Author Topic: The Trouble with Teens....  (Read 3082 times)

infromsea

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The Trouble with Teens....
« on: January 18, 2018, 04:25:15 PM »
So...

One of my motivators for pursuing RE was so I could simply be home more. After 24 years in the military and a tough run for the last six years or so, I was drained.

I was really looking forward to being home for the last few years of my second child's high school journey/time at home. I was gone for 80% of the oldest kids last years at home.

BUT...

What I neglected to remember was how I was at 17, how (I think) MOST 17 year old kids are... They want little/if anything to do with parents.... She's doing the normal thing, going her own way and getting some space between her and Mom and I, it's caused some friction.

I've tried to engage her in things she wants to do, taken her out for "Date lunch" and am hoping the spring/summer brings more time together but for now.... frustrating.

Just sharing in case anyone else is in a similar situation.

Tim

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 05:04:39 PM »
When I went off to college, my Mom's comment was, "You're leaving just as you're getting to be a nice person to live with again."

evaporator

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 06:00:03 PM »
I don't have teens yet, but this might help,
http://www.thirdwayman.com/articles/when-fatherhood-is-hell/
Great article about being a parent.

Pigeon

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 07:16:06 PM »
I've got a 17 year old and 20 year old daughters.  I'm not retired but I can relate.  Teenagers are busy.  My older kid was in every activity under the sun in high school and she thrives on being busy constantly.  My younger daughter likes a bit more down time, and she does like to spend time with me when she gets a chance.  We are kindred spirits.  But between school, her extra curricular activities and her friends, I'd be very frustrated if I was hanging around waiting for her. 

I always scratch my head when I hear people (usually women in my family) talk about how they don't want to go back to work so they can "be there" when their kids are teenagers.

katscratch

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 07:34:49 PM »
I think "being there" for teens is a very different need than when they're younger.

For instance, my son had a job and started doing more with friends on his own, totally normal pulling away. But I had a small couch in my room and left my door open, and found that he would come into my bedroom at night under the pretense of getting the dog and would just talk.

Not all teens are like that, but some are. I see a lot of my coworkers already struggling with trying to fit their kids into their ideal family mold, instead of observing who their kids are and trying to identify how best to show them the world. That's a bit of a tangent, though.

I'm not FIRE but I work a lot and was in school when my son was in elementary school, so effectively was around more while my son was in middle/high school. It's not so much that we did a lot together as a routine one he was 16/17, but that I was emotionally present for those impromptu moments where he did want to hang out and get real.


One of the things I've regretted most about my son's sophomore and junior years of high school is that I was dating someone an hour's drive away and after that relationship didn't pan out I felt incredibly guilty and frustrated at missing all that time I could've been at home, when by his senior year my son was busy all the time. My son pointed out this year however that I was usually only gone when he already had plans with friends or was working, and that I was always available when he needed something, even driving back to give him a ride when his tubeless bike tire kept failing on a ride. He's even talked to his friends in front of me how great our relationship is and how they all know they can call me any time for anything. That is all to say: my perception of his high school years is very different than his. And I'm grateful.

I definitely understand your frustration with this, but I think it's one of those life stages that will circle back around once they're older.

I did something similar to you where we had brunch out a couple of times a month, even if he was reading articles about cars on his phone most of the time. Now that he's in college that's become a really nice tradition, and we end up talking non-stop the whole time.

On the flip side: I remember my parents trying to do things that I was interested in when I was a teen and it was really annoying because I wanted to do those things with my friends! I was super bummed the first time my kiddo wanted to go to a concert of a band we both loved with his girlfriend instead of me, but, duh. Of course he'd rather go with his girlfriend ;)

I have a LOT more empathy for my poor mom now, though. She tried really really hard and I was such a jerk about it in high school.
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steveo

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 08:29:33 PM »
I'm not FIRE'd yet but I have teenagers and it's a disaster. My 16 yo daughter has a boyfriend who is the loser from hell. He has no job and isn't going to school. He is 17. He had an apprenticeship but decided he didn't like work so he quit. I caught him in bed with her (asleep not having sex) and kicked him out of the home for a long period of time. My daughter has rebelled over the course of the last year including not coming home and running away for 2 weeks. She is also reasonably intelligent and if she studies can get a good grade in her final exams and go to university and get a good job however at this point I have no idea if she will do any study at all. To be fair I think she is close to not going out with the loser and her behaviour has improved recently but that is only since the start of this year.

