Dear one tough Muther,

My 17 year old son has always been a good boy. He followed his curfew, kept a tidy room and car, responsible, respectful. ect.. This year in school he met a new friend. A friend who is the opposite of my child. This friend is disrespectful. As much as I ask him to call my husband and I by Mr & Mrs ( last name) he still calls us by our first name. He influences my son to sneak out of the house, to stay out past his curfew , my son is becoming mouthy and washed out looking. I’ve searched his room, afraid my son is doing drugs. My son is becoming sloppy and care free. His grades are not affected yet but I fear they will be which is why i say not yet. I don’t want this to affect his chances of college , being it is so close to graduating in 2016. It seems the more I tell my son he CAN NOT see this friend the more he finds ways to see him. He has stopped hanging out with his old crew and is only hanging with this kid. It’s upsetting. What else is there to do?

Dear Margie,

I hear this from so many parents and it is a very disturbing and difficult situation however you are missing something.
You need to stay in the parent seat and 17 years old or not. You state he is disrespectful, mouthy and staying out past his curfew, ummmmm. Why don’t you try to stop telling him you don’t like this disrespectful dude, allowing him to dictate to you and take the reins. Since when is it acceptable to put up with a disrespectful attitude and total disregard for rules from your children?
Sit down and discuss this situation with him and find out what exactly is going on. Explain that it is not the “friend” you are disappointed in, it is him and the choices he is making. Somewhere deep down inside him lives the values of the responsible child you raised. Remind him that his recent behavior is NOT acceptable, can not continue and then follow through with enforcement. You set the standards as the parent as well as the exceptions. If your child doesn’t respect those standards and exceptions he will have to face the consequences and be held accountable for his actions.
I am positive there are restrictions, privileges and allowances that can change unless he does. Make it understood that you know he is 100% responsible for his actions, not his friend and the buck stops here.

Good Luck & Huge Muther Hugs,

One Tough Muther

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