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Raising Teens

As your child approaches the teen years, is your relationship changing? Is your teen acting out, doing poorly in school or disobeying your rules? Do you worry about new technology influencing your child? What’s your biggest challenge? Share your struggles and successes.
Replied By: bgore829 on Feb 26, 2015, 9:49AM
I have a 17 year old son who is addicted to synthetic weed. It's also called spice, fake. It has so many different names and is very easy for the kids to get. It is 10 times more addictive and stronger than real weed and way easier for them to get. I want to get the word out there to parents who have children going into high school. It is an epidemic that is being swept under the rug. My son went from an honor student, an athlete, and a promising future to a drug addict. He's dropped out of school and has quit everything and puts drugs before everything now. His health is getting worse and he still can't admit his an addict. It is a horrible drug. If anyone else has dealt with this drug I would love to hear from you. 
Replied By: athenapka on Feb 25, 2015, 6:20AM
My nephew & niece live with their family in a lovely home, safe, protected.  Hidden is face both my niece 18yrs, & nephew 21yrs spent most of their time in their rooms on the internet. 

When I visit the house I hope I will get a rare chance to see one or both of them.  Typically both my niece & nephew sleep in their own rooms until late afternoon or by 7pm.  Usually they are awake by dinner time, their father has come home from work, they give him their orders for take out food.  Then my niece & nephew go back to their rooms.  My sister & her husband go get the family's take out orders, drive around to collect them all & then return home.  All the bags of food are placed on kitchen counter.  My sister or her husband texts my niece & nephew that their food is ready.  They show up, pick up their food, drinks, & then disappear to their rooms.  I won't see them again.  Usually I leave the house at 9 - 10pm to go to where I live.  My niece & nephew will be up all night playing World of Warcraft with their friends, texting, talking to friends online, or what a netflix film - all online & in their separate rooms. 

 This family pattern didn't start in current times, it goes back to '2004, it started at a time when my sister & her husband decided it was OK for their children to have unlimited access to the internet, to have a special basement room for the PC's, each child would have their own PC.  Friends from the neighborhood came to their house to play games on the internet as their parents either didn't have a PC for them or didn't want them on the internet. 

 So, here I am, the aunt, beginning of '2015, I'm witness to what happens when children, tweens, teens, twenties, are allowed to live with the internet, texting, online gaming, as most of their life.  Their lives defined by it with limited social skills, feelings of suicide, & no thought about the future. 

My niece is seeing a therapist after she tried to commit suicide.  Was able to get my niece's parents to agree for me to help my niece thru art.  It is slow, the only real contact I have with her. 

I make myself go over for visits at the house even though I may not see my niece or nephew.  It is so painful.  I don't see a future for either of them as the parents haven't talked with them about any future expectations for their lives.  It seems they will live life in their rooms, live with their parents until - ? 

It really hurts, I go home in tears each time, thinking of what might have been with their lives, what we might have shared. 
Replied By: meryjani on Feb 24, 2015, 6:02PM - In reply to rowefarm
It's very difficult when our children are at this age 1718 son is 17, in though he is that same soul when he was a baby in growing up he is figuring out what life is all about and sometimes especially at these ages it's very difficult tocommunicate in the way you want to with your children at this age. 

I know when he makes his comments about school and grades it makes you feel very upset, and your son will probably feel that his mom and dad are just going to make some comment about his grades and how I shouldn't feel this way and feel like a whatever type a thing...but perhaps if you try to, when he says things like that and ask him what is it that you wanted to and why do you feel the grades don't matter?also expressed to him that I'm sure there's plenty of classes and things that you're learning more projects you're doing it seem pointless and people that are frustrating but in the bigger picture it will matter, but what's most important to me as your mom and your dad is that you have dreams in life and goals and things you want to do and we just want to help support you with that if school isn't what you think is going to be that steppingstone to get you there and please explain to me what will get you there what is it that you want to do? And what is important to help you in life? Help me to understand so that we can work together.

