Young People These Days

The world is so much different these days then when I was in high school. We went to parties, enjoyed rock music, drank way too much and got away with all of it. It was the same way for my parent’s generation. We could skip school and our only challenge was the parent excuse note. Nowadays our kids are closely monitored with tracking apps on their phones, if our kids aren’t in school we are alerted, etc. These things are great but are we doing more damage than good?

I was upset when my daughter was dating a senior and she was a sophomore. She’s a junior now. He graduated and went to college but his mother controls his every move but he’s getting creative. He will be twenty this year and he has zero freedom. He was forced to stay home during college, can’t go to the movies unless mom approves and he works but is not permitted to see his paychecks because they are direct deposited into an account she controls. He only gets an allowance. Whenever he visited our house he had to take a photo of me and send it to his mother then she would call to make sure I’m home. The boy isn’t handling the break up well and its been 6 months. He’s been hanging out with 15-year-old girls that he recruited to send threats to my daughter, shows up her school and corners her with threats, she can’t walk to her car alone because he threatens to run over her and he sits in front of her friends houses revving up his engine and constantly urges her to commit suicide. Police have been contacted but it’s not helping. What are your thoughts? Is the lack of life experiences we are not allowing causing these types of behavior? Are our kids lacking necessary coping skills because we shelter them too much?

In my experience, usually kids who feel like the have no control in life (for example, have a mother who won’t let them do anything at all even up until age 20) try to seek control over anything they can in any way possible. Death threats and fear tactics toward your daughter probably make him feel powerful when inside he feels like nothing else in his life is under his power.

It’s awful that he’s harassing her like that and I hope something happens to help the situation. I’m also glad that your daughter got out of that relationship (and it’s unfortunate she got into it the relationship in the first place at all, but most teenagers don’t know any better). I feel legitimately awful for everyone involved in this situation.


tbh its plain psycho mode if you ask me. both his mom and him. im 17 and to be frank i heed my parents advice but i wont advice them to track my every move thats just plain inhuman behavior. and i think its good that they broke up. he is too suffocated perhaps?. then again i have no life experiences to help you

yeah, i think its the fustration of having your life controlled by someone else its suffocating and he might be just maybe have less confidence in himself so in short i think he was using your daughter as a confirmation of his insecurities being pointless. dont worry everything will be alright he cant harm your daughter.

I’m really sorry to hear what you and your daughter is going through. I personally believe that perhaps because the boys mother controlled him so much that he snapped. He got to the point where it all became too much and after the break up with your daughter he did what he knows best. He followed in his mother’s footsteps and tried to be controlling and perhaps the relationship was the only way he got away from his mother and if your daughter ended the relationship he could be angry at her because she might of been the only good thing in his life. ( which is no excuse for what he has done)
I would maybe think about getting your daughter to see a therapist. I know she might not want to but it would be a good idea. the therapist can help her deal mentally with this. There could come a point where perhaps his words and the threats become too much and it has an effect on her where it makes her depressed.

As a twenty year old myself i believe that kids especially those younger than me have been sheltered too much. A lot of kids don’t get disciplined the way they should and i’m not saying in what way but even something like telling a toddler to go to the naughty corner doesn’t really happen anymore. I’ve seen kids cry and beg for technology until the parents give in or the parents refuse to let kids out incase they did the things they did when they were young. Because of how your daughters ex has grown up the same behaviour has brushed on him. After all we tend to do what our parents do. So his mother controlling him in such a manner could be a main cause in his behaviour.

I told my daughter that I want her to stay on campus during college because I want her to experience that independence. I have Life360 on our phones but it’s not to control or eavesdrop it’s about safety. When I was a teenager I worked at Macys on the mall and had to work until closing. I walked out with a coworker and she went right and my car was to the left upfront. I didn’t even see it happen but she was abducted, raped and beaten before being left on the side of the road. So, I don’t eavesdrop too much because it’s meant to find her in case something happens. So I think technology is great but at the same I think kids should have the chance to have at least some freedoms.


yup agreed

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That’s a really tough situation that you and your daughter are in. Usually in cases like this, teenagers who feel like they have no control over their own life will act out in any way that they can to seize back some power. It’s the same with bullying - kids who feel insecure about themselves are more likely to bully because it makes them feel like they’re invincible.


He better get out of his mother’s place FAST because she honestly sounds crazy.

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You can’t judge every kid in a generation based on one (or a handful of kids).

Maybe his mother clamped down hard on him because deep down she knew he had a “bad” streak in him.

If he has these manipulative and sneaky ways in him now, maybe he had already demonstrated them before he met your daughter and that’s why the Mom was/is the way she is.

While I do think he should have his own paycheck at his disposal, if he wants to live at home, isn’t paying any rent, and that’s the agreement he made with his Mom, then that’s what he needs to do.

If he doesn’t like it, he is perfectly capable at 20 years old to move out and keep his paycheck to live as he likes.

