17yr old son - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-04-2010, 05:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My eldest just turned 17, and just started living with us 6 months ago.
There have been many issues but this one is the most immediate.

Part 1-
Yesterday we found evidence of him smoking in his room for the 3rd time. (his therapist said to allow him the choice whether to smoke or not but we arent to enable by buying or giving money)
The first time we sat him down and reminded him that this is a nonnegotable rule.
The 2nd time we told him he needs to take his smoking to the road rather than sitting on the deck while he does it, grounded him for a week (primarily for lying about it when caught. he's a habitual liar) and wasnt allowed to keep his ciggerettes. (he has to ask one of us to get him one)

Im considering taking his door off his room for a while.
~Do you think this is an appropriate natural consequence type of discipline?

He has it made up there- his computer and stereo, guitars and amps, cable tv..

Part 2-
He does nothing to earn all these priveledges. He'll do his chore when reminded (garbage this week), but thats it and frequently has to do it over due to doing a sloppy or half-@ssed job.

He's very lazy and procrastinates.
At that age I had many more chores. Am I under-choring him?
Should he have to do more to earn all these privledges?

Any suggestions? Thanks =)
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Old 10-04-2010, 03:39 PM
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I think a 17yo needs a door. So no, I wouldn't take the door off his room.

While I think a 17yo needs a door, I don't think he needs a man cave. I can understand why his guitar and his amps are in his room, but not why he has cable TV. And I'm iffy on the computer. Does he need it for school work? It sounds like he has enough stuff in his room to use it to avoid connecting with the rest of the family. I'd be hesitant to make it a punishment for smoking, but I'd look for a way to cut down because IMO, kids who duck out on connections with their parents are at high risk for all kinds of things I don't want my kids doing. (And I'm guessing that if he has a therapist who has suggested that he should be able to make his own choices about smoking, he probably has some issues that are more serious than cigs, and the ability to sever himself from his parents socially and emotionally might be enabling him in those issues.)

I also don't see the point in giving him more chores if it's already a struggle to get him to do the ones he has. Why invite the power struggle? I would, however, start asking him for more help with things as the situation calls for it. So I wouldn't say something like, "It's your job to wash the windows this week," but I might announce, "We need a fall cleaning weekend. I need you to take on the either washing the windows or raking the yard. Which would you prefer? OK great, start now, I'll check in on you in an hour."

What does your son's therapist suggest about these issues?
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Old 10-04-2010, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Havent been able to talk with the therapist yet. Appts next week.

We allowed the computer in his room b/c a. thats how he had it where he lived previously and b. b/c he uses it to record and edit his guitar compositions.
With 6 other kids, he cant do that downstairs.
His arguement for having cable up there is that we only watch "baby shows" (primarily true) and its too loud downstairs too chaotic. Also true.

We have a great relationship overall and he is more than willing to do family activities outside the home.

Smoking/breaking our #1 rule for him. Again.
How would you discipline for this then?

My thought on chores was perhaps finding a way to make him earn all the priveldges he gets. TO get cable you need to have this done, etc.
When I tell him he needs to do X, the arguement begins with "I already did my chores/thats not fair/so and so doesnt have to do as much/I'll do it in a minute" etc.
Chores were initally set up in 2 teams with his and 2nd eldest being "team leaders".
He would send his team to do the bulk of the work or pay them to do all his portion. He asked if I could just assign individual chores so he could just do his and be done.
He is the type who needs to have everything spelled out perfectly.
If I do X, this will be the consequence.
While I understand, it also seems that this may be giving him an opportunity to pick and choose (if the punishments worth the immediate gratification).
He blows up (punching walls etc) if he feels the punishment doesnt fit the crime/he didnt know that would happen/it doesnt make sense to him.

Sigh. He's tiring.
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Old 10-04-2010, 06:22 PM
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In your shoes, I would also take this up with his therapist. The therapist is the genius who proposed that you should allow your 17yo to smoke. I'm sure the therapist can propose a reasonable solution to the problem of having an explosive young adult refusing to comply with boundaries you set for your family's health and safety.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:39 PM
 
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Where did he live before and why didn't he live with you? Why did he come to live with you? Are you concerned about the smoking because of his health or some other reason?
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He lived with his father and got shipped to me b/c his dad couldnt/wouldnt deal with him any longer. (lying, stealing skipping school, drugs and drinking etc)

His smoking in his room is a health concern for the whole family, makes it smell horrible up there and worries me about a possible fire.
Even without that, its a simple rule. Dont smoke in the house. period.

His therapist recommended to let him smoke b/c 1. he's 17 and no one can make him stop if he really wanted to smoke. 2. Having to sneak sets up a pattern of lying and hiding 3. personal resposibility. His resposibility for his own health and effects of smoking, the responsibility of having the work to fund his habit.

We've gotten him off drinking and drugs, severely limit who his with and where he goes, homeschool him, cut off his monster drink (or whatever they are called) addiction and gotten him on a healthy diet.
Compared to how he was when he got here he's doing amazing.

Just unsure about chore requirements and discipline for breaking the smoking rule again.
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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Been there --mine is 19 now -still at home -smokes outside -is still finishing High School at a 1/2 day program and has a job.
He pays his own way for car pymt and smokes /ins pymt.

I tried herbal teas -books on yoga /healing herbs -lobelia to help stop smoking-
nothing worked .
He actually left home for 3 days and had way to many drugs ,monster energy drinks and then had a breakdown and cried a lot and came back home much better !!

I struggle with the chores -we said you mow part of the yard and I will do your laundry(put in washer and dryer -he is to fold it /hang it ).

I read Peaceful Parenting -lots of good ideas -prayers for you all.

Formally known as jazmommie
Momma to 4 Indigo kids ,22,19,11 and 3
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Old 10-06-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by just__angel View Post
Compared to how he was when he got here he's doing amazing.
it sounds like he is doing amazing.

Smoking is very hard to quit, esp. for former users/drunks. It's a nasty little addiction, but I agree with the therapist. You need to pick your battles.

Quote:
Just unsure about chore requirements and discipline for breaking the smoking rule again.
My kids are younger so I'm not speaking from experience, but would tying money to chores help the situation?

Would having a place to store the cigs that isn't in his room help? A shelf on an entry closet or something? I'm thinking if you removed the temptation from his actual room it might help. Also, may be you could help him come up with something he can do in his room that is a substitute when he is craving a smoke. Rather than punish, brain storm for a solution that everyone can live with.

Leave his door though. The whole family needs it there!

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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Old 10-06-2010, 05:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
it sounds like he is doing amazing.

Smoking is very hard to quit, esp. for former users/drunks. It's a nasty little addiction, but I agree with the therapist. You need to pick your battles.



My kids are younger so I'm not speaking from experience, but would tying money to chores help the situation?

Would having a place to store the cigs that isn't in his room help? A shelf on an entry closet or something? I'm thinking if you removed the temptation from his actual room it might help. Also, may be you could help him come up with something he can do in his room that is a substitute when he is craving a smoke. Rather than punish, brain storm for a solution that everyone can live with.

Leave his door though. The whole family needs it there!
I agree with Linda.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies. I appreciate the time and advice ;-)
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