Sunday, October 30, 2011

19 yr old son dating 16 yr old neighbor

I want to handle this, but I am so disappointed. He's always been fairly responsible for a teen: full time freshman at a local college while living at home/3.49 GPA; works at a restaurant that I own as my asst. mgr. 15 hrs/week; helps coach his little brother's travel baseball team; webmaster for the local baseball league...etc...

We are also a homeschooling family and have always been close. He has 16 and 13 yr old brothers. Anyhow, he recently hooked up with the girl who lives DIRECTLY across the street from us,which would be a little uncomfortable for us to begin, and she is only 16!

I do think she is a bit "wild" and that could be part of the attraction, but it is very disturbing to my husband and me because of her age. He is becoming sneaky, I wonder if they are sneaking out at night, and they both have lied to me and directly defied my requests. Last Friday there was a snow day so she was home. They shoveled and ran to McD's for some breakfast. OK...as I left for work I looked both of them straight in the eye and said that no one was to be in the house when I was not home...well...my 13 yr old was home with the flu, and lo and behold, she came back after I left the house. They apparently were here all day watching movies, and according to my spy....laying on the couch together! (little bro was very uncomfortable!) I finally interrogated him yesterday and got the main point out--that she came over after I requested not to, and I was furious with him, and her! I told him that there was no place for lying and sneaking, etc...how could I approve if I can't trust him...etc...that he is considered an adult and she a child, AND that although that may be true, he still needed to use good judgment while living in our house and being our dependent. His response was to grab the classifieds as he stormed out of the room and to let me know he was finding an apt...(yeah, right!) Defiant the whole time (he has no car and that would mean that he could not go to school full time because he'd have to work more, you know the routine!)

After a while , I went to talk to him. I told him, "Listen, make some better choices. Finish school with at least your associates and get a job in your future profession (network security) so that you can be successful. BUT if it is in your heart that you really like this girl, I need to sit down with her mother because the reality is that she is ONLY 16 and there need to be some rules."

I only know her family in saying hello at the mailbox, but I am guessing that they are not as strict as I am. I think that this girl has way less supervision than I give my boys. Let me put it this way, there are four kids in the house and no two of them have the same mom and dad. The dad has two from two different women and the mom has two from two other men...I'm not completely clear on all of it...the 16 yr old is not the daughter of the dad in the house...What I'm saying is, they are nice and all, but I sense a different set of values and such. What makes me crazy is that they are not limiting her with my son!!!! For God's sake, he IS a typical male and just because he's a nice kid does not mean that he won't have sex with their daughter!!!!! I just know that a 19 yr old can exert tons of nonverbal pressure on a 16 yr old and I am horrified! I also wonder if the mom sees him as a good "catch." You see, many times in the past when I would run into her at the store, etc..she would inquire how my son was doing and whether he still had "that girlfriend." I never thought much of it until now.

HELP! Mothers of sons worry about them too! I have no daughters but can't imagine letting one run so wild if I did!
Karen

Dear Karen:

Regardless of what you think of her you are walking on thin ice. He is 19 year old and legally an adult. Where you need to pick your battle is in how he treats your rules. You need to back off of him seeing her and set the rules that she is not to be in your house when you are not home. Furthermore he is setting a standard in your house for your younger child. He sounds like he knows how to be reasonable. You won't be able to stop them from having sex, just not under your roof.

Chances are when he sees you backing off of him seeing her and what he does outside of the house and understands you do not want an underage teen in your house when you are not home he will respect your wishes. After all you listed many good strong qualities about him.

Instead of wigging out like you are, you need to be discussing safe sex and making sure he has plenty of condoms. He is a bit too young to become a dad. I am not condoning the lack of parental monitoring you see in her family, I am just saying get real and deal with what you can control and leave the rest up to him.

You are not going to be able to keep him from having sex, not now not ever. If he hasn't already had sex then pat yourself on the back for having done a good job so far. What choices he makes now are a reflection on him not on you.

This is the hardest part of parenting, letting go.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller