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Thread summary:

Parents seeking advice on raising 16 year old son, good kid, unmotivated to do chores, how to raise a teenager, parenting strategies

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Old 07-27-2006, 01:21 PM
 
Location: Boonies of Georgia ~~~~ nuttier than a squirrel turd !
1,950 posts, read 4,663,181 times
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Hi ya'll,
I have a 16 y.o. son, who in general is a decent kid. Has never been in trouble with the law, doesn't run the streets. Hangs out mostly at home with his friends, which I prefer. But I feel that we are butting heads at every single moment of the day. I am embarrased to admit that his level of respect for me is declining. He has been thru a bit of turmoil 2 years ago. See we took care of my father for 9 months until he passed at home.
I know that this is a difficult time in his own life being a teenager and the pressures that come along with that. But...... His 2 cousins in the same age group have been in alot of trouble. 1 getting arrested for drugs, other running away to other states , having stomach pumped 8 times, pregnant twice in 1 year. I know things could be alot worse for me but I feel if i loose control at this point , he may make the wrong decisions and end up in a horrible situation.
I don't ask much of him. Simply common chores around the house, garbage, feed dogs, mow yard, clean pool and clean his room. But yet I have to "get on him" everyday to do the chores of the day. Its like all this is forien to him, but its been years that he has had the same chores.
Anybody out there dealing with the same stuff, or dealt with it in the past. Or am I just being one big b**** ?
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Old 07-27-2006, 01:33 PM
 
Location: FL
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I'm sure we all can remember being 16, and I remember being ignorant. Not all 16 year olds are, but I think it is probably more common then not that the age mentioned likes to butt heads. Wants to think they're an adult when their not.
FOr the chores-he sounds like my husband!!!!! Do you pay him for the chores, or do you think as in "I feed you, house you...."? If it were me (and yes I do have kids-2 of them, one is 11) I would give him an allowance. Actually, what I do now is give my son a specific allowance, but I only give him half. The other half we deposit into his savings account for college.
Do you do anything special with him? Have any set moments, for example, when I was younger, it was known that Friday's were game nights, and we all sat in and played pictionary and so on.
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Old 07-27-2006, 01:49 PM
 
Location: Boonies of Georgia ~~~~ nuttier than a squirrel turd !
1,950 posts, read 4,663,181 times
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Well, we started out paying him for chores, but we feel that if we have to raise h*** to get him to do them, why should we pay. We also tried putting a dollar figure on each chore. We do alot of things together, as he is an only child. We fish, camp, movie nights. We also include his friends on occassion. We pay for his cell phone, and usually give money when needed to go out with friends. But lately its out of control. See he has a really nice friend who is 18 now. My husband got this kid a job with my husbands company. So now it is pretty much everyday that this kid eats dinner with us, showers here, spends the night and empties out my food supply every time. Today I have put an end to that. This kids own parents, being that he is 18, charge his gas money, and food money. They actually hide thier food and leave him frozen stuff. On the other hand I cook a healthy meal everynight. I feel that we are being take advantage of.
I just fell that at 16, we shouldn't have to be on him every minute of t he day. He wants to be treated like an adult, but puts no effort into being a functional adult in this family. On garbage days, I have to tell him 3-4 time before it gets taken out. AND EVERYTIME I have to tell him to go back and put bags back in the garbage cans.

Frustrated,
theqbaby
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Old 07-27-2006, 02:31 PM
 
Location: FL
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"Well, we started out paying him for chores, but we feel that if we have to raise h*** to get him to do them, why should we pay. We also tried putting a dollar figure on each chore."

~I don't know how you work your chores, or what you pay him, but you are right that you shouldn't pay if you have to nag. Sometimes, kids (and men because I am thinking of my husband) need to see it. My husband actually made me put up a chore list, like I had for my son, up on the fridge so it is always in his sight. So let's say my son was supposed to do something on Monday. For every day it was late, we would take off a certain amount. If I had to do it (some things I would put a limit-not done by the second day, you lost it) then another more, certain amount would be taken out of the allowance.
~Don't give $$ to go out with friends. That should come from his "allowance" money. If he didn't do anything, then he can be broke.
~Or, make him work for his cell phone.
~You say the friend is a good kid. I wouldn't stop it cold turkey. I would sit with both of them, say what you said here, and limit his time over to eat and sleep/shower. For example, he can eat over on Wendesdays and Fridays, and sleep/shower on Fridays. If he wants to eat over more than that (and say this seriously but in a joking manner), then he can cook dinner that one extra night, or bring over dinner that extra night. If he wants to sleep over an extra night, the boys will both have to do a favor for you (clean all the blinds).
~As much as he wants to be treated like an adult, we adults have to realize...he isn't. Even 18 year olds, who technically ARE adults, really aren't. My husband still has to be told all of this about the garbage as you are saying your son does. Don't tell him. Do like I said in the above (of course only if you want to).

