Question for parents of teens

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by happymomof2, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    How do you handle when your DS or daughter have a girl/boyfriend over? What rules do you have? - besides the obvious of not letting them be in his room. I am not being too subtle and I need to get a grip. She is our next door neighbor. She is 13, my son is 14.
    O.K. I have never been a mom of a 14 year old, but I was one once!!

    I don't want to embarrass him but I don't want a grandchild yet either. I feel like I am totally blowing this step of "Parenting a teenager".

    HELP!!! :9-07tears:
     
  2. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    That is the age where they really need a lot of supervision. I don;t mean you have to be in their faces all night but they should not be alone in the house without a parent and there should be a lot of interaction with you. When she comes over where do they go? Do you have a fmaily room or basement where they entertain? I made several trips down the basement when my difficult child was entertaining a male, just to make sure everythign was K. You can bring down chips or pretend you needed to get something.

    From my experience this was the worst age, the kids want to be alone and yet they are way too young to handle the situation. Put a curfew into effect and make sure it is honored. If they have mutual friends, encourage a geoup of friends come over to limit the one-on-one time.

    Make sure Dad is involved in the supervision.

    Nancy

     
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Well...my 18 year old difficult child has the social maturity of a 9-to-11 year old, plus all the raging hormones of an 18 year old. He has all the desires and has no clue about the possible consequences of his actions.

    So...when he was still living here, if he was spending time with a girl, it was under full supervision. Not necessarily 100% line-of-sight, but certainly close enough (e.g. in my home office with the door open, while they're in the family room next door, where I can hear EVERYTHING)

    I know that I can't trust my difficult child to exercise any sort of judgement right now. If he were capable of dealing with the consequences of his actions, I'd just let go. But...it would be like asking a 10 year old to raise a child (especially since difficult child's girl friends are also developmentally delayed). So...I head him off at the pass.

    Hope this helps,
    Trinity
     
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Before the fact is the best time in my humble opinion. I always anticipated the
    "company" issue and had a one on one with my kid stressing "we"
    have to make rules so there is no embarrassment etc. etc.

    Much to my unhappy surprise "most" of the kids had sex at home
    once they were in college and had gotten past early teen stage.
    I still think it was disrepectful BUT :rolleyes: my Ex and I did
    the same thing before we were married. DDD
     
  5. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Now that it is starting to be an issue, I like the idea of talking to your difficult child ahead of time and discussing the rules.

    In our case, difficult child can have anyone in his room that he wants. But the door stays open at all times. And not just cracked, but all the way open. For us though, that's enough as we have a small house and his room is right off of the main living area. But we also have a rule that no one is allowed over unless either husband or I are here. Granted, that one is harder to enforce but I've always let the kids (all boys fortunately in our case) know about it when I've caught them and they've been pretty cooperative. (And I make sure I let the parents know too so the boys can't pull one over on them) Nothing is sure fire of course but that's worked fairly well for us. I would just set the rules that work best for your house and expectations.

    Such a fun age isn't it! :hammer:
     
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm so glad I don't have to worry about this anymore.

    But back when I did......

    No one of the opposite sex was allowed in their room. I didn't care if it was a friend or boyfriend/girlfriend thing.

    Curfew went into place.

    If the kids were using a room that wasn't in the main part of the house either I or husband would find excuses to drift in or out at non reg intervals just to make sure no hanky panky was going on.

    Sit down and think up your rules ahead of time. Write them down so you won't forget. Then make sure your child knows.

    Word of warning I will give.......

    Make sure you know how the rules are set up at the boyfriend/girlfriend's house so that you and those parents are on the same page.

    I thought I was on the same page with Nichole's b/f's parents with the rules. But what I didn't know was that they were leaving the kids alone in the house to go bowling. Which of course gave them ample opportunity to create Aubrey. grrrrr

    Hugs
     
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I always have laundry to do if difficult child has a boyfriend over. They sit in the basement and watch TV. I often walk through the house towards the kitchen which leads to the basement so they think I might be coming down.
     
