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Wanting child to have healthy relationships

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

My son just turned 16 last month. He is adopted, and his biological mom modeled very unhealthy relationships for 14 years of his life. As it is, he tends to not be faithful in the very brief relationships that he does have. He also has no issues in engaging in sexual activity just to do it. His dad and I are not that way, we have been together for 10 years, never cheated. I have only had two boyfriends ever and had sex with only one. My husband has had two girlfriends and sex with two. Our son, on the other hand, has already had sex with two different girls, and is now currently dating a girl, telling her that she is his only, but also hard core flirting and making advances on her enemy. He uses my computer from time to time and has left messages open where he talks to this enemy like she is his girlfriend, saying that they should "hook up" behind his girlfriend and her boyfriends backs. 

 

I don't like this at all. I know that this is what he has seen and this is what he knows, but I hate it. I communicate often with him about healthy relationships and being loyal, and during the conversation it seems to help, but when confronted with it it seems to go the other way. I want him to be better than his biological mom, who lived with about 10 different guys during his 14 years with her, and cheated on them while she was with them.

 

At times I feel like he will get better, but then I realize that I only have two more years of actually having any control over the issue. Also, his friends are huge impacts on him, and he responds way too much to outside sources. Case in point - the movie Project X. We saw it last night and now he talks about how he no longer wants to be homeschooled because he doesn't have enough friends. Whereas two weeks ago he was singing the praises of his homeschooling (he also goes part time to public school) and how he doesn't need lots of friends, just high quality friends.

post #2 of 20

hug2.gif  is your son in any kind of counseling? It sounds like he's been through a lot in his life. I can see how talk therapy could be very helpful for him.

 

I think that promiscuity, the need to get other people to like one's self, is sometimes rooted in a lack of self esteem or a questioning of whether or not one is truly lovable. I think that any activities that help him develop a more solid sense of self, plus reassurance that you love him unconditionally, could be helpful.

 

The book "Liberated Parents, Liberated Children" has great insight to into talking to our children in ways that help them break free of the roles they see themselves in. It's my all time favorite parenting book.

 

I also think it would be helpful for your son for you to completely let go of what your experiences were. He's had a very different life than you. Rather than keeping track of how many girls he has sex with, I would have a VERY frank conversation about why he needs to use a condemn every single time he has sex. Why it is best for his life, his future, his health. And then I would make sure he has access to them. This is a less than desirable situation as it is, but adding in a baby or a an STD is not going to make things better. I would buy condemns and keep them in the bathroom, like extra rolls of toilet paper.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

He has condoms, we have bought them for him. They are in his room. We have had the talk numerous times and he knows the importance of using them. 

 

He is not in therapy. He doesn't think he needs it and doesn't want to go - and really, what is he going to get out of it if he doesn't desire to be there? He went before and the counselor herself said that he wasn't going to get much out of it if he didn't desire to. And I have seen it first hand in my work as well. I wish that he wanted to go, but I don't feel as though I can force it.

post #4 of 20

Is he in any activities? Martial arts, swimming, basketballs, etc?

post #5 of 20

OP, I'd be pained and worried in your place. But I think you're already doing all that can be done.  Have you discussed with him how very, very important it is to respect these girls?  That going outside of relationships is hurtful and disrespectful? I think that's all you can do. 

 

Linda, your misspelling of the word condom is pretty darned funny, considering.

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 

Linda, I ordered that book you talked about. Hopefully it works.

 

We have talked to him about it. He just caves to peer pressure it seems, and if someone thinks it's cool to do something he will do it. It is a bit better now, he is anti-drugs at least, and alcohol was a one time occurance, but girls are something else. He has friends who supposedly sleep with many girls and brag about it, so he thinks he needs to be like that.

 

And don't ever ever ever let your child see Project X. He really just thinks his life is completely lame after seeing that movie. It's sad.

 

He's homeschooled, but goes to public school half a day. He is in piano and voice, but it's individual lessons. He is with friends often and has a girlfriend, and we do a lot of activities outside the home. He's job shadowed, has a on-call job, volunteered, etc. He's active outside the home. But does not feel that he needs therapy unfortunately.

post #7 of 20
At least you know you can't control his sexuality and that's half the battle. Continue to keep the condoms available and love him, being judgemental about the number of sex partners won't help. The thing you can do is refuse to participate in his dishonesty and disrespect. Tell him you love him and know he can be respectful and you will not participate in his cheating and that you will not keep any secrets or assist him in his disrespectful, unkind behavior. I have banned my dd from using any hardware or internet at my home to engage in unkind or offensive behavior. I can't control what she does but I can at least partly control my participation.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

" I have banned my dd from using any hardware or internet at my home to engage in unkind or offensive behavior."

 

How are you able to do that?

post #9 of 20
I read my dd's facebook and check her texts (I have to for safety reasons) and when I found something that I really objected to I told her I wouldn't host that and if I saw it again she was getting cut off. I saw it again and I locked the computer and changed the wifi password and took her phone.
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 

But does she know that you do all that? If so, can't she just delete her questionable texts and facebook messages?

post #11 of 20
She could but she doesn't and if she was conscious enough to do that it would help her out. Most of what she got in trouble for was stuff posted to Facebook in comments so those she wouldn't be deleting.
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post


I read my dd's facebook and check her texts (I have to for safety reasons) and when I found something that I really objected to I told her I wouldn't host that and if I saw it again she was getting cut off. I saw it again and I locked the computer and changed the wifi password and took her phone.