Can you tell I'm a teacher?????
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Old 07-27-2006, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
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mrshvo i love you. My husband is the same. I have given up the fight, and end up doing things myself just to be done with them. I spent much of today fixing his vehicle so that I can have mine back.

As far as being 16.....I remember when nobody could tell me anything, because I already knew it all. It is a phase, and it will pass.
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Old 07-27-2006, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Boonies of Georgia ~~~~ nuttier than a squirrel turd !
1,950 posts, read 4,663,181 times
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Yes, I kind of figured you were in that kind of field.
11 was a great age.
I remember when I was 16. I was in the house when the street lights came on.
But things are different than they were back then.
My parents were divorced and my father wasn't around much and mother never left the house. I have worked extremely hard to have the family values that lacked in my childhood. But when it comes down to it, I still have alot of the "old" ways in me. For example I feel that things should be done and clean when my husband comes home. And I still am the old fashioned mom that tries to do it all.
Funny, I remember when I met my husband, saying "I don't care where we live I just want to take care of you !! We started out young. I was 18 and my husband 22. Did things semi-backwards . (As we knew it all) Got pregnant, bought a house, had my son and then got married. But all in all we have been together for 19 years now. Which most of our friends have been married several times by now.
Most of the reason this other child is here is because he rides to work with my husband. It was supposed to be that his father would take him, now he just assumes.
We are getting ready to move. And just last night I asked this 18 y.o. what he planned to do when we were gone. He didn't have an answer to getting back and forth to work, but he did say he knew he was going to loose alot of weight because I wouldn't be cooking for him. And then it was like a light bulb went off in his head and he said "I'll come with you".
I did mention to him about the food situation, hinting that it would be nice to have an offer now and then. Thought I got somewhere. But when I got up this morning 1 new box of fudge bars gone, 1 box of ice cream sandwiches gone, 12 pack coke gone, gallon of ice cream gone, bag of chip with dip gone....
I lost it. Just went shopping yesterday and I'm back to where I started. I have found myself going to the store 3 times a week at $100. or more a pop. I AM NOT going to the store today. They are out of luck. Unfortunately we enjoy ice cream as dessert and now we will be going without.
We live in South Florida, and most of my sons friends come from broken homes, and my heart goes out to them. And I think here kids are more latch key and left to fend for themselves. Some of my sons friends don't even call thier parents to let them know they are staying the night, and the parents don't even care.
We are soft people to a point. But now its overwhelming.
I don't usually plan for 4 for dinner, because there is only 3 of us. So we end up dividing up what we have because I can't eat when I know they probably haven't. Really puts me in a pickle when I have just enough for dinner and think I don't need to go shopping today. Then bam, guess who shows up !!! A warning would be nice.
I told them I was going to put up a menu at the begining of the week and if they wanted to come for dinner, I would be charging. God for bid they did the dishes.

Oh, and I just love hearing "WHEN I'M 18 I'M OUT OF HERE"
How many of us said that and ended up right back home !!!
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:08 PM
 
Location: FL to GA back to FL
894 posts, read 3,894,969 times
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Default been there, done that

Hi there!

As a mother of an 18 year old ONLY child, I hear ya! I think all in all South Florida is a very hard place to raise children. Kids today definately do not have the respect for their parents like we did. One look from my dad and I stopped dead in my tracks. Today kids laugh at us. In my opionion, it's all our faults. We tried too hard to be friends to our kids, unlike our parents. In our case, it backfired alot. Our son always had a job to pay for his choice of entertainment. We supplied the needs, he supplied the wants. His chores never got done when I wanted them done, only when he felt he was ready. Drove me bonkers. Now he is away at FSU on his own and loving it. He scares me though, because he is so smart, but has no common sense. I have no answers for you, but I am here if you need to vent!
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Old 07-27-2006, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Boonies of Georgia ~~~~ nuttier than a squirrel turd !
1,950 posts, read 4,663,181 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ready2move
Hi there!

As a mother of an 18 year old ONLY child, I hear ya! I think all in all South Florida is a very hard place to raise children. Kids today definately do not have the respect for their parents like we did. One look from my dad and I stopped dead in my tracks. Today kids laugh at us. In my opionion, it's all our faults. We tried too hard to be friends to our kids, unlike our parents. In our case, it backfired alot. Our son always had a job to pay for his choice of entertainment. We supplied the needs, he supplied the wants. His chores never got done when I wanted them done, only when he felt he was ready. Drove me bonkers. Now he is away at FSU on his own and loving it. He scares me though, because he is so smart, but has no common sense. I have no answers for you, but I am here if you need to vent!