i'm giving this is advice because I'm trying to find a way to help you and your son connect on a level where you're not fighting or angry or he doesn't feel that he has to defend his thoughts on school just for now, of course grades are important, of course it's important to want to enforce your son receiving a good education, but for now it's important to stay connected with your son and in tune with what he's really going through because once you can get past that he may get past this stage and put more effort into school if you can work together.this is not to encourage him bullyingyou or your husband with in an acceptable attitude and I'm not quite sure of how intense things got, this is just to try to see if a different approach may help him have a different approach . If you can get him to open up , truly feel he can expess what he is feeling ( right now at this moment in life as an almost 18-year-old even if it's not what makes sense to you now is a grown-up, the most important thing is that your son is communicating to you what he is feeling now so you can get through it together and help him in ways that are supportive as well as help him to see why it's important for his own life)  most importantly, focusing on the fact that yes the truth is he will be 18 soon on his own and you want him to have all the tools in my fee needs to have a secure and safe life this with ever you get upset it's because you care but you want to work with him and support his dreams and as long as he's willing to work hard at whatever it is he wants you want to help them get there but of course you can't support him not trying to work towards his future and again, asking what it is that he wants to do and if he's not sure, then explain this is why it's important to have those good grades to give you opportunities, for right now, try to work with what he's going through while making sure you stand your ground as deserving self respectwhile letting your son know you love and respect him
Replied By: rowefarm on Feb 24, 2015, 10:43AM
Our son shows us no respect! He said last night he couldn't wait for six months when he turns eighteen So he can move out. We were discussing grades. He feels just having grades to get by will be just fine. he won't need it to get through life. When he said he couldn't wait to leave I said. Do you have somewhere to stay, if so, you can go now if that is what you want. He left. I'm worried , but I know he is a kid that can do on his own.was I wrong in giving him that option. My husband and I are not sure what to do. I need help so bad!
Replied By: meryjani on Feb 24, 2015, 8:04AM - In reply to josnj11
I have found that the best way to help guide your children is to help them learn the dangers of technolog (or any danger)  way before the time comes that your children are going to want to use this technology.

For example, I would have talks with my children just about life we talk about bad things that happen in a very careful way (depending on their ages) . it would be a conversation to the point where the children felt for themselves that "I wouldn't want that to happen to me." we talked back-and-forth and I would say " of course you know I would do anything to protect you from something bad happening." I would then also remind them that the most important thing is to know that this isn't about your mother's rules ( I am a single parent, so I do not mean to exclude dad...I am just speaking from my situation ) but this advice is for any parental figure. Try to help your children truly understand the CORE is about you and your life , so as not to put the " core" about a  rule! it's about you ( the child) and how much you're loved , respected, how important it is to feel you have privacy , yet undersand when there may be times a parent see's a behavior or senses there is a concern that you would have to protect your children , even when that means you feel a reason you need to read there texts or any technology there using for social purposes. take this time to bring it back to a "together "time not just diving right into taking control!  work together . Talk together , hear your children out even when you know better, or you truly feel there something they're doing that isn't appropriate that you child feels they can still communicate with you, that you're listening and trying to help understand why they are not realizing this is dangerous. explained that sometimes there's things you really want to do especially at different ages and stages of your life and I understand that, but some of those things you may not realize are so dangerous and I just want to help prevent so let's go over what's really dangerous and tricky because it seems like something fun and innocent but really it's not .

my children would then be interested and engaged because it wasn't about something they were doing wrong it was a conversation about life and what is happened and what can happen, what this created was a healthy fear and an open dialogue and a self-awareness rather then a rule from a mother or a parent or a father,in other words the focus wasn't about mom and dad said no, the focus was my children thinking for themselves and talking with us about the subjects and then we were more of a team to stay safe rather than even having to deal with feeling that I'm invading their privacyor that it's about me at all.anytime I needed to talk to them about the Internet and what's going on wasn't so much making them show me their private stuff but more soengaging with them seeing what's going on bringing up again "you know the whole safety issue with the Internet "what's been the latest?" 

Make your children a part of the conversation with you rather than a lecture, and I'm not replying that you are I'm just responding in general and if you set the ground for the children years before the interest peaks they Artie have as mentioned, a healthy fear rather then a fear of momor dad might find out and I could be in trouble.and everything that you do try to keep that focus on the child in their own life and what as parents we are doing to support and guide and protect them instilling in them the desire to want to be safe on their own.