  8. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Thank you all for the replies. They are not allowed in his room - they know this. We just changed our house around a bit and difficult child's old room has been turned into a "game room". A sofa and a pool table are in there right now.

    Anytime I go around them or peek in on them - he says (in front of her) "mom we aren't going to do anything" with the whole frustrated tone of voice and rolling the eyes. You know what??? When he responds in that manner I want to tell him I really don't give a flying rats :censored2: if I embarrass you or not. So we will discuss this tomorrow evening in a little more detail.

    Yes, I know if they are going to do it they are going to do it - but dang it - not on my watch!! Her parents seem to "trust" there daughter more than I trust my son. Since they live right next door I know if the parents are home or not. He doesn't go over if they aren't and they also have the same rules. So we are on the same page with it. My difficult child says but when we are over there her mom doesn't check on us all the time. Which leads me to believe maybe - just maybe I am over doing it a bit.

    I can not see in that room from our den but the doors stay open and I can hear them. Today when things got too quiet in there I would get up and check on them.

    I know we will get through this phase too!
     
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You are a good Mom. I wish all my difficult child's friend's moms felt the same as you.

    Nancy
     
  10. Jena

    Jena New Member

    hi,

    i'm totally feeling you on this one. i have a daughter who will be 15 and she has yet to have a boy over except once with other friends because they'll have to be in plain view, i don't care i really don't. i don't want a grandchild either!!! LOL

    seriously though boys are animals at that age truly hormonal, girls just the same. let me tell you a short story. my daughter had a boyfriend for matter of mos. they had huge house and so he would invite lauren there. i would let her go get verbal from mom on phone she'd be home but ofcourse assumed the mom knew not to leave them unattended. well mos. past a few visits happened, and one night i catch one of her im's up on the screen. i read it being the good parent that i am, i have to be informed.LOL.....not really invading privacy it was there. there was all thsi stuff about how he wanted to kiss her and she froze up and on and on.

    next day i called mom and asked her when my daughter comes over where do the kids go? oh they go hang out in basement. I said are you there in the basement that is? oh no she laughed i'm upstairs you know they need their privacy.

    she was never there again.......:)

    good luck
    jen
     
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Happymom2, you said, 'Anytime I go around them or peek in on them - he says (in front of her) "mom we aren't going to do anything" with the whole frustrated tone of voice and rolling the eyes.'

    I would respond with, "Did I say anything? Why do you feel you have to defend yourself?" and keep moving, doing whatever you have to do.
    I'd also talk to him afterwards about making a fool of himself (or seeming to make a fool of you) in front of 'company'.

    I used to find that easy child (especially - the next two to a lesser extent) seemed to feel she HAD to be rude to me in a 'funny' way when she had friends over. It was as if she had to show her friends that she was in charge, I was just this personal slave-thing that roamed the house and did her bidding, a bit eccentric but needing to be patronised as an elderly family retainer. After her friends had gone I sat her down and said, "I chose to not react in front of your friends because I knew that if I called you on it, you would be embarrassed. But you frankly do not deserve my forbearance, when you treat me with such disrespect. Please be warned, I will not stand for it again. I will try to be tactful to see if you get the hint, now that I HAVE warned you, but if you do not back off and continue to insult me in front of your friends, you will get it back in front of them, with both barrels."

    I remember from my school days, the other kids who used to openly brag about how they could do whatever they wanted, they had their parents on a string. They used to share stories about insults they'd thrown at their parents, without retribution. Of course, it was all bravado and lies, but kids do t his to big-note themselves to each other. And when easy child brought her friends home and tried it on - she only did it once, before I slapped her down.

    My kids know that if they try to embarrass me in front of their friends, I will turn the tables, BIG time. But I did feel the need to warn them, and not just let them have it both barrels without warning.

