Help me understand

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Goalkeeper21, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Goalkeeper21

    Goalkeeper21 New Member

    I know this is a silly request as no one can fully understand why our PCs do what they do but someone please help me try and understand my easy child's actions. He moved out about 2 months ago to live with his 14 year old girlfriend. I already know all the illegalities of his choice, but since he is 18 and the girlfriend's parents totally support and even encourage the relationship our hands are pretty much tied, and we are merely trying to stay sane and deflect the hate he feels for us (mainly me as I am the stronger willed of the two parents). For many weeks he inundated by phone with nastly and demanding text messages. On the advice of a fellow parent from this forum, I laid down the law and explained that I would no longer tolerate the disrespect and if he continued to be rude, I would not respond/answer any messages. Thanks for the advice, and it has worked wonders, and even when he slips, I stay strong and repeat the message. The last week however has been a strange one and has left me so confused. He floats between the I hate you b****, to inquiring as to whether we would allow him to move home. After we reply that he is always welcomed to move back so long as he can live with the household rules, and he attends family counseling with us to work on repairing the damage caused by the situation (the rest of the family has been seeing a counselor since he left), we will get a nasty message saying he has no intention of moving home. We saw him for the first time last night as he stopped by our house to yell at us because he went to my inlaws last night to fish and they told him to get off their property. They are devout Christians and told him to go home and read the commandment on "honor thy mother and thy father". He was livid that we shared our family problems with them. I guess I need some tough love advice on how to best handle the bull****. I want him to come home, but I am not begging and it certainly is going to only happen if he can live by our rules. Why do they play the games and what do they hope to accomplish? Do they really hate us the much, or are they hurting that bad that they want to make us miserable to? Most importantly, how do we put an end to it?
  2. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I think a lot of it is manipulation pure and simple. They will be nice and caring in the hopes that you will invite him home (without new rules), they get nasty and snarky if they think that will get you to do what they want... and that may also be their anger at you for their manipulations not working. I have dealt with this with my son too. My relationship with my son is far far from what I would like it to be... but at least at the moment we are civil to each other and I think he knows we love him. I don't think he actually hates us but he does resent us for some of the decisions we have made and for not rescuing him now. I also think a big part of him loves us but he is not in touch with that part of himself very much, at least not in front of us. I think it is a confusing time for them and hence it is confusing to us.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I would tell him that moving home is not on the canvass until he is respectful, period. Also, it is YOUR choice to talk to whomever you like (to get advice and help) and he is not allowed to get abusive toward you about it. It's YOUR house, it's YOUR call. Doesn't sound like it would be too successful if he moved back with his attitude. He could have told you in a nice way that it hurt him for you to share with his grandparents. Is this a child who uses drugs? If so, do you feel he stopped?
    I would have deep reservations about letting him come home so fast. Obviously, he is tiring of his fourteen year old girlfriend, but it was his choice to move, against your advice, and I woudn't be so fast to let him come home. Have him go to counseling with you a few times BEFORE he comes home...make him prove he is willing to take counseling and family rules seriously.
    Unfortunately, I had one who was like this at one time and I know about all the broken promises that can happen and don't want your heart broken any more than it already is.
    As for do they hate us...I think they do at the time. But that changes as they change. My daughter hated me after we made her leave. She wouldn't even talk to us. That was at age eighteen. Last week she turned twenty-seven. WE are very close and I love her with all my heart and she feels the same. Many difficult children DO grow up. The way to make it end is to just put your foot down as you are doing. In the end, my daughter, at least, appreciated our "tough love" although she didn't at the time.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Given his current attitude, I'd drop the invitation to move back home. I would not even consider it at this point. Maybe not even in the future depending on how things play out. I am anal retentive over respect. I demand it, I don't ask for it. Nor do I have any tolerance for disrespect, I don't give a flying fig what your age, which 2 yr old grandson Brandon is discovering when his temper gets the better of him and he attempts to hit Nana. I am very old school on this. But I also treat my kids with respect as well.

    Sticking to you guns is the only way to handle this situation. You're doing great. It takes time for the whole you're not going to tolerate his behavior thing to sink in fully. It is NOT helping that this girl's parents are doing what they're doing. And honestly at her age I'd have to wonder what in hades their motives are. I dunno where you're from but parents around here that do such things are looking to get their girls pregnant and married off asap to get them out of the household.

    He doesn't hate you. He hates your rules. He's 18 and feeling his oats, wanting to do as he pleases while still being treated like a child. He's yet to learn the adult world doesn't work that way. While adults appear to have all the freedom in the world.......they also have a ton of responsiblity and consequences for every decision they make, which means they really aren't as free as their kids believe they are. This too, takes a while to sink in.

    While many may view your in laws reaction to him showing up as harsh.........ehh, not me. They have a right to their beliefs and they're sticking to them and backing you up. He just got a healthy taste of the real world there.

    Meanwhile all you can do is wait and hope he comes to his senses before this girl gets pregnant. Although I'd be sorely tempted to call cps and ask them what the age of consent is and let them know what is going on in that household, letting them decide what is appropriate action to take or not take.

