My 15 year old wants more freedom

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

My son is 14years 11 months and is always complaining he has not got any freedom (compared to his friends). I cant see it myself. He goes to the cinema, malls (I drop him and his friends off and pick them up). He also attends a Air-soft activity every Sunday which is an all day event with friends and other enthusiasts, even the odd all night event (couple of times per year). His bedtime is 10pm on a school night and later at weekends.

I think this is quite enough freedom for his age, I insist that he lets me know exactly where he is at all times and have no problem with him sleeping over at his friends on non school nights. He has his own contract phone (which he has been entrusted not to go over his monthly allowance) which touch wood he hasn't.

He continually insists he has not got a life and we are too over protective. We have endless arguments about this and never seem to find common ground.

This morning he mentioned that his friend has invited him on holiday to the Caribbean. Considering we can never get him on a far flung holiday as he has refused to have his vaccinations, suddenly, he is all for it! I know his friends mum but she gives her son far to much freedom than we give ours. This is worrying me so much as the thought of him being away for 2 weeks is very unsettling. I told him I would think about it when his friends mum rang me so I know this is genuine and not him and his friend plotting. What do you all think, should I just say a flat NO or should I be considering something like this? He isn't a naughty lad, he is sensible and I have had no issues or problems with his behaviour.

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DeAnna - posted on 06/20/2011

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I am the same way with my daughter and you are very right to hear the plans of the vacation from the parent. A few weeks ago I let my daughter go off and spend the night with a friend only to find out she lied to me and went to a party at all hours of the night, She said she did not drink but I found two small bottles of wine missing from our fridge. I know we love our children and want to trust them but lets be real they are teenagers now and pushing the boundries. If you don't like the vacation don't send him! Always check up on him and as sad as it is to say sometimes you can't trust them.

Sam - posted on 03/14/2013

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And to DeAnna Judson, the reason she's doing this is because she wants to be accepted. I would never drink, but I would enjoy being accepted more, and feeling like less of an outcast. Trust her word In saying that she would not drink. When you push back shell only push the boundaries harder. Please listen to these statements I have posted. Thank you

Demetra - posted on 06/17/2011

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@ Tara Simpson I went to Cancun without my parents also, but things and the time has changed...Nothing is the way it was when we were growing up.

Tara - posted on 06/17/2011

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One more note... I went (at 16) to Australia/New Zealand for a month without my parents. My sister did the same but went to China.. plus she went to Hawaii with a friend's family for vacation. I'm sure we did things our parents wouldn't have liked.. but we learned from it and are perfectly responsible and functioning adults! :)

Demetra - posted on 06/17/2011

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Sounds like he already has a lot off freedom. Going to tha Caribbean for 2 weeks without family is a little 2 much. I just could not let my daughter (16) or my son (8) go to the Caribbean without me.

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Sam - posted on 03/14/2013

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Once again, I apologize if you disagree, but these are my views on the subject. You can't change them, because I know they aren't wrong. Please accept his opinion on the subject, and I promise he will accept your side. He may not, however, agree with it. Just figured you would want a point of view similar to your son

Sam - posted on 03/14/2013

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And do not take "baby steps." I promise he'll just feel more restricted and feel you are giving him the short end of the stick, which unbeknownst to you, you are. You have to give him freedom, or else raising him right was for nothing. He will rebel, and he will fight back. I'm sorry to say, but if you don't give him freedom, and let him become his own person, he'll do it on his own. If you don't give him his freedom, no one wins.

Sam - posted on 03/14/2013

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Hello. I have some issues on this subject. He is going through the same things I am going through. I am a 14 year old boy, and I believe my parents do not give me enough freedom. If I'm right he doesn't want to talk to you about anything. He feels this way because he doesn't trust you. He in turn feels that you don't trust him. You are also always harassing him about his life and every detail of. However, he does not trust you in this aspect of his life either. I apologize if you disagree on the subject, but these are me personal feelings on the subject and would like you to know them. Maybe you will learn to trust your child more, and through that I can find a way to speak to my parents on the subject. Thank you

Ann - posted on 06/20/2011

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Like what happened when we were growing up....take things in little steps.....If they keep by your rules for so long then you can trust them with something else.....eventually they will learn how to fly and leave the nest.....Just there in this situation now with my own 15 year old....

