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Teenagers So many parents of teens have said "just you wait!" But why? What are your thoughts on teens today?

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Old 07-11-2002, 04:32 AM
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How to sleep at night with teens?

We have a 20 year old that works until midnight and is a college student. He gets home and generally studies, watches tv or plays on the computer while eating and winding down to go to sleep at night which is generally around 2 or 3 a.m.. He's also a fitness instructor and often leaves around 5 a.m. to work with this one client 3 days a week. He has the loudest muffler in this state I'm convinced.

We have a 16 year old that just can't seem to begin his social life until 9pm and that phone rings all hours, he's burning up the aol chat rooms until all hours and has friends that apparently have no curfew since their are in and out of my house till 2 a.m. every night. He's is also a Disc Jockey and has his own business so music is heard 24/7 while he's doing new compilations for each job.

As you can imagine, this house was never restful until between the hours of 3 and 5 a.m.. We also have an 11 year old son. Last week my husband and I finally came to grips and realized that our home wasn't ours anymore and that we'd allowed those two older boys to completely take over. We sat them down and had a meeting with each of them and told them that the phone would no longer ring between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.. We told them that the television (with surround sound) along with their bedroom t.v.'s would be off after 10:30 p.m.. We prohibited friends from popping in after 10:00 p.m.. No music would be heard after 10:00 p.m.. outside of headphones. We also advised our oldest son that the muffler gets fixed or that car won't be moving in our driveway between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.. And last but not least they would both have to start assuming responsibilities around here without having to be told 10 times or us having to listen to the whining and complaining each time we gave them a task.

NOT!!! They always seem to stay one step ahead of us. The oldest cannot possible repair his muffler until his next paycheck which isn't for another 2 weeks and if we don't let him drive his car then he can't get paid. He has a point although we will be the ones paying for it at least 2 more weeks. The 16 yr old resorted to having them call on his cell phone instead of the house phone (as though we can't hear it ringing all night). I jerked the cell phone from him after being woke up at 5am this morning with it ringing. The problem is that I cannot drive due to visual limitations and this is my only way of reaching them to bring me or pick me up when I'm out of this house so he knows that he'll eventually get it back or I'm stranded. Instead of his friends coming in and out all night, he's been meeting them in the driveway so now they're keeping the neighbors up. As far as responsibilities, they are just much too busy for Mom to waste their time like this so they both claim to be working all the time.

Don't get me wrong, they are very good kids that have never gotten involved in drugs or alcohol, they are clean cut and aside from being smart eleck now and again, they've never given me any trouble whatsoever. This has been a problem that has just built up until now we've let it get so out of control that we can't even rest in our own home. Now what? All advice appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2002, 07:02 AM
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EJaginLa

My heart goes out to you, I've been where you are. You are doing the right thing with the rules. Mine rules were about the same, but they were Sun. through Wed. Thur, Fri, and Sat. night they were lifted,[not all rules just the ones that inturupted my sleep] It seemed to work better this way for us. Still not the perfect deal for me and DH but it was better than no sleep at all.
The bitter sweet news is "They will all leave someday" you will then be able to get plenty of sleep but you'll miss your kids.
I always say God made teenagers the way they are so we are able to let go when the time comes.
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Old 07-11-2002, 07:41 AM
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YOU FORGOT TO ADD: THEY DO COME BACK HOME

Graceygrammy, thanks for the sweet and kind words of encouragement. I'm faced with three laundry baskets of laundry that my 16 year old was told to do since Monday. It started out as one load but has accumulated, I was thinking he'd actually break down and do them when he saw the stack growing. NOT! I'm finally going to give in and fold them because as they are all being dug through they are getting scattered all over the floor. However, that Eddie Bower Bronco II that I just spent a fortune on for him will be parked for the next 5 days since he failed to take care of his responsibilities over the last 5 days. Not only will he not be going anywhere, but his friends won't be visiting him either. The way I see it is that if they aren't responsible enough to take care of their home then they couldn't possibly be responsible enough to go out into the public or maintain friendships. All are obligations which require consistency and committment; none of which I see happening here so a reality check is in order. I just threatened my DH with his life if he doesn't back me up as well. I'm on a roll and they've all asked if I was on my period. No I'm not, but they may wish I was before it's over.
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:09 AM
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I'll probably be the only person with this opinion, but I thought I'd add my two cents. Having been a teenager not too long ago, I'm 25, I think you should let your teenagers be teenagers. I do agree that there should be some sort of structured set of rules, but did you just start these, or are the newly inorced? You can't expect your teens to just stop doing everything they're used to being able to do just because you're sick and tired of their behavior. Believe me, I DO SYMPATHIZE! I will tell you though that I acted the same way your kids are acting, but worse. I think you need to focus on the point you made that your kids aren't drinking or doing drugs. I did. I got kicked out of my Father's house after repeated screw-ups (parties, driving drunk, drugs in the house, etc.). He tried to lay down the rules after it was too late. I then lived with my Grandma who I put though hell because I was in the same mindframe. Meybe if you let them stay out a little later with their friends, they wouldn't hang out in the driveway. Maybe it would be ok for their friends to be over past 10 PM if they were quiet. Then if they violate the rules, they would know it was their own fault, and not just you as their parent "being mean". Sit down and talk calmly with them and tell them what is bothering you, and listen to their thoughts. Compromise is needed unless you want feelings of resentment going BOTH ways.
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:18 AM
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EJaginLa

Yes they do come back, my 19 yr. old left for a couple of months because he didnt like the rules. He went to his dad's [my ex] and guess what, he got the same rules there. He came back home, his stepmom would'nt do his laundry or cook all his meals.
I have a 10 yr. old son that is still to go through this teen stuff, I can only hope that he has seen enough horror with the 3 older kids, that it will make a difference I can always dream, right
Don't you hate it when they blame what they do on your time of the month or the change of life.

