23 answers

18 Year Old Not Listening to Me....

Im so frustrated and angry right now. My sons 18 & 17 decided to spend the week with their father, they were supposed to come home on Sunday, well we are supposed to get this hurricane at some point after midnight tonight and Ive been telling my son since Friday to come home Saturday. He has been fighting with me since I first mentioned it. First he doesnt see anything about state of emergencies posted anywhere, or anything closing, or that they are in a danger zone.

His father lives in PA and we are upstate NY in Orange County we are in the 'extreme' disaster zones, not evacuations zones. But its still a hurricane. He keeps calling me periodically saying why does he have to come home, hes not ready to leave, now this last call he says he does not feel safe driving since its been raining all day over there! And goes on to say since college decided to close on Monday he does not have to be home till tuesday and he would rather drive then. He does not want to drive into the path of this hurricane that all of a sudden he acknowledges! All Im thinking is that he will be stranded, theres a small bridge and the river over flows constantly! This will happen for sure, Im almost positive and he will be stuck.

I was so upset I said forget it, do what you want I dont care anymore and hung up! Now Im like thinking to myself, Im going to take the car keys away, Im going to disconnect his internet, you name it! He says it does not matter where he is stranded! Argh!

He has never been like this before and Ill never understand the want to visit his father, ( thats a whole story in it self) but thats not what Im asking... why is he not listening to me? Am I wrong to tell him to come home? Why am I feeling this way? Argh!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow you ladies are horrible. How you call the 'hes 18' card he can do what he wants? Ive been telling him since Friday morning to come home, this has nothing to do with their father, as I said I was not asking about him. I could go into a tangent about how he has seen them a hand full of times in the past 10 years! Or how when they have visited its been horrible getting them back into their routine when they return, but Im not taking about that. You cant say he can do what he wants when he relies on me and my husband completely. He has no job, he does not pay rent, he uses my car, hes had is license for less then a year, he has never defied me before. Am I old school in my thinking? How do you protect your kids / young adult children when you tell them to do what they want? Disrespect you? I told him on Friday to come no later than NOON Saturday BEFORE anything started. He was never in danger driving home until he waited until the last minute cause he started to argue with me about leaving and now I cant reach them. So tell me again I was wrong!

Featured Answers

He is a man now. He wants to make his own choices, and he loves his father. (even if someone does not think a parent is worthy of love, a child can forgive a parent many wrongs and still love them). It sounds like you are treating him more like he is 12 than 18. Not trying to sound harsh, so please don't take it that way, but at 18 it is time for him to be making more of his own choices. I know how hard it can be as a mom to let go though! Hang in there and blessed be.

9 moms found this helpful

Wouldn't he be safer staying put? Are so upset that he isn't coming home because you dislike their dad and don't want them together? I am missing something here too like the previous posters.

5 moms found this helpful

More Answers

He is a man now. He wants to make his own choices, and he loves his father. (even if someone does not think a parent is worthy of love, a child can forgive a parent many wrongs and still love them). It sounds like you are treating him more like he is 12 than 18. Not trying to sound harsh, so please don't take it that way, but at 18 it is time for him to be making more of his own choices. I know how hard it can be as a mom to let go though! Hang in there and blessed be.

9 moms found this helpful

I suggest that at 17 and 18 they should be given the opportunity to make this sort of decision. You're concerned about their safety in a hurricane that is predicted to arrive after midnight. And college has been canceled on Monday. So it makes sense to me that they stay over, out of the way of the hurricane. If they get stranded they'll have to deal with the consequences of not making it back to school. It's their problem. It seems to me that both parties concerns are being met. They're out of the way of the hurricane, your concern. And they'll spend more time with their father, their concern.

I know it's hard to let go of being the primary control but you have to when your child reaches towards adulthood. I also suspect that part of your angst are your feelings about them visiting their father. You don't "understand the want to visit his father." You don't need to understand it. It is your role to accept it. He has a different relationship with him then you do. He is their father. That is a bond that exists without your approval.

So......can you just accept that these are older teens, nearly legally adults, and they need to have the power to make decisions that affect their lives. It's difficult to do this. But necessary.

After your so what happened: We did not tell you to let him to do what he wants. We told you that in this situation it is reasonable for him to stay at his Dad's. It's time to give him some leeway.

And I don't understand how you can say it's not about his Dad when you used several more sentences expressing your anger. This reminds me: doesn't his father have some say over what he does? I could understand your anger for him not being involved if you also thought he was influencing your son to stay. However, For me, it says even more that he should stay with his Dad since he's apparently enjoying the visit when he's had so few successful visit.

So what did happen? Did he stay or come home? How did you fare, weatherwise?

9 moms found this helpful

If I understand you correctly, you're asking your son to drive in to a potential disaster zone rather than staying someplace where it may be relatively safer. And, you're asking him to drive with tons of other stressed out folks in potentially torrential rain and wind. Did I get this right? I'm not trying to be mean, here, I'm just trying to understand.

If the previous paragraph is correct, then I must side with your son. I don't think he's listening to you because what you're saying isn't making a whole lot of sense. I get the urgent emotional need moms have during potential disasters to have the whole family together, but perhaps a more practical way to look at it is that he's safer, out of harm's way, if he stays in PA with Dad. (And, yes, he probably just wanted to extend his vacation and Mother Nature totally helped out in this case. How often does that happen?!)

I would call your son, tell him to stay with Dad until the danger passes. He may miss a few days of school, but so will everyone else. Safety first.

Good luck, dear mama.

