helped so much! My son was able to talk without me and without family putting their thoughts in and that made him feel better. I knew he needed to talk to someone that wasn't part of our life. It helped me a lot too!

I wish you the best with your children as well. It's crazy that your ex would even say you're just a step-dad. Not cool. You became her father when she was a baby and deserve to be called dad and have the input just like any dad. Her and your son are lucky to have a dad that cares.

Thank you again!
mariajohnson responded:
You are not too strict. But you have to handle your son with love and care. Talk to him and try spending more time with him. This is his age to hangout with friends and all but smoking at this age is not accepted. Make him involve in some activities and you too play some sport with him. You 3 can also hangout very often.

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