Need Help with Disciplining My 16 Year Old Son

Updated on September 14, 2010
C.F. asks from Fort Worth, TX
11 answers

Just got a phone call from the Assistant Principal at my son's high school. Apparently he was called back to the school by another parent who witnessed my son and a girl "making out" plus some however according to the Asst. Principal they both swear they were doing nothing more than just making out. Apparently the girl's parents were looking for her since she wasn't home when she was supposed to be. I am at work so just assumed that my son was staying for afternoon tutorials.

What do I do? How do I discipline this transgression?

I am at a loss since my son has only recently returned to living with me after being with his dad for the last 4 years.

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So What Happened?

Thank you for the great advice given. I did talk to my son when I got home and he did apologize to me for his behavior which I accepted. I do feel that some sort of punishment is necessary so I have taken away his computer usage and tv time for the next several days.

He was playing football but then dropped out. I have talked to him about getting a job but he doesn't have a license yet so there would be no way for him to get to/from work since both myself and his step-dad work full-time. I will definately be looking into ways to keep him busy doing constructive things after school.


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answers from Santa Barbara on

You have some really good advice on how to deal with a 16 year old boy. Unfortunately a couple of the ladies were completely out of touch: apologizing to you, the assistant principal, the girl, the girl's parents...That's just unrealistic. Why is the girl without responsibility????

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answers from Chicago on

Before you opt for the punishment route you need to talk to your son. Do you trust your son? Was it some kissing that got out of hand or were they stipping and getting down to it? If its the kissing thing at 16 this is really normal. You need to not come unglued about it. But you need to have a serious talk about how that can get out of hand and what the consequences are. Then if you feel he is or is about to start having sex you need to decide what the course of action will be. Are you promoting only abstinence in your home? Or will you suggest condoms and have a whole conversation about saving for marriage (the hoped for outcome of said conversation) and about disease etc. about unwanted pregnancy and what the outcome of that scenario could be. you don't want to come down like a ton of bricks and build that wall that a teenager will never scale again to talk to you. better to have open and honest conversations with your son about all possible outcomes. or he will be having sex in cars, basements and friends houses. just to get back at you.

on a separate note. where were they at that another parent caught them? and why did the other parent think it was the schools business? why not call you directly? kind of a weird situation. good luck

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answers from Boston on

He should not be punished for making out, I mean really.......he is 16. Thats what they do and its normal.Now its up to the girls father to discipline her, nothing to do with your son or you.

If he missed his tutorials then he should be punished for that. Grounding is what I would do, three days. If he didn't miss them, why would you punish him at all.

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answers from Fayetteville on

Well, you could talk to him like he is an adult, tell him that he can tell you about the things he wants to do, such as sex, etc. Make sure he is safe and has condoms, and that he know the consequences. Bring him to plan parenthood, sometimes they have group meetings and the kids can discuss it. He is going to do whatever he is gonna do and if you limit it, he will sneak no matter how trusting he is. Just let him be more comfortable in his skin with safety

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answers from Little Rock on

I completely agree with S.H. and He should be punished for making out with a girl and definitely if he was supposed to be somewhere else school related. He does need to apologize to the girls parents, to you for skip tutorials, and to the Assistant Principal who had to deal with all of this. If he had been making out with my daughter, he had better apologize to me and to her (even if she allowed it at the time because she is getting punished by myself and her father and he was part of the cause of her getting in trouble).

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answers from Washington DC on

Tonsil hockey in the hallway? That's what 16 year old kids do when they don't have other after school activities to keep them busy.
I would talk with your son and explain to him that this is not the kind of behavior you think is appropriate. I would also tell him that if he is not at tutoring, that he needs to be getting a job or at home doing homework-- alone.
Tonsil hockey leads to other things. Find him an activity or make him get an after school job...

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answers from Austin on

First of all it takes 2 to tango.. I hope the girl also gets in trouble too, she is the reason the parents freaked out.