My 14 yo son suffers from depression and gets drunk and loose when he goes out at times with his idiot friends. He has been taken to hospital and a youth mental illness hospital because he overdosed on antidepressants. He is a mess. He is also smart and does no work and does well at school. He could get a good job but he will have to change a lot to just hold down a job.

I also have a 7 yo who is fine at this point but geez I don't want another difficult teen. The other two were the easiest and best kids ever as well. They are just struggling growing up.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 11:06:19 PM by steveo »

infromsea

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 05:58:56 AM »
When I went off to college, my Mom's comment was, "You're leaving just as you're getting to be a nice person to live with again."

That's awesome that she admitted it to you. I have started an "adult" relationship with my 23 year old and let me tell you, it's soooooo much nicer than our DAD and 16 year old emotional teen girl relationship from five years back.

I think "being there" for teens is a very different need than when they're younger.

I have a LOT more empathy for my poor mom now, though. She tried really really hard and I was such a jerk about it in high school.

Lots of good points. I will say that I agree, "being there" for teens really involves being willing to do what THEY want to do when THEY want to do it and if your schedule doesn't align with their whims, too bad. I admit, I was exactly the same way at 17... I'll also admit, I'm a cheap/stern/homebody who probably ISN'T much fun to be around 90% of the time BUT I am making an effort to be pleasant and offer suggestions like "hey, let's play a quick round of a board game or what have you".... I'm also quick to show up when a tire goes flat and she needs a hand (she still has to change the tire... I just teach and supervise). I'll keep putting in the effort because I know it makes a difference, even if it's not immediately seen.

To your second point, I also agree, becoming an adult, and then a parent made me realize what a complete shit I was at 18, but, then again, when I hit 30 I realized I was still at dumb ass at 25, then I hit 35 and realized I didn't know shit at 30, I hit 40 and yep, came to terms with the fact that I'm probably never gonna get this game figured out and I almost always look back and think "damn, I was a real mess back then (last year....)".....

We are kindred spirits.
I always scratch my head when I hear people (usually women in my family) talk about how they don't want to go back to work so they can "be there" when their kids are teenagers.

I think the kindred spirits thing may be the biggest issue. Me and kiddo are night and day. She's into material things (aren't all teens?) and watching TV, playing with her iphone (that she bought, she knows I'd never do that) and I'm a very active person who enjoys working outside, with my hands, and reading for down-time... She and her mother are the kindred spirits in this house, maybe I'm jealous?

I agree that "being there" for a teen may not be the smartest goal to have. My purpose wasn't to raise her, just to be around to watch the process and offer support/advice/lessons learned when I can. I try to wait for "teaching moments" and provide value when I can rather than be "all knowing dad" all the time... I admit I've still got a lot to learn but damn, I wish they'd listen to us a little more and make their path a little less bumpy....

I also have a 7 yo who is fine at this point but geez I don't want another difficult teen. The other two were the easiest and best kids ever as well. They are just struggling growing up.

Damn steveo, just damn.... that really puts my bitching into perspective doesn't it (not saying you are bitching, that I was with my OP).

When we were raising our oldest, she was HELL from 13-17, we were attending family counseling at one point and the counselor asked "Is she doing drugs? Is she engaged in unprotected sex? Is she drinking?" and those type of questions, the answer to which was no/no/no... he looked at us and asked, what's the problem then?

I feel for you and the challenges you are facing, it's not easy. I will say each kid is so different it's mind blowing some times. The oldest was a real PITA, the youngest waited until 11th grade to become a challenge but, even then, she's a minor irritant compared to the drama of her big sister.

