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How do we help our children?
November 3, 2000
6:19 pm
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MikesMom
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I am here because I am concerned about my 18 year old son. I was previously married to an alcoholic (almost 10 years ago) and have re-married and have two children from my first marriage. My son Mike is 18 years old, off on his own during the week only, in a college in a close city. He recently began a relationship with a 15 year old girl. Since this relationship began, he has been lying to us about where he is, staying over night at her house, not attending class and is risking his college education, since he is not keeping up because he is doing everything he can to be with her. He has been basically a pretty good kid, but he will do and risk anything for this person and is losing touch with his values. I am concerned about his future if he stays in this relationship but don't know how to reach him in a way he can understand. Help!

November 3, 2000
6:40 pm
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Molly
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18 and 15 remind him of the rape laws, call her parents, and cut off financial support. He is legally an adult in some ways and you are limited in what you can controll. Another mom, had almost the same problem on these threads this summer, her daughter gave up her opportunity to go to a University, and totally surrendered to her boyfriends influence. Ain't lust grand. Remind him that he is responsible for his choices, and if you support him in any way you are co-signing his behavior. Most must fall a few times, and feel some real pain before they change the behavior. It is hard. But this is the time for tough love. Be strong, with love. By the way was that guilt I read inbetween the lines, ditch it, own it, but now is not the time to enable bad choices that your grown son is making, based on circumstances that you cannot change.

November 3, 2000
9:02 pm
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christina
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I disagree, that will just make his feel somewhat hatred toward you. You need to let him make his own mistakes, as long as you don't repeat them and as long as you're still living, chances are, you'll learn something from it. Just let him do his thing and eventually he'll decide what's really important to him.
I know that taking advice from a 15 yr old girl seems odd, but i have a 22 year old brother and i've certainly witnessed a lot. And that certainly is one thing i've learned.

November 3, 2000
11:38 pm
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MikesMom
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Thanks for the help, Molly and Christina. Molly, I tend to agree with you. He knows what the rules of our house are, and as long as we support him with school and transportation those rules are to be abided by. I do not trust him, since he's been lying to us constantly. I have told him we love him, the rules we are enforcing are not new, they have been there his entire life. I am still being considerate and talking to him and including him. But I am not tolerating or enabling him to get to her, even though I know he may do that during the week when he is on his own. I did talk to the girl's mother, and she told me she agreed that an 18 year old should not be spending the night at a 15 year old's (quite often with no parents there). But she is not enforcing it. By the way, from what Mike has said, the father (if not both parents) sound like they may be alcoholic and let the daughter do whatever she wants. She does not attend high school and also drives the family car even though at 15 she has no drivers license. It's tough though because I hate to see him miserable...

November 4, 2000
11:56 am
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Molly
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Wow, still similar to the other mom, but gee, what is with the girls parents, obviously drugs or alcohol is an easy out for the apparent complete lack of parenting. Like a wild horse, well obviously the next step will be he eminate preganacy, nothing is 100%, and then we know what is left, perhaps sitting him down and a question and answer of does this look right, and where will it go. Can't believe, but then again I can believe parents put the kids out there and then close their eyes (the girl), then our kids match up while the hormones are raging, and the burst of sudo freedom, and independence. With respect to the 15 year old girls advice, sure he is going to get mad, better mad than getting off track in life. to early to make such big mistakes, but as the maturity sets in so does wisdom, and understanding of the parents behavior. That old saying wait till you have kids is so true, don't ever know ,and no one could tell us, and darn the books were not published until to late. It will all work out that is for sure. Keep praying mom, and hang tough. You know if you get real ascertive, child protective services could be called, lets see I think it is law until 16 to be in school, driving with out a license, and unsupervised premiscous behavior, hmmmmmmmm

November 5, 2000
8:36 pm
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janes
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Trust me...you would rather see him miserable at home than miserable in jail. Botttom line is he has to make hisown decisions and you get to love him anyway. doesn't mean you have to let him run your life tho'.

sure you know better...you have seen more.

Good luck. Just don't accept any guilt on this...if you raised him well those values are still there but he can't be under your thumb forever. He has to spread his wings and they don't always fly off in the direction we moms KNOW is best.

Cut those apron strings and be MEAN tho' it really isn't being mean. It is being real.

