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Bad parent moment need advice.

post #1 of 67
Thread Starter 
So my son is 14 and is in 8th grade. He is a social butterfly to say the least. He has many friends and in the past year has discovered that the girls he saw as friends could be girl friends. So he has had a few "girl friends" but they never lasted more than a couple weeks and he never went on dates with them.

Well now he has a girl friend and it is moving way faster than we ever expected. He met her through another friend and every time he went to the other friend's house this girl would too. We are just now figuring this out.

Well he asked if she could come over and watch a movie with him in his room. We have a projector, so he thought he would project the movie and they would sit on his bed and watch it. We said she could come over, but they would have to watch it in the living room. They did, but it was a movie not appropriate for our 4 younger children, so even though we were checking on them, there were moments when they were alone.

So there they are laying next to each other on the couch. After the movie i told them that they need to go outside. That was when I noticed the hicky on my sons next!!! Oh boy I flipped out!

I sat the 2 of them down and told them both that that can not happen again. DS goes to a Catholic school he can't have that showing. Hickies (how do you spell this word?) are slutty and trashy. That they were both better than that. Hickies also were like putting a sticker on yourself that you are owned and this is wrong. Well you get the picture. It went on for a few minutes and I was not nice. I did end that i wanted to get to know her, but that the 2 of them had to be with other people at all times.

Well ds has so unhappy when she left. He says I don't trust him, that I made her cry and that I ended his social life.

Later we went into talk with ds. he was in the bathroom. dh looked on his computer and ds was chatting with girl friend. She said she was very upset and that I was a C**T. She went on to say some other things as well about me.

We had to have another conversation with ds about the fact that a girl friend should not be calling your mother such awful words. All she is doing by using those words is confirming our opinion of her.

Back ground: this girl is the youngest and has 2 much older sisters. My ds is our oldest in the family and so is setting the example for younger sibs.
On the one hand:
Well I feel awful and know I did not say the right things. I am afraid that i may have ruined our relationship.
On the other hand:
Dh and i agree that we are a lot more conservative then we ever thought. We think that girls are a distraction for ds and could lead to a bad place. He is such a great kid, we need to protect him. We don't think that the way they were touching and kissing each other is appropriate at this point. We need to set up better rules.

So there it is. sorry it is so long.
post #2 of 67
I also tend to be pretty conservative, and I would have to agree about wanting to protect your son. I would not be okay with my young son 'going out' with a girl that referred to me as a c**t. And I would not be okay with him having a hicky, especially knowing that she gave it to him while sitting on your couch, with you near by! My only concern is that if you forbid him from seeing her, then he's going to sneak around to see her other places. At this age, relationships never last very long, so hopefully in another week or two she'll be history.
post #3 of 67
It's not okay for her to call you a c**t, but it also wasn't okay to call her a trashy slut, and I can almost guarantee that's how she took what you said about hickeys. People don't react well to being called names. What makes it any worse for her than for you?

As for the rest, I really don't know what to say. You can't "protect him" from his own interest in the opposite sex. I've seen parents try it and it's never turned out well, to say the least. (My friend who used to cut class to have sex in her bf's van had parents who didn't "allow" her to date, for example.) If he's interested in girls, he's interested in girls. Setting yourself up as an obstacle and enemy isn't going to change that...but it could negatively impact your influence on him.

I disagree with the pp who said that relationships at this age never last very long. DS1 had a girlfriend when he was 14, and it lasted over a year.

So - no answers, but I hope you can work though this.


ETA: Just to clarify, I realize that you didn't actually call her a trashy slut, but I'm sure that's how she felt. I doubt that she's even remotely interested in getting to know you at this point, and is probably wondering why you think it's okay to call her names, but not the reverse. I'm just thinking about how some parent/teen interactions I've been involved with (from both sides) have played out. I'm not saying it's okay that she called you that.
post #4 of 67
I agree with Storm Bride. Calling hickies trashy and slutty means the person who gave it to him is a trashy slut. I would cry if someone said it to me, and I'm sure that your son is humiliated that you spoke to a girl he cares about that way. I would start with an apology.

