Ask the Mouthy Housewives: My Son Thinks I’m a Buzzkill
Teenagers will be teenagers, but does that really have to extend to drugs?
-The Mouthy Housewives
Joining us here at BettyConfidential … The Mouthy Housewives! These lovely models of decorum (Kelcey, Wendi, Marinka, Kristine and Tonya) want our lives to be as fabulous as theirs, thus they’re happy to ignore their families to give us smart, cheeky advice. So pop open a box of rosé, put on your favorite Barry Manilow CD and let the Housewives Swiffer away your troubles … Every week they’ll be answering burning questions from readers.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My 17 year-old son has decided he is going to start making his own decisions and stop living by my rules. This means he is going to continue to smoke pot when he’s hanging out with his friends. I’ve restricted him three times already and began drug testing, but it doesn’t help. Unless I lock him up and throw away the key, he said he will continue to get stoned because he likes the way it makes him feel. He thinks I should look the other way and let him smoke pot as long as he keeps his grades up, has a job, and is not getting into any trouble. By the way, his father and I are divorced, and my ex-husband doesn’t really want to push the issue with him. Thoughts, suggestions, or am I overreacting?
Dear Mary Jane,
First, my heart goes out to you. This sounds like an incredibly difficult and scary situation to be in, and you’ve clearly been busting your ass to try to make things work. Regarding the should-I-just-let-him-smoke-pot issue, my response, is a resounding NO EFFING WAY. Because it’s clear to me that it’s not okay with you.
The bottom line is that, regardless of his age, he’s still living in your home. So, if we ignore the whole drug issue momentarily, we still have the fundamental problem of rule-breaking and blatant disrespect. To put it mildly: your son is being a total jerk. (The good news is that we can still love our children even while they’re being jerky. I’ve verified this with my own kids.)
This testing of boundaries and independence is certainly a natural part of growing up, but it doesn’t mean we as parents should just look the other way. Exactly why your son has turned to drugs is a serious issue that needs to be explored. I would strongly recommend seeking a support network and talking about this with an experienced family therapist. Family counseling can be invaluable when the child views you as an enemy rather than an ally. A mediator can get those lines of communication back open. (Which is nice, since kids don’t seem to respond well to the I LABORED FOR 24 HOURS WITH YOU, YOU SELFISH SONOFA–)
If you can’t get your son to agree to counseling, you might need to take extreme measures. (And I think physical restraints are “frowned upon,” unfortunately.) Since keeping him in your home is essentially enabling the very behavior you’re trying to curb, you might need to help him find alternate living arrangements until he’s ready to function as a responsible, respectful adult. You certainly deserve that much as his mother.
We all wish you luck,
The Mouthy Housewives spend our days solving the world’s problems and our nights playing classical piano and reading fine literature. Or maybe just yelling at reality TV shows. Need our help? Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org. (All questions are confidential.) And you can find more smart, cheeky advice at The Mouthy Housewives.