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Scarlett

Wwyd? Young adults

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When I have not wanted my young adult to go somewhere, I have not allowed him to borrow the car.  But that's it, and a few times he has found other ways to get to where he wants to go anyway.

 

Does he understand that being accused of improper behavior could have a major impact on his life?  That's where I'd start.

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Well my argument until 18 would be I'm responsible when you screw up.  So I reserve the right to say no.  After that, I wouldn't make it easy (like I would not provide transportation or allow use of my car if that is the case) and I'd keep talking, but I would not (and could not) really stop my kid.

 

 

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Sounds like a tough situation. Does young adult know that he's been accused by the person in the past? At almost 18, I would think that discussing the possible ramifications of him spending time there would be helpful. Ie: "in the past, Mr. X accused you of doing xyz. How would you handle another similar situation with Mr. X. Here's why we feel that spending time with Mr. X is dangerous. What do you think?" 

 

That kind of thing. Young adult has their own car if I'm remembering correctly? 

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I would discuss with him why I had concerns and what exactly those concerns were and see what his response is.

Unless there was physical danger, I would let an almost adult make his own choices, even if they are uncomfortable for me.

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I would explain my position. But I would not draw a line in the sand. This seems like something that a young adult might need to learn for himself. I would be wary of setting myself up as the protector of an adult. I mean, sometimes we still are, but I want to send the message, “I trust that you can handle things and make decisions, but I am always here for you†rather than,â€You aren’t quite competent to handle decisions.â€

Edited by Danestress
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It would depend on the level of danger involved, I guess.  If the adult is accusing him of things that are reputation damaging or personally hurtful or something like that (eta: say accusing him of cheating on his girlfriend, or disobeying a religious practice, or lying or something like that), I'd talk to him about it and try to understand why he is willing to expose himself to that kind of unhappiness but not outright prohibit.

 

If the adult is accusing him of crimes (say accusing him of having sex with someone much younger than him, or accusing him of using illegal drugs, or something like that), I'd prohibit as much as was in my power.

 

So I guess that is a long way of saying, it depends.

Edited by eternalsummer
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I think there is a limit to how far that choice making can and should go when I am supporting him.

 

You asked "WWYD". 

I do not tie strings to my support of my adult kids, as long as what they do is legal and does not put them in a  danger they cannot fully appreciate.

 

What exactly is you concern about this person? Have you had a frank conversation about it with your son? What is his take?

My goal would be to convince him that my concerns are valid. Not play the "I support you and hence you do as I say" card.

Edited by regentrude
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I was an obedient kid.  If my parents said, "Don't go there," (and they did--a number of times), then I didn't go.  If they said, "Don't date this person," then I didn't.  I had a curfew up to and including when I was 19.  A lot of people say that if you tell young people not to do something, they'll always rebel.  That wasn't true for me.  Sounds like it's not true for your son.  

 

Were the accusations that he stole something?  That he was sexually inappropriate?  Are these things that can lead to a court case and lawyers because he's been accused of a crime? 

 

I'd provide him with a ton of reasons for why you're concerned.  And then I'd tell him he can't go. If it could land him in jail because of false accusations, then I would say a firm No.  And if he's the sort to listen, then I'd thank my lucky stars that he listens.

 

ETA:  (meant to add this but got interrupted)  On the other hand, if it's just something that's gossipy that'll mess with his reputation I would not tell him he can't go.  But I'd give him my reasons for why it's a bad idea and then him learn the hard way if he decides to go anyway.

Edited by Garga
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Yeah, if by not dangerous you mean not something that will land him in a serious situation like jail, I'd not stop him.

 

What's the worst case scenario in the situation.

 

Many young people make a few errors in interpersonal stuff, and a lot of that is what teaches them about good decisions and judging situations.  The latter in particular isn't something you can really learn through someone else - you have to experience it to improve at it.  Like - how many young people really learn that some other person is a false friend and that they are being manipulated, from being told?  Either they are observant enough to see it in others and take it in, or they have to experience it directly.  Mom and dad telling them isn't going to do the job.  Once they have learned it though they have really gained in wisdom.