Hang in there! I'd say it gets better BUT, I don't know that I'll ever stop worrying about my kids or hoping they have an easier life. I guess that's the role of a parent.

Miss Piggy

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2018, 07:31:51 AM »
I honestly don't know how/why my parents didn't kill me when I was a teenager. Any jury would have taken their side. Ugh.

Thankfully I outgrew the horribleness and we have a great relationship now.

acroy

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 08:18:14 AM »
Haha, thanks for sharing.

My grandparents had 13 kids and are now over 100 descendants. Granddad says teenagers 'leave the human race' for a while, but usually return. My oldest is fixin to turn 12 and we are waiting for the fun to start. We plan to stay cool, stay the course, be available and be a rock. It's up to them if they 'like' it or not. Our job is to be their parent: leader, good example, - not their friend. sounds good in theroy. we'll see how it works out!

good luck!
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Pigeon

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 11:29:53 AM »
I'm bragging a bit here, but my kids are really not much into material things.  My older daughter has to be dragged to the mall to get new shoes when hers are falling to pieces and she has to go to a family wedding.  My tightwad younger was totally excited when she found a great prom dress for $19.  They do use their smartphones, but are very happy to have non-flagship devices purchased second hand.  I like shopping much more than they do.

Re the poor choices in boy/girl friends, if my mother taught me anything about parenting teens, it was to never show disapproval of anyone we dated.  That automatically made the loser that much more attractive.  I could have brought home Charlie Manson and she would have said with a neutral face, "He's seems very nice, dear," and I'd be 1000 times more likely to dump him than if she'd told me he was a creep.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 01:14:40 PM »
The teenagers are awful thing is, well, kinda natural. They arenít awful at all (well, some act in awful ways), but there 3 things happening at once: 1. They are trying to work themselves out as people and they have to mess up to learn; 2. Their brains are still developing (doesnít end until early 20s), so they are still quite reckless with their lives; 3. Parents and teens need the conflict to make the eventual separation better to deal with for both.

So, OP, donít take it personal that your teen is doing their own thing and donít think youíve made some mistake. Choose your moments. Your teen will notice that youíre around more. Try having a weekly dinner as a family, plan some family vacations or things to do together. You donít need to do a lot of them. Give people notice, get them involved in where to go and what to do.  Is the teen has events, attend them and show up. You donít have to micromanage or control. Also, when you have moments alone, donít be afraid to share what your teen life was like, donít need to over share or bum the kid out but share that at times you struggled and what helped. Be human, but still a parent. Lots of parents think, my kid doesnít need me anymore. Itís generally just the opposite and some kids test parents to see if they love them enough to engage with them, because a lot of what they go through as teens makes them think they arenít worthy of love. Tell your kids that you love them, proud of their good choices, that you support them and you know theyíll make good and bad decisions but youíll always love them. Stay involved, engaged, interested and share.

katscratch

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 01:34:24 PM »
I've mentioned this elsewhere but National Geographic had a really good article on teenagers' brains around the time my son was 16 or 17. They literally perceive things we say differently than they used to and differently than we are saying them. It's pretty interesting.
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CheapskateWife

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2018, 01:52:57 PM »
To the OP, I think its wonderful you are asking the question, and yes, everything you are experiencing is completely normal.  Keep up the offers for lunch dates.  My very busy 18yr old usually doesn't have much to say over family dinner, or want to hang with us and play boardgames; but if I invite him out for tacos during his lunch break, can't shut him up.  Its the best. 



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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 03:00:35 PM »
We realised that having one of us be a SAHP was even more valuable when the children were teenagers than it had been when they were small children. The youngest is just coming up to 20. Two of them seriously put us through the wringer in their teens and have grown up to be fantastic young adults. The youngest watched her older siblings turning into monsters and said, "I promise I'll never be like that," but when the time came she couldn't help herself.

