How I Let My Son Go


Last summer I gave my 13-year-old son the choice to go live with my parents. My mom saw that my son, my household, and myself were struggling, and she offered for to take him in. He was becoming aggressive and angry at my 3-year-old, and would hit her. 

“When a flower doesn’t bloom you change the environment it grows in, not the flower.”

I had my son at 16, and didn’t know how to be the best mom. Because I was so young, he treats and talks to me more like a big sister. I did my best, but this is why now I am 100% for teen girls being on birth control. I don’t want teen motherhood for my girls or yours. It’s beyond hard to parent and be respected by my other children when he treats me like a sibling and not a mother.

My son was my only child for nine years. I met my husband, who had children of his own, and my son became a stepbrother. Eleven months later I gave birthday to a baby girl and he became a half-brother.

My husband’s relationship with my son is stained, so even though I am married, I still feel like a single mother to him. So when it came time to make the decision to let him go, I did so on my own and did not consult my husband.

I received a lot of negative response about this decision, especially from my husband (his stepdad) … like I was neglecting my parental duties, giving my son away, or giving up on parenting him.

I’m trying to do what is best for him, and sometimes that means letting him go. 

Now I am sure you are wondering how I could do it. Just let him leave. I didn’t kick him out or ask him to go. I don’t regret my decision to allow him the choice to live with his grandparents. Every parent wants what is best for their child.

Do I break down every once in a while because I miss him? Do I miss him every day? Yes absolutely!

As parents even though it hurts us sometimes we have to do what is best for our child.

I look at it like an open adoption. I am still his mother, I still spend time with him, I am a part of my parents’ decisions for him, he comes over once a week and is the best big brother to his little sisters when he is there, but he does not live at my home. I also talk to him daily on the phone and am lucky my parents only live a few miles away. 

Before this all happened, when I heard a child lived with their grandparents I thought ill of the parents. They must be on drugs or the grandparents must have raised irresponsible children and now they are stuck raising grandchildren.

What I’ve learned is every situation is different. Especially during the teen years when kids are trying to figure out who they are.

My son has been living with my parents for a little over a year. He has matured a lot and I can tell that counseling has been helpful. His relationship with his sister he used to hit is better.  He has learned to control his anger around her. He took me to lunch the other day, just the two of us. It was so special.

Is his behavior better over at my parents’ than it is at my house? I don’t think so. He has been in trouble at school more over this past year than when he lived with me. In hindsight my rules are more strict than my mother’s. I have a bedtime in my home and do not allow phones in bedrooms for teens who aren’t on the honor roll. He doesn’t talk to my mom like he talks to me.

I wish he and I did have a parent/child relationship but I don’t even know how to fix that with an almost 15-year-old young man. Allowing my son to make this decision is one of the most selfLESS decisions I ever made. I had to put my own wants and desires aside, and allow what I believe was best for my son. His behavior is so out of my control that for now it’s best if he continues to live with my parents even though it breaks my heart. 

Have you dealt with something similar? What helped you with an out of control teen?


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