Questions about teenagers answered by a teenager

Ali - posted on 09/01/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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I am a teenage mum (well i am 19) I am reasonable i have my own house with my daughter and partner (My daughters dad) I am not on benifits and have my head screwed on. I am basically here to answer any questions about your teenagers. Boys or girls! Talk to me about sexuality eating dissorders pregnancy school it wasn't that long ago i did it all! This may seem a little silly but i can give you a teenagers point of veiw without the arguments!

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Kristin - posted on 05/28/2012

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I was a teen mom as well and took total responsiblity of my child since his dad and i divorced when he was 4 yrs old. He is now 16 and yes we have our issues but nothing compared to what some of you are going through, I am very open with my son and although we struggled in the early years, we are not struggling now and i think that has made him a better person. He works and helps around the house and I have learnt to pick and choose my battles with hi,. His room is a pigsty and yes it bothers me but he helps with dishes, garbage, laundry and is an honor role student. The only thing my son struggles with is he feels guilt for making my life harder as I had him so young. I keep telling him the choices were mine and it made me the person i am today. Having my son at 16 made me a stronger more determined individual who works hard. I finished a college degree and have a successful career and i would not have been able to do this without hving him. Yes i missed out on the so called party years but seeing the way my son has grown and flourished made up for all that. Since he has seen the struggles of being a single parent, he also works harder and makes smarter decisions and he has nothing but the utmost respect for women in general which pleases me. He is determined to go to college and become a psychiatrist and then a lawyer and to marry and have kids when he is older, He is wise with money and has put half his pay cheques into a savings account for college. i guess because i was so young when i had him i still know what it is like to be a teen and i keep myself informed of everything that is out there and we talk about things. I love that i have that relationship with my son and we are able to talk openly and freely to solve conflicts, and I am so thankful he respects me as his mother and listens and trie his best. Thats all a mother could ever have asked for.

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User - posted on 05/16/2014

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What would you do if you caught your 16 year smoking pot in your house after midnight on a school night?

Tamara - posted on 06/06/2012

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Hi Kristin,
Thanks for the good and sound advice.
Perhaps you can shed some light on this or maybe I should start another post. My 14 year old son has discovered girls in the past year. When I discovered this he had shared it with me and that is it. Nothing else was open to discussion on this matter, however I proceeded to tell him about sex, std s, teen pregnancy and of course condoms. Thankfully he listened but offered nothing else. Thats ok I accepted that, because I am a single mom and understand that it is uncomfortable for him to talk to me about this. He/we don't have any male figures in our lives except for his grandpas for him to feel comfortable to take advice from. Because to him they are dinosaurs. I understand that too. I try not to pry too much and let him come mention things in passing (few and far between) I have even met the last two girls that he calls his girlfriend in passing. The problem is that on several occasions accidentally neglected to log out of his Facebook. Of course I read his messages and although his Facebook photo is one kissing his current girlfriend he is desperately reaching out to other girls for some play. Most of the girls are flirtatiously opposed to anything, some are open. He even said to one girl, I can look but cant touch.
How do I approach him and tell him that this is inappropriate without letting him know that the only way I could find out about this is my reading what he considers his private conversations?

Kristi - posted on 05/30/2012

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Sandra-

I'm so sorry for what you are going through. Although my son has not ever said those words to me, he has opted not to see me for the last 8 years instead. So I do understand your heartache. Ours is a long, messy story with plenty of blame to go around and that has no relevance here. You need to know that it is ok to feel the way you do. You are his mother and a human being and you have emotions and feelings that are just as valid as anyone else's, including your son's. My BFF's oldest daughter who is now in her early 20's is out of control! She has 3 kids under the age of 4 with different daddies. She uses drugs, lies, cheats, steals, is listed as an accomplice to attempted murder, you see where I'm going, and if my friend doesn't "ask how high" when that girl says "jump" ...talk about hateful!! Needless to say she doesn't much like her daughter either. However, she has offered many times, get your act together and I will be right here with open arms and an open heart but other that she just couldn't take the abuse and fear anymore. You never stop loving them.

It sounds like your son is really struggling. He can't like himself very much if he's lashing out at you like that. Like you said, he's still not comfortable about being gay and is probably afraid others will make fun of him, bully him, hate him, so why wouldn't you. His game plan is to hurt you before you hurt him. That gives him a sense of control, which I'd bet he doesn't feel like he has much of lately, over anything, so he is taking it where he can get it. I have bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. I've been struggling with them for over 20 years now. I have a decent perspective from both sides of the boat I think. I've come a LONG way but it has taken a long time, alot of trials, many, many errors and some serious hard work, not to mention the right dr, therapist and drug combination. He is so young so is impulse control is already weak, throw in the bipolar and the explosive disorder you mentioned, his impulse control is virtually gone. So I don't think he could stop himself from saying those hurtful things even if he tried when he is agitated or upset in anyway. Do your parents let him get away without taking his meds when he's there? Medication regulation is so vital, especially with bipolar. The ups can be so great but the downs, can be worse in my opinion. But if he only off of them for a couple days it makes sense that he's staying up all hours and then crashes hard. If he is doing that regularly and is still taking his meds properly, I'd say it's time to look at a new mix.