Having had the heel of the parental boot pressed firmly on my head in my own teenage years, I took the less stressful approach of giving my children plenty of freedom to be assholes and not sweating the small stuff. I'll never know whether they might have become more accomplished academically and socially if I'd been in their faces about schoolwork and extracurricular activities all the time, but I'm happy with my decision.



steveo

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2018, 03:17:43 PM »
Re the poor choices in boy/girl friends, if my mother taught me anything about parenting teens, it was to never show disapproval of anyone we dated.  That automatically made the loser that much more attractive.  I could have brought home Charlie Manson and she would have said with a neutral face, "He's seems very nice, dear," and I'd be 1000 times more likely to dump him than if she'd told me he was a creep.

I tried this and it doesn't work. I'm now into telling the offending kids to their faces what I think about them. If Charles Manson came home I'd tell him he is a POS and he wasn't allowed near my kids or my home.

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2018, 03:31:03 PM »
I have two teenagers that just left home 1 in fall 18 and one 17 that left two weeks ago both for college and sports (one graduated early).  And then I have an almost 14 year old and an almost 13 year old at home.  Everyone of them is so different and have there strengths and weaknesses. Each one would bug me in different ways and or be fun to be around. My oldest love to rile up the youngest ones every night but he was home as little as possible the start of his senior year. My daughter was always working or in her room studying but was always worried about friends. They my 13 year old is the most involved in school and helpful so always accused of being our favorite and the youngest , were just exhausted! haha.  High School seemed to be nothing but a non stop worry about making the right decisions and it really is about the friends they make and hang out with. Fortunately my son had great friends. My daughter not so much. The older ones dated and stuff but was never really a deal as all my kids there sports came first. But they sure thought they were smarter than mom and dad and now that their gone I hear from them all the time and they ask me my opinion on things. There more fun to be around and and about a week and good to see them go. Raising teenagers is one of the hardest things to do and the most important thing I believe is let them no you love them but give them their space or they will just push you away. Dont be a helicopter parents, there are plenty of ways of keeping tabs on them without them ever knowing.
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StockBeard

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #16 on: February 08, 2018, 01:10:28 AM »
I caught him in bed with her (asleep not having sex) and kicked him out of the home for a long period of time.
As someone who used to date when I was 17, I'm not sure I understand your reaction here. My girlfriend's parents and my parents perfectly understood that 16/17 year olds have sex. Granted, I was not the loser that you describe as your daughter's boyfriend, but still.

steveo

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2018, 04:07:25 AM »
I caught him in bed with her (asleep not having sex) and kicked him out of the home for a long period of time.
As someone who used to date when I was 17, I'm not sure I understand your reaction here. My girlfriend's parents and my parents perfectly understood that 16/17 year olds have sex. Granted, I was not the loser that you describe as your daughter's boyfriend, but still.

So you think I should let them sleep in her room at 16 ? Personally I think that is crazy stuff but if it works for you go for it. It's not happening in my house.

StockBeard

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2018, 04:09:21 AM »
Same here, whatever works for you. Your house, your rules. They'll just find another place.

steveo

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2018, 01:43:12 PM »
Same here, whatever works for you. Your house, your rules. They'll just find another place.

Maybe. I don't care. I just don't want to encourage it in my house.

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #20 on: February 08, 2018, 01:46:55 PM »
I caught him in bed with her (asleep not having sex) and kicked him out of the home for a long period of time.
As someone who used to date when I was 17, I'm not sure I understand your reaction here. My girlfriend's parents and my parents perfectly understood that 16/17 year olds have sex. Granted, I was not the loser that you describe as your daughter's boyfriend, but still.

So you think I should let them sleep in her room at 16 ? Personally I think that is crazy stuff but if it works for you go for it. It's not happening in my house.

Where would you prefer they sleep together?

Pigeon

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #21 on: February 08, 2018, 02:13:04 PM »
One other observation as the parent of teens, it's hard to find right line to walk as they get older.  It has been hugely helpful to have a close relationship with my daughters.  I have one who has some mental health issues.  Getting her to accept the help she so much needs would be all but impossible if we didn't have a relationship based on mutual affection, respect and trust.  I honestly think she'd likely be dead right now if we didn't.