Tara - posted on 06/17/2011

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@Demetra - this is true! But our kids have grown up in this world and environment.. they are not as naive as we were! :)

Tara - posted on 06/17/2011

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Speaking as a mother to older teenagers (almost 17 and 19).. here's what I've learned. Once my boys got to be about 15 - they pushed for more freedom. The more I restricted them, the more they ended up sneeking around and in trouble. My 17 yr old actually went to live with his father recently, who has an entirely differen't parenting style. He pretty much lets him do what he wants, and just told him.. as long as he stays out of trouble and grades are good, he's fine. But if he screws up - watch out. And it's worked! He spent an entire school year there, and just got home for the summer. He had no issues all year. He did do things that I would never have allowed, but he learned from it, and seems to be more responsible.

I say - if he's a good kid, and has given you no reason not to trust him, than trust him. He can't mature and grow unless he makes mistakes, and better he do that while he's young and living under your roof! Let him go on vacation, just make sure he knows that it's a one shot deal, and the leash will be shortened if he messes up.

Otherwise you risk him just doing as he wishes anyway - and sneaking around to do it!

One thing we did when our boys were about that age - was let them.. IN WRITING, request rule changes. They had to tell us what they wanted changed, what they wanted it changed to, and why. That way they had to think about it, and have good valid reasons for WHY. Plus it gives them the feeling that they have some sort of control over the situation, or at least that it's negotiable! And you can approve/dissapprove whatever you want. And give your reasons. And give them a date when you can revisit the subject.

Good luck!

Janet - posted on 06/17/2011

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maybe for your peace of mind start with baby steps :) ask him exactly what he means by "more freedom" and then discuss with him the options. You say he is a good kid and I know it is a big scarry world out there and us moms tend to hold on too tight sometimes.

As for the trip....maybe get more details from this friend's mom....and also, let her know what you would expect from her as a chaperone for your son if you allow him to go

[deleted account]

Thanks Ladies. I have had a good chat with him tonight and told him its to far and for too long, so its a no on this occasion... Ive told him I wouldn't rule out him going away in the near future (gotta give him something to hold onto) I appreciate your comments Abby and Nichole it does give me encouragement and its good to know that there are mums out there who will support others when needed x x x

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/16/2011

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10pm school nights is absolutely respectable and perfect. Tell him to shush about that one lol expecially at 15!!!!!! No way. Expecially if you have it later on weekends. That's totally fair. He just is pushing his boundaries. It sounds like you are doing great, keep up the good work. I know it's hard, teens give parents hell. But you are just trying to look out for his best interest and right now is the hardest time to do that as they are trying to grow up so fast. Do things that can affect the rest of their lives. Don't budge. Tell him your not talking about it anymore. Tell him there's nothing to talk about because you think you are being fair and if he brings it up more than 1 time a month, he's going to go to bed at 6pm lol

I wouldn't let him to got the Caribbean?! What the. no. too young. He can go backpacking wherever he wants when he is 18. I'd be scared to travel anywhere right now anyway. Will parents be near them the whole time? I don't know....... unless you trust this mother I'd say no to that too. Can't hurt to talk about it to her though, and see how you feel. Whatever decision you make though, it sounds like you have a sound head on your shoulders to make the right decision, so don't worry so much hun :) good job

Abby - posted on 06/16/2011

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Two weeks is a long time, if you're going to be worried about him. I would listen to your motherly instincts on this one. If he is a good kid and the other mother seems to have a plan, he probably can't get into too much trouble on an island where he doesn't know anybody else (no friends to plot and scheme with). It's understandable if the length of this vacation would just be too hard on you though, worrying at home every minute.

Teenagers....they think they have all the answers but they don't know half the questions! I am the mother of a two year old so I don't have to deal with teenagers from the parenting side yet. But I can say that my mom was super-strict with me, especially at that age (14-16) when I wanted nothing more than to break free. For example, I was never allowed to have a phone in my room and I couldn't even bring the cordless (when we got one) into my room. At the time, I thought I was the most unlucky girl but, as an adult, I'm so thankful my parents kept me from making (more) stupid mistakes. College is right around the corner....he'll be free soon enough. I'd say stick to your guns for now. I think every teenager wants more freedom. What a difficult time of life....but he is still your responsibility, for now. Good luck!

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