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Bad parent moment need advice. - Page 4

post #61 of 67
I agree with the quoted poster and also several previous posters. I can understand the freak out, but I think it's time to also go back and have some open communication over why you freaked out.
When I was 14, my parents, bless their hearts, were very very strict. ( We have since made peace with that now that I am an adult and we have had long talks about what worked and what didnt....)

I wasn't allowed to date, have boys over, or talk on the phone to boys even. What that resulted in was me sneaking around, meeting boys on the sly, and having sex. Yup. I felt smothered by my parents and felt the urge to break free. lol Thankfully, I had very good sex ed programs in school and was always "protected" during sex and did not have any teen pregnancy scares.

Give him the info he needs and give him the space to use it...trust him and you cant go wrong....thats just my HO. :-)






Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I'm going to have to agree with the others that you freaked out and you owe your son an apology. Hickies are not trashy or slutty. They're really embarrassing as a teenager: let that be punishment enough! I remember suddenly being SOOO happy that my mother had a penchant for buying me Lands End turtlenecks with cutesie little graphics on them. OMG, what teenager in the height of the Grunge years was going to wear a turtleneck with little Christmas scotties on it? They were heinous and awful and might have been cute on a 6yo and I never wore them... but wow did they come in handy the first time I got a hickey! And after that, I learned that hickeys go where no one will see them

I also agree that it is not surprising that she called you names. You mortified both her and your son, and so of course they ran into eachothers arms to vent. If your MIL started screaming at you over anything, you'd be saying some not terribly nice things about her to your DH or your friends as you vented.

Now, I'm quite okay with a tiny bit of mortification to keep your teens in line... but it's gotta be subtle. Like, Lands End Christmas turtlenecks. Okay, maybe not Christmas, but the way to handle this is to say "ahem, you seem to have a bruise on your neck. I assume you got it while playing basketball. Ahem. I got you a turtleneck to wear while it heals. You're going to have to wear it to school, because I'm not gonna be able to help you when the nuns see it." Trust me, that's aaaaaall the punishment a 14yo boy needs for preventing visible hickeys.

And I also agree that the kids with the least freedom take the most. My parents were died in the wool hippies who were eternally mortified by their totally square children. I didn't have sex or do any drugs until I went to college. My high school boyfriend would come over, and they'd go out. They were so specific. "We'll be at the library, and it closes at 9, so we'll be back about 9:10. You guys have fun!" OMG it was so embarrassing. We'd go sit on the couch and watch a movie. There's nothing that ruins the mood more than having your parents think that you're getting some action right then! Meanwhile, his mother made his younger sister babysit us, so we'd sneak a little bit of cuddle time whenever possible at his house. Makes no sense, right? That's teenagers for you.

There's nothing wrong with having ground rules, but trying to micromanage his relationships is just going to backfire. I'm sorry, but it does. I would sit down and apologize to him. Tell him that sometimes parents freak out when they realize that their kids are growing up, and that your reaction was inappropriate. Tell him to tell his girlfriend that you're very sorry for what you said to her.

Suggest something that you can invite her along to: where I am it's fun fair season, maybe suggest that she be invited and then they can go off and ride some rides and you guys can all meet for dinner afterwards. Or the beach or a hike or something like that: something where they can get some alone time and you can also get to know her a bit more. Trust me, she doesn't want to do an event where she'll have to spend the whole time hanging out with you guys. It will also help legitimize the relationship a bit more, which should cool things down a bit more. If Romeo and Juliet has taught us nothing else, it's that young kids in love do really stupid stuff when they think they have to be all secret about it.

Make sure that he has all the appropriate books about puberty and sex. Make sure he knows how to use a condom. Give him a condom and a banana and make him put it on in front of you: that'll cool a lot of passion, I promise. Tell him that at his next well visit appointment, you're going to tell his ped that he has a girlfriend and ask the ped to make sure that your son has all the appropriate information.

Make sure that he knows the numbers. By the age of 15, only about 13% of teens have had sex. By the time they graduate from high school, only about 50% of teens have had sex. It is NOT TRUE that "everyone else" is doing it. He should never, ever let anyone pressure him into doing anything that he isn't comfortable with.

Good luck. I don't think that you're a bad parent: I think that you overreacted and flew off the handle. You handled the situation poorly, but it's definitely not too late to fix it.
post #62 of 67
Well, I am going to post something that is going to be unpopular and I will probably get flamed for it.

OP-
I think you were in the right. Using "trashy and slutty" may not have been the best terms to use, but I do think that including her in the lecture was a good idea. If she is going to be seeing your son, she needs to know exactly what your thoughts on things are.
I think that a call to her parents are in order, on to explain what happened (I am assuming she cried and her parents may know that), to apologize for the "trashy and slutty" comment, and to work out a plan for the future among all of you.
Perhaps there needs to be a moratorium on one-on-one time for quite a while. Group dates and gatherings only is a good thing. Game night, movie night, etc. With plenty of supervision, of course.

At 14, I wasn't allowed to be alone with boys. If a boy came over to watch a movie, I had to invite other friends over, as well. And if no one else could come, at least one parent was in the room with us. We also got quite the talk before hand regarding what my parents considered appropriate behaviors. Of course, I had been raised with these view points, and I shared them. Most of the time, the young man was already aware of the "rules" long before my parents told him.
As for reading his IM, good for you! I am assuming that you purchased the computer, and that he is using it with your permission. This, in my mind, makes it your computer and you are well within your rights to monitor what is on it.

