My mother senses have been on alert this week. The teen has really been off...
But then we had a really good talk in the car on the way to her meeting. It was thoughtful, insightful... Nice...
But then this morning she was up at the crack of dawn to meet her "friend" - a girl she had previously mocked, and my mother senses were on high alert. "We're just going for coffee before school... We've known each other for years... I just like to tease her sometimes..."
Hmmm... I challenged her, but she held fast... When she went to the bathroom I checked the front pocket of her backpack for cigarettes and found pot. I took it....I said I would. I struggled with what to do next. Do I tell her? Do I get angry? My stomach was all in knots and my head was spinning. "Reel it in", I said to myself... "It is."... She left and I said nothing.
I was distracted because I was ruminating... I talked to the DH and to the little one on autopilot... I almost left the house without makeup...And then the phone rang. It was the teen. My stomach jumped. "We're at Dunkin's. Can you give us a ride to school? It's cold!" Nothing about the Ziploc baggie in my pocket. I went through Drive Thru for a coffee and picked her and the friend up... She was in good spirits, played some music, and kissed me good bye as she left the car as if to say "See, I didn't do anything..."
I walked into work with the baggie weighing heavy in my pocket. Go back to the list of limits...
#3 - Do nothing illegal, Bring nothing in the house. If I find it, I will throw it out. You will lose your phone.
Shut the phone off. Done.
I actually Googled "How to enforce limits on my teen" and found an excerpt of a book about addiction... Enabling and not enforcing clear limits sends mixed signals to the teen and could simply exacerbate the problems you are trying to fix. Get your power and dignity back as the parent; no is an answer; and if the limits are clear there's no discussion and no opportunity to manipulate.
She knows I took the pot. She won't be surprised the phone is off. No discussion.
I had a really good talk with myself. I feel proud. I feel better.