Is there anybody else that would be willing to take him for you for part of the weekend or a couple of nights during the week to give you a break? It doesn't seem like being at your parent's house is a very effective solution for anybody. Maybe he needs to stay home and have some of his privileges revoked. It sounds like you've gone above and beyond to give him anything a kid could ever want and that's not working. So take it away. See how he responds to that. As hard as it is, maybe a little tough love is in order here. Have a serious sit down with him and explain to him how much you love him but things need to change. Try asking him to tell you in a respectful manner why he seems so full of anger and hate. You don't like to see him that way, it hurts your feelings, makes you sad for him, you know, whatever is in your heart. Do your absolute best to remain calm and respectful. If it starts to get out of control, you can either get up and walk away, letting him know that you'd love to finishing listening to him or talk some more, etc when he's ready to be respectful or send him off with the same message. As soon as you're able to work into the conversation, let him know what the new expectations are. Make a list (make copies, so you'll have extra's for when the dog eats his other one) so he has the visual aid and there is no he said, she said later. This is what he needs to do, this is what will happen when you do/don't do it, you want to make sure he is rewarded for his efforts too. For example, curfew is 10pm...make it all week, you get ping pong table back, miss it...give up your cell phone...(on a side note, this is just me but I would ban my daughter from any source of the internet. I would shut her FB acct down and block her internet access on her cell phone. Nothing is fool proof but that is where I would start) Anyways, on the list, put down what he can expect from you and your consequences (good/bad) if you don't meet them. Maybe that is something you could work on with his counselor. He/She would probably be able to best tell you the most effective ways to work with him. Also, letting him make some realistic suggestions for this list might give him some empowerment.

One last thing I would like to suggest and again I would definitely talk to his dr/therapist about this, but is possibly getting him a group called DBT. It stands for Dialectical (sp?) Behavioral Therapy. It helps train, or in many cases, retrain your brain how to think. It really helps with distress tolerance, impulse control, better decision making skills, how to be more effective...it is confusing at first. My therapist believes you need to take it over the course of about a year. It is a process and it takes time to grasp it, to really understand and begin to use it and then using regularly and finally using it without thinking about it. If you want to look it up online Marsha Linehan is the dr who began it all. She's from Seattle. Some of her stuff is kind of clinical but that's why you need to talk to your son's doc and/or therapist. It made a world of difference for me! There were people with all different types of diagnosis's there. I would call my mom and tell her about each week and blah, blah, blah and she said everybody could use those skills not just people with mental health issues, which, she says about 90% of people have but only about 20% are brave enough to do anything about it. : )

I sure hope I didn't come off like some jerk wish she knew it all, or a babbling idiot. I just know the hell I've been through with my son and the hell I've been and put my family through with my illness. Your post just broke my heart and I just thought I had to try. The good thing is you are already aware of his issues and together, you can turn this around sooner rather than later. You should definitely find a support group too. My mom was never keen on the idea but when she finally broke down and tried one out she was pleasantly surprised and later, very glad she did. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Remember, you don't have to like the hurtful and unacceptable behaviors. Nobody wants to be around an abusive person. That's OK! But everybody knows you never stop loving your kids and he's counting on that from you. That is also what is going to keep your head above water when you feel like you can't possibly float for another second.

Kristin - posted on 05/29/2012

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Tamara,
Yes this is true and unfortunately all we can do is hope we did a good job raising our kids and be there to support and guide them. We cant keep them from making mistakes or gettting hurt as like you said life is about evolution through our experience. Being a parent is the hardest job in the world i think but also the most rewarding. Take care

Tamara - posted on 05/29/2012

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Thanks Kristin, I think also he has learned a few lessions in this process and is learning to make better choices. It is a work in progress and life is about evolution through our experiences.

Thanks again.