Well, thank you so much,
And how funny you say we try to be friends w/ our kids. I just ( 5 min. ago) got done telling him (and have been telling him for years)that I WAS NOT HIS FRIEND and that it was my job as a parent to be the disciplinarian. Oh my, my father used to bite his tongue, lol, you knew you had better quit or your butt was his. And we would never disrespect our mother even when dad wasn't around.
We have always told my son and his friends not to mistake our kindness for weakness. And I think he needed to be reminded of that once again. Now we have changed the rules starting today. And its not only him suffering from the reprocutions it is also his friends and us. We enjoy having the boys in the house, but enough is enough.
Its sad how they change. At 11-12 y.o. he was interested in cooking and excited about helping out. He would even cook us dinner. I'd give him a recipe, and he did wonderful. Now its a hassle to get the 12 empty soda cans and cups out of his room.
A phase, yeah I somewhat agree with that. And I know one day I will hear, you were right. But if this is a phase, it is out of control and no longer tolerable in my house. I am very lienent with my son in certain aspects, or should I say WAS. I want him and his friends to be comfortable in my house, but i want the respect. When I was a child we were not allowed to have friends inside the house, and if we were thirsty, the garden hose was always there. Never did my parents buy sodas and snacks for all our friends.
Do we have the same child : VERY SMART BUT NO COMMON SENSE
Again thank you for inviting me to vent. I'm sure it won't be the last time.
theqbaby
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:35 PM
 
158 posts, read 742,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ready2move
Hi there!

As a mother of an 18 year old ONLY child, I hear ya! I think all in all South Florida is a very hard place to raise children. Kids today definately do not have the respect for their parents like we did. One look from my dad and I stopped dead in my tracks. Today kids laugh at us. In my opionion, it's all our faults. We tried too hard to be friends to our kids, unlike our parents. In our case, it backfired alot. Our son always had a job to pay for his choice of entertainment. We supplied the needs, he supplied the wants. His chores never got done when I wanted them done, only when he felt he was ready. Drove me bonkers. Now he is away at FSU on his own and loving it. He scares me though, because he is so smart, but has no common sense. I have no answers for you, but I am here if you need to vent!
Fear doesn't equal respect...that's something many fathers (especially those that served in the military during WWII) lost sight of in the 50s/60s. I've heard a lot of parents say exactly what you said, and if I was raised with that "fear" of my parents I am certain I would not have turned out the way I did.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:41 PM
 
158 posts, read 742,828 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by theqbaby
Well, thank you so much,
And how funny you say we try to be friends w/ our kids. I just ( 5 min. ago) got done telling him (and have been telling him for years)that I WAS NOT HIS FRIEND and that it was my job as a parent to be the disciplinarian. Oh my, my father used to bite his tongue, lol, you knew you had better quit or your butt was his. And we would never disrespect our mother even when dad wasn't around.
We have always told my son and his friends not to mistake our kindness for weakness. And I think he needed to be reminded of that once again. Now we have changed the rules starting today. And its not only him suffering from the reprocutions it is also his friends and us. We enjoy having the boys in the house, but enough is enough.
Its sad how they change. At 11-12 y.o. he was interested in cooking and excited about helping out. He would even cook us dinner. I'd give him a recipe, and he did wonderful. Now its a hassle to get the 12 empty soda cans and cups out of his room.
A phase, yeah I somewhat agree with that. And I know one day I will hear, you were right. But if this is a phase, it is out of control and no longer tolerable in my house. I am very lienent with my son in certain aspects, or should I say WAS. I want him and his friends to be comfortable in my house, but i want the respect. When I was a child we were not allowed to have friends inside the house, and if we were thirsty, the garden hose was always there. Never did my parents buy sodas and snacks for all our friends.
Do we have the same child : VERY SMART BUT NO COMMON SENSE
Again thank you for inviting me to vent. I'm sure it won't be the last time.
theqbaby
Being in my early 20s, I can relate to what your son is thinking/feeling. You have to realize that he is actually becoming an adult. It's when children begin to treat their parents as equals (and not superiors) that you see this sort of behavior. You can try all you want to fight against this "phase" but you'll probably be worse for wear in the end. Trying to retard a kid from growing up by reasserting your own superiority during their own time of transition from teenager to adult (read: ages 13-20 or so) will only result in rebellion and resentment. At least that's what the psychologists say.
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