    It's hard though to watch them making such poor decisions.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, GO GRANDPARENTS!!!! I would send something nice like homemade treats or something they would enjoy like nice bubble bath for her and something for a hobby for him. It had to be SO HARD for them to say that to a grandchild they love, but they supported both you AND their own beliefs in a way many of us would dearly love to be supported. I don't think they were harsh - they were giving him a loving life lesson no matter how it hurt them (and it did even if they don't admit it!). I wish more people reacted to an 18yo who wanted a sexual relationship with a 14yo that way. in my opinion a call to CPS to protect the 14yo is in order. In some states if they were involved before her birthday it adds to the severity of teh FELONY that their relationship is. Even if her parents don't agree, this girl is being hurt by the relationship with him.

    If he is a easy child and not a difficult child, then this was a HUGE change in his behavior and drugs need Occupational Therapist (OT) be considered. I would insist on several months or a year of clean drug tests and therapy before moving home could even be discussed. It will give him a chance to be tossed out by his girlfriend's parents and to have to really live with his choices. Otherwise, if he is in this relationship on ANY level then coming home should NOT be an option. NOT until the girl is of legal age. There is just way too much wrong with a 14yo and an 18 yo being involved in a sexual relationship. In many states and countries this makes him a sexual predator. NOT easy for a parent to hear or admit, but it is reality. It also makes him STUPID because it is common knowledge that the girl is jailbait - regardless of HOW they feel.

    I urge you to call children's services (CPS) and to not think of letting him move home until he gets some real help, not just entering therapy but actually living it. Be aware that as SOON as a therapist hears of this relationship tehy will be required BY LAW to report this. Depending on what you and husband do, and the laws in your state, you and your husband may also be mandated reporters. In my state, though it isn't often enforced, EVERY adult is a mandated reporter, as is anyone who babysits regardless of age. I know because at 15 I had to report abuse of a child. I was not HER babysitter but I still had a LEGAL obligation to report the abuse I saw (cigarette burns on a young girl's legs along with bruises and welts from beatings visible under her long skirt when she came into the store where I worked).

    I know it isn't easy, but if it were YOUR daughter and you looked back years later at how it damaged her, wouldn't you want someone to have called you on allowing this?
  6. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    by the way, I know five different women who were involved with boys over the age of 18 when they were young teens. ALL of them are adults and even the two who married the young men wish someone had intervened or called CPS and reported it. They ALL see how it hurt them in the long run even though at the time they would never have believed it.
  7. Goalkeeper21

    Goalkeeper21 New Member

    Just to let everyone know my son is not involved in drugs. I would be thinking that same thought except for the fact that two weeks prior to moving in with his girlfriend and her family he underwent a complete physical involving a drug/alcohol test because he was supposed to be playing college soccer in the next few weeks and it was mandated by the coach. Don't think that thought didn't cross our mind due to the sudden change in behavior, but thank goodness that is not the reason behind his sudden change in actions. Whatever their hold is over him it has to be pretty strong as he has now given up the scholarship to attend a community college to be closer to their family. I do know he passed the drug test as the results were shared with us when we met with the doctor to discuss his hurt knee.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Hi there,

    I'm a kid, I'm 18...I WANT EVERYTHING in a candy store and someone hands me the key and my family stands in the front of the store for a while cautioning me NOT to eat too much. I go in, I run through it all. I pick out what I want, sample something of everything, and ignore my family and their advice and keep having the time of my life. I eat gumballs, jelly beans, licorice whips, carmel, taffy, cotton candy - my choices are unlimiteded and I invite my friends and show everyone how much fun freedom of choice is, not having to listen to my parents even though they are cautioning me to limit myself before getting belly aches or tooth decay, advising me to brush and floss, but what do THEY know? I'm king of the world - look at me - 18 with keys to my freedom, choices, and decisions.

    Then? Eventually my friends aren't so interested in MY candy store...another of our friends got keys to a radio control model shop and they're all going there. Now I'm stuck with this candy shop, the light bill, the water bill, a belly ache, constipation, three cavities, a missing filling, and the familiy and my parents that stood by me for a while when it was all new; the ones that I told I didn't need their help, their advice? Well where are THEY? Some family! I need someone to come fix this mess that I've made. In teen terms? I'm stuck, I want a doo-over and it's all your fault. IT was fun, I've had MY fun, it's run it's course, I didn't treat people very well, everyone should forgive me, forget what I said, and either fix it FOR me or help me fix it (if he' was even that mature).

    What a great opportunity to teach the Candy Man a lesson in so many things. Ownership - (of problems, his behaviors, attitudes, anger, frustration, wants, wishes) Maturity, Decision making (looking before you leap - playing house with a 14 year old child is statutory rape [I'm not saying he IS sleeping with her, but thinking out loud] in most states and common law marriage in others - is he considered married? If he leaves is he going to have to get this annuled, divorced?) Planning - what are his long term plans - ah yes the college he blew off right? Okay so that's a non-issue right now. Go to tech school? and after all he's 18, a man (loosely put by the way he's treating people) he should have a financial plan, a school plan, a job plan. I'm sure he's thought of ALL of those. And let's talk for a moment about the way we treat each other.