Kristin - posted on 05/29/2012

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Thats awesome Tamara. I hope your son stays away from it too. i know mine did. We found traces of cocaine in his system and I have heard that it is common to lace pot with cocaine to make it more addictive to young adults and teens and sometimes dealers will hope to make future dealers. I still random drug test my son and I spot check his room regularly, and so far so good. It is hard to gain trust back with your children but i look at it if they are honest with us the first time he will be honest again. My son is not perfecet but hes a pretty good kid and we have learned how to communicate better and he is actually open to listening to what I have to say. He knows I am younger than most of his friends' parents and I know the signs and i alos keep myself informed of what is out there nowadays and he thinks its cool that he can tell me anything and ask for advice and i will be honest with him, However he also knows that if he steps over the boundaries there are consequences to his actions, so he is learning to make smnarter choices. He enrolled at a local YMCA gym and has met a whole new group of kids who dont drink or do drugs so thats a good thing. So keep firm and keep strong and keep loving and supporting your kids. Your doing a wonderful job!!!

Tamara - posted on 05/29/2012

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Thanks for your response Kristin. Since we last spoken, my son came home high one last time and I told him to get in the car we are going for a ride. As we proceeded to drive I started heading to the parkway, at which point I told him sorry Charlie, since you can not follow the rules and than I am taking you somewhere were you can be with a bunch of people you will accept this behavior. The local shelter. As pleaded, beg and sobbed, I continued to drive and talk. He promised he wouldnt do it again. I asked if this was genuine or drug induced remorse. I think alittle of both, but at that time I promised to give him a chance. Its been three weeks and I honestly believe he has stayed away from those friends and is rekindeling his relationship with his previous good friends. Even though I am suspicious and always checking on where he is and if he is on time for curfiew and look for signs. He has not disspointed me yet. Now its me who has to learn to trust and pray that he keeps it up. I dont think I will go to that exteme agian if he slips up.
Yes it scary to find out what they lace pot with. What other stuff did you find in his system when he tested. Jut curious.

Kristin - posted on 05/28/2012

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Tamara,

I went through the pot expernimentation days with my son as well. I think what you are doing is the best thing. My son was honest with me about it as well and we sat him down and told him all the consequences he may face and we also told him that if it becomes a problem it will be done. It did become a problem for him and i had him drug tested as i have heard that pot is laced with other stuff and that scared me. It also scared him and when we did the drug test some other things came up so we went through a whole drug addiction session and my son decided to quit smoking pot. Unfortunately kids will do it behind your back and just keep an eye on it and do not let it get out of hand,

Pee - posted on 05/28/2012

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Hey Ali
my daughter refuses to go to school she is 14..she keeps saying she is sick when ive taken her to the docoters nothing is wrong. she is not being bullied has friends i dont get it
even told her if she doesnt go she cant go to a special thing that i promised she could and she just said i dont care and left it that what do you think is going on?
HELP

Tamara - posted on 05/15/2012

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Any advice on a 14year old boy experimenting with pot? He was honest enough to tell me and because he did, I didnt get angry I just talked to him. I dont condone this. I told him I too tried it in my college days and how it could impact his life. I also told him of the dangers of possibly wanting to try other drugs. He said he is not that stupid. I hope he is right. I am not sure If I did the right thing. But I do know that at that age if you want to do something you will do it behind your parents back anyway and drugs especially pot is everywhere and cigaretts and drinking althouh legal, can potentially do more damage. What are your thoughts?

Sandra - posted on 05/15/2012

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So my oldest son, who is gay and not entirely comfortable with it, is 16, and has been in and out of the psych office for several years, diagnosed with depression, explosive disorders, Bi-polar (although not a formal diagnosis, this has been discussed with every dr he has seen in 5 years) he has been on meds for a while now and they make him sleep well, and help his mood for the most part. i live about 45 mins from my mom and dad, where he lived for almost a year, he has friends there, and likes to visit... he never sleeps there and when he comes back he is MISERABLE to be around, they allow him to literally stay up all night on the computer and every time he comes back he is "sick" and can go to school the next day, and literally sleeps for an entire day. this past weekend was mothers day and he was to babysit for me (me, my bf, my daughter and her friend were going to a concert) for mothers day and my daughters birthday present, and at the last minute he decided he wasn't going to babysit and told me that he didn't care that he didn't get me anything for mothers day because my mom was his "mother" and that mothers day was for mothers whose kids love them - that he got my mom something instead and proceeded to verbally abuse me until I was literally in tears walking out the door - my bf made him babysit... I am very hurt, so hurt that I don't want him around me anymore, he told my mom that he was leaving when I got home that night and when I got up the nxt day I was upset that he was still there, I know I shouldn't feel like this towards my own kid, but I have spent the last 17 years alone, struggling and sacrificing to make him a better life, I was a teen mom, he was 20 days old when I walked in my high school graduation, I have a bachelors degree, I jsut bought a house (alone) for us, he has everything he needs (and always has) and even had a cell phone, trampoline, pool table, air hockey table, ping pong table, movie room, and so much more than I ever had AND I am risking getting fired from my job to get him to his orthodontist appointments so he doesn't have to ride the city bus.... I just feel like there is no making this kid happy, and his less recent stab was when he told me that he feels like I hate him because he is gay, and swears I treat him differently now that I know (i have known his whole life - he has known for a few years) - all based on the fact that my parents told him I was pissed about it (when in fact I was pissed that he had been sending and receiving porn from grown men on my home computer and my cell phone) He bashes me on Facebook to the extent that he has blocked me so I get the calls from my friends telling me how horrible I am - it is soooo hurtful and I am a human being and I honestly don't like him anymore... what am i supposed to do?

