Letting things run its course with teens

popi_gw

My DS (15) has a girlfriend (14). She has some issues in that she is taking anti-depressants, her problems stemming from the death of her father 5 years ago.

I am not happy with this relationship, as she lives a distance from our house, and to see her he has to spend the day on a train, stay the night and come back the next day. I am not happy with that, as I have not been to the house, but I have spoken to the mother and she seems very nice.

I have spoken with him about protecting himself, and said that if he ever feels he is in danger he should phone us and we will collect him. I trust him to do the right thing.

He is at an age where he wants to go exploring, and I don't want to hold him back and make him over-cautious about getting out in the world.

I have come to realize that I just have to wait for this situation to run its course and he will find a girl friend closer to home who has a happy disposition.

But whilst waiting for this to eventuate my stomach is churning with worry !!

I guess I just want to vent and have a few words of wisdom from you folks, what would you do in my situation ?

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Comments (13)
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lindac

At 15, you should not be letting your son have that "intimate" relationship with a 14 year old that you don't know and that requires a day long train trip and an over night to even see.
How did this relationship develop? There had to be a first time for him to visit....why would you let him go over night to visit a girl you don't know.

I would put an end to it as soon as you can....try limiting his visits to once every 4 months.
If you don't...for sure it will run it's course, but the course it runs may well end in pregnancy or her mother blaming your son for something that may or may not have happened.

Does your son have a job? Does he earn the money for the train trip? Are his grades good? Are her grades good? Does he have other interests besides a girl of 14 who lives a day's travel away?
These things should all be considerations.
Linda C

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imamommy

A 14 year old girl that has a mother that lets a 15 year old boy spend the night, is not someone I would consider 'nice'. She may not be a raving lunatic, but she doesn't exactly have good judgment. and letting a 15 year old ride a train and spend the night isn't very wise either. It's not holding him back from exploring the world, he's 15!! He needs a parent to guide and protect him, even if it's from something he thinks he wants. Kids that age don't always think about the consequences of their actions. That's the parent's job. Do you think he's going to be 'exploring' the world if he ends up with a child from this? Do you think he's ready to deal with raising & supporting a child? and what about STD's? or the emotional toll of a sexual relationship? Is he ready for that? and yes, he could be accused of a sexual crime because she isn't old enough to consent. That would mean a possibility of registering as a sex offender in some states.

If his mother and you both think it's okay for them to 'date', then maybe you could each drive them to a meeting point halfway, let them go to a movie while you have lunch together and then take them home. They don't need to be spending the night together at their young ages. That's just crazy! IMHO.

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amyfiddler

Yeah, sorry p - not wise. I'd say, good for you for being willing to cut the cord and allow him to be an individual - but i'd say find other ways to do that. I'd suggest being more involved in their relationship.

I'd invite her to your house. And not overnight. Invite the family - they can get a hotel.

They are very young - they need more structure. and it's not too late to change things - you might think, you've already allowed it, can't go back - not so.

There are good reasons why you are uncomfortable with it - you are a smart gal and have every right to listen carefully to your own inner guidings. It's not easy to be a mom these days - it's hard, and it requires a willingness to be unpopular! Don't I know it.
Good luck Popi -
Regards,
Amy

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cawfecup

At 16 he finds a new girl who lives far away and wants to stay overnight at your/her house.... 5 months later he meets a new girl wants her to stay over ... when does it stop?

I agree with Ima ...

Are you ready to pay child support for a grandchild???

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popi_gw

Thanks Amy for your kind words.

I have asked the family to visit for lunch.

He is 16 in a few months...would you all be saying the same things ? At 16 they can legally move out of home. (In Australia, at least.)

You know, I think things are different these days. We have to accept that, and I have found that situations that I am not happy with, for my children, are often because I would not have done that when I was their age.

They are very aware of all the dangers, drugs, alcohol, nutty people, pregnancey, std's, all of it, more so than I was at that age.

I have spoken to other people about this situation, and had very different comments.

I have to trust him...I have spoken about the legal issues about sex, with him...he says "Mum, we aren't having sex !!". He was shocked that I would think such a thing.

I know the whole situation is crazy...I wish it would go away. Its not going to be an easy w/e.

I think I might also have touches of "empty nest syndrome" lurking in the background !

Yea, it is tough being a mum. Its ongoing...never ends.