Being authoritarian is my natural default parenting style because it's how I was raised.  By gawd, I'm my kid's PARENT, not their FRIEND!  But as they get older, you have to realize the parenting relationship needs to change over time or you're going to end up with no relationship at all.  I respected my father, but I didn't like him.  Sad to realize after he passed away that we really had no connection at all once I was out of his house.

steveo

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2018, 09:01:50 PM »
I caught him in bed with her (asleep not having sex) and kicked him out of the home for a long period of time.
As someone who used to date when I was 17, I'm not sure I understand your reaction here. My girlfriend's parents and my parents perfectly understood that 16/17 year olds have sex. Granted, I was not the loser that you describe as your daughter's boyfriend, but still.

So you think I should let them sleep in her room at 16 ? Personally I think that is crazy stuff but if it works for you go for it. It's not happening in my house.

Where would you prefer they sleep together?

I'd prefer they slept apart and in fact had nothing to do with each other. I'm not allowing my 16 yo daughter to have her loser boyfriend or any boyfriend sleep together in house.

I honestly think that is crazy stuff and I wonder what sort of a parent would allow that.

StockBeard

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2018, 09:10:38 PM »
I honestly think that is crazy stuff and I wonder what sort of a parent would allow that.
As I said, my parents were fine with it when I was 17, and so were my girlfriend's parents (that was 20 years ago). Nothing wrong came out of that, so maybe it's just different cultural backgrounds. But now, seeing your own reaction, my respect for my parents just increased. This is why I replied to you in the first place, because you described your reaction as if it was perfectly obvious. It's not, it's very subjective.
Lots of people at 16 have safe, fun and respectful sex with their partner of choice. Maybe that's not the case for your daughter, or maybe you choose to not see it, your circumstances might be different. But again, the way you react does not feel obvious to me. I would have been shocked at 17 if my parents thought they had a say in what I do in my room with my girlfriend, even if it was their house. Then again, I had a pretty respectful relationship with my parents, with my girlfriend, and with her parents. Maybe everyone accepted that we were pretty mature. Your situation is different, it seems.

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2018, 06:59:46 AM »
I caught him in bed with her (asleep not having sex) and kicked him out of the home for a long period of time.
As someone who used to date when I was 17, I'm not sure I understand your reaction here. My girlfriend's parents and my parents perfectly understood that 16/17 year olds have sex. Granted, I was not the loser that you describe as your daughter's boyfriend, but still.

So you think I should let them sleep in her room at 16 ? Personally I think that is crazy stuff but if it works for you go for it. It's not happening in my house.

Where would you prefer they sleep together?

I'd prefer they slept apart and in fact had nothing to do with each other. I'm not allowing my 16 yo daughter to have her loser boyfriend or any boyfriend sleep together in house.

I honestly think that is crazy stuff and I wonder what sort of a parent would allow that.

I get your sentiments.  The thing is, I also remember being a teenager.  If they're not sleeping together at your house, they're sleeping together somewhere else.  When you exert your control by banning a particular behaviour in your house, it doesn't prevent the behaviour . . . it just means that you can't guarantee the safety of the location they choose to do it.  At the same time, I understand that you don't want to seem to be encouraging the behvaviour by condoning it.  Kinda a tricky spot for many parents.

Sibley

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #25 on: February 09, 2018, 07:14:51 AM »
OP, whatever else, make sure your daughter is on reliable birth control that isn't a condom. The pill, implant, IUD, etc. Because you have well and truly lost that battle, whatever you may prefer.

steveo

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #26 on: February 09, 2018, 02:11:27 PM »
I caught him in bed with her (asleep not having sex) and kicked him out of the home for a long period of time.
As someone who used to date when I was 17, I'm not sure I understand your reaction here. My girlfriend's parents and my parents perfectly understood that 16/17 year olds have sex. Granted, I was not the loser that you describe as your daughter's boyfriend, but still.

