09-26-2017 02:31 AM - last edited on 09-26-2017 05:05 PM by Ngaio-RO
I'm new to this site and looking for some help in dealing with a recent situation.
My son (15yrs) had 2 friends stay over and during the night snuck out to meet up with some others where they spent a few hours drinking alcohol. I managed to track them down and get them home safe. This was the first time that anything like this has happened and totally out of character for my son. He's no angel but generally follows the rules. My question is how do I handle the situation with the other children's parents?
Any advice is appreciated.
09-26-2017 01:58 PM
Hey @Sidi I'm so sorry it's taken so long for a reply!! That's my fault.
And so sorry to hear about the situation you had with your son and his friends. It's definitely put you in a spot.
My position is that you need to talk to both parents. It might be different if you had seen them out drinking one night or had heard a story from your son but, for me, what makes it so black and white is that they were in your care for the evening.
I don't mean it from a position of blame. Every parent has to know that there is nothing a parent can do to stop something like his occurring AND it could literally happen to ANY parent. It's just that I believe the appointed adult has the responsibility to hand over information to the other adults. Like a mandatory reporter. Your role isn't to identify culprits or attribute responsibility or even to interpret why it happened, just to report exactly what occurred so that everyone is on the same page.
I have always let my teenagers know that anything that goes down in my house is automatically being relayed to parents. With the exception of conversations. They're welcome to speak freely.
What do you think? Which way have you been leaning?
And what does your son think? Does he have a preference one way or another?
09-26-2017 07:03 PM - edited 09-26-2017 07:06 PM
Hey @Sidi, welcome to the forum
I really feel for you in this position.
I agree with all @Ngaio-RO wrote, and I'd also want to be talking to the other parents so they would also trust me in future, and know that this isn't what you condone in your son or in your home. If parents can band together we can best help our kids. As you said, it's out of character for your son, and could also be for the other boys? Teeangers do stupid things sometimes without being bad kids - and without it being a parent's fault.
It can be daunting talking to other parents as we don't always know how they'll respond. From my experience, if you remain calm in relaying the facts and maintain that all boys hold equal responsibility for their escapade, parents are usually less defensive and easier to talk wth. Maybe try approaching it as a concern that you're hoping all parents can band together to help the kids with.
You did a great job in locating them once you'd realised they'd gone, which I'd be very grateful for! Best of luck and let us know how you get on.
Actually, ReachOut is looking for volunteer parents who'd be interested in sharing their stories. You mentioned your son is no angel, which suggests you've had some tricky situations to negotiate which would make you ideal! Feel free to check out the link here if you'd like to find out more. No pressure!
09-27-2017 08:25 AM
Thank you for your reply. It's nice to be in a forum with constructive advice and not sarcastic responses.
I did end up speaking with both parents (much to my sons horror)and they were both very understanding about the situation. Both boys were picked up with their tales between their legs and my son is very remorseful and in the light of day understands that he was swept up in the moment by another boy who is a bit of a risk taker. I have asked him to seriously consider his friendship group and work out the good from the bad. Hoping he can do that.
Thanks again for your support. Sometimes you just need a sounding board to help clarify your thoughts.
09-27-2017 08:31 AM
Thanks for your supportive response.
After speaking with both parents they were very grateful that I had spoken to them and understanding of the situation. My son has on this occasion seen the mistakes in the decisions that he made and hopefully will learn from the experience and punishment! He has been grounded for the remaining school holidays and is allowed to go out only to play sport.
09-27-2017 11:10 AM
Good morning @Sidi, what a fantatic result. Good job mum! I'm so glad it was a positive outcome with the other parents. How do you feel?
It's a learning curve for him and the other boys, and I think you've highlighted a really positive parenting tip that I find works well with my 15 yo daughter. You've had a really open conversation with him, given your consequence for his actions, then given him things to think about and choices to make. Within a safe boundary you're still allowing him choices.
Please use the forums as a sounding board whenever you like. And I'm sure other parents would benefit from your wisdom too. I think a lot of the time (not always!) we know what to do, but after talking it through we gain the confidence to do it.