P

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bnicebkind

popi, your advice to others is usually so wise on this forum. I agree with the others. What are you thinking? And yes, I would say the same thing if he were 16. And 17. At 18, it becomes his choice, and then perhaps he will make his own decisions. You are not protecting him from himself. He is too young to fully comprehend the long term consequences of his impulses, regardless of what you have explained. It is one thing to understand the consequences, and it is another thing entirely to have to live them out. It is like explaining to a teenager why they should never, ever drive too fast. Even though they understand that they can be killed, they don't really believe that they will be. This freedom you are giving him, is too much, too soon, and could alter his entire future, and options.

Sometimes love means saying no, because it really is not in their best interest.

But that's just my opinion.

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amyfiddler

Popi-
I typed this long winded reply, but erased it. Bottom line, you have every right as a mother to set standards for your kids even if they appear to oppose the flow of general society. If you have no issues with him going, then discussion over. However, you are conflicted. I'm saying, you have every right and responsibility as a mom to honor your own inner voice (as said earlier) - 15, 16, 17, 18 - whatever.

And (giggle) -! You don't really thing your son has an aversion to sex, do you? Now that's something to worry about! Tongue in cheek of course. I bet he was more shocked that you would ASK, not that you would THINK. Most kids don't want to talk about folks about sex, and most parents don't want to imagine their kids having it.

At the very least, be having LOTS of conversations about sex. Make it ok for him to talk about it - because right now clearly it's not.

He's taking a train all day for goodness sake to be with a girl - and the thought that sexual feelings are not there would be silly. The thought that they might act on sexual feelings is absolutely reasonable - important to have those discussions.

Long winded, that's me.

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popi_gw

Dear Girls

Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it.

I think I have had it all sorted.

Prompted by your words of wisdom, I have calmly said what I think, and what will happen. After the explosion (from him, not me!), we have got back on track. I am proud that he could calm himself down and come up with alternatives, as suggested by me. He still thinks I am horrible, but at least we are talking!

I think I need to trust my inner voice.

Trying to see see the positives that are coming out of this situation, it has opened up new conversations to have. Even one poignant one when DH said to him "we want to spend some of the w/e with you!" DS "Well why!" DH "Because we love you !".

Amy you are so wise, the conversations that come from this situation are invaluable ! Yes we can now talk about sex, with him, which is quite a milestone.

I am ready and armed for the next round of requests that will come, I am sure. That's the curious thing about teens, they have a habit of catching you off guard with these challenging questions, which need a lot of thought and discussions before answering !

I am still patiently waiting for this to run its course.

Thanks again and Amy, be as long winded as you like, I will read it and learn !

P

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stir_fryi SE Mich

I must admit I was outraged when I read your original post. A mother who allows sleepovers with the opposite sex at age 14 or 15? Wow -- you would have been my dream mother when I was a kid.

There must be a cultural issue here. I truthfully can't see anyone in the US approving of the situation you described (even at 16). So...before you are jumped on, I guess we have to accept that there are different standards in different countries.

I slept over my boyfriend's house when I was 19 (still living at home) because he was an hour away and I didn't want to drive home late at night. My mother hated that I did that. And yes, we were doing it!

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oh_my

I agree with the cultural issues assesment.

At nearly 30 years old and as a mother to two children, my mother made my fiance (father to child #2) and I sleep in separate rooms when we visited for Christmas because we weren't yet married. I'm not sure what she thought she was preventing, but even at that age, I succombed to the "her house, her rules" law.

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popi_gw

Well, stir fryi, its interesting that you should say that, because I was wondering that myself. Even though in this instance, with my son, I thought the girl's mother was irresponsible to allow a boy to sleep in her daughter's bedroom.

However, as I mentioned, at 16, kids can move out of home here, legally, so as a parent, our control over our children is somewhat hindered here. So I guess in some ways this sets the standard of behaviour.

I recall, when my daughter was this age, she would regularly stay the night at a friend's place, and there would be a group of boys and girls just sleeping in the same room on the floor. Of course, I was not happy with that, but I knew there was parental supervision. Although I would not have allowed that in my house.

This is a normal occurance, it seems, amongst young people these days, as I have asked other parents.

Perhaps kids mature quicker in Australia, must be all that blue sky and sunshine !

BTW at 18 they can drink alcohol, and vote.

P

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colleenoz

Popi, maybe in your part of Oz, but not in WA. My daughter (now 23) wasn't sharing mixed accommodation at 16, and I don't know any parents who would have condoned that. Being able to move out is no excuse for condoning everything a kid takes it into his/her head to do. In the unlikely event they do move out and forego the free room and board, they soon realise they had it pretty good at home and want to come back.

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amyfiddler

This is the first I realized that mum was letting them sleep in the same room.

!!!!

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