18 year old disrespectful son

Zenia - posted on 10/02/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I am so stressed right now, I am stuck in the middle of 2 men with too much testosterone - 1 being my husband and the other, my son. Not to mention that I am dealing with my own battle of losing my husband and losing my son. Before I decided to sit here and start typing, so many things were going thru my mind. Ive been dealing with so much for the past 2 months. I noticed that there are many parents that are dealing with the same thing. I dont know what happened to that sweet, innocent and loving son that I had! The day he turned 18, his whole attitude changed. He started with breaking his curfew and coming in later and later. Started smoking and he is never home and only comes home after we are already in bed. His grades are slipping and he is just too busy with his friends for anything else. He has become disrespectful to me and his father which is causing problems between our marriage. I am more of the sitting down and discussing what the problems are and how we can fix things type, my husband on the other hand does not give chances, he wants to kick our son out and teach him a lesson. He says if his friends are that important, then let them take him to school and let him move in with them! We got him a car for work and school and he has since lost his job becasue he doesnt have time and he is not doing too well in school - he is a senior this year but it seems like he is purposely jeopardizing all he has worked for to graduate in 2014. I am at my wits end. I feel like giving up but I just can't, I feel like if I dont keep at him, he will get worse. My health is deteriorating in the process though....

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Cindy - posted on 02/11/2014

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You are not alone Zenia. I have the same sweet boy that once he turned 18 he became someone I didn't know. Mine is never home. I don't remember the last time he ate dinner with us and our family used to be so tight knit. Mine is disrespectful too. My gut tells me to let him find himself and to stumble and learn on his own. He is an adult now. He doesn't have a door to his bedroom or a TV and it still goes on. I was told by someone that he's just finding his independence. But, like you, I felt I was blind sided once he turned 18 and I wasn't prepared for what he is giving me. But, I truly believe the first 17 years of our sons lives were giving him "good bones" from us as parents and he just needs to go through this and learn by it. Don't stop telling him you love him! I think he needs to hear that even though he is being disrespectful. Have confidence he'll bounce back. Good luck!

Cecilia - posted on 10/03/2013

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If you lock him out and he sleeps on the porch, I doubt he would show up late again. He just needs to learn you're serious. My brother had to sleep on the porch once, not as punishment my parents assumed he wasn't coming home and they went to bed. He made sure he called if he was late after that.

If you see it as your side that you're taking it does make it easier for you. It's him against your rules. It took away the stress from being son against husband. No one likes punishing their child no matter the age. We do it because it needs to happen.

Zenia - posted on 10/03/2013

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Thank you so much, these are things that I have thought of and I just need to enforce them. Honestly, at first I was thinking "I can't do that to him, where is he going to sleep if I lock him out, how is he going to get to school" but I figured, you know what, he's not even worrying about these things half as much as I am. If he can have a friend pick him up to get out of the house, he can surely spend the night at that friends house and also hitch a ride. I am making my self sick trying to make him happy and he has not once thought about what this is doing to me. Its not that I'm tired of being nice, I'm just plain tired! Thanks again!

Cecilia - posted on 10/02/2013

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First don't choose a side. Figure out your side and stick to it. You want your son to do things differently. You do like you would for any child and set up consequences for his actions.

If he does not get a job in one month the car will be taken away for example. Sorry but the car was given under the assumption it was to get to work and school. He's a big boy, if he has to walk to school then that's what he has to do.

As far as curfew, there is a time to be in the house. If you are not there, the doors will be locked and he will need to find another place to sleep for the night.

If he doesn't bring his grades up you will remove items from his space that belong to you, such as a tv. He can earn them back with better grades.

I know no mother wants to leave their child stranded but the truth is, you aren't. They are based on the choices he will consciously make.

Which ever rules you do make feel free to let your husband look at what you've written down to show him you're trying to get it done in your way. This way he doesn't feel like he has to take a more drastic action. He is only choosing to do so because he also feels stuck and it's the only solution he can see, show him another solution.

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