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danny541, Parenting Answer Team
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Have 5 children !
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My 17 year old son lives on Maui with his other mother. He

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My 17 year old son lives on Maui with his other mother. He has his own car, attends a college prep high school, is a star basketball player and has basically no rules. He comes and goes as he wishes. I think he has handled his independence very, very well. In the past six months, after his sister and I (his other mom) moved to Boston for his sister's high school, he has lost focus on basketball (he also had a knee injury), and he has started smoking pot and having sex. There is no fighting with him and either of us parents. I want to be more pro-active with establishing some structure in his life that is not currently there, and his other mom wants to monitor without intervention. I trust his other mom's intentions, and as I am not there, and I am not sure what to do. Advice???
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  danny541 replied 7 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer!

If he has always been allowed to have his own way,he is not going to change any time soon, you can set down rules and his other mother, may try very hard to monitor what he is doing,but if he chooses not to follow this new set of rules you will have a fight on your hands.

You said he just had a knee injury and he is probably depressed about this. It sounds like he has fallen into some bad ways, with the pot and having sex, if he wasn't doing these before then he is using the pot as a crutch and most boy's his age, is into having sex!

The main thing,is to get him to understand,if this injury is something that is permanent,then he needs to cope with it, and not continue to harm himself with drugs.

And he still needs to use protection when having sex, there are many diseases out there in the world,that can kill him and definitely alter his life,what about children, does he really want to take a chance on being a father now, at 17?

Both of you as parents need to sit and discuss this and see if you can come to an agreement on what things he needs to do, and then, talk to him as a unit, and tell him since he is not handling the situation well, that you need to set down some rules and he must obey them.

Most typical teenagers will balk at his, because he has been independent for so long. So you will have a fight on your hands, unless he is willing, to listen and obey.

If need be take his driving privilages away and the right to use his car if he will not obey, have him show you that he is willing to work with you, and if he doesn't than show him tough love and you both must stick to it!

Because if he continues to use pot, he could end up in an accident and worse, and as his parents you may very well be held responsible for his actions!

You have little time to change his mind to do the right thing before he turns 18, then he will do what he wants, and if its wrong, then you will not be able to change his mind, unless he wants too!

If you have more questions, please ask!

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