Again if this guy is using girls significantly younger than him to threaten your daughter, then I would only take a portion of what he’s told your daughter (and you) as truth.

For all you know, the story about getting his Mom’s approval to see a movie, could be a lie he told when he wanted to get out of going.

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Actually, I have spoken to his mother on several occasions. She is the same with her other children, in fact the oldest one is a senior in college and is controlled in the same fashion. As I stated earlier she had to speak with me on the phone and have a photo of me each time he came to visit and that’s at 19.

Nobody is asking for anyone to judge a whole generation based on one kid. The question was if the technology of today and coddling of children has caused these types of behavior more than in the other generations. Are more of these younger generations entering adulthood unable to cope with adult life because they’ve not had the freedoms other generations had as older teenagers and young adults.

There is no “for all you know” because what I do know was already learned from his mother. She told me her controlling nature is what keeps her children behaved. My personal opinion is that it’s backfiring on her now with her son. She now has the police and other parents coming to her home to confront him. I’ve personally never went there myself and bypassed her by going to the police. I did contact her and let her know I was going to the police but never went to their home.

That’s actually not the question. It’s about the lack of freedoms and not being able to learn things the hard way. How does that affect them in being able to cope with emotional adult situations?

His mother told me he has always been a remarkable and well behaved young man because she does not allow him to make decisions for himself. When he got a job she spoke to the employer to make sure the employer would work within her expectations and honor her rules. No, he cannot move out on his own when she has control of his money. How can he even get a bank account of his own when she controls where he goes and what he does? I believe her trouble lately is because he is acting out against that control but he honestly has no idea how to do anything for himself.

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.

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I believe you’ve misunderstood my post. This person is not in high school. This person is in college and about to turn twenty years old.

My post gave an example of one young man that’s making our lives hell right now. It’s a very simple question. Are kids lacking in social aspects because of modern technology? I you’re 42 you’re the same age as me. I’m more than aware of what technology was back then and more than aware how different the world is now.

My point is how I believe kids are not getting enough freedom. You say there’s no balance but there is if we choose to let it happen. What we are dealing with as far as this young man’s behavior stemmed my question. Strict is one thing but controlling someone is another thing. Come on, to call your almost 20 year old sons job to try to control the employer is pretty ridiculous. Where in the real world does your mommy call your employer and lay down the law? Like I said before, she does this to all of her children so it is not because of anything he did to need controlling.

My title is because of my question on whether or not technology is cheating our kids these days from having healthy coping skills. For example, my daughter is in her second semester of her junior year and has never missed a day of school. I allow her to drive herself to school because I know she’s not going to skip. I have no reason not to trust her because I know she’s going to school. Since she has done that I’m not going to get angry if she participates in senior skip day. Meaning she is allowed to make decisions for herself. By not trusting our kids when they’ve not done anything to break that trust is only going to hurt in the long run.

The mom explained to me that she takes money from his account to cover his costs of living but does not allow him to see what’s in his account. This is just one example and shes not the only mom I know that hovers, this is the reason for my question. Automatic calls go out if your kid misses school, we use location devices to spy on our kids, etc. Is it fair and is it doing harm? That’s all.

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@gracemadden1234 first of all I’m so sorry you, your daughter and family are going through this. what a horrible nightmare for any family. I have two teenagers myself - a son and a daughter so I feel for you.

My two cents is that this young man is emulating his mom. She controls him, he is trying to control your daughter. This is the type of behavior he’s been exposed to and may even think is okay. I’m glad the police is involved. Have you spoken with the boys mom? Can you file a restraining order against him?

As to your broader question do kids today have too little freedom and are they being too controlled by parents - I think it depend on the topic as well as where you live.

What I like about the younger generation is that there is more transparency on many topics and kids can talk to their parents about much more than I ever could speak to my parents about. I think I snuck around more because my parents would never have even allowed me to have a conversation on many things - there were so many more taboos. I talk to my kids openly about sex, drugs, any anything else. Their schools also talk about lots of social issues and explain the harm of drugs. Mind you I live in California and we’re quite open here.

What I do feel is that because the kids spend so much time on their devices they don’t always have the best social skills. The constant looking at your phone drives me crazy. In my experience it feels like the kids have more freedom because of their phones and not less. Whereas I socialized in IRL and my friends came over to my house and I went to theirs, the younger generation does a lot of socializing online and so it’s hard to know who they are talking to and how much because it’s done on their phones. I’m not one of those parents who reads through my kids messages - I feel they should have their privacy.

Are parents more involved in their kids lives today - I’d say yes generally speaking but that’s not a bad thing. I definitely wish I had more guidance on real life when I was younger.

The example of your daughter’s ex is an extreme - I honestly don’t know any parent personally (yes that’s a small sample size) that controls their kids that much. As kids get older it’s natural for parents to want have more freedom themselves so they give their kids more freedom and the kids want it too. Plus who has the time to monitor every moment of your teenager/adult child’s life?