How has that effected your relationship with your DD?

 

How has it effected her other behavior and attitude?

post #13 of 20

Not everyone is made to be monogamous in this world . In fact, majority if people are not. Monogamy is social not a biological construct.

 

However, there responsible adult ways of being non monogamous. The ways that are honest and do not hurt other people.

 

It is called Polyamory. Perhaps it is something your son can explore.

 

yes, I understand it is not your way in life but sometime our kids pick a different way in life and we can guide them

 

My son is gay furry. It is very very different form who are I m in life.

 

Here are some resources

 

 

 

.http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Prehistoric-Origins-Sexuality/dp/0061707805

 

 

http://www.polyamory.org/

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Prehistoric-Origins-Sexuality/dp/0061707805

 

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


How has that effected your relationship with your DD?

 

How has it effected her other behavior and attitude?

My dd has issues and is difficult for herself and everyone else- she hates anyone keeping an eye on her or having any opinion about her behavior. She has a choice of me having her FB password or not having any access at home. Facebook isn't private so I have ceased to feel guilty about that one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Not everyone is made to be monogamous in this world . In fact, majority if people are not. Monogamy is social not a biological construct.

 

However, there responsible adult ways of being non monogamous. The ways that are honest and do not hurt other people.

 

It is called Polyamory. Perhaps it is something your son can explore.

 

yes, I understand it is not your way in life but sometime our kids pick a different way in life and we can guide them

 

My son is gay furry. It is very very different form who are I m in life.

 

Here are some resources

 

 

 

.http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Prehistoric-Origins-Sexuality/dp/0061707805

 

 

http://www.polyamory.org/

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Dawn-Prehistoric-Origins-Sexuality/dp/0061707805

 

 

 

 

 


I can't see encouraging a teen, who is disrespecting women, to look into polyamory. That's going a little far out of the parental arena for one thing and he's just being a disrespectful cheater for another he needs to work on his respect for others before he ready to look at a lifestyle like that.
post #15 of 20

Polyamory teaches people how not to be cheaters. It cheater people how to have honest open relationship with multiple partners. That is whole point of being poly.

post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Polyamory teaches people how not to be cheaters. It cheater people how to have honest open relationship with multiple partners. That is whole point of being poly.



Respectfully, the OP's son is 16, in high school, has complex relationships with his parents, birth parents and siblings, as well as peer relationships.........not sure that introducing the very adult concept and practice of polyamory is what he needs at this point in order to work through his interpersonal relationships.

post #17 of 20

One thing you may want to do is sit him down with a real life example of someone who is paying child-support and raising a baby while in High School.

post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by pranamama View Post

One thing you may want to do is sit him down with a real life example of someone who is paying child-support and raising a baby while in High School.



He's already using condemns, and the OP has made some level of peace with the fact that he is sexually active. The issue that is that he is sneaking around on  his girlfriend.

 

Rather than focusing on pregnancy, I think I might bring up the example of Tiger Woods. A man who lost a lot of respect (and in his case money) because he was a liar who made a game of having sex with lots of women while having a wife.

 

Other people form beliefs about us based on how we act, and nothing stays secret forever. The bigger the secret, the more interesting it is when the truth comes out. The OPer's son is playing a game that will blow up in his face and then effect how other perceive him.

post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by karne View Post

Respectfully, the OP's son is 16, in high school, has complex relationships with his parents, birth parents and siblings, as well as peer relationships.........not sure that introducing the very adult concept and practice of polyamory is what he needs at this point in order to work through his interpersonal relationships.


Wait, how is polyamory more of an adult concept than monogamy? At least since Alenushka seems to be talking about polyamory in terms of sexual non-exclusivity, rather than polyamory in terms of like plural marriage or whatever.

 

I mean, "Don't lie, and don't break your promises" is a pretty simple concept. Don't most people start teaching their kids that at a pretty young age?

 

Having sex with a million bazillion different people may be a bad idea in terms of your own personal well-being (some people might argue that), but when you cheat, you're hurting others (you can't argue that, it's the definition of cheating) in addition to any promiscuity-induced trouble you're making for yourself. I'd want to stop my sixteen-year-old kid from hurting himself certainly, but if he was also hurting others, I think I'd prioritize that. Sixteen-year-olds are relatively independent of your whether you like it or not, so you can't just pull a "If I were you, I would live this certain way, so you have to live that way whether you like it or not."

post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 

I really don't think that the polyamory route is for him, I think he's just had bad examples for 14 years of his life. He was growing up with a parent who consistently cheated and boyfriend-hopped, and that is what he is used to. From what he knows of polygamous relationships, he doesn't see them as acceptable. 

 

We actually did get a chance to talk today. In the car he very randomly said: "I think I'm disrespectful to girls". I jumped on that one! I said that I felt he was too and we conversed about it for a little bit. Hopefully it sunk in. At least he is upstairs practicing for his voice lessons instead of skyping other girls that aren't his girlfriend.

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