May 4, 2008 4:29pm CST
So I figure I must be doing my job as a parent, right? Isn't that how it goes? Here's what happened- A few weeks ago, I found out that he has a girlfriend. We live in a small town so I am very familiar with this girl. She is a relatively good girl with relatively good grades. That's not the problem. The problem is that HE'S 14! He has been spotted by several people holding hands and kissing in broad daylight uptown in public. I let him have a girlfriend before and didn't really say much because his girlfriend lived in southern California(she is a good friend of a good friend of our family) and the only contact they had was on the phone or computer. I thought it was the best relationship for him for his age. Anyway, the rule is, and has always been, no girlfriends until you're old enough to drive. 16 is about old enough to make decisions like this, I guess. I don't know for sure, I've never had to parent a 16 year old boy before, so how would I know? I do know this- my boy has been raised making his own decisions that have progressively gotten bigger as he has gotten older. Choosing what to wear, what he wanted for lunch, what sports he wants to play, which friends to hang out with, being in Algebra instead of Pre-Al because the teacher thought he was ready and so did he. I have always asked him what he wanted to do, what did he think was best, and let him go with his choices. This school year was no different. His grades have steadily dropped, his teachers are concerned, his attitude has went downhill rapidly, he doesn't follow my instructions, if his friends suggest he do something and it sounds better that what I have asked of him, he goes along with the friends. Now he hates me because I'm putting my foot down. I told him that he has to break up with his girlfriend or I will do it for him, he will be chauffeured to and from school, to and from track practice(which thankfully ends this week), no phone privileges, he doesn't get left home but now has to go where I go, and no more friends unless they are people I have approved of. Am I wrong? This might be a very small town and I might find out things through the grapevine, but that's not how you raise your child, that's how other people raise your kid. We all watch out for each others kids, but I'm not doing my part in watching out for this girl. If I saw her making out with some boy, I'd tell her mom. She's 14!! I don't think her mom would like knowing(if she doesn't already) that she is behaving like that in plain view. Not that we want them to hide it, we don't want them doing it!! I'm not sure how else I should go about this. A good friend of his is very concerned, he doesn't even want to hang out with my boy mostly because the people he hangs out with have crappy attitudes and it's rubbing off on my boy. My boy has very little respect for me. He is outright rude with his heavy sighs, crinkled eyebrows, walking away(or trying to), but he never cusses at me, doesn't say he doesn't care what I say, his disrespect is more subliminal and behind my back. He has zero respect for my boyfriend(of 4 years) and I already know why. My son lost his father when he was almost 5 and now he is trying to incorporate that into his attitude and also, as far as he is concerned, my boyfriend is just someone that his mom is sleeping with and has no authority. I know he thinks that, I can tell. He has not had very consistent male influences so why should this one be different? I blame myself for that. None of this changes the fact that he is 14 and is not old enough to have a girlfriend. Right?? Am I on the right track? Am I ruining my relationship with my only boy? Am I setting the right example for my daughters who are both younger? Thank you for your input...