As for where to go from here, I cannot tell you- but I do know than an apology to DS and girl, for the "trashy/slutty" comment, are in order.
I also think a good long discussion regarding the holiness of sex and physical romantic affection is in order. Perhaps you all can read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" and "Theology of the Body for Teens" together?
What worked for me was my parents stressing the holiness of physical romantic expression. If he is attending Catholic school, he has gotten a bit of this message, but probably not a lot of it.
post #63 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
I'm going to have to agree with the others that you freaked out and you owe your son an apology. Hickies are not trashy or slutty. They're really embarrassing as a teenager: let that be punishment enough! I remember suddenly being SOOO happy that my mother had a penchant for buying me Lands End turtlenecks with cutesie little graphics on them. OMG, what teenager in the height of the Grunge years was going to wear a turtleneck with little Christmas scotties on it? They were heinous and awful and might have been cute on a 6yo and I never wore them... but wow did they come in handy the first time I got a hickey! And after that, I learned that hickeys go where no one will see them

I also agree that it is not surprising that she called you names. You mortified both her and your son, and so of course they ran into eachothers arms to vent. If your MIL started screaming at you over anything, you'd be saying some not terribly nice things about her to your DH or your friends as you vented.

Now, I'm quite okay with a tiny bit of mortification to keep your teens in line... but it's gotta be subtle. Like, Lands End Christmas turtlenecks. Okay, maybe not Christmas, but the way to handle this is to say "ahem, you seem to have a bruise on your neck. I assume you got it while playing basketball. Ahem. I got you a turtleneck to wear while it heals. You're going to have to wear it to school, because I'm not gonna be able to help you when the nuns see it." Trust me, that's aaaaaall the punishment a 14yo boy needs for preventing visible hickeys.

And I also agree that the kids with the least freedom take the most. My parents were died in the wool hippies who were eternally mortified by their totally square children. I didn't have sex or do any drugs until I went to college. My high school boyfriend would come over, and they'd go out. They were so specific. "We'll be at the library, and it closes at 9, so we'll be back about 9:10. You guys have fun!" OMG it was so embarrassing. We'd go sit on the couch and watch a movie. There's nothing that ruins the mood more than having your parents think that you're getting some action right then! Meanwhile, his mother made his younger sister babysit us, so we'd sneak a little bit of cuddle time whenever possible at his house. Makes no sense, right? That's teenagers for you.

There's nothing wrong with having ground rules, but trying to micromanage his relationships is just going to backfire. I'm sorry, but it does. I would sit down and apologize to him. Tell him that sometimes parents freak out when they realize that their kids are growing up, and that your reaction was inappropriate.



Make sure that he has all the appropriate books about puberty and sex. Make sure he knows how to use a condom. Give him a condom and a banana and make him put it on in front of you: that'll cool a lot of passion, I promise. Tell him that at his next well visit appointment, you're going to tell his ped that he has a girlfriend and ask the ped to make sure that your son has all the appropriate information.

Make sure that he knows the numbers. By the age of 15, only about 13% of teens have had sex. By the time they graduate from high school, only about 50% of teens have had sex. It is NOT TRUE that "everyone else" is doing it. He should never, ever let anyone pressure him into doing anything that he isn't comfortable with.

Good luck. I don't think that you're a bad parent: I think that you overreacted and flew off the handle. You handled the situation poorly, but it's definitely not too late to fix it.

Man! I think you have the best, most practical post in this thread, that IS worth repeating!
post #64 of 67
OP, I truly understand your reaction and point of view. I hope you are doing well reading all this information that others are offering.

I used to be one who read emails to get more info. Of course I would never admit that I did that, because I preached respect. But then I'd end up with information I couldn't act on, but it was so under-my-skin-driving-me-nuts that I just went crazy and learned (over time) that I had to not read other's communications or eavesdrop on phone calls. I completely understand you were coming from a place of needing info, worry, sudden onslaught of new situations. But I think it's worth considering if the info you gained actually *helped* you and this situation or just made it harder for you.

I would've freaked out too. I hear you, and feel no judgement. I read this forum specfically to learn from others who run into things before I do, so I' in a calmer (hopefully) and more grounded place when they do come my way.

I got hickeys at summer camp one year (bible camp no less!). I was pretty clueless about them, but the boys liked giving them to me, and I knew boy's attention was somehow important in life, so I let them. When I got home the mortification stopped me from ever wanting them again, nor giving them. But I was definitly a girl who aimed to please boys ( I had/have big please-males issues) and I would do anything a boy asked me to, which earned me the slutty rep you have of hickies and your son's girlfriend. For me it was never stuff that was my idea, but I was never taught to say no or that my brain mattered more than my body. Just offering a different perspective on teenage girls. (and I don't mean to say that teens can never respectfully both choose to be sexual togetherand have it be a healthy thing.)


An apology would really help things between you and your son and his GF, I think. And I personally find apologies are best when they come from a place of sharing why we freaked out, what our fears are, etc. I think that would show your son and GF that you respect them enough to talk to them like friends/adults, and not just speak from a position of power. You have said you didn't react well. I bet they'd love to know you feel that way.


I hope things are good with you these days, however you've handled it.
post #65 of 67
I'm not quite here yet, but my son will soon be a teenager and I just want to thank you all for this thread. It is really helpful. I have to agree that my friends whose parents were the strictest about sex and boys in general were the ones sneaking off to have sex with all kinds of boys every chance they got. That scares the hell out of me. I have a lot of open, frank conversations with my kids already (I have a daughter who is just starting puberty too) and so this discussion is very timely. Thank you all.
post #66 of 67

Bad Parent moment: daughter trouble

I understand totally. I have a 13 year old daughter who is in the 8th grade as well and right now, She hates me.
She finally discovers boys and thinks that I don't understand. She called me a jerk and a freak and I am broken into. How do I cope with this for the next 5 years until I get my independence??
post #67 of 67
Greenmama,

I think it would be good to start your own thread for this so you will get more replies. That all sounds very hurtful and frustrating. I wish you luck. hugs
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