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Old 09-08-2015, 12:19 PM
 
Location: Duluth, MN
233 posts, read 363,779 times
Reputation: 393

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He's 16, you have 2 more years until he moves out. You're teaching him that you're not trustworthy. Do you want him to talk to you for the next 50 years? Then calm down...
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:38 PM
 
5,781 posts, read 5,078,922 times
Reputation: 17500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummingbyrd View Post
I can't really think clearly because I am so angry. Last night I allowed my 16 year old to stay home alone overnight.. it was perhaps the 3rd time I have allowed this. I do have a wifi webcam that records 24/7 - I can check it from my phone, and this makes me feel far more comfortable.

So I leave him at 8pm. He's reachable by phone and all is good until about 11pm when suddenly the webcam shows as "disconnected". I immediately call him and he answers. He claims the power went out and therefore the wifi as well. The camera is not reconnecting - I now have him on FaceTime and I can see he is actually plugging and unplugging it and it's not turning back on. I'm at this point thinking that the power outage may have messed up the camera. I have him unplug the camera because it's making a whining noise from the power block. Done. He continues to be reachable throughout the night.

Fast forward to 2:45am. The camera program on my phone wakes me up to inform me of activity in the front room. I pull up the footage and I can see segments of my son walking around in the front room looking for something. I hear other guys voices - not a TV - after I replay it a couple times I can hear him (or them?) saying "the last place they saw it was in the bathroom" followed by my son telling someone to call it again. I called him up and asked him who he was talking to and he played dumb…. totally DUMB, like he didn't know what I was talking about and maybe he was just talking to himself. Really??? I told him to be honest - I told him I heard voices, 1 or 2... I asked him if it was his cousin who seemed the most likely person. He denied everything, even got a little indignant actually. He was bent out of shame about me questioning him & being suspicious. He sarcastically said "ok mom, yeah theres 3 people here, maybe even 4… or 5! Yeah.." He griped about me "spying on him" via my webcam. I asked him why he even was messing with it at all when I had already told him earlier to unplug it. He claims he was trying to make me feel more comfortable so he was trying to get it to work. (Huh?! Even though he feels I "spy" on him??) I told him I would play him the video in the morning.

I arrive back home and immediately start my investigating. I look in the outside garbage can and find a Taco Bell bag with a receipt from the night before, stamped at 11:05pm. Inside I find other incriminating evidence (the TV pulled out, an Xbox that is NEVER played having been connected to our router, more Taco Bell cups in the recycle bin inside). I took my sons phone (he was still asleep) and looked though it for some correspondence, but found nothing. I ask my him if he has decided to be honest. He says he doesn't know what I am talking about. I told him I have his cell and let him think about that for a few - and finally he comes out with it.

He claims that it was his cousin (my ex's nephew) and his cousins friend. So 2 people like I'd heard. He claims he just wanted to hang out with them and he "knew" I would say NO. He never even gave me the chance to say no, and I probably would have been ok with it, particularly if the camera wasn't only sporadically working (which btw he claims really did go out on its own). The curious thing is why he plugged it back in at all. THAT I don't get. He actually got himself caught.

What pisses me off for than anything is his lies and how indignant he was, how he gaslighted me even though I knew what I'd heard. It pisses me off that he didn't even give me the opportunity to say no - and for that matter, why didn't he just ask me and then go ahead and have them over anyway if I said no?? I mean, he knows he's not supposed to just have people over like that, so why not at least try to do the right thing first and THEN go ahead and be sneaky? I don't get it.

So I STILL have his phone. He is trying to claim that he learned his lesson, that he does't need a consequence. Of course. He's the only person I know that would learn without ANY consequence. Right. He wants his phone back before he leased for work at 2:30. I feel like I need to keep it for a while because he schemed on it and he screwed up. I am debating disconnecting his computer as well. I am just angry and probably reacting to that. What would you guys do? It's not the end of the world that they were here but it's extremely disappointing the way he handled himself.
The way I look at "sneaky" behavior, is, why would the kid do this? Clearly because he wants to have people over, and he thought you'd say no, so he just did it. Doesn't sound like they did anything wrong, just that he had people over when he knew you wouldn't allow it.

The appropriate consequence for this is ..... don't leave him home alone. I know, that's not what you want to hear. You probably had very good reasons for leaving him home alone - all for your benefit. 16 year olds need supervision as much as young children do. You are lucky that he's a good kid, and it sounds like all they did was order Taco Bell and play video games. Same as if you had been home. Other kids in the same position might have had a wild party, with drugs and alcohol, and the neighbors calling the cops.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:43 PM
 
5,781 posts, read 5,078,922 times
Reputation: 17500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummingbyrd View Post
Wow now there is an assumption. I don't have a webcam to be spying on him 24/7. Spying kinda insinuates that he doesn't know about it. I can't "spy" on him when he knows it's there, but thanks for that.

