My son comes and goes as he pleases. How do I make him obey the house rules of being home when I say? I can't lock him in the house. When I say be home at 6 he comes home at 8 or later. I don't have any control over him. Any suggestions?
Stop telling him when to be home. Ask him when he will be home. Explain that he needs to call if his plans change. When he calls, be courteous.
This needs to change from being about controlling him to fostering communication. It is simple courtesy to let the people you are staying with know your plans, and know when your plans change. If he were living with roommates it would still be courteous for him to let them know, so that they could tell the police when he had been expected if he ever went missing.
Has your son been held accountable for his actions for the 15 years prior to now? I hear from many people who have problems with their teens not listening, but have never held the child accountable for their actions. I respectfully disagree with Mayamay. Until a child can support themselves on their own, and as long as I am responsible for them, they will either obey the rules or deal with the consequences. At 15 his friends are now more important to him than most anything else. To restrict his contact with friends is going to be your best bet for getting his attention. Why do you say that you have no control over him? There is no doubt that he knows this is how you feel, and that he uses it to his advantage.
Teens are different... this could be the height of his teenage rebelliousness, or it could just be the beginning. I think you need to establish control over your son ASAP. If he is going to be late, he has to at least communicate that to you.
I don't think you should "lock him in the house," but next time he is two hours late, don't let him watch tv/play video games for two hours... or the next time he wants to hang with his friends, make him wait two hours.
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