7 moms found this helpful

Speaking as a FLORIDA girl and Momma - it is BEST that he stay where he is at. You may not like it but he is in the best place to be, he should NOT be driving at this time and schools maybe closed past Monday. Quite honestly I think you need to remember he is 18 and legally an ADULT!!! I know you are freaking out as a Mom and wanting him home where you will "know" he is ok. BTW this is a Cat 1/2 and it isn't going to be like Katrina - there will be most likely lots of wind damage and some water damage. You may not like the fact that he is with his Father, but you need to get past it - he is an ADULT.

Edit 2

You are wrong b/c you are treating him like he is 8yo and not 18!! You are afraid/concerned/worried for him and that is NORMAL!!!! Who cares about the past with his dad - that is their relationship and you have no say in it, even if is a problem getting him into the routine YOU want for him. At 18 and in college, he should be doing something to help contribute to the family finances (I which will help you see him as more of an adult than a child) . Keep in mind the more you demand and treat him like a child the more he will pull away. I am talking from experience. We are not being rude here but looking at the situation from an outside perspective with no emotions ..... also this is a high stress time for you no matter what. I think you need to sit down as 3more adults and discuss house rules together. He is an adult not a child (I even though he is your child) .

When my siblings and I graduated HS and lived at home we had a family/house meeting and discussed/negotiated house rules -together like adults /roommates. It was a two way street , we didn't have curfews but we had to call or text by 11 if we wouldn't be home by 6 (when dad left for work( so the alarm could be set and deadbolts locked....we also paid $ towards the household accounts - even if it was $5 or such. Those who didn't pay as much contributed in other ways....my former stepsister did the main laundry and cooked 3 nights a week while I did 1 night of cooking and only my laundry. My dad did the lawn and my former step mom did the grocery shopping and they only cooked on Sunday.

What I am saying is step back, take a deep breath and realize first he is ok, second the situation is stressful to begin with and worse as a momma and third he is legally an adult and it is time to start seeing him as such. If needed take a week or so to calm down and talk to other moms you are friends with for perspective on this issue.

Remember his relationship past/present/future with his father is none of your concern/business.....honestly sounds like you have unresolved issues with him that you personally need to deal with.

Good luck!!!!

You need to calm yourself down and realize he is safe where he is - he should not be driving in this weather and is making the CORRECT ADULT DECISION!!! Do NOT over react and "disconnect" everything.

BTW - I have to go through all the storms by myself here (me and my girls) as my husband is a LEO so I do understand, wanting everyone together. And if he is stranded - who cares, he is safe and that is what is important.

Sorry if you think I am harsh but I am speaking of experience with this weather

W., I just checked where you are and looked at the path. Breathe deeply, make sure your phone is charged fully, laptop too (if you have one), grab some good books, get comfy and relax and enjoy your rainy days!!! Seriously, let this go - you are going to have a nasty rain storm is what it looks like. We have had "no name" storms come through that are SOO much worse than Irene is looking like. Yes this is not something you are used to, but let your son hang with his father and family and you enjoy relaxing. Honestly this is a storm that Hurricane Parties are meant for LOL

PM if you need to talk :)

7 moms found this helpful

Ummm, I'm sorry, but he is a college student that is 18?
There is nothing you CAN do.
He is an adult and has to be able to make decisions for himself.
You can not detain him or take his keys, that would be unlawful imprisonment and you could (if he were to report you) be arrested, so please do not do that.
He is not a minor anymore.

Sorry, I am sure that having a child suddenly stand up and choose that s/he is now going to make decisions for themselves and be an adult is hard, but again, he is 18.

Personally I would rather him stay in PA where it is probably safer than NY anyway.

Ok, I will tell you again that you are wrong.
You CAN NOT tell a 18 year old what to do.
If you have a problem giving him everything then tell him "You're a grown up now, get a job".
But the fact is, he is 18. He is in college. You said yourself he is a good kid. You are wrong to be like this with him right now.
My opinion.
You asked for our opinions, don't attack us when you don't like it.

7 moms found this helpful

He has never been this way before because he was not 18 till now.
The 2 of you need to sit down together and figure out how things have changed. That he is an adult, but you are still worried about him. YOU do need to realize that he is considered an adult and he is going to do what he thinks is best. He will take what you request into consideration, but it is now his life to make decisions and then also take responsibilities for these outcomes. It is just a change in the relationship because he is now of legal age. . He sounds like he is ready but you are not.

Men/boys are different from women.. They see this as an adventure. They are with their father so I assume they will be safe. We want all of our family around us, but men think they are manly and can deal with it..

Our daughter is now 21, and once she was 17 I started making a request, I say, "I would like for you to".. Or "I wish you would consider", because ultimately, it is her choice but I do want her to here my opinion, but do not want her to feel like I am telling her what to do.

Try not to be so upset. You cannot make them do what they do not want to do now that they are adults... It means you have done your job when they make a decision and take responsibility for the outcome. .

7 moms found this helpful

Sorry mom, you won't like what I'm going to say here, but he is a college student now and HE has to be responsible for his stupid decisions. You hold the purse strings for money you give him, and you can require him to work to pay for car insurance or decide that has has to make do without a car (if the car is yours). Other than that, he needs to get bit in the butt a few times and you can't do it for him.

I'm on the way to the airport now, leaving my son at college for his freshman year. God knows what kind of mistakes he is going to make, but he will learn from them. The school counselled us parents about this very thing, and told us that if the kids don't figure things out, to talk to the school about it. Teens will frequently listen to mentors and other adults before listening to their parents.

Good luck, I know it's hard...


6 moms found this helpful

what am i missing here? is this more about you disliking your ex? i think you need to really think about taking away the car keys, disconnecting internet, etc, you are acting *childish*.

now if he was driving & drinking & not in college but partying all night crashing wherever he wanted THEN I can see you taking stuff away, but he's not!!!!!

6 moms found this helpful

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