As my kids are now in their 20s ( my youngest 17)  there are times where I desperately want to know what's going on and look at their phones and such , at stages now  in relationships and many other difficult subjects that can get harder to know everysingel detail because they are older and living their own lives to some degree in wanting that privacy, to some degree and , As mentioned earlier years before they reached their 20s we openly discuss things that happen, and that can happen during these ages again to plant that seed for their own self love, self-care and communication together.

I openly have said to my children if I ever felt concerned for you, I would do anything I had to if that meant going through your phone and your private things and that would be the only reason, and I even said to the children that " you know if I feel I need to look through your phone and your computer there would be a truly good reason or feeling in my gut that I'd be doing so ! Express to their intelligence and work with their companionate heart " if you were a parent you would do the same thing" ! 

My children have actually truly, agreed that they would if that were the case and it's because we build that relationship, we build that foundation, we built that respect, we worked up to the point where they knew if I need to look through something thatthere was a reason.I have three children and each one of them care about each other, many times I talk to one child about the other child expressing when she want your brother to be safe, your sister to be safe, what if this was happening or that was happening when she want me to protect them? If you saw that your brother sister was doing something that they themselves weren't realizing or willing to realize was dangerous that your mother would step in that even you would step in, and then there is that dialogue to bring it together to make it about love and safety and not a rule or an invasion of privacy.

I can't express enough how much the focus needs to be about the big big picture here which is their own self love and desire for their own well-being and this can be very tricky at young ages that's why it is so important for the children to be so genuinely understand that you're in this together and you're on each other side and that yes of course if you have to step in as a parent and do whatever it takes because you're putting the position of course you will but you don't want to see that even happen forever have to happen to thechildren you love so much. The more your children can feel compassion with you the more compassion they feel about themselves and can make better choices for themselves.

and again, as the kids get older and going to different stages you set the groundwork years before and all throughout that time now is the time for keeping that healthy communication going, forming that relationship or your children understand that you're not gonna let themdo anything dangerous and if they want to do something that they no I wouldn't approve of, then they themselves no they're not in a good space or good place and that you're there to help them through this.


Replied By: nativegal38 on Feb 23, 2015, 3:22PM
I have a 14 year old daughter who has a disabilities and I'm having a hard time with her about her being on Face book and sending pictures of her breast to a kid that is a year younger than her so i need some advice cause when she was younger she was raped by 4 boys and the cops or the ICW didn't do anything about it just talked to the kids and there mom
Replied By: candicorona on Feb 7, 2015, 6:21PM - In reply to josnj11
I do go through both of my childrens phones, tablets, laptops and I monitor all online activity.  I do not feel like I am invading their privacy.  My view is if they want privacy then they should figure a way to pay for their phones, and other online activities.  

I have found material on their phones I did nto approve of, the first time we talked about why the content was not approprate, if it occured a second time I took ALL devices and online activity was limited to only what was necessary to complete homework.  Foruntately for me it has never occured a third time with my 16 year old.  Because of the 14 year old, I have password protected every internet enabled device in my house.  He is pretty smart so I have to alway stay one step ahead of him.  

I do not feel this is any violation of their privacy.  I refuse to be a parent kept in the dark, I have no desire to find out from the police things I could easily keep track of myself.  

The standing rule in my house is you have privacy when you are in the restroom (not electronics are allowed in the restroom) and when you are in your bedroom changing or going to bed.   I have told my children that if they ever feel they need more privacy, than they are free to live some where else.  Funny thing they have never even hinted at living some where else. 

Replied By: christyk118 on Jan 26, 2015, 2:27PM
One of the easiest things in the world is to get pregnant.  One of the hardest things is take children out of a mothers custody.   Today, there is so much reward to a mother whining poor me. Josie may very well be a bad child OR can she not articulate better that her mother just cops out of day to day parenting then cries because auto pilot is crashing??
Replied By: josnj11 on Dec 18, 2014, 11:48AM
I have a 17 year old girl and we monitor her online use/activity/text messages,etc on a regular basis.  However, in speaking with other local parents, I feel like we are the only ones doing this.  Are we invading her privacy?  How have you handled addressing something you saw online that you did not feel was appropriate?

Replied By: lesliann50 on Oct 31, 2014, 1:11PM - In reply to milkjuggz73
I am not one of those parents that is having my two kids being brought up by cell phones, laptops or tablets. Yes they have cell phones but I know where they are at all times. I am not a lazy mother.  I take my kids to their appts and even to all their school events and been there for them.
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