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Old 09-05-2015, 03:53 PM
 
51 posts, read 49,688 times
Reputation: 46

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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.
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:02 PM
 
10,194 posts, read 8,003,414 times
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I think...there is some major trust issues going on...on your part. What terrible things has he done in the past that has you spying on him 24/4 and harassing him through the night? Then going through the trash?
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:18 PM
 
13,748 posts, read 22,610,374 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighFlyingBird View Post
I think...there is some major trust issues going on...on your part. What terrible things has he done in the past that has you spying on him 24/4 and harassing him through the night? Then going through the trash?
+1 .

Spying on your teen is the equivalent of reading a diary. Just stop. You either can trust him, or you can't, in which case, you stay home. I think his indignation is entirely justified if he has never given you reason to think he's troublesome.
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:23 PM
 
1,138 posts, read 825,619 times
Reputation: 2446
Hesus H. Xristo. You need serious psychological counseling.
Why are you calling all hours of the night? And the spying on him? He is only doing what is natural for a 16 year old boy, and far far less. Taco Bell bags! Better call CSI! Sound the alarm! He is hanging out with cousins?
You are only setting yourself up to be very very disappointed and crushing a chance for a normal healthy relationship and future with your son.
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:23 PM
 
51 posts, read 49,688 times
Reputation: 46
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.
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:30 PM
 
5,413 posts, read 5,681,211 times
Reputation: 9351
Holy heck....either you are leaving out horrible things he's done in the past...or you are completely over the top in spying on your own kid....no wonder he feels he has to sneak around!!

So he got Taco Bell and played Xbox with friends...I am not seeing the issue. Unless you provide some information that explains your behavior....you are very out of line and need to communicate with your son....and be reasonable. If you get this bent out of shape over this.....he is rightly never going to trust you about anything much less anything big......but hey don't worry.....he'll be out of the door the second he turns 18 and not speak to you.....that is what you are going for here, right?
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:34 PM
 
Location: Bloomington IN
7,431 posts, read 9,217,213 times
Reputation: 19116
First, I agree. You need some help. You don't leave a 16 year old alone OVERNIGHT. Not a good idea. The "I have a spy camera" excuse doesn't work. I could share some tales of what I did when I was that age and left alone overnight, or even for a few hours at friends' houses.

And good gosh--Taco Bell with a cousin and cousin's friend. That's nothing. I can honestly say I never looked in the trash for evidence of bad behavior from my kids.

All of that said, he should have asked you first.

BTW--entitled, narcissistic, etc=16 most of the time.

Get a security system if you are worried about the house. It's faster than web cam notifications on your phone.
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:39 PM
 
51 posts, read 49,688 times
Reputation: 46
Where are you getting "spying" from??? He knows I have a camera in my front room. So let me get this straight. Because I have a teenager that I might catch on webcam walking through the front room (because that equals "spying") then I should not have a webcam in my house for any reason… that what you are saying? Screw the fact that I like to be able to check on my house when I'm not there, or my dog. Nevermind the fact that it makes me feel safer knowing that I can check in and see that everything is ok. FYI he is in his room on his computer 95% of the time he is home, but still…. I am spying on him
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
8,435 posts, read 9,201,711 times
Reputation: 1709
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 have 3 teens (13, 14, 16) and an adult in college. As a parent, I find this kinda appalling. Teens don't need to be sneaky if there is no need to sneak.

I would leave my 16 year old overnight without a second thought. I'd text HER a couple times to make sure she locked the doors and to say goodnight but other than that, I fully trust her. I would never catch her smoking pot because we have discussed the risks openly. If I asked her about it, I am confident that she would give me an honest answer because I wouldn't criminalize her for it. Teens experiment and also want privacy.

My neighbor has a 17 year old and leaves over the weekend sometimes. She always asks me if he had friends over. When I say no, she looks disappointed and says she wishes he would rather than just playing video games the whole time.

Both my daughter and my neighbors' are honor students who rarely get in trouble.

On the other end of the spectrum is my sister. Her 16 year old has to watch her other 3 kids overnight while she works but isn't trusted to do the simplest things while mom is around. This led to my niece running away, getting in trouble with the law, and who knows what else she's done behind her mom's back.

I learned the hard way with my now college student adult that breaking trust is a huge no-no whereas being able to honestly communicate with kids from an early age is the way to go. She started being sneaky so I invaded her privacy. It took a few years for her to fully trust me again! Now we have a great relationship.

So the fact that you don't trust your son is obvious. Why do you treat him like a criminal? Is there more to this story?
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Old 09-05-2015, 04:47 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
36,565 posts, read 47,190,370 times
Reputation: 47502
"He was reachable by phone at 8PM"

"the camera is disconnected"

"I have him on FaceTime"




I've only raised 4 kids (3 college graduates and an electrician apprentice) so you'll discount my opinion, but you may be monitoring a wee bit much. If you can't leave a 16 year old alone for a fairly short period of time, even overnight, then you have more issues than just last night.

We used to have parents drop their high school age kids off at school even when school was closed because they didn't trust them at home.
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