So you think I should let them sleep in her room at 16 ? Personally I think that is crazy stuff but if it works for you go for it. It's not happening in my house.

Where would you prefer they sleep together?

I'd prefer they slept apart and in fact had nothing to do with each other. I'm not allowing my 16 yo daughter to have her loser boyfriend or any boyfriend sleep together in house.

I honestly think that is crazy stuff and I wonder what sort of a parent would allow that.

I get your sentiments.  The thing is, I also remember being a teenager.  If they're not sleeping together at your house, they're sleeping together somewhere else.  When you exert your control by banning a particular behaviour in your house, it doesn't prevent the behaviour . . . it just means that you can't guarantee the safety of the location they choose to do it.  At the same time, I understand that you don't want to seem to be encouraging the behvaviour by condoning it.  Kinda a tricky spot for many parents.

It's bad behaviour and I won't allow it. I also don't even think she is having sex with him but that is beside the point. One thing I've learnt is not to allow bad behaviour in my house. I don't know  if anyone has teens or maybe better put difficult teens but one thing I'm convinced of with my teens is that I have to stop the crap in my house. Trying to tell me I'm being a bad parent is hilarious based on the experience that I've just had over the past year.

Would you let them shoot up heroin ? Would you let them hurl abuse at you or other people ? Would you let them get into fights ?

I'm learning as a parent but I honestly think parents that turn a blind eye don't care about their kids. It's a lot easier to ignore bad behaviour. We allowed the bad behaviour for a while but it had to end because it turned the house into a crazy house. All the kids wanted to come to our house because they weren't allowed to do dumb stuff at their house. I think most kids won't push it too far but my kids do. Enabling the bad behaviour by letting it go doesn't work.

I also have a good relationship with both of my kids. They tantrum when we set boundaries but those boundaries have made our house a lot calmer and safer than what it was.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 02:14:11 PM by steveo »

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #27 on: February 09, 2018, 03:41:29 PM »
It's bad behaviour and I won't allow it. I also don't even think she is having sex with him but that is beside the point. One thing I've learnt is not to allow bad behaviour in my house. I don't know  if anyone has teens or maybe better put difficult teens but one thing I'm convinced of with my teens is that I have to stop the crap in my house. Trying to tell me I'm being a bad parent is hilarious based on the experience that I've just had over the past year.

Would you let them shoot up heroin ? Would you let them hurl abuse at you or other people ? Would you let them get into fights ?

I'm learning as a parent but I honestly think parents that turn a blind eye don't care about their kids. It's a lot easier to ignore bad behaviour. We allowed the bad behaviour for a while but it had to end because it turned the house into a crazy house. All the kids wanted to come to our house because they weren't allowed to do dumb stuff at their house. I think most kids won't push it too far but my kids do. Enabling the bad behaviour by letting it go doesn't work.

I also have a good relationship with both of my kids. They tantrum when we set boundaries but those boundaries have made our house a lot calmer and safer than what it was.

I think that what people are saying in this thread is that sex isn't "bad behavior". Neither is sleeping with another human being without sex. While shooting up heroin and harassing/assaulting people is illegal and harmful, sex isn't illegal and is usually healthy and not harmful.


steveo

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #28 on: February 09, 2018, 04:01:37 PM »
It's bad behaviour and I won't allow it. I also don't even think she is having sex with him but that is beside the point. One thing I've learnt is not to allow bad behaviour in my house. I don't know  if anyone has teens or maybe better put difficult teens but one thing I'm convinced of with my teens is that I have to stop the crap in my house. Trying to tell me I'm being a bad parent is hilarious based on the experience that I've just had over the past year.

Would you let them shoot up heroin ? Would you let them hurl abuse at you or other people ? Would you let them get into fights ?

