Online Parent Support Chat

5.1.09

I don't quite understand about my son's thinking right now...

These a few days have been very handful for me because it is a mixture
of birthday and consequence.

January 2 was my son's 18th birthday.

As the presents, I gave him my consent to have his writing test to get
his learner's license if he signs a family contract with me and I am
willing to contribute a half of tuition towards his professional
driver course(worth 2 credits of grade 12). I also gave him the
graduation photo collection. The presents are just face value in my
opinion until he works to redeem them. It may have the indulgent
component in it, but I really need to involve in my son's driving
process so that he can learn it properly for his own safety and
others. By age of 19, he can do it without my consent. I also have my
secret plan for the curfew issue hoping he can earn driving practice
time by following the curfew rule. This driving consent is my biggest
gun I could pull now and last. My son has resented me since he was 16
when a teen can start driving. I also gave him a huge dose of
compliments in the birthday card I made for him. He has been very good
in house keeping, personal organization and own chores. I specially
pointed it out his improvement with the drug and alcohol because he
has almost not come home puke, stoned or used at home for a few
months.

On behavior issues I mostly communicate with my son through writing
notes leaving them on our kitchen counter because I was afraid that he
would cut me off when I begin to speak and that I could not express
properly in the new parenting style and also I usually don't see him
because he is not home before I go to bed.

The 3-day consequence grounding in the house

I issued and let my son know the 3-day grounding consequence starting
8 o'clock Jan.2 with no phones and internet. He will be ungrounded 3
days from the time it starts if he stays in the house the entire time.
If he chooses to walk out, the clock will not start until he returns
home. If he chooses to not come home again, I will call the police and
file runaway and missing person against him. In Vancouver Canada the
police does not help me with runaway because he is 18. So I mentioned
missing person to make my son feel uncomfortable if he didn't want to
be searched in his school and his photos were to be posted everywhere.

Day 1 of the 3 days Jan 2

He stayed in the house when I came home from work. I went out shortly
when he was doing his laundry. I returned 9:30 PM and he was not home.
He came back shortly before 10 pm. I saw a note in his room while he
was out. He should know that I could see it easily. "I find it amusing
how you attempt to keep me home. By taking the only tow things I come
home to, call the police I don't care. They will laugh when they find
out I'm not missing. You are just mentally unstable. Thanks for the
pictures I did not want them They are for you when I'm out of here.
You really think I would stay home do nothing for 3 days. Put my birth
certificate somewhere I can get it. I will get my license in 2 years
with or without your help."

Day 2 Jan 3

Slept to 4 pm. I slipped a note into his room needing him to help
shovel snow before dark. 5 minutes later he got up and went out
shoveling. 7 pm he told me he went to pick up his backpack and would
be back. I said nothing because he was telling me while he was leaving
from another room. He did not come back until 4 am. While he was away
I discovered that the house phone cord was missing because the phone
wasn't working. By this point I was unhappy about him. I then write a
new consequence note before going to bed telling him that he chose to
violate the grounding by going out; also the house phone cord was
missing, unless he can convince me, I assume he took it. The 3 day
grounding will re-start when he returns the phone cord.

Day 3 Jan 4

I am here writing to you. My son is sleeping in his room. I am unsure
if he saw the note or not when he came in 4 am. I have to assume that
he did. I found a cord for the phone temporally. This is the first
time he took things away. Good thing I learned it from your training
or I would be clueless about it. Do I ignore this and wait for him to
return it and let it go? Do I tell him that if he chooses to take
things away again, he will choose the consequence, which is that he
can only be in the house when I am in and that means I will change the
lock on the house. Also, if he chooses to be destructive of the house,
I will call the police. The history of going into jail and staying
outside the house may repeat because of his choice.

I am feeling discouraged.

I didn't have a good sleep. When will this end without my son's
cooperation? Starting a minor cell phone misuse and a light1-day
consequence to his refusal of the 3-day discipline and now taking
things away, we are almost losing the focus of original issue and are
battling about the disciplines. I don't understand why he doesn't just
get over this and looks ahead of the better things in front of him.
Surly it is no fun with such a kid living in the house. I try to
manage by telling myself that, I am giving the whole January for
things to get worse before getting better; he is 11 emotionally though
18 physically so it is my responsibility to help things turn around
for him. What is his life going to be like if he lives on his own with
such behavior conditions? You have said that we need never to give up
and that 18 is not too late and it just takes a lot of work. I do not
get very much support from other authorities now because of his age of
18. I am going to try my very best to hang in there until this summer
when he finishes his grade 12.

One credit I must give my son is that he has not used foul language
this whole time in refusing the consequences. I was actually afraid
that he would put back the foul language again in his room. We two are
like playing chess back and forth.

What are my son's thoughts?

I don't quite understand about my son's thinking right now. Does he
want to fight long enough so that I give up the consequences? Is he
not interested in starting the driving preparations? Will I keep the
phones and internet away from him as long as he does not complete the
3-day grounding discipline? Here are the notes he wrote in response to
my earlier discipline notes requesting him leaving his cell phone with
me: "I'm 18, moving out in summer. So you really think I'll begin
listening to rules when I haven't for years? Dream. "You're a phyco.
Too old for rules, too bad."

My Out-of-Control Teen

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