    So if my kid was making a big thing of my apparently 'spying' on them, I would go fetch my knitting and sit with them, strike up a conversation with the visiting friend and maybe share funny stories about when my child was being toilet-trained, or first wet his pants when scared by a big dog (or similar). Keep it happy, friendly, light - the more you can successfully engage the visitor, the more you are being a good hostess AND ensuring nothing is going on.

    HOWEVER - when your child is old enough to go where he/she wants and to have certain freedoms, there are limits as to how much you can watch them. Because of where we live, friends have generally had to sleep over. Where possible we didn't allow friends of the opposite sex to sleep over in the early teens. We also didn't allow our kids to sleep over anywhere else where there were kids of the opposite sex.
    But it does get to a point where you can't avoid it, and by that stage it's also illegal to lock your kids' doors. And you can't sleep on the floor outside their bedroom, not too often. And even if you succeed in keeping them from consummating their relationship under your roof - is that such a big achievement, when they can easily do whatever they want in so many places you wouldn't dream of, including a walk in the park, in a shopping centre toilet, in a car, in someone else's house in the middle of the day - anywhere? If they're determined to have sex, they will.

    So when I realised that it was heading in that direction, I changed tack. I made it clear that if they felt mature enough to take on an adult relationship, that also had to take on the adult responsibilities to the same extent. So I took my kids shopping for contraceptives. Medical check-up; for the girls - Pap smears, breast checks, internal examinations, prescriptions for the Pill; for both - a lecture on sexual responsibility and sexual health, more tests, a talk from the GP about what to do. I think what horrified them the most was my constantly reminding them that they were NOT the result of Immaculate Conception. I knew too much and it scared them. Having premarital sex loses a lot of its romance and excitement when you keep mentally visualising your parents and grandparents doing 'it'. And shopping for condoms in the supermarket with your mother totally kills the romance. "Do you want ribbed, unribbed, flavoured or coloured? Don't get the banana ones, they taste horrible." Especially when other shoppers glance in their direction, I'm sure with both my girls it kept them virgin for at least another six months...

    And when they finally DID take that step - they were on the Pill, they were safe under our roof (or in easy child's case, with BF1's family) and had someone nearby to talk to in case they needed it. To have the first time happen in the back of someone's car, or a quick fumble in the dark when they're both inexperienced, scared and unprepared - not what I would want for any of my children.

    I'd rather they waited - but I'd done everything I could and they made their own decisions. The next best thing was all I could do - make sure they were safe, and responsible.

    difficult child 3 is still way too young, and difficult child 1 has chosen to wait until he's married - I think girlfriend is the luckiest girl in Sydney.

    Marg
     
  12. PersonalEnigma

    PersonalEnigma New Member

    I'm so glad that I have a few more years before I get to that stage... As it is I have been very open with difficult child about sex. He knows far more than the average 8-year-old. I believe in answering their questions - if they know enough to ask it I try my best to answer it. At the same time I of course keep many more personal types of details out of it ;) Right now difficult child says that he never wants to have sex LOL, we'll see when he gets a bit older.
     
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I can't remember too many limits, but I was mainly a self-policing child, if I did break the rules MY punishment for myself was much harder than what my parents thought of. Of course I had kids before they admitted this!!!!

    13 and 14 are ages we barely survived with difficult child, we are heading into them with Jess. We have already had the "rude to the family servant" bit, and I reminded her I woulc be 3 times as rude, 4 times as funny, and the one who would be laughed at woudl be HER. So this stopped.

    I am reminded of when on of husband's coworkers went through this with his son. The son finally asked the Dad why he kept "just walking in". It was after a number of very rude remarks and actions. Dad told him, point blank, in front of the new girl friend, "Well, you know how you are. I just want to make sure you haven't had an accident in your new Spiderman underwear. You haven't, have you?"

    They had a long talk after that, and son never did diss dad that way again.

    Susie
     
  14. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Regarding the girlfriend's parents being so relaxed: They are probably not thinking that their daughter is at an age where sexual activity is a possibility. They are sorely mistaken.