"Courting beyond hand holding" is not really allowed/ encouraged in schools, but it still happens.. It is just not the place to behave like that. It just seems trashy.. Also no one wants to see it.. Let your son know that if he does not want to see his parents making out in public, then guess what? No one wants to see teenagers doing it either..

The girl should have called her parents and told them she was running late or was staying after school. Your son should have done the same thing.

Teenagers want to spend time together and during the school day, this is not always possible.. I suggest if they want to spend time together, it should be at the girls home or your home, ONLY while a parent is present..

I am not sure what his punishment should be since it was the first time, But what ever you decide, let him know that this behavior will not be tolerated and each infraction will bump up the consequences..

Most parents,. take kids off of the computer (except homework) and texting for a week.. So maybe till sat?

Also have very specific expectations for his after school activities. He must call you and let you know where he is going to be when school lets out. Then another call for each place he goes after school.. Let him know it is not so much that you are trying to be in his business, but for your peace of mind or in case of emergency, you need to know where he is, just like you will let him know when you are out and about..

Let him know since it is just the 2 of you, you need to look out for each other.

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answers from New York on

talk to him.. don't yell.. making out shouldn't be a bad thing... talk to him about how to treat a girl.. make sure he knows the rules.. because you don't want him to do anything that will hurt her or hurt him ... making out is fine.. but if it went further.. it could be worse because the other parents might be upset.. but remember she was kissing him too.. so don't worry.. but talk to him and keep talking to him about what things you expect from him. good luck

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answers from Chicago on

Do not let Romeo take advantage of you just because he was living with Dad for a number of years. Make it very clear that disrupting you at work was not a good idea and there will be consequences. Maybe he wasn't doing anything more than that (I always have to wonder about people who 'witness' these things-like what the heck are they doing staring at that anyway. At any rate, you have no reason to not believe him, other than a parent who might be a little wary about their own children, so I suggest you have a talk with him and explain to him the birds and the bees one more time, the consequences and why it is not a good idea to do that. Particularly in public. Mother of two grown sons speaking here...He will be out the door in a couple of years where you cannot do anything. In the meantime if he goofs up your job then deduct the amount of pay you might lose from having to deal with this and don't let him have it for well, just about anything. Explain to him how unfair it is. Ah, motherhood is never easy.

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answers from Honolulu on

Well, so he was NOT at his after school tutorial? He was making out.
So 2 infractions he did.

And the girl's parents were looking for her... she was NOT home when she was supposed to be.
So, he needs to be punished.
And you need to talk with him....

Next, EXPLAIN to him, that the girl is someone else's child... AND she was 'missing' since the parents were looking for her. I can imagine, how scared they must have been... because the girl was NOT home when she was supposed to be etc.

The girl's parents, could, realistically, be VERY angry at your son... My idea about discipline, would be, that I think, he has to, ALSO... talk to the girl's parents and apologize to them... maybe that will be a good 'punishment' for him and to realize RESPONSIBILITY and consequences....
If that were my daughter, I would be REAL irked... about that boy and my daughter... and that they were 'missing.'
It could have been a real bad situation... what if the parents called the cops since their daughter was 'missing' and they could not find her???
Tell your son that.... he NEEDS to know, the ramifications of things...

IF you are afraid of disciplining him... then he will know and not take you seriously... you need to instill a sense of respect...
Did you tell his Dad?
Men, might not think that is a big deal.
But as a Mom of a Daughter myself... well, that is another story and concern.
And yes, that girl was making out too and was a part of it. So her parents will deal with her.

What did the school do to them?
How did they handle it?

all the best,

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answers from Tulsa on

I think grounding is appropriate. Apparently this happened at school. NOT the place. He is 14 and making out should be a big deal.
I would talk to him about my expectations and hopes, and try to get his imput. I would also make it clear while there may be a time and place for everything, school isn't the place for most things. He is there to learn. Social interaction is part of that, but does he really think what he did was acceptable?

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