Forgive me if....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by happymomof2, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    I have already ask this, but I really need some advice.

    Since my son was arrested a few weeks back I am having a hard time letting him go or do anything without either me, his dad or someone I trust completely to watch him.

    He wants to go to the movies at the mall tomorrow with girlfriend and her mom. I don't know the girlfriend or mom. He said she would come by and we could meet and talk before they go. This is how my warped brain thinks - okay he goes to mall with some girls one of them talks him into shoplifting (which he never has done by the way) or one of them does and he is with them so he gets arrested again and ends up in jail. My brain will just not stop going in these directions. The other day he wanted to walk to the end of my sisters street to wait for his sis to get off the bus. I was afraid (and here goes my brain again) he would start throwing rocks and one would hit a passing car - police would be called and he would go to jail.

    I know he has to make his own decisions - but as a loving mother how can I just let him go? This is really starting to control and partially destroy me. We have alot of other things going on as well in our family right now so it's not the only thing thats trying to take me down but it's a big part of it.

    How do you stop this way of thinking? He is basically a good kid. He has a huge heart and anyone that has ever been around him just a little bit of time knows that about him.

    I don't ever want to see a policeman putting handcuffs on my son again. EVER. I think that is almost the worst sight for a mother to have to witness.

    Please help me to.... what?? Trust him, trust fate, trust God. He is 14. If I continue down this path with him like I am now he will start resenting me, life and possibly get into more trouble. I know all this. What is wrong with me???

  2. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Your fears are real. However, he has to be able to grow and make his own choices. He can't do that unless you let him go. As hard as it is, our job is to let them grow up. Sometimes we're lucky and they grow into wonderful adults. Sometimes not.

    You've already experienced a horrid nightmare -- your son in handcuffs. Sadly, this isn't the worst nightmare there is. There is visiting your child in prison. There is knowing the actions of your child did serious or even deadly harm to another. You want to protect yourself from having any of these occur. However, the reality is you can't. If you stop him from living his life, he will end up making even worse mistakes because there will be no opportunity for him to learn.

    It hasn't been too long since the incident. He certainly deserves a good grounding. So, decide on how long he is grounded and, when it is over, heave a big sigh and let him start being 14 again, which means making stupid mistakes at times. Leave your door open so he can talk to you and guide him the best you can. That is all any of us can do as parents.
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I agree with Meowbunny. But here's another twist. You may need to be talking to someone about the situation. I mean this (personal opinion here!) could manifest into something similar to a post traumatic stress situation. I don't know how I'd handle watching the police put cuffs on one of my kids and it sounds like the fear of seeing it again and the terror that you experienced may be interfering with your ability to handle things.

    Do you work with anyone therapeutically? It can only help!

    Hope I didn't offend!

  4. shaile

    shaile New Member


    I honestly can say that I can identify strongly with your line of thinking Happy. Our difficult child is a thief. He has stolen from us and pretty much every other childs home that we've allowed him to go over and play with. It is compulsiveness with him as what he takes and its always the same line of things but none the less it is stealing. He is now and has been for awhile now..not allowed to go to anyone elses home period.

    This causes stress on us all every day because he has lost all trust with us over this. He retaliates with running off and then even going outside (aside from school) is not allowed without my supervision. He shows his resentment by tantrums/angry body language and looks, and I am the one struggling to avoid resentment towards him because I am having to watch and babysit him like he were a 2yr old instead of 8yr old but yet wants to do what 8yr olds do.

    I can not babysit him all his life. We as parents are not afraid to use the police if that becomes a necessity. Atleast it will be of our doing and control, and not just some random call out of the blue to say Ma'am..we have your son at the police station. That would kill me.

    As he gets to be your sons age..his ability to be more defiant and physically agressive will be present. At that age also they have been more influenced by peers to the point that "scare in like scared straight programs" are much less influential. I don't want to wait it out and just see what happens. I will use whatever resources are available "to include the law" to try and deter him from going there at a point and time where I can no longer have a say so or help.

    I have to tell myself alot that I can live with difficult child resenting me if I know I did everything possible to avoid having him end up in a miserable life..but I could not live with myself if difficult child resented me, and I also carried doubts in my head of "If only I had tried this or done that, and end up with guilt."

    Lots of prayers for you, and hope that your son will allow you to regain the needed trust that is missing.

