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Teen boys refusing to come home

Teen boys refusing to come home

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Erin25
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Teen boys refusing to come home

My almost 15 year old son has started hanging out with large groups of teens in parks. He has met a lot of new friends lately and has decided that if he is having a good time, he will stay out as long as he wants and crashes at one of these new friend’s house. He just declares that he is staying at a mates instead of coming home at his curfew time. These are new friends who live miles away and whom I have never met. I think they are most likely drinking and using marijuana. In fact he has told me many of them do including himself. What surprised me the most is that these kids parents don’t question who this new teen is sleeping in their house. My son refused to come home and stayed at a house for 4 nights before a parent contacted me and I had no contact # for them or the friend because my son wouldn’t give me that info.?!! Is this normal for teens to behave like this? I would be finding out from that teenager if their parents were ok for them to stay overnight? Is this reasonable or am I being a helicopter? My only way of dealing with his defiance is to not give him any pocket money as he is obviously too old for a babysitter and he is unsupervised while I work evening shifts. He seems to get by with no pocket money. Anybody have a similar issue?

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Andrea-RO
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Re: Teen boys refusing to come home

hey @Erin25

Thanks for sharing your story with ReachOut. It sounds like you're having a really tough time with your son spending a lot of time out of the house, without you knowing where he is going to be. It is always really tricky when our teens start gaining independence, especially when we aren't able to monitor where they are. Sometimes, it can be helpful to negotiate with your child some terms for when they are out, that still give him a sense of freedom. For example, maybe you could ask for the address of where he's staying that night, or have him agree to come back home just to check in at least once between sleepovers. It might also be a good idea to suggest that he bring his friends over to yours, just so you can meet all the kids and get to know them yourself. You might also be able to organise picking him up from his friend's place the next morning, and that way you can also meet his friends' parents, exchange numbers etc. etc. 

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Mod
Taylor-RO
Solution

Re: Teen boys refusing to come home

Hi @Erin25, recreating your son's bedroom sounds like a really great idea. Do you have any plans so far? It is great that you have got the contact details for the other parents. It might help you feel more reassured as you know a little more about who your son is staying with. Plus you are able to pick him up from their house, if necessary. I was wondering if you are ever in the position to give your son and his friends a lift? This way you might be more aware of exactly where they are going or what they plan on doing. We are so glad that you find this forum helpful - it can be so easy to feel alone but we assure you that heaps of parents have felt similarly to you. Has your son told you that he is using drugs and alcohol? If this is something you are concerned about, would you feel comfortable talking to his friend's parents about it? Smiley Happy

 

I noticed you posted your story across two different threads. I combined the threads so that your story is in the one place so you can get the best type of support. I have also tagged some other parents who have been in a similar situation or may be able to give you some support @Teen15  @Janine-RO  @JAKGR8 @EriTatiana @seabear 

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Active scribe
Erin25

Re: Teen wanting excessive freedom

I have stopped trying to get my son to comply with anything when it comes to what he is doing or with who and I have stopped trying to get him to be home by curfew. He was just getting nasty if I confronted him. He is over 6 ft tall and is hardly game to be physically forced to stay home. One thing I do control is how much money he gets because then it limits how much alcohol/drugs he can purchase if that is what he is doing. I also send him texts to check in. If he doesn’t respond...I give him a time limit and inform him that I will have no choice but to report him as a missing person to the police (he is 14). I do offer pick-up within a reasonable time frame. I also give him reminders to never hesitate to call 000 if he or his friends get unwell from drugs or excess alcohol. I may sound uncaring but in the end he may well be a person who needs to learn the hard way. I have tried all the removal of privileges and it was ineffective. The phone is for his safety and his social connections which is very important to this age group so I leave him with that. As I type this he has less than 2 hrs before I report him missing as he has stayed at friends all week without my blessing and has stopped replying to my texts! What kind of freedom is your teen seeking?

Highlighted
Mod
Andrea-RO
Solution

Re: Teen boys refusing to come home

hey @Erin25

Thanks for sharing your story with ReachOut. It sounds like you're having a really tough time with your son spending a lot of time out of the house, without you knowing where he is going to be. It is always really tricky when our teens start gaining independence, especially when we aren't able to monitor where they are. Sometimes, it can be helpful to negotiate with your child some terms for when they are out, that still give him a sense of freedom. For example, maybe you could ask for the address of where he's staying that night, or have him agree to come back home just to check in at least once between sleepovers. It might also be a good idea to suggest that he bring his friends over to yours, just so you can meet all the kids and get to know them yourself. You might also be able to organise picking him up from his friend's place the next morning, and that way you can also meet his friends' parents, exchange numbers etc. etc. 

Active scribe
Erin25

Re: Teen boys refusing to come home

Thanks for your suggestions. I am going to be helping my son with recreating his bedroom to make it more friend-friendly to encourage him to have friends hang out here. I think he likes exploring other areas of the city and doing so without my consent most likely makes him feel grown-up. I have started to make contact with these new parents and I am slowly getting address details! This forum is so good in that I feel so much less alone with my worries. Sometimes it’s hard when you hear other parents talking about how great their teens are doing in their lives and I am just hanging in there trying to get through this transition. Thx so much.
Mod
Taylor-RO
Solution

Re: Teen boys refusing to come home

Hi @Erin25, recreating your son's bedroom sounds like a really great idea. Do you have any plans so far? It is great that you have got the contact details for the other parents. It might help you feel more reassured as you know a little more about who your son is staying with. Plus you are able to pick him up from their house, if necessary. I was wondering if you are ever in the position to give your son and his friends a lift? This way you might be more aware of exactly where they are going or what they plan on doing. We are so glad that you find this forum helpful - it can be so easy to feel alone but we assure you that heaps of parents have felt similarly to you. Has your son told you that he is using drugs and alcohol? If this is something you are concerned about, would you feel comfortable talking to his friend's parents about it? Smiley Happy

 

I noticed you posted your story across two different threads. I combined the threads so that your story is in the one place so you can get the best type of support. I have also tagged some other parents who have been in a similar situation or may be able to give you some support @Teen15  @Janine-RO  @JAKGR8 @EriTatiana @seabear