Friday, November 03, 2006

How to Raise a Teen ~ For Dummy's!

is there such a book? I sure could use one!!!
J1 will be 17 in just 3 months. I have always tried to teach him values... and consequences... we are doing that again right now... only not getting anywhere!
He has a girlfriend... does that say it all????? his first real girlfriend... and he does everything to try and please her... which is fine... I taught him to respect women.... but somewhere along the line I must not have clarified that *I* am a woman... not just a mother!
He has quit helping around the house.... he used to babysit while I worked on nights that Nick worked... he used to deliver newspapers, he used to help with dishes, laundry, etc... now? if he watches the 2 little ones he thinks feeding them is bonus work!!!
And the language? words come out of his mouth that I wouldn't dare say!
What can I do?
Take away his car?... it doesn't run!
he has lost his cable TV, his ride to school, any money, any privileges, any status in the house... he even lost use of the telephone... I take away anything that I think will effect him and???? nothing!!!
We have tried talking to him... all he sees is woe is me and how everyone is mean to him.
He wants to know why other families have money and we don't... he wants to know how he is supposed to make money when we don't make money... we try and tell him he is his own person... he doesn't listen. The choices we made we made for our children... we are not rich... but we do have what we need... we do not use disposable diapers, we do not use bottles and formula, we do not use baby sitters... we may be *poor* right now... but we have a lot of things others don't have! I wont go into those details for fear of hurting peoples feelings which would not be my intent... what we strive for is best for us, and what others strive for is best for others... doesn't make one better than the other!Our financial situation is temporary! J5 will be in school before we know it and I will work full time rather than 3 part time jobs... J1 wants to know why others have cars and such... but he refuses to see that those others have JOBS! I have told him he needs a hair cut to get a job... he says I am just being mean! He asks me to make him a hair appointment... I do.... he is a no show! He needs to go make himself in the world... we are not who he is! just like his brothers and sister are all different! He gets 3 F's... his sister gets a 3.50 and high honors...
I do not know how to make him understand.. I do not know how to make him comply with the rules or ideals of our household....if I lock the door after curfew than I am endangering a child no?
I can cut off the simple things... but what do you do when the simple things no longer matter? he is turning 17.. how can I ground him? make him stay home?
I am at my wits end! It is easier to just let him run and be.... and go on with raising my other children.. I cant let him effect them.... but I cant let him down either... so how do we win?


Cheryl said...

Oh hon, I don't have any good advice, but I'll offer a hug!


Amber said...

I'm so sorry, hun! My Mom was in a similar situation with my big sister. I know it was hard for her and they have no relationship today because of the choices they both made back then. I hope it get better for you!

Mari-jane said...

WEll sis, welcome to the world of teenagers! Chad is 20 and we still go back and forth. When he hit Justin's age, and with the girls too.. we sat down and wrote down what we expected from him.. respect, following the basic house rules, etc. and then we listed what the benefits were.. food, clothes, tv, etc. Then he listed his expectations (and since curfew rules, phone useage and such were already listed, they were not negotiable. His biggest thing was respect also, and being asked to do things, not told. Then the benefits to us were.. helping without complaint, trying harder in school, .. we all signed it and agreed to stick to it. If it wasn't followed, he lost a benefit, or had to pay to get dinner, etc. It really just helped us communicate and lay out where we stood. It was a good reference tool for those frequent arguments abot woe is me too! Love ya, good luck! MJ