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I was an obedient kid. If my parents said, "Don't go there," (and they did--a number of times), then I didn't go. If they said, "Don't date this person," then I didn't. I had a curfew up to and including when I was 19. A lot of people say that if you tell young people not to do something, they'll always rebel. That wasn't true for me. Sounds like it's not true for your son.

 

Were the accusations that he stole something? That he was sexually inappropriate? Are these things that can lead to a court case and lawyers because he's been accused of a crime?

 

I'd provide him with a ton of reasons for why you're concerned. And then I'd tell him he can't go. If it could land him in jail because of false accusations, then I would say a firm No. And if he's the sort to listen, then I'd thank my lucky stars that he listens.

 

ETA: (meant to add this but got interrupted) On the other hand, if it's just something that's gossipy that'll mess with his reputation I would not tell him he can't go. But I'd give him my reasons for why it's a bad idea and then him learn the hard way if he decides to go anyway.

Ty. It is good to hear not all kids rebel.

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Well the way I see it is the more you tell him you don't want him to do something, the more attractive it is.  That's how people work in general.  I'm always very careful in terms of how much I let my kid know something bothers me that he wants to do.  There IS something big that I don't want him to do, and I have now stopped talking to him at all about it.  Interestingly I can tell this drives him crazy.  He seemed to have a lot more steam and fuel for the fire when I was going on and on about it.  I mean this probably does not always work and maybe isn't always the right way to handle it, but clamping down too hard can definitely backfire.

 

 

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Im somewhat confused by the situation but Im wondering who the dc wants to spend time with. If it is the person who has accused him of improper behavior, I would have one response. If it is someone else in the house, I would have another.

 

He's 17, almost 18, and your choices are somewhat limited. In your shoes, I would explain my concerns and the ramifications of their relationship on both your dc and the family. I would make it a conversation, not a lecture, and help lead them down the path of understanding.

 

From there, I would encourage them to see their friend in public or bring their friend to my house. (Assuming this is not the person making accusations.) Don't make the person off limits, make the unhealthy environment the issue.

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Is there a way to have the person he wants to visit come to your home?

 

Might be a crazy idea, but I assume the person would not behave as badly elsewhere.

 

 

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I'd really need more information.

 

Is this person a danger because they don't respect your church?

 

Is this person a danger because they are immoral?

 

Is this person a danger because they associate with those who partake in illegal activities or are a member of a gang?

 

Why are they dangerous?

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Agreeing with others, I would need more info.

 

1.  Is the person he is going to see the person that is making accusations or is it someone else in the home?

2.  WHY is he wanting to go see this person?  What is he getting out of it?  Friendship?  Time away from home?  Way to kill boredom?  Skills development?

3.  Are they related in some way?

4.  Are the accusations such that he could land in legal trouble or more like a bruised reputation?

5.  How would his going affect the whole family?  Do you mean legally?  Reputation?  Stress because he is somewhere you don't want him to be?

6.  Why is he angry that you don't want him to go?  Is it because he thinks you are overly controlling or have misjudged the situation or ...?

7.  Have you couched conversations in terms of being concerned for his safety/reputation?  Have you tried to simply talk with him, brainstorm with him on ways to prevent further issues if he does go without actually making it about "you live in my home you abide by my rules."?

8.  Could you invite the other person to your house consistently?

Edited by OneStepAtATime
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I'd really need more information.

 

Is this person a danger because they don't respect your church?

 

Is this person a danger because they are immoral?

 

Is this person a danger because they associate with those who partake in illegal activities or are a member of a gang?

 

Why are they dangerous?

I agree. What was he accused of?

 

Is this about the girl both sons liked?

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Agreeing with others, I would need more info.

 

1.  Is the person he is going to see the person that is making accusations or is it someone else in the home?

2.  WHY is he wanting to go see this person?  What is he getting out of it?  Friendship?  Time away from home?  Way to kill boredom?  Skills development?

