Q&a: A Son, a Mom and a Jenny

April 23, 2013 by L.A. Walsh  
Published in Motherhood

My advice to a mother who is concerned about her son’s personality changes.

Dear LW,

I am a mother of three, the oldest being my son, Riley. He is seventeen and believes he has met his soul mate. I disagree. Jenny is a selfish, entitled young woman who I fear will destroy him both emotionally and academically. Since they met last year, my practically straight A student has skipped class multiple times and is in danger of failing his Biology class. He has become problematic at home too. He used to adore the attention his little sisters gave him, but now bullies them when they dare to speak to him. Riley has almost punched my husband on multiple occasions and, because of this, he is refusing to speak our son for fear he won’t be able to hold back if Riley raises his hand again. I’ve had some conversations with Riley that have calmed things down until the next time he saw her. I don’t know what to do. If he becomes violent again, I will have to call the police and I am truly afraid of what will happen next. I’ve tried asking him to stop spending time with Jenny, but that went as well as you may have expected it to. My son has one more year left in high school, but, at this point, I don’t think he’ll be able to make it into a college of his choice. Do you have any suggestions?

Riley’s Mom

Dear RM,

I’m sorry that your family is being hit hard by a “young love” created tsunami. I’m sure you must be overwhelmed with stress which must be taking a toll on your marriage and the relationships you have with your daughters. I hope I can think of some tips to help you guys remain above water.

The way I see things, teenagers get a bum rap. Because one individual in the 13-19 age bracket acts out, it must mean the rest are bad (or will be soon) too. From the way you sound, it seems like you never expected your kid to become a stereotype. In my opinion, most teenagers are good people with bad moments, somewhat like adults. Anyone who is going to write your situation off as merely a teenager gone bad is too lazy to give your situation the look it deserves.

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