by Worried Mom
My son is 18 and just graduated high school. He has his first serious girlfriend. My son asked us if he could go to our family cottage for a weekend with some friends. I told him immediately that I thought that would probably be okay (he has to ask his grandmother first - it's her cabin) but that I wasn't comfortable with a mixed group - did he mean his male friends or did he mean a co-ed trip. He told me just his male friends. We like all his friends and we okayed it.
This is his first big trip away (aside from a couple of camping trips last summer). I also said I needed to know all the details of his plans so that I would be comfortable about his getting there etc. (it is a 5 hour drive from our house). He gave us lots of information and had a long discussion with his grandmother where she set out all her expectations and the rules for being up there.
He left this afternoon and as I asked he called me when he got close to the cottage (as I was worried about the drive). The cottage does not have a phone. I have just found out however (through Facebook) that a bunch of girls are going. I don't really know for sure who is there or if his girlfriend is along too but I expect that she is if the other girl is there.
I am thoroughly saddened and upset about his level of lying. I really believed him with all the information he was giving us and all the plans he was making. We gave him the money for the gas to make the trip (which is significant).
He just graduated and has been incredibly stressed about life. He has a new girlfriend and doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. He decided against university (but says he will go back). We have had a lot of stress and arguments and conflict over lots of his behavior lately - staying out really late, the girlfriend over here late, staying in his room alone etc.
I know I am quite tough on him and have a lot of rules
over the years. I am trying to "lighten up" on him a bit lately - letting him make his own decisions and support him in those as best I can. My husband and I are starting to disagree about how we parent him at this point. We have been on the same page up to now.
I know I am not parenting an 18 year old boy in many ways anymore. I am trying to forge a new relationship with him as an adult in our house now but it is very difficult for me. I am having trouble letting go and I can't just "not" parent him as my husband thinks I should now.
Regardless with the current problem of his lying about this trip I don't know what to do when he comes home (in 3 nights). I don't want to alienate him. I don't want to ruin our relationship. I don't want him to hate me or to leave our home. He doesn't even have a job yet - but we have told him we expect him to either go to school or get a job (although the job market is NOT easy out there obviously). Regardless, I also don't think that I should let this behavior pass.
I am entirely shocked and upset by the lying and deceit and really can't figure out where we went wrong. In many other ways his is a very responsible nice young man. But this level of deceit makes me question a lot of the other stories we get from him. We have had very rational discussions about being disrespectful to us, about living under our roof, about the new relationship we need to have, about making decisions at the fork in the road times of life. He never did drugs. He mostly listens to us (up until now). My husband keeps saying "it could be worse" and really it could. I do know that. He is really a nice, good, responsible kid most of the time, but I can't really say that now with this new level of deceit and disrespect I think. I'm very concerned about our future relationship and how he'll react and what I should say to him when he gets home.