I have always welcomed the people my children chose to date, and encouraged them to spend lots of time at our home. When they were younger, it helped me to keep tabs on the situation and reassure myself that they treated each other with respect. There is nothing wrong with monitoring what goes on, but I don't think he needs you to "protect" him, and he will probably resent you if you try. Watching your babies turn into teens and young adults with sexual feelings is hard, and awkward, and sometimes scary, but you can't keep it from happening. I did not like everyone my children brought home, but I wasn't about to set up some Romeo & Juliet situation where they had to sneak around.
post #5 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
It's not okay for her to call you a c**t, but it also wasn't okay to call her a trashy slut, and I can almost guarantee that's how she took what you said about hickeys. People don't react well to being called names. What makes it any worse for her than for you?
I totally agree. You opened the door.

I also think that you and your DH shouldn't be snooping on his conversations. Up to now, everything you and your DH have done will most likely make your son more secretive, but have no other effect on his behavoir.

Your son likes girls. He's growing up. The only other options would be for him to like boys or to have something wrong with him (like autism) and just not get why people like each other. (I have a child like that).

Rather than trying to stop what you cannot stop, come up for some realistic guidelines for dating -- such as school events, church youth events, family events, going someplace to gether with a parent to chaparon (like the skating rink) etc. Talk to your son. Apologize for your behavoir (which you know was out of line) and find a way to let him grow up in a reasonable and safe way.

If you ever see the girl again, you owe her a complete and full apology. You were completely out of line and had no right to say that to her. You should never speak to someone your child is involved with like that, no matter what they were doing . You were just out of line.

I also think that all teens deserve full access to information about sex, including birth control. If I had a son, I would make sure he understood exactly how babies are made and not made, why using a condom every single time protects HIM, and the importance of neither pressuring another person or going along with what someone else wants to do. It goes both ways. Some boys really don't realize that they can say no to girls, and some boys are pushy.
post #6 of 67
A more productive conversation would have been to make sure that they both understand how sexual activity at their age could affect their future lives. A baby at 14 would be a really bad idea.

I think you owe both your son and his girl an apology. You're the grown-up and you should know better. Then invite her over for dinner and set down the ground rules for them.
post #7 of 67
In your position, I would probably sit down with them again and 1) apologize for reacting the way you did and acknowledge that some of the things said were inappropriate/hurtful and 2) start an discussion about why you feel they need to ease up on the physical side of the relationship.

I would also have a one on one discussion with DS about what is allowed and what isn't, make sure there are clear guidelines and that it is an actual discussion as opposed to "This is how it's going to be" speech. If you and DH haven't discussed sex in detail, do that as well, as PPs have mentioned he has the right the information and there is a very good chance when given the information in a respectful manner that he will surprise you in how intelligently he can handle that and understand why he should limit the physical aspect of the relationship. Also, I wouldn't get to uptight about kissing in general. At 14 there is no guarantee that kissing leads to sex, heck even at 24, 34, 44, 54 there is no guarantee that kissing leads to sex.
post #8 of 67
I have a 14 year old girl. I can say that I likely wouldn't allow her to watch a movie "alone" with a boy that I didn't know well. However, our television set up wouldn't really allow it-our big fancy cool movie watching tv is the family tv and the only way for the younger ones to avoid it would be to be upstairs alone and that, well, wouldn't happen at this point either.

However, while I understand the "freak out," I have to say that THAT is probably exactly how your son and his gf saw it, as a total freak out. The way that it reads to me, it seems as if everything was totally cool, you were ok with them laying together and were checking in and seemed ok...and then you suddenly swooped in and freaked out on them.

