Letting them grow up...
I cannot tell you all what a blessing it is to have found this forum.
Briefly, I am a single mom of a 16-year-old boy. He got his license 9 months ago and has been responsible driving since. He has his own car of which I pay insurance on right now. He does not drink or do drugs.
He sees his father once a year, 1700 miles away, for two months of the summer. This summer son will be 17 and has never been able to stay home and spend time with his friends over summer. Son wants to tell father he is not coming this year and it has been stressful for him deciding this, but he has yet to tell father.
Now, recently son has met girl at school, his age, who constantly texts and calls him 6a.m. & 11p.m. or later- he returns the calls and texts against my wishes late at night. Girl has boyfriend whom she is having trouble with and talks to my son about it. Girl and my son have kissed and "made out" at school at some point- (when, I do not know??). My son really likes girl. He says she is way out of his league and he cannot believe she is interested in him. Girl is cheerleader and pretty. They talk at least 2 hours a day on the phone and text also. She texts him during school and asks him to meet her somewhere. Last night, I overheard him joking about fighting her boyfriend because he is mean to her. My son says when he talks to her she makes him forget about his other problems such as talking to his father.. and he actually likes talking to her.
I have discussed how wrong this is to my son and that she may be using both boys against each other. My son says he just wants her and she says she wants him. He leaves his cell on all night just in case she needs to talk hoping she breaks up with other guy and comes to him. I have tried instituting limits on the phone but he fights me over them. I have read some of the texts and she greets him in the a.m.with good morning handsome. He sends a reply with good morning beautiful.. It really is sweet. She says she does not want to lose him and she likes him. And they talk about kissing and being next to each other. BUT yet, she has this other boyfriend whom she shares a locker with. My son has "sized him up" already. I always try to have him put himself in the other guys "shoes".
My son asks for my advice sometimes. And I am at a loss for what to say.. I tried telling him last night to give her an ultimatum- him or me and he will not do that. He does not want to lose this girl at all costs.
Overall, he is really a good kid except for this and it is tearing us apart. If he followed the rules and I could meet this girl then maybe, just maybe, I would not have a problem with this. BUT, I have a difficult time giving him privacy and hate seeing him grow up and not need me anymore- my issue I know. But, I have been told to let this run its course and let him learn a lesson. Will it... will this ever end. I hate all this texting and calling late into the night. He is 16 1/2.
Once he has had some say in the phone use, he is sticking to it, but it is still not what I would prefer (I want him off at 9 p.m. which is pretty early for today's teens). I am having a hard time letting go of this and I am afraid I am going to make things worse if I cannot stay out of inputting my opinion all the time or getting angry about him being on the cell constantly. Is it me? Am I being unrealistic. What to do.. ??
Allow me to quote the smartest woman I know regarding a similar situation: "Better at 16 than at 26." The female was my wife. The subject was my son. The moral was to allow the teen to sort this out so that he learns life-long lessons that he would not accept as a lecture from a parent, and that he learn them while he is still relatively safe in his parents' home.
You've already stolen my one suggestion (to negotiate some limits with the phone use) so the other, I'm afraid, is to quietly ride this out to its end. And when that end happens, ask your son quietly what he learned from his journey, things that he can use with his relationships at 26.
Dr. Mike Bradley
I concur with the good doctor. Plus you don't want to drive your son away by being to controlling he needs to know that he can confide in you without having to hide from you. All you have to do is be there to listen and he will always come to you with any problem big or small. It's when he isn't talking and telling you things that there is cause for worry. Just relax you have raised him right and you can trust that he will make good choices and learn a lesson from his poorer choices.