Good luck

November 6, 2000
3:03 pm
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MikesMom
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Thanks Janes and Molly...We got through the week-end and now he's off to school again. But I realized this morning that someone had been on the internet over night. I called the internet company and he has been on line with her while we were sleeping. Broke the rules again. Just got home from the bank, took the money we put in his savings account out. We are going to try to talk to the girls parents again and if this fails, it looks like we have no choice but to send him out on his own. God! He will have no transportation because I will not let his keep the truck we got for him under the condition that it is used for school, not to lie and mess around with this girl. How do you just dump your kid on the street with nothing? But I do not want to be lied to and taken advantage of either.

November 6, 2000
10:14 pm
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Molly
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Its so hard, and you need to be acknowledged for your efforts. Tough love is hard, but he will come around. Its so easy to give in just so your not the bad guy, but your the good mom, and I believe that parenting doesn't just turn off because they reach a certain age. No one said it would be easy, and some times the heartache is terrible. It sounds like you are doing all the right things, and swiftly which, should show a return sooner than later. I swear kids, they push and push, and make us respond. They want to know the boundries, and push until defined. I think you are right on with the car, and way to go with the money. He won't be gone for long, he will get it then try again I am sure. Hang tough mom, it is just so hard to believe that there are so many parents out there like the girls. Its almost like they encourage the girls to get knocked up so they become some one elses problem, even if it is social services. Its war to protect our own sometimes. I am sure it will all work out.
God Bless

November 7, 2000
2:00 am
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iab
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go back and read the last September thread titled "boyfriend brainwashed my daughter".It helps.

November 7, 2000
10:27 am
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MikesMom
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I just read the boyfriend brainwashed my daughter thread. It helps a lot. Thanks so much!!
I feel guilty about this and maybe I made a mistake..but last night i got on the MSN messenger and pretended I was my son and talked to his girlfriend. (Pretty deceptive!) But I did find out he did not go directly to school when he left yesterday morning, he went to her house. From what I could sense they were not just saying "hello" either! He called later last night to tell me he had found a part time job. I told him that was good. But he could feel my disconnected "ness" and asked if there was something wrong. I told him I was tired (which was true) and that I needed to go to bed. I did not "dig" nor want to get into it again. This really stinks, it seems to go against all maternal instint to send your child (even though he says he wants to do it on his own, but with the benefits we have provided of course!) With two jobs, a school schedule, etc. I wonder how he thinks he will accomplish this with no transportation? Also, from talking to the girl, she has quite a mouth!, and maybe its a game, but I don't find calling each other names is exactly a healthy relationship or fun! My husband does not think I did anything wrong, he says I got to the source, and perhaps they will feel some of the pain, too. Its strange that she did not figure it out, she thought he was acting "strange" but still was pretty sure I was him. I do not intend on doing this again, as I feel pretty bad about it. But I did find out that he did not use his vehicle for what it was intended when we let him have it yesterday (only to get to school, not to see her first!) We tried to talk to the parents last night, but they were not around, and of course the girlfriend noticed we called, thanks to caller ID. Why is motherhood such a guilt trip. If I do nothing, I feel guilty because I know he is walking all over us and that is unhealthy. But standing strong and taking things away from him causes guilt, because I hate to see him fall on his face too. My mom says that he will come back eventually, he'll see the light. I certainly hope so.

November 8, 2000
1:08 pm
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MikesMom
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Hello out there...I was hoping to get some response. I can feel my old co-dependent traits creeping in. I am fighting the feelings that it's OK for my son to lie to me, to let his parents wonder where he is. I am thinking I should just let him do this and forget about it. But the "smarter" part of me knows that he is taking advantage of us, lying is never right, and not caring about the concern others have for you is not mature. We should not allow him to take our money and not do with it as we had arranged. This is tough. Due to fear of losing him I want to give in. Denial is easy for me to sink into. I want to look at him as I thought he was, but I know that is not right. I want to pretend he is not a liar, that he would not mean to hurt us, (and himself!), but that would not be reality. I've been there before, help! He is not showing respect to the girlfriend by this behavior. He is not respecting us by allowing us to pay for school, insurance and a vehicle and then not even attending class or using the vehicle to be running around with her. I am buying into his guilt trip that we are not letting him go. But he wants us to let him go and still give him the financial benefits he wants. I hate feeling screwed up and I hate feeling used. Thank God I have a wonderful husband who is supportive and understanding. I hate the effect this has on my daughter (16) who has been close to her brother and he is pulling away from her, partly because I have told him I do not want her a part of this mess. As you can tell, I am not doing well today. Any help is welcome. Thanks.