    At least while they are at your house 1) do what you can to supervise in a non-obnoxious way. 2) Communicate with your son, and 3) communicate with the girlfriend.

    It's a good thing to get to know her well enough to guage what their feelings are for one another at any given time. Girls tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves and are often easier to read than boys. You can tell when there are sparks-a-flying by how they interact with one another in front of you.

    *For me and my two girls* the tip off that they were progressing towards sexual intimacy was the impression of a certain level of 'ownership' between them. My difficult child & her then boyfriend seemed to come unhinged if they knew they wouldn't be able to to see one another (they were 15 at this time). Same exact thing with my easy child, except for later on when she began having anxiety attacks because of his possessiveness. Just something to watch.

    You're doing great!
     
  15. cindygirl

    cindygirl New Member

    My daughter wouldn't have her friends over because they had so much more freedom at the friends house. they had parents that worked and the parents would give them money to entertain them with drugs and alcohol. We had explained the facts of life to our difficult child but it didn't really affect her. afterall that only happened to other kids. So when she ran off to be with her boyfriend (of the very brief moment) I finally tracked her down through the messaging board that she is always on. They had been drinking, using drugs and smoking. She had also been stealing cars and had the boys she had been hanging with was stealing her clothes, ect., and then she gets onto the internet with a stranger and tells her (me) that we had thrown her out of the house and she was pregnant with maybe the boyfriend's baby or his brothers. Even after numerous pregnancy tests she was still convinced that she was having a baby and when she started hearing voices, we had her hospitalized. Even after a blood test that proved she wasn't pregnant she was convinced that of course she was still having a baby. When the boyfriend dumped her she ran around telling everyone that he was abandoning the mother of his child.

    Our kids know so many "facts" about life but they are all watching these sanitized shows on tv where everything works out the way they want it. You have kids and they love you unconditionally and they are just as perfect as can be. 4 of her friends have had babies in the last year and so now she wanted to be part of the crowd. She went out with one of these older girls who should have known better and they met a 26 year old man who lured her at 13 to his house. He waited until the bus stopped running and told her if she wanted to stay till morning she better do what he wanted. Between this man and the boys she has went out with subsequently she has contracted precancerous cells at the age of 14.

    We try to protect our kids and do everything in our power to keep them safe. In my opinion the longer you can keep them kids the safer and happier their future will be. At my house they are allowed to eat snacks on the couch, watch a movie or have a conversation. I can occupy myself in the next room but they know i am in the next room. I will be much smarter with the easy child then i ever was with the difficult child.
     
  16. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    " I just want to make sure you haven't had an accident in your new Spiderman underwear."
    Susie, I love it!

    And they do learn to not challenge you again, for fear of what else you might say!

    I did something similar with difficult child 1's mates when they tried to horrify me - I turned the joke back at them in a way that gave them rally nasty mental images. I can't go into detail here, it really is too gross. But it was VERY effective, those mates of difficult child 1 now treat me with the greatest respect.

    I've got almost the opposite problem with difficult child 3 - he seems to have no embarrassment at all, he gives me detailed descriptions of the state of his underwear and tells me every time he has to get up and clean himself (and his bedding). I'm not sure I can handle this!

    Marg
     
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Marg,

    The dad who said that was a total difficult child as a teen, then met his wife and straightened out. Their kids were very disbelieving that dad could top any of their rudeness, or defiance. This was one of the opening shots of a very short battle. Dad and Mom won because the kids were just wannabe difficult children, not real ones. But I forever remember this when dealing with our kids. My hubby has threatened to sing Barney Songs over the intercom at school to difficult child when he was misbehaving - school LOVED the idea, wished more parents would "offer" to do stuff like that. But we haven 't had the girlfriend issues. My parents have this, but difficult child and his new girlfriend are pretty well behaved, amazingly. And she is SMART!!!! With a family with rules and values similar to ours. So we got lucky!!!
     
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