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Friday, May 20, 2011

The Constant Stress of Raising a Teenaged Boy

How much should you trust your teenage son? Remember when he was just a sweet young boy? Kind of hard these days isn't it?  

Up until recently I’ve trusted my 15 year-old son a great deal, at his request and to keep the peace in my house.

 I let him handle his own grades and don’t check up on every assignment because he says as a sophomore in high school he should be responsible for that. Then the mid-terms came in this month, and there were four Cs. 

He is taking very difficult classes, but every kid is different and for my son to get four Cs it means he has done absolutely nothing. So now he has until Monday to turn in all of his assignments, and then we will go through Edline together. We’ll see what we find.

I also trusted him that he was where he said he was mostly because I had to pick him up and often drop him off there. So far that seems to work.

But lately I just feel like something is changing.  It seems like lies flow as easily from him as truths. 

So I did what I rarely do, and searched his room and found nothing. He left his cell phone in the car yesterday and I read the text messages – nothing. No sexts, no talks of drugs or drinking or wild parties. A couple of “we’re going to a girl’s house” when the evening was supposed to start out at a boy’s. But the girls are watched like hawks – I know because I watch mine. So I haven’t found anything that has happened.

I also read his Facebook page which has an awful lot of girls on it and one intriguing post from April within the same minute “I’m in a relationship,” “I’m single.” I have to assume it was a joke.

He does talk to me, not so much about the personal stuff, but about school, project he’s working on, the lacrosse team he’s trying to put together, etc. 

He’s impossible a lot and fighting with his father who I am no longer married too, in the bitterest of ways. It’s so hard to know how much of this is just 15, and how much might be attributed to other things. I don’t see any indication of drug or alcohol use (he is on the It’s Academic Team and is a storehouse of more information than a human brain should be able to hold).

One thing I’ve learned with the fighting is to not get drawn into the vortex of the argument. Say what I have to say, tell him the conversation is over, and walk out of the room. If he tries to come back and fight again, just continue not to respond. This will eventually lead to an apology and things will be OK again.

The fighting with his dad escalates because his dad picks fights. And everybody gets madder an madder until it gets really scary. 

This is kind of a rambling post, but to all the moms of teenagers out there, I feel your pain. Don’t forget that it’s a phase and it will pass. Just watch, listen and communicate. And try not to lose your temper.

Your kid will make it through and so will you.

They say the girls are much worse.

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