My younger son, soon to be 18, asked for permission to go hunting with his friend this week at his parent's cabin "up north."
One minor problem: no parental supervision.
As kids usually do, mine sprung the opportunity, on my drive home from work. He expected an instant answer, which I wasn't prepared to give. I felt the pressure coming from him. It was just one more pressure point I didn't need or want.
I told him I'd think it over and think it over I did. I called him a couple hours later, telling him the answer was "No." My son got combative and verbally abusive. I listened and thought to myself, "what an ungracious little spoiled snot," but didn't spar with him. I took a deep breath and told him I wanted him home with my car by 9pm. When he told me he was going anyway, I told him I'd report him as a runaway. He said, "you can't do that, dad, I'm 18." I reminded him that he's not 18 until the end of the month. He spewed some more until he wore himself up and hung up the phone. He got home on time and went straight to bed.
Yesterday, I felt emotionally bruised from the shellacking from junior. But, as things usually work out, I made it to my 12 step meeting, my sponsor just "happened to call me," and things worked out, and I consoled someone who needed help.
My son and his friends went hunting locally with his friends this morning. They got up up at 3:30am. It's not that I worry about their not being safe with their guns, as they've all had gun safety classes, it's the extracurricular activities that bother me.
As my dad says, "You can't teach judgement and experience." As my sponsor says, "Kenny, you need to stand tall and set boundaries."
God Bless and Have a wonderful day.