Please forgive my last post. I thought of deleting it altogether this morning, and maybe I will later, but maybe one of you will read it and know that you're not the only one out there with teen trouble. The old "misery loves company" adage.
I'm somewhat happy to say that things have been somewhat worked out. Once my fury dissipated, (and it took longer than usual this time), DH and I sat down with DS and had a frank discussion. The summer had taken on a pattern of us saying "don't do" and him deciding that our opinion was unfounded (teenage speak=stupid/lame/gay) and him doing it anyway. No discussion, no bargain, just him in his infinite teen wisdom deciding that he knew best.
DH and I explained that this will not and can not work. When we say yes or no or please to something, usually there's room for adult-type discussion. Ie. Be home by 10. Can't I stay out till midnight? No, but between 10 and 11 might be ok. (it all looks so civilized in print, doesn't it?) But sometimes you'll want to do something and we'll say no and discussion or not, we're not going to budge. Not because we want to make your life miserable, but because for one reason or another, we know it's not wise, safe, or smart to do what you've proposed. And of course you won't see it our way, because you're 15! Believe it or not, we know more than you do right now. And you may not understand our stance until you're a parent yourself.
That sounded reasonable, didn't it? Well, our 90 seconds of discussion ended with, "Well I still think that if you tell me to do or not do something and it's totally stupid, I'll make my own decision."
But see, Mom and Dad hold the trump card...... (we just needed to remind ourselves of it)
The drivers license. And use of the car.
Dear son, if you demonstrate to us over and over that you totally disregard what we say when it comes to issues of safety, responsibility and kindness, then we will not take that gigantic leap of faith that's required to allow you to drive. So watch your step. And grow up. Real adults know that they aren't always the authority on everything.
So that was the crux of the conversation. Along with some other simple behaviors that we'd like, for instance saying please and thank you, hello and goodbye, goodnight and good morning.
And things gradually became better. Not perfect. But better. It's amazing that the blow-ups are triggered by the most inconsequential things, and then you have to re-examine your life to see what's really going on. DS has a million positive things going for him, and we know that. He's a smart, smart kid. Excellent student. Dedicated athlete. Healthy attitude that steers him away from drugs and alchohol (so far - I've learned never to say never) So it could be worse. Much worse.
And now I had better get to work. I actually do have some stitching stuff to write about, including a new project and a visit from a stitching pen pal from Germany. And I'll do that soon. But I felt awful leaving that last post hanging out there without a follow-up.