I have an 18 year old son who has always been a good kid with good grades. This past weekend we found out that he was on the phone for 2 1/2 hours with his girlfriend while we were out and decided that he didn't need to do a paper for school-he would get the teacher to give him more time to hand it in. We told him that wasn't acceptable to us that he should have started the paper and not been on the phone so long-we didn't know he was on the phone because my husband and I were out for a few hours. I looked at the phone record online the next day and saw it. We had a big fight about it that night and now he won't talk to us at all. How long do I let this go, or do I sit him down and talk to him-or will that make it worse. I am really upset about it because he has never done this before, he has also never had a girlfriend before this year so there was never an issue with the phone either.
Everyone's parenting style is different, but in my opinion this is an overreaction.
Since he's always been a good student and with good grades, letting an assignment slip that would have taken 2.5 hours - IMHO - is a learning moment. This isn't like a six week project, it's something you expect he could have accomplished in the 2.5 hours he was on the phone with the girlfriend. BTW, I'm assuming that 2.5 hours isn't the only free time he had all weekend - and could have done it at any other time also.
Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't understand your level of concern about this one academic episode of carelessness, and why you describe yourself as being "really upset" about this. Is there more?
I agree that we probably overreacted to the situation, but it was so uncharacteristic of him to not do the work that we freaked when he told us he just didn't feel like doing it.He could have done it earlier in the weekend but since he didn't and he knew about the paper he should have concentrated on it on Sunday.
That being said my main issue is the not talking to us since, that is what is so upsetting to me since he has never done this before we don't know whether to try and wait it out or try to have a conversation with him today, (Although it's hard to talk through a closed door!)
It sounds to me that he has what we call "senioritis". Is he going away next year to college?
Kids who had been very successful suddenly stop working, they already envision themselves in college and see the last semester of High School as unnecessary bother.
Also, they often pick fights with their family as a way to distance themselves so parting isn't painful. Parents often joke that they had been dreading their student leaving for college until senior year - then, kind of looking forward to the relief.
If I were you I'd try to talk to him. Maybe one of the reasons he was on the phone for so long is he's having some kind of relationship problems and is upset.
We have done this same thing a few times. I have a sister and brother in law that have done an amazing job with their children (yep a little jealous lol!) and they told me the #1 rule is to keep them talking, keep them close and never put a door in between. I have followed this as much as I can. They also told me that as much as I want for my children to succeed in life there comes a point when they will suffer the consequences to their actions and it's not for me to fix (as hard as it sounds). Yep, he didn't get the paper done and now he will have to work that out with his teacher. Him getting the paper done doesn't hurt me but it might hurt him. Maybe not? His problem. We have on more than one occassion admitted we were wrong and we jumped too quickly and we were sorry BUT we just want so much for him to have a great life. It wasn't so much we were mad but scared and don't want him to throw his GPA at this point. He was very receptive to this and started talking to us and we had a great conversation. It is a start. They are getting really independent in these last few months and might not say it but a little scared too! I bet they have a lot going on in their heads. I know I did. Couldn't wait to get out and be done but kinda scary and excited to move on. I think Senioritis is very true. Most important, let him know you love him and everything is going to be ok. Goodluck!
Maybe we should start a new forum "Parenting College Age Children: 18 to 24" It's not like they aren't our responsibility anymore once we ship them off. They are inevitably going to do dumb stuff that is going to require our intervention not to mention our money.
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