arttillygirl's picture

18yr Son left home over curfew/ 15yr Daughter mixed up with vandalism

My son 3 years ago with other boys in the 9th grade, smashed a flat screen at the parochial school they attended where I teach. He's ADHD and wants to be the next Eminem (They were going to post it online as stupid kid video) That began the long road of dealing with the feeling of betrayal because it was at my school, finding a new school but not til a year later (year of hell for me teaching where my surley kid attends) and just Thursday he graduated from a charter school with an AA AND High School Degree.
We were thrilled and went to a lot of trouble to put together an extended family party and went to the graduation.
He ended up not coming home that night.
He texted and said where he was and we said fine, drive home safe and have fun. Then an hour later, after we'd gone to bed he texted and told us he was staying. We woke up at 3 to find him not there. We'd had minor difficulty with drugs so we were very upset and neither could go back to sleep. So HE says we are controlling because we are upset that he stayed out all night w/out permission. If he had he asked we'd have extended his curfew-but not ALL NIGHT. (he still had school the next day and we don't know really where he was or who he was with)
He left on foot angry and hasn't returned- we took his keys when he walked away from us while we were discussing consequences. I know he's trying to set the stage for the summer: he's a graduate now so he can come and go as he pleases.

THEN I get a call from my school. My daughter who's never been in trouble suddenly has had her own 9th grade "lets vandalize Mom's school" phase. She used to attend the school and was accepted to a magnet school close by. So one day a week she returns to the school to go to youth group. I got a call from the principal that she'd been with 2 boys who took master keys and had been roaming the school stealing theater props and smoking-my daughter with them. The boys got expelled and of course my daughter isn't in trouble b/c she doesn't go there but I am mortified! The previous week-Mother's Day of course, she is spending the night with a friend and has a vomiting frenzy the night before. We suspect a stomache bug but I finally got her to confess she tried a couple of sips of beer but no more-yeah right.

Now I honestly feel like I want to leave my job and have been crying all weekend. After my son's incident, I was so embarrassed in front of all my colleagues I struggled to hold my head up and MAKE my son successful to say SEE we are a good family. But I can't even enjoy our success of getting him into college b/c now my daughter has done it too. I've worn out all my friends with my son's drama so I don't even feel like talking to anyone. I feel so much shame. I don't know how I can return on today nor do I want to even see my own teens anymore. My daughter is appalled that this has come to light and so sorry. She didn't mean to hurt me, etc.

My son says he'll return when we are less "controlling". So he's possibly putting his college future in jeopardy over this. What should I do? We've said 2 weeks w/out car for this behavior.

Sister83's picture

First, remember to take care of yourself. You say you feel ashamed and are so upset that you don't want to talk to your friends. Maybe you should try talking to a counselor, just for your own well-being and peace of mind.

I understand the embarassment with your daughter because this is your school... but a lot of people have troubles with their teenagers. It's harder for you because it is all out in the open. But hold your head high. I'm sure some of your colleagues have kids that have done worse. Just keep talking to your daughter. I'm assuming you have grounded her for her behavior and given her a good talk.

As far as your son goes, he is 18. If he has chosen to move out, there isn't much you can do except to cut off financial support.

Personally, when I was 18 and in college, I never asked "permission" to do anything. When I was home for breaks I would let my parents know what I was doing and where I was going out of basic courtesy and respect... but they never told me "no." I'm not sure how I would have reacted if they did. I think your son probably feels like he needs to break away and assert himself as an independent adult.

If your son stays at your house, you can pull the "my house, my rules" thing to some extent. But ask yourself why you don't want him to come and go as he pleases. Your son is 18 and in college and "the real world." There comes a time when you sort of just have to trust that you have raised him well enough and let him be independent and make his own mistakes.