Page - posted on 10/26/2011

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My 17yo daughter, a senior is involved in her first long-term serious relationship. About 6 mths. She has always been a strong willed person but I believe this boy is very controlling. She has no contact with friends anymore. Erased her facebook account. Erased all males phone numbers from her phone. At first the boy would come over here and spend with our family both immediate and extended but know he refuses to come over here except to pick her up. She lies to us constantly. She has stolen money from my wallet. She snuck the boy (who is 19) into her room to spend the night while she was grounded.(for lying and being disrespectful) I know trying to break them up will only push her more toward him. But what do I do? Just wait it out? She is on birthcontrol and is keeping up with her school work. And basically a good kid. But I can't tolerate the disrespect and the lying and stealing.

Kathryn - posted on 09/15/2010

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My daughter is 14. She has been classmates with a guy since kindergarten. He has for the past few years been hanging with the wrong crowd of people. How do i stop the friendship before he influences her into his lifestyle. (he was put out of his parents house and lives with neighbors who are known to party, do drugs, and drink)

Christina - posted on 09/12/2010

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I was a teen mom myself and now my boys are teens. I noticed that the questions I see are from mothers of teen boys. A lot of the answers to these questions could be different depending on the individual. Some of the “acting out” could be due to circumstances that are going on in their own lives. I don’t believe it is normal for a teen boy to totally disrespect their parents’ wishes. It is normal for them to push the limits, to try to gain their own independence. But total disrespect is not normal, and the longer it is allowed the more likely they are to do the same as an adult. I believe there is hope, but it takes changes on both the parents and teens side. My sister has two teen boys who were totally out of control. She was lucky enough to get some help from a behavioral specialist. Actually there are three of them and they come to her house three times a week. I know not everyone can have that, but what I learned from watching them and seeing results in my nephews...is there has to be consequences for every action. For bad actions the consequences are usually not good, but for good actions the consequences are good. And, that when your teen is on restriction, so are you. It sucks but it is the way that it is. My sister has been doing this for about 9mounths now. At first she hated it, and could not see how this was helping. But the first time her son went to his room the first time she told him to, didn’t say any curse words to her, and did not sneak out the window, she saw some light. She is a single mom, and raising your teens takes a lot of invested time, I know this, but the payoff is totally worth it. So I know this may seem lame, but the first step may be to invest some time in them, don’t let them go out with their friends every night, or weekend. They can go out with you. That will be just the start on a long road of recovery.

Julie - posted on 09/10/2010

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i dont think it sounds silly at all. some of the responses i have put on this site have been from my kids. they are 20 and 22. i was a teenager once too you know but many moons ago and my mum was a bit of a prood so i tried not to be with my kids and for that we have talked about all kinds of subjects and had a good relationship. asking teenagers and young people about problems today is the best because like you say your still living those days i have slept many sleeps since my teens. nice to know someone so young wants to be so involved. and well done for making yourself a good life. you are a credit to your upbringing your parents must be proud.

Melissa - posted on 09/10/2010

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Hey Ali,
I think you are stepping up and be responsible. I applaude you on that. Your right, there are teenagers out there who have been "thru it" that has excellent advice, and can be a huge help for other teens, and thier parents. And there's some out there that dont give a crap, and endds up down a dead end road. I have 2 step-grandaughter's that were born to their mom while she was a teenager, the 1st at 16, the 2nd at 18. She has had a real hard time, but she sticks it out and takes care of them on her own. Neither dad helps financially, but the oldest ones dad does have joint custody. Keep up the wonderful job ur doing and continue to post on here. It amazes me how smart some teenage moms really are and how much they learned from life's trails.

Twala - posted on 09/09/2010

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I have a 16 year old boy who wants to be independent i guess. I try and work with him and allow him to go out with his freinds just as long as he comes in before dark and call me when he arrives and leaves. He does not follow my instructions and always have a story of why he could not listen. Nothing seems to work with him. I feel as if i give and he takes. taking away things from him does not work i think he feels like what can really happen to me therefore he does what he wants. :(

Elva - posted on 09/06/2010

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what to do when your teenage boy thinks he doesnt have to do what you tell him and comes in when he wants to and thinks consequenses dont apply to him

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