Again, I understand, maintaining my composure if I noticed a hickey on DDs neck would be difficult. But, I also know that, having gotten pg with her at 17, swooping in like that is exactly the way to get him to shut you out. IMHO, a better approach might have been to stop them before they head out, call them back in and ask, is there something you want to tell me? Because judging by the mark on your neck, there have been some things that have been going in here that I should be aware of. And then, if you don't get very far with that with her there....at least discuss it with your son in private. You can't be his gf's parent and trying to act like it, particularly if you don't know her well, is only going to make her react as she did. But, certainly talking to your son after she is gone, finding out what happened, explaining calmly that you don't approve and exactly why, is appropriate.

Also, making it about appearances (how your son can't have that seen at a Catholic school and how it LOOKS trashy and slutty, how it looks like you are owned) is I think the worst way to drive the point home. Because I assume what you were really against is that they were having some mild form of intimate activity, not that you don't want it to look like your son is trash, right?


Again, I do know, all easier said that done.
post #9 of 67
Quote:
We had to have another conversation with ds about the fact that a girl friend should not be calling your mother such awful words. All she is doing by using those words is confirming our opinion of her.
As your son's mother you should NOT be lecturing his girlfriend. Send her home & lecture your son(who was a willing participant in this), but you have no rights to do that to her.

did you have this opinion of her BEFORE this happened?
post #10 of 67
Just as a side there is a big difference between calling your boyfriend's mother a c**t to their face during a fight (which didn't happen), and venting about what was probably a VERY embarrassing situation to your boyfriend in private. You gotta figure she's 14 years old, super upset, TOTALLY embarrassed by being told that something she participated in is "trashy and slutty" and feeling completely attacked. Even as an adult I would be MORTIFIED if my private vent sessions with my husband about my Mother-in-law were read word-for-word by her right after some type of blow up like that. I mean, I may be a little bit too mature to use the c-word, but she'd still be horribly offended at whatever she read.

If you can't actually trust your child enough to give him real privacy, at least let the name calling slide and try to stay mostly concerned about really serious issues (like heroine or pregnancy test references for example). In reality we all say things in private about others that we would not want them to hear, and may not really believe once we calm down. Blowing up about it will backfire HARD.
post #11 of 67
Robin..I have to admit I probably would have flipped out if my kids were engaged in that behavior under my roof. It is just a lack of respect in my view. I would say if you and DH didn't sit down and talk to your DS about what is ok and not okay behavior..contact..ect then you need to do that. I don't know if I would apologize to the girl..honestly I think she should apologize to you. I think hickies are trashy and my kids aren't going to have them. My older sister came home with a tattoo on her hand as a teen..my mom put her hand under the tap and tried to scrub it off ..with a scrubber Needless to say I never came home with one or even a temporary or pen. I never had a hickey either..minus the one you give yourself on the hand lol.

I also will mention that I have a wonderful relationship with my mother..talk to her everyday. Her discipline didn't make me love her any less. My sister not so much , but she fights with everyone.
post #12 of 67
ikesmom, may I ask how old your children are? There is absolutely no way to enforce that your kids will not have hickies.
post #13 of 67
Ok..yeah that comment sounds kinda like I think I can control it..haha. I know that kids will break rules..what I mean is that I am not going to LET them mess around if I know it is happening and that includes hickies. If they break rules then they loose freedom. My kids are 15, 13, 10, and 4. The oldest is learning now..yes the hard way. We don't let her date yet and she hasn't shown she is mature enough to date. I know everyone will have a different view on what age is ok- I think that in many kids eyes they think dating is doing couple stuff with someone. We are a little on the stricter side of parenting. I want to try my hardest to teach boundaries..I think having visitors is a great start to dating..If they can handle it at home then they can earn the right to more freedom.
post #14 of 67
Ummm. So I'm going to stick my neck out here so to speak.
Having given and received many a hickey in my teenage years, I don't get the big deal. If you feel like it needs to be covered, get out the make up. Make him wear a turtle neck.
I assume it was above the waist. They were making out and a little nibbling ensued.
It's not like you walked in on them and she was giving him a blow job or anything.
I would think this situation is a door that's been flung wide open for you and your husband to have an open and frank discussion about physical and emotional intimacy.
Absolutely share your values and have house rules. But always keep the communication open.
My mom had a similar reaction when she found me making out with a boy when I was a teenager. I can tell you, that judgment constructed a wall so high and so thick.
post #15 of 67
Glad to know I was not the only teenager who got a few hickeys!
I was starting to feel very sheepish!
I am not saying they are great, but I don't think they are the end of the universe. A hicky on the neck does not mean they are going to make a baby.
While it was not okay for the girl to call you a c..t, I agree with others who say you’re saying hickies trashy equate calling the girl trashy, at least in her mind. You are grown up and she is 14. I think the apology should be from you if you want to set things right.
Also you need to tell your son, not the girl what your limits in the house are.
I personally would rather allow my son a little more freedom in the house rather than have him sneak outside.
post #16 of 67
Am I the only one thinking that teens with moms who freak out over hickies are *more* likely to end up with hickies in places that their mom can't see?