Hang in there EJaginLa. Don't let them wear you down.
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:21 AM
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Lisa, I appreciate your perspective. Yes, these rules have been in force for quite some time but have gotten laxed over the past month. Yes, their father and I both sat down with them last Friday individually and had this discussion. As for allowing them to be teenagers, there's no way humanly possible to prevent them from being teenagers. The difference is, do I allow them to shun their responsibilities and do as they so immaturely see fit or do I teach them to accept responsibilities now and realize that everyone does certain things because they need to and not just because they want to.

I'm one of 6 kids and trust me drugs and alcohol affected 3 of the six although we were all reared in the same household. As for your situation, it sounds like the rules weren't there to begin with so when things went out of hand Dad stepped in and tried to set some up. I'm sorry that you went through this. He wasn't to blame. Those were your choices, good or bad, however, I'm glad to see that you've matured and apparently reversed those choices to lead a better life. Congratulations! You are still young and there will be many more mistakes but as long as you learn from them then you will be fine.

I do not have to COMPROMISE anything with my children. Their father and I are the adults and they are the children. Until they pay the mortgage, utilities and living expenses; this is my house. These boys are provided with every luxery immaginable and if they cannot be productive members in this household then they need to find other accomodations. Life is full of choices and I am giving them theirs.
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:32 AM
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Graceygrammy, my oldest moved out when he was 19 and came home 8 months later. I was so tired of him critisizing every single meal put before him, accepting no responsibilities for anything and constantly arguing with everyone in this household. I personally bought him every single piece of furniture, appliance and household item needed to set up his first home to include a 6 month supply of groceries, staples and cleaners. Within 2 months of running out of these items he was passing out from not eating. Now I would never ever let one of my children go hungry and he knew this but the simple fact was that he failed to budget and accept the responsibility of cooking at home instead of eating out, taking care of his clothing instead of letting them sit to mildew until he ran completely out, buying bulk instead of prepared convenience foods........................the list is endless.

I must admit that now he sits down every single day and reviews his money, logs his expenditures, loves whatever food is prepared and accepts difference of opinions and realizes that people can disagree-agreeably, and jumps at the opportunity to pick up after himself as well as helping out when needed. If he suspects that I'm running low on something he even picks it up and pays for it on his way home from work.

Now it broke my heart that he had to go through this but I'm certainly pleased that he chose to learn from his mistakes and move forward in a much more positive way than before. Now if he would just FIX THE DAMNED MUFFLER!!!
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Old 07-11-2002, 01:11 PM
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EJaginLa- I just hope you make it through everything and remain a sane human being! I know I drove my parents crazy, as did my 4 years younger sister. Just hang in there. As for the compromise thing, I know you pay the bills and it's your house, I just know that there are some parents out there who don't listen to things their children try to tell them. It doesn't sound like this is the deal with you and your family. I can only imagine what my dd will be like when she gets to be that age! Scary thought. I think it sounds like your kids want the comforts of living at home with the freedom of living on their own. I don't think there's much you can do but hope they realize what they're doing isn't the way you should treat your parents home. It might take a long time to get it through to them, but stay with your beliefs! As for trying to get them to take care of their responsibilities, that also can take time. If they're going to continue to live in your house, make them fend for themselves for dinner, laundry, etc. It will make them realize that just beacuse you're Mom, you aren't required to do things they can do themselves. I'm very sorry for the things I did to my family, and I know now that I had issues with my Mom and Dad getting divorced at the time, but I take responsibility for everything I've ever done. Your kids will "see the light", and know that there are people here you can talk to when you feel like you're going to loose it!
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Old 07-11-2002, 01:16 PM
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graceygrammy- I think seeing older siblings do dumb things most often stops them from making the same mistakes. I have a 14 year old sister (as well as a 21 year old one). My youngest sister knows everything myself and the 21 yr old did was horrible, and she does get some flack about things. I really think things depend on each individual person. You could have two older ones who act like saints and have a youngest who's a little devil. All you can do is try to raise them the best you can and hope they turn out to be good people. That's the most important thing in my book.
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Old 07-13-2002, 11:02 AM
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Well dear lady you do have a problem...however, they are not unintelligent and they both work....they can't be all knowing adults...that comes with experience...*chuckle*

How about another family meeting....without any anger.
Just the facts......and be prepared to make out a contract with each one...a formal contract......that will spell it all out....duties and consequences and rewards......

About the muffler, perhaps you can pay for the muffler repair in exchange for either money, or chores beyond what should be their responsibility.....If the oldest refuses...then you need to give him 2 weeks time to find other living arrangements...and stick to it..

As for the 16 year old....list in the contract his duties and all that is expected of him......and the rewards thereof.....

remember...for every action there is a reaction....
and the first rule of management.....with authority also comes responsibility.....
Compromise ..serious compromise is needed.
Never say NO compromise...you'd be surprised what can be accomplished with a little sugar.

Yes you pay the bills etc...and the mortgage...but you say you don't have drug problems with them...and for the most part they are good kids.....Do you know how many people would love to change places with you?
At the same time I do understand from whence you come!
Sometimes the help of an outsider is really needed to get things back on track....they are neutral and can really help work out a contract. Contracts do work... *smiling*

If all else fails, perhaps a visit or two with a family counselor to help y'all get it all in perspective.... it's much easier to bring it all to light when all are sitting face to face. But remember, whenever you talk to the boys, it is NOT confrontational. Do not appoach with an attitude, but with respect first. If they refuse to adhere to rules and regs...then lay it out the way it will be, without anger and stick to it! Good Luck and Hugs..

Jeannie
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