mom in distress
My 17 year old son has changed. For the last three months he been disappearing on the weekends and weekdays. He does not tell us where he had been. when I ask he says he was at a friend's house. Neither he tells the address nor the phone number. At home he talkes over the phone to some girl for long time.
According to him he is 17teen years old and old enough to do what ever he wants to do. He thinks that as parents we have supressed him for long and now he is not going to take it anymore. In the past he has defied our religious values which had made my husband very angry.
please help me and give me some advise. I am too much worried. My son is intelligent and has done well at school. He has taken all the high level classes. I do not understand his behavior.
I truly feel for you. He's looking for his independence big time here. I went through similar with my son, who will be 18 in the fall. He feels when he turns 18 he will be able to do whatever he wants. I've tried to explain to him that if he lives at home he has to abide by my rules. Most of this arguement was discussed while he was under the influence of months of drug use. He's currently finishing 120 days in rehab and I hope his clear mind will be able to see things differently.
Maybe you should have a sit down as a family alone or with a counselor. Express to him how worried you are about him and how much you love him and your frustration at his actions are all out of your caring for him. Openly ask him if he's taking drugs or tell him you will be giving him random drug testing if he doesn't want to be open with you. Again, all because you are concerned for his well-being. If he still lives in your home he should be accountable to you for where he is and who he's with. If there's a girl involved ask him about her, perhaps invite her to dinner so you can meet. You may have to take away privileges or something else important to him to regain control; and try to remain consistent. This is very hard for me as a single parent to do. You son is coming into his own and most likely will not stick to your personal views, beliefs, and values even if he may have done so in the past. I wish you the best and am sure Doc Mike will have some good advice for you.
From your letter I'm guessing that your family is caught in a cross-cultural bind, with conflicts between your own culture and that of your son who might be more "Americanized". These are very complex and difficult situations which need to be sorted out by your family with help of a counselor. Please consider getting some help quickly. If you can't resolve this peacefully, your son runs the risk of completely rejecting his parents' heritage, a thing which would cause him to lose very valuable aspects of himself. But both he and you must be willing to compromise, to find a middle ground where he can find his own identity, hopefully within the framework of his ethnic background.
Dr. Mike Bradley