04-29-2021 09:45 AM - last edited on 04-29-2021 01:01 PM by Hannah-RO
I have a 14 year old son. He is a good kid in general but our biggest problem (this week) is him coming home on time at night after being out riding with his mates. I tell him to be home by 5.30pm as the sun sets at 5.20 and he is on his bike with no light and no helmet. Plus we all eat dinner as a family at 5.30pm and that is important to us. He always arrives at 5.50pm and will not eat with us, he waits til around 9pm to eat. He thinks we are too strict as parents as his mates are allowed to roam the streets on their bikes at night. I feel like I am failing as we are always fighting about something, either curfues or chores. He is a good kid at school, but just seems to be hanging with a crowd who think they are too cool for school. He pulled the old "staying at a mates place" a few weeks ago and went out the bush drinking with his mates. He says it is all a part of growing up and has spoken to his school co-ordinator about this, and apparently I just need to let go? I do baby him alot and I told him that is all going to stop now if he cannot respect me.
04-29-2021 01:18 PM - edited 04-29-2021 01:20 PM
Thanks for posting, this is a really tough problem and you are certainly not alone in experiencing this! Finding that balance between allowing teens to have freedom and having boundaries in place is super tricky and it is something everyone does differently. It is totally fair enough for you to be firm around wanting your son to be safe when riding his bike, your concern for his safety is valid and I can imagine these conversations must be quite frustrating.
Do you think there could be a way to come to a sort of compromise around this issue? For example there could be certain nights that you have dinner together but he is allowed to hang out with his friends on Fridays? Or something like that where you are able to hold a firm boundary (with consequences) but express that you understand where he is coming from?
It is also really tough when all conversations turn into fights, could it be an idea to take him out for pizza or for a drive just to reconnect with him and talk about other things? Its hard when conflict becomes the focus of all conversations, is there something else more enjoyable you could chat about with him to give you both a break?
Hope some of this is helpful, @carlie let us know how you go