November 8, 2000
6:00 pm
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Molly
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I think you are doing great. You are being honest and open about the feelings that you have. We are mom's, we didn't want to let them go to kindergarten either for fear of the other children, or abusive teachers, or crossing the street, we protect and nurture, we didn't like the screaming when they got the shots, but did it out of fear of the worst case scenario, we didn't want them to date for fear of rejection, we made them study because we did not want them to fail. But now they have the wings to fly from the nest, and we must allow them to fly. If they paid attention they catch the wind, if they didn't they bump into trees, or crash and get up again, we are there to provide coaching, but it is his game now.
I read my daughters diary's regularly when she was at home, and all most died when I had the opportunity to read them one day in her third year of college. She was no angel, but I dropped my hints, and she is doing great. don't forget that mother time line when they were 4 we were God like, at 13 we started to get stupid, at 16 they knew we were senile, at 18 we should be in an institution, at 25 maybe mom knows, at 30 where is mom she would have the answer, at 50 I wish mom was here. don't give up he will come around, but you must not let him walk all over you, you must correct him when he is wrong, and not cosign poor choices. You can confront him on his behavior with this girl, and let him know what you see, and what his consequences of continued behavior and poor choices will lead him to for example transportation issues, financial issues, if he is walking and broke, not much time for looser chicks, does he and your husband talk, maybe a man to man is in order.????? I know LA county has some great photos of STD'S that would prevent the most hormonal of young studs to keep the johnson put away, and then maybe a horror story of his income garnished by the DA for the next 18 years, for the welfare reciepents, father to repay???? No drivers license for unpaid child support, then all the moral issues. Hit him hard, with love of course, and be indifferent, its your life, not the time to go soft, how could you do this to me, I did that and regret it , but they caught me off guard, when I took the stand that I was a great mom, they couldn't argue, and loosened up. Keep the faith, go exercise, shop, get a pedicure.

November 11, 2000
5:17 pm
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MikesMom
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Thanks so much for your help and support Molly. It's the week-end again and Mike's home. So far, so good. We had a family night last night, all of us stayed home and played Monopoly. He knows he can't go anywhere with his truck, so he hasn't even asked or tried. He's staying busy with homework, laundry and work. I know he talked to the girlfriend on the phone. She called while we were all at the table. My parents talked to him the other day and I think it had some impact to hear from someone other than us. I still don't know where this will go, but am taking it "one day at a time". At least he is doing his homework and focusing on that. I will keep praying!

December 18, 2000
1:34 pm
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MikesMom
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Trouble again. I guess things were not as good as I thought. We found Mike again Friday morning at his 15 year old girlfriends when he was supposed to have been at work three hours before. We took his truck from him, he told us he wanted to be on his own, that he was not happy. I suspect that he is flunking out of school due to the fact that he is obsessed with the girl. If he's not in town with her, on the phone with her, he's on the internet with her. We have not heard from or seen him for almost 4 days now. All of this clothing, glasses, jacket, wallet, everything - he left it all in his truck. Why didn't he take them out before we took his truck. I have no idea if he's going back to school, his apartment, or just living with her and her parents. What parents she has to let an 18 year old boyfriend stay with them! I know they're sleeping together because I found condoms in this truck. What a mess! I guess it's his problem, but how does he go outside with no jacket or gloves when its way below zero here? I know I should let go, but I am so concerned for him. He is running away from his whole life to be with her. I have tried to call to tell him to pick up this things, but the line is busy or they won't answer the phone. I know it is a crime that he is sleeping with a 15 year old and that her parents are neglecting her allowing this, but what can I do? He can did his own hole, but I don't want to dig it for him. HELP!

December 18, 2000
10:01 pm
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suzieszoo
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I just found this list the other day and asked for help "co-dependency".
Then I read your posts this evening and felt like I had to respond.

I feel for you. It's so difficult to have to make these tough love decisions and stick to them. You are doing the right thing, I believe. Take it from another mom of a son who is going off in another direction.

