Saturday, August 8, 2009

Teenagers Who Know EVERYTHING...except what's good for them

Lorna Why is it that teenagers always think they know EVERYTHING.  Mind you, I don't have one of my own (and sometimes I think that's the best decision I ever made), so I have only my observations to go by.  For example:  my niece has decided that, at seventeen, she knows more than everyone around her.  People who care about her.  She's decided she is an adult and can make her own decisions.  Like leave home to live with her boyfriend some 1,500 miles away.

Here's a list of warnings that she has ignored.

Red flag 1.  Her boyfriend has never met her parents or anyone else in the family.  Why?  He was afraid they wouldn't like him.  (And what gave him that idea?  Was there a pattern with past girlfriends he hasn't mentioned to her?)

Red flag 2.  Her cousins (one married, one living with her fiance--both in their mid or late 20s) have warned her that bad treatment only escalates.  No one would tell us what that bad treatment was (a conspiracy of silence going on here) but just that she has been treated badly by this "boy."

Red flag 3.  It is a classic move by domestic abusers that they separate their partner from all friends and family--the better to control that person.  Being 1,500 miles from home certainly does that.  The fact that she has no driver's licence means she will be totally dependent on this "boy."  But she doesn't see this as a problem because she's "in love."

Red flag 4.  She has cleaned out her savings account--something she opened as a small child, and has been saving to buy a Corvette, so that she can pay her "fair share" of their expenses.  Yes, and what happens when that money is gone?  

Red flag 5.  "Boyfriend" does not have his own place, they have moved in with his father.  And why did "boyfriend" move in with father 1,500 miles from his home with his mother?  Because her rules were too tight and he can do anything he wants living with dad.  Boy, does that make my family feel good.  NOT!

These are just the red flags that I'm aware of.

Her father has consulted with the police who say there's nothing they can do.  She is almost 18, she is a high school graduate.  I guess crossing state lines for immoral purposes (and is this "boy" 18?  Can he be accused of statutory rape?) is no longer something cops persue.  Oh, and by the way, if she does anything illegal, her parents are still responsible financially, so I guess that badge of adulthood is only so good at seventeen.

Naturally, the entire family is very upset.  We're already dealing with one crisis and now this.  Of course, there's always the chance that she will see a limited future with this "boy," but somehow I see a lot more problems (and possibly an infant) on the horizon, and then her life will take an entirely new course.

Yes, sometimes I think that having no children was the smartest thing I ever did.