  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    You've gotten some very good advice from Meow Bunny and NVTS.

    Your thoughts are valid.

    Your worries are understandable.

    Obsessing about things that you can't control is not healthy.

    Decide either to let him go with the same set of rules you have always had and hope for the best. Or continue to worry and fret until you have an ulcer from trying to fix an unfixable situation while what's going to happen happens anyway.

    Sadly we don't get do-overs when they are older. They get adult consequences to adult behaviors. As parents the best thing we can do is seek help, take care of ourselves and continue to do the best we can.

    Truly - it blows balloons
  6. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    It's really hard at that age (14) because you still need to exert parental control and yet you have to let go too. It gets easier as they get older and you realize you really cannot control them or the situations they get themselves into. Then it is easier to accept that the only person you really have any control over is yourself.

    Hoping you can get some therapy, maybe, to help you through this. I know it really helped me when I was dealing with difficult child 1 and difficult child 2 when they were younger. I felt like I had no idea what to do, was always second guessing myself and feeling horrible when I felt I had made a wrong decision and it always seemed I was making the wrong decision! I needed to be able to have someone support me who could help guide me and also let me know I was doing a good job in the face of some awful circumstances.

    Thinking of you,
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think my first question is what were the consequences you have him for the incident. Did he get some privilages taken away or was he grounded for a length of time?

    If the punishments that you have him have expired, you can't really keep him penned in, but nor can you allow him to participate in something where there is a high risk he's going to get in trouble. You mention that he wants to go to the movie with his girlfriend and her mother. Is the mother going to go to the movies as well? If so, I would let him go and let him know that he's to come home after the movie even if you have to go and pick him up directly when it's over.

    I do agree, you can't keep him in the house. You have to give him a little room to make some choices, good or bad. I understand your fear though.

    I think talking to him about what could happen were he to get in trouble again is definately a good thing. He needs to know that one more strike and he's out. Hopefully, it will keep him a little more grounded in the future.

  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    My difficult child was arrested earlier this year and is currently on probation. I understand what you're going thru. One side of this is that difficult child having to deal with my "paranoia (sp)" or lack of trust, is a natural consequence of his actions. He has to earn that comfort level back by staying out of trouble. Of course, the other side is that I can't duct tape him up so I KNOW he's staying out of trouble :frown: !! So, little by little, he gets a chance and gets priviledges that lead us back to "normal" life, whatever that is. But, I address everything he does that's not towing the line- no coming home later than he had permission for, I need to know where he is, who he's with, and some idea of what they're doing, etc., AT ALL TIMES or else he loses the priviledge of going out for a few days or week, whatever.
  9. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    I also understand the torture of trying to control our own thoughts and worries but being completely unable to do so. My son was also arrested earlier this year and spent about 19 weeks aways from home (combination of detention and Residential Treatment Facility (RTF)). He's home now and has a consent decree (similar to probation). He's only been home a few days, but I'm also struggling with letting him out of my sight.

    BUT...I have. Last night I let him go to a basketball game with some friends. I was nervous, but very happy that we let him go because he surprised me by doing exactly what was expected. He checked in when he was supposed to and came home 14 minutes early!! My difficult child will very likely will be sent away again if he violates his consent decree. However, I'm slowly learning that it's best to allow him to make his own decisions. If he makes bad decisions, bad consequences will follow. If he makes good decisions, good consequences will follow. It's up to him.

    My point here is...try giving your son some space. If his requests are reasonable, let him go. He just might surprise you and show you that he has learned something and with some guidance from you, can and will make good decisions!! You'll never know, though, if you don't give him any opportunities. I know it's hard, but in the end you may have less stress and anxiety or at least know where you stand and how much responsibility he can handle.
  10. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Thank you all so much for your replies. The mall trip today didn't pan out for him. I was soooo okay with that.

    He was on home detention for almost 3 weeks until his court date. We restricted him from having his buddies over, no phone and no computer. I allowed him the TV just to keep my sanity.

    Since the court date he is only allowed to go to our neighbors house next door and to youth functions at church. He has the phone back but not the computer until after Christmas.

    After reading all of your responses your absolutely right. I have to give him some space. He has to make his own decisions and again if I try to keep him too tied down he will only get worse.

    I will do my best to let out the leash <u>a little.</u> Then see what happens.

    Thanks again