Overall, in my humble experience I much prefer the relationship I have with my kids than the one I had with my parents. There is a lot less angst and its more pleasant.


I have a mother who controls almost everything of my life too. I have no phone, never went to a movie theater and never went out without company. From what I do for entertainment to my talents and my everyday life, I am forced to be - not do - everything. For instance, I win less and less at table tennis, but my mom insisted me to practice every semester because she already spent thousands of dollars on it, until eighth-grade schoolwork came and tore me out of training. For a darker example, she used to buy me injections every day for a year just to make me sprout a few centimeters, despite my protections and the money spent. She then claimed in arguments it was for my profit, not hers, and I would understand later. As if sticking a needle in my arm every day could make me “understand” and “love” her. And if you’re wondering, no, she is not normal. She had near-psychotic fits now and then, behaving like a landmine and paranoid about everything. She was fine, even caring before around fifth grade, but when she came out of depression… She was another person.

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Oof this title though. :upside_down_face:

I think in general, yeah, kids are more sheltered than they were twenty years ago, but this sounds like a pretty unique, creepy experience to me. There are a range of parenting methods out there that reap different results, across all ages.


I didn’t misunderstand. You asked for thoughts and opinions on the subject, I’ve given them. They don’t agree with yours entirely. But isn’t that what discussion is about?

I didn’t say this.

I literally said,

Again I don’t think it is purely technology leading to “lack of freedom“ which is leading to lack of coping skills.

If anything the technology inundates young people with certain freedoms which add extra pressure to their lives. They get “too much, too soon“ and they are not developed enough to handle it all.

By this I mean that young people can have social access 24/7 in a way we never did when we were young. They receive texts, calls, messages, etc through their cell phones at all hours.

When I was growing up, my family had one phone in our home. It was a big deal when we got call waiting. Friends had to call each other’s homes and speak to parents to get one another on the phone. You didn’t call someone’s house past specified times as outlined by their parents (or during their dinner time, etc) Specific plans and arrangements had to be made in advance. If you wanted to meet friends somewhere it had to fully organized because there was no cell phone to call when you got there.

There was breathing room for us to develop our minds and hearts. Most kids today don’t unplug and that type of unfettered 24/7 online social access adds a whole new layer of stress.

Studies are showing that mental health has deteriorated for adolescents and teens in large part because of this unfettered technology interfering in their development.

Hyper-connected and overstimulated.

There’s no doubt about it, today’s teens are hyper-connected. Electronic devices are so intertwined with youth’s lives that the real world and virtual world coincide. With over 95 percent of teens having access to a smartphone and 45 percent online “almost constantly,” according to a [Pew Research Center study] more and more teens are turning to the internet for social support and social comparison.”

From -

There are lots of other articles to read about how technology and specifically social media influences teen mental health and well-being. Most have little to do with “less freedom” and seem to be entirely about not being given enough guidance/structure/parameters to help them set healthier boundaries and cope with it all.

Kids often get less sleep because of their phones. And lack of sleep can exacerbate poor mental health dramatically.

One more example.

And most parents today don’t know how to address any of this because we didn’t grow up dealing with this hyper-social experience ourselves.

I’m not sure what exactly your example about your daughter driving to school or skipping school has to do with technology though :woman_shrugging:

Essentially, in your example, the technology does passively help you and allow you to trust her, because if she does skip they would notify you using one of the newer “tech” methods.

But while these school apps, or gps on phones, is new, the idea of schools notifying parents about skipping is not.

The secretary at my high school called the homes or jobs of every parent if their student was out that day (I went to a small school of about 450 kids). The larger schools used a “robo-call” system to notify parents of an absence.

The question is, what would you do next if your daughter did habitually skip? What would you do if she was truant? Would your next step be to use the technology at your fingertips to track her more closely? Would you check the gps on her phone every morning?


Yes! I totally agree with you on everything!

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Because rape.

No. See above.

I mean… after 18 he made a choice.

Helicopter mom but hey, less likely to be murdered and if he is you get blamed.

A does not compute to B. He is in college his mom cant be that tight if he is meeting children. Also this is illegal in every state just file a restraining order wait until he sends someone get him arrested.

Why not what are they doing what state is this do you know the number to your local representative?

No. Guys like this existed always they just got away with it before.

No A doesn’t compute to 3 he is just a freak.




Where do these two thoughts connect?

She could have called his employer from a rotary phone back in the day… technology doesn’t necessarily lead to this type of behavior.

And he is now legally an adult. He could go to the bank, open an account (you just need your social security number and an ID), and then go to his employer and get his checks directly from them (or arrange for direct deposit).

If he can find the time to harass your daughter and your family, then he can certainly find a way to get out from under his Mother’s thumb.

Clearly he doesn’t want to.