I'm learning as a parent but I honestly think parents that turn a blind eye don't care about their kids. It's a lot easier to ignore bad behaviour. We allowed the bad behaviour for a while but it had to end because it turned the house into a crazy house. All the kids wanted to come to our house because they weren't allowed to do dumb stuff at their house. I think most kids won't push it too far but my kids do. Enabling the bad behaviour by letting it go doesn't work.

I also have a good relationship with both of my kids. They tantrum when we set boundaries but those boundaries have made our house a lot calmer and safer than what it was.

I think that what people are saying in this thread is that sex isn't "bad behavior". Neither is sleeping with another human being without sex. While shooting up heroin and harassing/assaulting people is illegal and harmful, sex isn't illegal and is usually healthy and not harmful.

That sounds great in theory but it doesn't work like that in reality. These kids are not mature enough to make these decisions and my kids have proven that they can't handle too much freedom. On top of that the other kids start hanging at our house because we allow too much freedom. These behaviours all come together. The bad kids come over whereas the good kids aren't allowed because the parents who care recognise bad situations.

You are entitled to your opinions but I still think that the results in our situation is that the approach of giving too much leeway doesn't work. On top of that I believe that the only parents who allow this stuff just take the easy approach because they don't care about their kids. It's much harder to fight for your kids rather than let them screw their lives up.

You walk in my shoes and I bet your opinion would change or you just don't care about your own kids.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 04:03:45 PM by steveo »

Pigeon

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #29 on: February 09, 2018, 04:47:34 PM »
Shooting heroin isn't exactly equivalent to having sex.  Normal, healthy people do the latter, but not the former.

I would do just about anything for my kids and it's a little ridiculous to think that people who realize that kids need a little more freedom the closer they get to adulthood don't care about their kids.

There really isn't anything easy about accepting the fact that your teenagers have different needs than your toddlers.  It's challenging to question your own parenting and to make the necessary changes.  It's also hard to allow your kids to make some of their own mistakes, but that's how people learn.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 04:50:58 PM by Pigeon »

steveo

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2018, 07:47:59 PM »
Shooting heroin isn't exactly equivalent to having sex.  Normal, healthy people do the latter, but not the former.

I would do just about anything for my kids and it's a little ridiculous to think that people who realize that kids need a little more freedom the closer they get to adulthood don't care about their kids.

There really isn't anything easy about accepting the fact that your teenagers have different needs than your toddlers.  It's challenging to question your own parenting and to make the necessary changes.  It's also hard to allow your kids to make some of their own mistakes, but that's how people learn.

I think normal healthy people can do lots of things including having sex and smoking pot and even taking heroin. I think it's a little ridiculous to think that I said that kids don't get more freedom the closer they get to adulthood. I said that the only kids who are allowed to hang out with my kids when they do dumb stuff are parents that either don't care about their kids or don't know it's happening.

I've given my kids too much freedom. They have proven that they can't handle it. I stand by my comment that I think that parents that don't set fair and reasonable boundaries on their kids don't care about their kids. It's the easier thing to do but that doesn't make it right.

It is challenging being a parent. My kids push me. I have to respond appropriately and do the right thing. I've let my kids make plenty of mistakes.

I understand that it's easy for some people to criticise because they aren't walking in my shoes. I've had advice to do what you guys are suggesting in that I just let them have sex in my house and in fact just let them do whatever it is they want. That doesn't work for me. If it worked for you great but don't expect me to respect that because I don't.

For the record we've slowly and gently implemented boundaries over the past 2 to 3 months and the situation has improved significantly. I have no idea how things are going to end up but when you have a son having breakdowns after drinking too much alcohol and a daughter who is going out with a complete loser and when both of them can become abusive (her and her boyfriend) you need to do something about it.

plantingourpennies

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Re: The Trouble with Teens....
« Reply #31 on: February 10, 2018, 03:47:36 PM »

I've tried to engage her in things she wants to do, taken her out for "Date lunch" and am hoping the spring/summer brings more time together but for now.... frustrating.

Have you considered that going on a "Date lunch" with her father isn't something that she enjoys?

Also, do you pick up the tab, or do you guys just go dutch?

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