I have a webcam because I worry about my house when WE are gone. I like to be able to check in, I like to be able to notified of any unexpected activity, I like to be able to check on my dog, etc. It's not just because of him. Is there something wrong with having a webcam in my front room?

I looked in the trash and saw the taco bell bag right on top, so i didn't actually dig through it. Has he done terrible things? Maybe not terrible, but sneaky… yes. Last thing was him staying home "sick" from school and smoking pot (which I found by looking in the trash).

Yeah we have communication issues, this is true. He acts very entitled and frankly, a little narcissistic, and I'm struggling with it. He wants what he wants when he wants it and anything less can so easily turn into a fight or sulking.

Do you have kids? I'm betting not.
I am laughing. He sounds like a typical teen. Things will improve in about ten years. Meanwhile, just hold the line. Supervise. It sounds trite, but it's what you have to do. Trust but verify. I think you are doing very well with him. Just don't leave him alone overnight.
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Old 09-08-2015, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,527 posts, read 7,848,459 times
Reputation: 7474
I think that a 16 year old has NO Privacy until they are 18 and no longer living at home.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:08 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,766,446 times
Reputation: 1395
Didn't read all the responses, perhaps, someone already said this.
If you don't trust him to be home alone overnight, then don't leave him. This simple rule applies to any situation and any age.
If you don't trust your 3 year old to be in a room by himself for 15 minutes - don't leave him.
If you don't trust your 11 year old to come home from school and be by himself for 2 hours - don't let him.
If you don't trust your 16 year old... you get the picture.

Letting a child be by himself in any situation at any age is showing certain level of trust. If you don't have that trust - then neither of you is ready for the situation.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:23 PM
 
1,970 posts, read 1,372,572 times
Reputation: 4431
While I was reading through this thread, I was predominantly agreeing with the responses rather than the OP, until I noticed the reference to pot. The kid was caught doing drugs- that's not OK in my book.

I have young kids so I'm not there yet, but I intend to be relatively laid back about most things but I will lose my cool when it comes to drugs. You have to find some way to nip that in the butt before it's too late. 16 is just such a fragile age for that kind of thing.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:54 PM
 
13,756 posts, read 22,669,362 times
Reputation: 38445
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCresident2014 View Post
While I was reading through this thread, I was predominantly agreeing with the responses rather than the OP, until I noticed the reference to pot. The kid was caught doing drugs- that's not OK in my book.

I have young kids so I'm not there yet, but I intend to be relatively laid back about most things but I will lose my cool when it comes to drugs. You have to find some way to nip that in the butt before it's too late. 16 is just such a fragile age for that kind of thing.
Fair enough, but the parent involved knew the teen smoked pot and left him anyway.
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Old 09-08-2015, 02:58 PM
 
6,319 posts, read 6,295,335 times
Reputation: 11954
This thread wouldn't even exist if OP had've stayed in.

Theres a lesson in there somewhere.
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Old 09-08-2015, 03:08 PM
 
6,525 posts, read 3,629,263 times
Reputation: 28864
From reading this thread I am just happy I grew up in the 60's and 70's. My sister and I learned independence from being "latchkey" kids beginning at ages 11 and 13. We stayed home alone during the summer months when my mother and father worked full time. We were responsible, we spent the day playing games, learning how to sew. Heck we even took the bus to downtown Baltimore city to get sewing lessons. When we were around 14 and 16 I remember my parents going away one night to Philly for a funeral. We were just fine by ourselves.
Come to think of it my husband and I left our sons alone for two nights when they were 11, 13 and 15. My mother would stop in and check on them each day. They did not want to stay at their grandmother's house. They did great and rose to the occasion of being independent and responsible.
If you don't give your children some room to be independence along the way how will they know when they become older how to be responsible and independent? Baby steps for growing up, give them a little bit, see how they do, give them a little bit more...

When I went away for college it was easy to spot the kids that had no independence when they were growing up. They went wild and were completely irresponsible with their first taste of freedom from their parents.
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Old 09-08-2015, 05:12 PM
 
568 posts, read 625,270 times
Reputation: 716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunluvver2 View Post
I think that a 16 year old has NO Privacy until they are 18 and no longer living at home.
I agree.
I have no problems with video cameras used to monitor activity in the home. Pets, kids, intruders, whatever.
The OP's son was being 'sneaky'.
I would never allow a 16 y/o to have guests over if I wasn't present.
It's not about 'trust' as much as it's about being fully aware of what incredibly poor judgement many teenagers have. ESPECIALLY when you get a group of them together.
Peer pressure is very real, and all it takes is one 'bad apple'.
My house, my responsibility, my rules.
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