Well the title of the thread is “Young People These Days” and you asked,
You used this one young man’s example to then lead into asking these broad questions about “we” and “us” and “kids” so I apologize if I thought that the title and the questions offered speculation on a wider scope based upon the example given.
And again it is still “for all you know” because there are many people who, even if they are forthcoming with “a” reason, might not be truthful about their “real” reason.
If your daughter had just started dating her son, I doubt she’d introduce you to the skeletons in their closet and air all of their dirty laundry for you during a casual phone conversation. For example, I could imagine that if her son just started dating your daughter, (and perhaps she might sense you aren’t thrilled with it already, or perhaps she can tell you feel her phone call request is extreme) she might not turn around and volunteer something like “Oh we caught our older son with drugs in his room.” Or “Our daughter had a pregnancy scare at 16… and now we monitor our kids more closely so we don’t have that nightmare again.”
We don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. He’s threatened your daughter. Maybe he made threats when he was younger to run away, or hurt himself, and maybe that’s why she felt the need to monitor him more closely.
Again, likely not what she’d tell you on a phone call.
I’m not excusing her behavior, and I’m certainly not excusing his behavior. But I think there is a lot more at play here than just “sheltering” a kid too much.
In my opinion, a kid who is sheltered too much, might not know how to run the washer/dryer, or shop for groceries, or ride public transportation somewhere… But they are not going to threaten to hurt someone who breaks up with them.
And it seems to me that his behavior has less to do with being “sheltered” or developing “coping skills” and more with the fact that he himself is now exhibiting manipulative behaviors (threatening to hurt her, getting others to harass her) and these are controlling behaviors which might have been learned from or at least influenced by his mother’s more domineering example.
But these kinds of maladaptive behaviors can happen just as easily in a situation where a kid is given no structure or rules.
For example, when a kid always gets what they want, and can always do what they want because their parent never says no… that can make a kid ill-prepared to handle rejection.
Or when a parent seems to not care where their kid is, or what their kid is doing, then the kid finds someone that “cares” and then that relationship ends in a breakup… that too can send some kids way off course into terrible behaviors.
But often these type of things are also coupled with some other stuff going on, like perhaps underlying and/or untreated mental health issues.
Even though I’m 42 and grew up in a time with less technology, my mother still was strict and monitored my siblings and I when we were in high school.
She needed phone calls when we arrived places, she didn’t want us to be at other people’s houses if she didn’t know the parents, and she liked to know that the others parents were aware that the kids were over at their house.
On the flip side experience - My Dad had little to no rules at his home (yay for bitterly divorced parents who were totally incapable of co-parenting lol) So my brother moved out there when he was 16 - it was clearly way more fun than at our Mom’s. He proceeded to get himself into a decent bit of trouble partying and doing drugs. He ended up crashing a car while drunk one time, and then arrested on a felony drug possession charge another time. He barely finished high school, never went to college, and derailed his life by making things harder for himself since he now has a lifelong record. Today he will freely admit that he should have stayed living at our Mom’s because then he would have done well in school, went to college and so on.
But thankfully my brother’s dumbass choices didn’t hurt anyone (or kill anyone) but himself.
There’s a happy medium to parenting, I personally lean toward a more strict side (for example my boys aren’t given cell phones until 8th Grade, while most kids around here get them in Grade 6 - because they shouldn’t be anywhere or with anyone I don’t know about until around that age.
The truth is no matter what a parent does, sometimes you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
And the topic of social-emotional growth in kids is tremendously ignored by many parents, whether strict style or lenient.
Raising emotionally capable and productive members of society should be all of our goals for our kids, but people focus on a lot of the more “showy” things like academics and sports or extracurriculars.