Teenage Son - Good Kid, but Signs of Trouble
My son, age 17, and about to be a senior, has been a role model teenager until recently. As our second child, but first son, we weren't sure what to expect, but have been proud of his GPA, his choice of friends, his outside activites, and his overall disposition. Until the past year.
He is bright and popular and athletic, and his circle of friends are similar. However, his grades last semester fell, although he still stayed on the honor roll. He has been caught drinking and sneaking out, and needs to be reminded more than once to do his chores, and even then, he is not being as thorough as he once was. He admitted to trying pot, failed a drug test we gave him, but has passed the random testing we give every few weeks since that first incident in the winter.
His father and I are very concerned and have grounded him for the entire summer, which seems to have only driven him to hiding more and becoming more sneaky instead of 'turning around'. He complains that we expect more chores from him then his friends do, and in talking with their parents, it is true. He does all his own laundry, cleans the kitchen when we cook, is responsible for cleaning the cat litter and vacuuming 1/2 the house at least once a week. This is an addition to mowing the lawn and taking out the trash. It boils down to about 2-3 hours of chores per week, but we are not willing to cut back on those chores just because his friends don't have that much assigned responsibility.
My quandry is that some friends of ours and relatives, feel we are smothering him too much and being too tough on him. After yet another 'sneak out' incident over the weekend, we have taken his car keys, computer privledges, cell phone (except when at practice), and are now installing ADT security to keep him honest, since he continues to make poor choices. My mother said 'you make it sound like he is an ax murderer, not just someone who snuck out and hung out at a friends pool'. Point is, he has broken, and continues to challenge and break, our rules.
Thoughts or advice? With this limited information, are we doing the right thing by holding him accountable for his actions or are we truly being the parents from hell?