Mike sounds like he is totally infatuated with this immature little girl. The "she has quite a mouth" line makes me think she is a little girl playing big girl games. If her parents are so irresponsible, and she doesn't go to school, doesn't it seem like her next step would be to play mommy and wife? I hope not, for your sake, and Mike's. Thank God for condoms, pray to God she doesn't discourage him from using them.

Stay strong Mom, I know how difficult it is. I wish I had advice to offer you, as it is, I only have comraderie to offer. I do think you're on the right track by not helping him out with finances or the truck. But she probably has his head so turned around, it's going to take alot to turn it back.

December 19, 2000
6:36 pm
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Molly
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Well maybe you could be a real brat, and call dept. of social services and let them explain how come the under age child is... with an "adult male". Playing house is the obvious next thing for the both of them, with the arrogant reactions. Hang tough he will come around. Just like my girls, I think they all have their different ways of forcing us to rise to the occasion, remind me that you are the parent, they push and push, just like when they were 2. Its hard, and it hurts, but you are doing the right thing. It was so hard for me today, but I had to tell a mother on the phone , with her 31 year old son sitting across from me that no it is not just a problem with vicoden, and alcohol, that he is main lining large quantities of heroin, and that he is playing her for a fool. After I handed the phone back to him, he immediately tried to manipulate her, give me the money for the program right now, or I will go get what I need. I said give me the phone right now, and he did, I said it is ok to tell him to go do what he needs to do, and you will do what you can when you can. It was hard, but she got it, he is a couch potatoe, never held a job, never finished school, kicked out of the military, and works her guilt, but I think things will be different for her today, and hopefully tommorow. But that is the picture for the moms that don't draw the line, and believe me that there are more moms driving their adult sons to the clinic, than you can imagine. It is so sad, so hang tough.

December 21, 2000
11:27 am
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MikesMom
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Molly & Suzieszoo, thanks so much! I did call social services the other day. They told me that unless the 15 year old presses charges, there is nothing they can do. He suggested calling law enforcement, but I haven't done that. I got in touch with Mike the other night and Monday I drove him to the town he's been going to school in, he dropped out, gave his 30 day notice on his apartment, quit his job there. I had him pack up everything he could fit in the car and clean up the mess his apartment was while I just watched. There were condoms all over the place and things of hers there, so obviously she had been there with him. Can you believe he still denies having sex with her after that and says someone must have broken in the place and had sex and left them laying around? How disgusting. He's back at the girlfriends now, I don't know how he is getting around. I talked to the girl's mom yesterday. It sounds as if she has given up, too bad when they're the ones with the legal power, but apparently they think he keeps her in line and they think he is good for her. I told her that I don't approve of the situation, that they should get her on birth control at least. That he needs to get a place of his own and find out what it's truly like to be independent and on his own financially.
He says he will spend Christmas Eve with us. But he knows our rules, we'll see what the next few weeks bring, when he finds out the cost of living on a minimum wage income, and no transportation in freezing weather. This is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I also know I could not stand him living here walking all over us and just using us for food and shelter.

December 21, 2000
4:13 pm
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suzieszoo
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Know that there is at least one other mother out here in this big world who really does understand your plight.

"this is the hardest thing I've ever done" says it all. But I must admit I admire your ability to stick to your convictions. You are absolutely doing the best thing possible. Letting him stand (or fall) on his own. I applaud you Mom.

I hope this is just a sexual infatuation and when it's over, it's over with no lasting effects. And I think it will eventually be over. He sounds like he had 2 well-planted feet before this gal came into his life and that's a very good base on which to build. Hopefully this is just a diversion. He definitely doesn't want to confront you on the sex aspect. He can do it, but he just cant fess up to you about it. So, it still matters to him what you think of him.

I hope you will let us know how things work out with his choices.
Good luck, hang in there.

December 21, 2000
8:04 pm
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Molly
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I feel for you, and support you in your actions, right on. It will be hard, with the first, mom, I need, but love your husband, who appears to be supporting you, that doesn't always happen, and you can just imagine. The mother and son duo I spoke of yesterday, well, I got a call today from the police department, apparently mom, heard me, she caught him shooting up at the house and called the police on him, thank God, he was so desperately acting out. So we all have our problems, we get confused with the mom guilt thing, we try and try, and it is hard, but you are doing the right thing, sorry the girls mom is so passive, let them deal with the mess that they have created, you have done all that you can, and must let it go. I am sorry.

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