3.  Are they related in some way?

4.  Are the accusations such that he could land in legal trouble or more like a bruised reputation?

5.  How would his going affect the whole family?  Do you mean legally?  Reputation?  Stress because he is somewhere you don't want him to be?

6.  Why is he angry that you don't want him to go?  Is it because he thinks you are overly controlling or have misjudged the situation or ...?

7.  Have you couched conversations in terms of being concerned for his safety/reputation?  Have you tried to simply talk with him, brainstorm with him on ways to prevent further issues if he does go without actually making it about "you live in my home you abide by my rules."?

8.  Could you invite the other person to your house consistently?

Yes to all this. The answers to these questions could change our advice.

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If the child has been falsely accused of improper behavior and this might happen again, I would say no and deal with the anger because I would know I'm right.

I would also drag them to a lawyer, pay the consult fee & ask the lawyer to explain all the horrible ways this could play out and the lifelong consequences. 

Then I'd drag them to a counsellor & put them into counselling so the child can vent about how awful their parents are but also learn about boundaries, & about respecting themselves enough to protect themselves from toxic people. 

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Are you worried that this is a young woman who might accuse your son of rape if he’s alone in her home with her?

 

I can’t think of another circumstance that would make you this concerned.

 

I hope it’s something more minor than that, though.

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Does this have to do with the younger mom with the weird boundaries who took in the young girl?

I must have missed that. How did I miss that???

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Since he is "soon to be 18", are you prepared to stop supporting him once he is 18 and goes against your wishes?

In my family this would not be an issue of supporting him but reasoning with him. And I agree with others, too little details to really answer. This may be a situation that you cannot really post online due to privacy issues.

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His friend, who is not the unstable person, is welcome at our house. Anf I have made that clear to all.

But have you specifically invited them, at a set time?  I found that open ended invitations netted virtually nothing.  To get the ball rolling I had to pick a specific date and time and ask them to come over.  If a particular date didn't work, I found one that did.  Doing this fairly regularly eventually opened the door to my kiddo/friend asking for when they could come to our house.

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Since questions aren't really being answered and you are continually vague it is very hard to answer the question.  I hope it is not a younger girl and he isn't being accused of anything sexual because that could end VERY badly, including your address on the sex offenders registry.  And in that case, yes, there would be a line in the sand....meet at a coffee shop in public, etc....

 

If it is something else, I don't really know and am not going to speculate on 50 different scenarios.

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Based on your update in #37 that is really a tough situation.  I don't think just outright forbidding it is going to net much in the long run and may drive them to stop telling you what they are doing.  Perhaps some videos or a short course in protecting oneself from others that tend to make accusations?  I would be trying to work on life skills for being more savvy regarding this type of situation and hope that it sinks in.  I would also be trying to involve them in things that would get them meeting other people and encouraging those other friendships.  I am afraid that if I drew a line in the sand that this would eventually escalate into them not listening at all, even if things start to go downhill again.

 

Hugs and best wishes.  Being a parent is hard.

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Since questions aren't really being answered and you are continually vague it is very hard to answer the question. I hope it is not a younger girl and he isn't being accused of anything sexual because that could end VERY badly, including your address on the sex offenders registry. And in that case, yes, there would be a line in the sand....meet at a coffee shop in public, etc....

 

If it is something else, I don't really know and am not going to speculate on 50 different scenarios.

I agree. I keep trying to figure out what this person did in the past and what she might do in the future.

 

Whatever the situation, though, it sounds like Scarlett and her dh have reason to be concerned about this woman because she has caused big problems in the past. It seems like her son is willing to forgive and forget what happened, but Scarlett and her dh think the woman is unstable and can’t be trusted. In this kind of situation, I would probably feel exactly as Scarlett does, but without knowing what she is actually fearing will happen, it’s tough to offer any kind of advice.

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I would strongly recommend but I don't think I would "draw a line" i.e. threaten to kick him out over it. 