    I have to disagree personally with your Grandparents tactfulness. And this is hard too because I KNOW this is how MY Mother & Father would have treated my son. Matter of fact most of my son's life it's how she has been for his behavior. She loves him, but his behaviors? So while I'm not putting them down for their efforts - I mean WHO would know what to do - really? The fact that they drug out the old rugged tablets and did that spiel? Well it didn't work so great for Moses either. What I've tried to impress upon MY Mom as an elder person is that these times when my son is reaching out? I doubt it's to just "get" something. I think he's looking for wisdom and does NOT want to come to me. So there in my opinion was an opportunity (if chosen in a Christian fasion that they claim to be so straight and narrow on) to sit him down and show him a LOT of examples of what has happened historically to children who have disobeyed and disrespected their parents. Right off the top of my head - I can think of several Biblical stories and parables that would have left a more lasting impression that "GET OUT YOU SINNER" and to hand it back? The greatest commandment of these is LOVE ONE ANOTHER. - Not quote my word and toss him off the reservation. Just sayin. So I think it was more an opportunity that presented itself that is now gone. Interpretation.......interpretation......(exhale) another discussion for myself and my Mom. lol

    As far as having him home? Hhhhhm. Well that is entirely up to you, but in my world? There would have to be SO many things in place for him to abide by that I don't think he would make it. TRUE - he NEEDS to get out of where he is, but I don't think he will ever be able to live under your roof again. COULD a compromise be made for college? School? Can he continue working and maybe help you out around the house to pay for 1/2 a rent - you help with the other in exchange for chores? OR woudl it be best after discussing it with your spouse that since he's SO NASTY that you just tough love this situation - and allow him to really step out and make his own decisions. Where in you say "You know what CHILDX - you need a real taste of life - you think I'm a B? Well here's a taste of what the world is like- and when she kicks you when you're down, never offers any advice except to make a gain for herself and continues to kick you while you're down and you feel like coming back to us humble, with an apology and ready to treat me like a parent? We WILL talk - until then - ENJOY YOUR LIFE....because I'm going to enjoy mine. AND THEN? DO so.

    Not easy to do - easier to say - but possible. It took our son TWO YEARS to get over his case of cranialrectalidis. He lived in a park, under tables......without food, but'mmmm hmmmmm wow was it great!' (I'm sure) also just NOW hearing about how the truth of the matter was - it inhaled violently like the vortex of a tornado, and the not knowing where he was, who he was with or what he was doing - was maddening, because we had just buried his brother at 18 in Feb. and he took off or rather was "asked politely to leave" (as I remember it - because I choose to not remember shoving his junk in a Hefty bag and screaming GET OUT, GET OUT, GET THE BLEEP OUT OMG I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE) :sigh:. I'm not saying the boy (our DUDE) is phenominally changed, but a lot of work went into him and maybe about 1/2 or 3/4's of what we threw STUCK - and it's just now starting to emerge. IT is probably good too - because I think it took me THAT long to FORGET the nasty nastiness that he called me - and it was sick. THe things he said....OMG I'm engaged to a biker and HE never heard stuff that was said to me in ALL his years on the road. Trust me - it was awful. SO yeah - I'd be more inclined to say - HAVE a NICE LIFE....look us up when you get your butt out of your head..but know we tried.

    Maybe something in this rambling will help.....and as far as saying anything to his Gparents? Yeah - the ship sailed. He's not going back for a LONG time. No matter how much you say Gammy and Gampy love you - It's gone. So let that be between them - trust me, you'll never get that battle won. Maybe too - that should be the one thing he aspires to - for change. If he was close to them? Maybe (shrug) it will be the something he has to prove. YOu know your family better. My son is convinced his Nana hates him and that will never change. Too many years of things said in her way, because .....I honored my Mother and Father. Know what I mean?? At some point you just have to learn to stay away and NOT talk about your kids to them. I talk about my DOGS - A LOT and even then? ROFL she has her opinions...

    Hugs & Love

    Hope this helps - and dont' think that I'm down on the parents about the God stuff either - it's just an observation because I really have a problem with organized religion and how it all seems to work when it "needs" too. The boy is NOT a lost cause - but turning their backs on him? Not my idea of utilizing their Christian values....but then again we all have our own idea of that too. Weird world isn't it? And trust me - MY MOM? Same values as She doesn't get my logic either.

    Hugs & Love
  9. Allan-Matlem

    Allan-Matlem Active Member

    Star ,
    Thanks for your brilliant piece of writing and advice.

    your son needs help , he lacks the coping skills to seek help in the appropriate way with all the emotional baggage around. I don't think coming home is a good idea , that is just one solution to his present difficulties. He needs someone to speak to , someone who will be accepting and not judgmental and help him find a new path. Maybe invite him for coffee somewhere to chat - no blaming , not mad at him , just want to hear and support him. Let him speak - what vision does he have for his future , what does he need to get there , what's getting in his way at the moment , what are his concerns ?

    Solutions - let him come up with several alternatives that would be mutually satisfactory - coming home is not one of them