(I was sooooooo rebellious as a teen.)

Also, because I foster an open and honest relationship with my kids, I know what their friends are up to. You cannot stop your child from having girlfriends/boyfriends. You can set things up so that everyone knows but you, but you can't stop it.
post #17 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ikesmom View Post
Ok..yeah that comment sounds kinda like I think I can control it..haha. I know that kids will break rules..what I mean is that I am not going to LET them mess around if I know it is happening and that includes hickies.
Speaking from the experience of my teen year and those of my friends, you will simply not know what is happening.
post #18 of 67
i think you waaaaay overreacted. i think you owe his friend and your son an apology personally. after all YOU are the one who allowed it to happen by leaving them alone,correct? I just don't see the big deal in a hickey. it's a bruise. even though unsightly lots of 14yo's get and give them.

what will you do when he starts having sex? even when I was in 8th grade (20+years ago) tons of my classmates were having sex so don't think it can't happen!

I think you should stay out of it personally and let him face the consequences at school.
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by jalilah View Post
Glad to know I was not the only teenager who got a few hickeys!
I got them, too...and gave more than a few. I think they look ugly now, and I'll admit to kind of going "errrk" when ds1 (16 at the time) came home with one, but...c'est la vie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Am I the only one thinking that teens with moms who freak out over hickies are *more* likely to end up with hickies in places that their mom can't see?
No, you're not. That thought crossed my mind, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
Speaking from the experience of my teen year and those of my friends, you will simply not know what is happening.
Yes. This. I remember a friend whose parents said she wouldn't even date until she was 16. They thought she didn't. She was dating, making out, having sex and sneaking out at night, all before they even thought she'd kissed a boy.

I certainly don't think teen sex is inevitable, but I think whether or not it happens has more to do with the teen's beliefs, self-discipline and priorities (oh - and libido) than with the parents. There are things parents can do to guide our kids into making good choices, but they're still the ones making them. (I'm on the other end of things. I kind of assumed my teen would be sexually active - because that's what I'm used to - and I'm about 99% sure ds1 isn't. He has other things going on, and watching me go through a bunch of pregnancies, c-sections and a stillbirth has given him a much better than average grasp of the potential consequences of sex.)
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
Am I the only one thinking that teens with moms who freak out over hickies are *more* likely to end up with hickies in places that their mom can't see?

(I was sooooooo rebellious as a teen.)

Also, because I foster an open and honest relationship with my kids, I know what their friends are up to. You cannot stop your child from having girlfriends/boyfriends. You can set things up so that everyone knows but you, but you can't stop it.
I'm with you. Minus the rebellious part. I HATE hickies, and always have. I was known for getting mad at guys for giving them to me (b/c they're ugly of course). Anyway, I think if you continue in this manner you are going to really encourage (unintentionally) very limited communication between you and your son and will soon find yourself out of the loop.

Does your son's catholic school have comprehensive sex ed? If not then now would be the time to make sure he understands about condoms, STI's, pregnancy and how it all happens and works.
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