 

When I was 18, my mom thought I should quit a really crappy job I had, and I disagreed.  She withheld the car keys.  I walked 12 miles to work before re-negotiating the car.  While I was not particularly independent at 18, I was well past the age when my mom would actually forbid me from going somewhere.  She could make it difficult for me though.  :P

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I'm assuming that it is the girl with the mom who made the texting allegations.  But I don't think that you can totally shield him forever.  And really, you are limited in choices.  You can tell him "no" and hope that he abides by it even if it makes him mad.  You can try giving a consequence if you catch him disobeying you.  But other than that, what can you do?  He may have to learn by experience.  Or the two young people might do fine if the mothers are able to ignore each other (because there seems to be some button pushing going on between the adults). 

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Texting allegations? I dont really know what that means----

I think the problem here is that you started a thread asking for advice, yet we have no idea what you’re actually worried about, so we are all trying to guess.

 

I hate to say this, Scarlett, but if you’re going to start a thread, you should probably just come right out and tell the back story so we will know how to respond. Otherwise, there’s no way we can tell you how we would react in a similar situation.

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Good luck Scarlett.  

 

On a side note, you might consider starting a private chat group for parenting teens.  It might be an easier and somewhat safer format for discussing personal issues regarding nearly adult children.  If you are interested but uncertain how to do so, I'm betting some of us could walk you through the process.  

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I'm going to proceed as if this friend is a male that's actually a friend.  If it's a female or potential romantic partner, that would change my advice quite a bit.

 

Since there is a big element of risk, I'd start with Proverbs 13:20 (A companion of wise men shall be wise, a companion of fools shall be destroyed).

 

With a child that's close to an adult, if they are otherwise good, responsible kids with a good head on their shoulders and some amount of wisdom compared to friends, I'd start with that verse and talk about exactly what they want out of this relationship, and what they don't want. The idea is for him to defend both points of view (be friends with this person, don't go to that house) until he comes to the same conclusion you have.  That could cover a myriad of issues - questioning religion, other things including unstable mental illness, etc.

 

If this person is consorting with criminals I would just ban them from spending time together as long as this teen lives in my house or I'm supporting them in college.

 

Backup and store all text messages or other evidence of previous false accusations.

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And we are not comfortable with him being in that home for any amount of time really. It is very stressful for us......waiting for him to come home, knowing he is there....

 

Welcome to your entire future of young adult parenting.  I hate to say it, but even if you "draw a line" on this one, there is no way you can draw a line on all the situations that are going to make you feel this way, stressful and uncomfortable.  I think you are right to think about "saving the no".  

 

You are wanting to protect him from a possibility, a road that you see leading somewhere but he doesn't see leading there.  I think those are the kind of choices young adults have to start making.  If he really doesn't see the road leading there, he is not going to see it by you forbidding him.  Sometimes they only see it by it happening, which is really unfortunate, but I'm not sure they can be protected from once they are adults.  

 

The situation as you are describing it is one of young adult exercising poor judgment.  I don't think parents can continue to police that.  I think it's best to save policing for actual behavior that violates your parameters, not the poor judgment that might lead to those behaviors.  It's appropriate to say, "You do realize that by doing xyz that is very likely or very possible to lead to abc."  But I don't think that once they are an adult, it is appropriate to say "xyz will lead to abc, so in order to protect you I am going to forbid you from doing xyz".  That is for when they are younger.  When they are older and they refuse to see the connections, that is something they need to learn.

 

Just an opinion!

 

Editing to add:  The difference between saying "there will be no underage alcohol use while you are living at home" and saying "you can't go to that party where other people will be drinking". KWIM?  One is appropriate when they are younger, and not so appropriate when they are older.

Edited by goldberry
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Right. Well I can't do that because I don't want or violate privacy and have people say what a bad mom I am.

 

Never mind every one. Thanks for reading and commenting.

I understand. It seems like sometimes you can’t win — people complain if you’ve don’t provide enough details, and they accuse you of violating your son’s privacy if you do tell the whole story. :rolleyes:

 

Personally, I think the violation of privacy thing is sometimes a little silly, because no one is naming names or specific locations, and one of the advantages of being on a forum like this is that you can ask for advice relatively anonymously, but if you can’t include the pertinent details, no one can give you useful ideas. :grouphug:

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