Ask Deepak: How to Parent Your Estranged Teenage Son
— Lauren G., Colorado Springs, Colorado
I'm afraid what I think about psychedelics isn't going to get at the crux of your problem. It's a bit premature to call a 19-year-old a man. He's an adolescent emerging from the most difficult time for parenting and not yet ready to enter the stage of early adulthood when parenting becomes less important. You did not guide him through those difficult years. Therefore, you aren't really in a position to have much influence. Your husband's son is a stranger, for all intents and purposes, as fond as you feel toward him.
Why aren't his parents doing the job you have signed up for? If you are rushing into the breach, by implication you don't approve of how they raised their son. Let me assure you, whatever difficulties they faced, you cannot suddenly turn the boat around. Even if this young man can't wait to escape from home, he will carry his chains with him. His old habits and conditioning will have a much stronger influence than you. Please don't indulge in wishful thinking in this regard.
I don't mean to make the situation sound dire, but I don't think you can provide what he really needs right now—boundaries. Certainly he needs love and nurturing too—one can sense how much you want to provide them. But if he's taking drugs and not hiding it from you, he doesn't regard you as someone whose boundaries he will respect. However things fall out in the future, sit down and tell him you don't want him to take any more drugs. Make it clear that this is your position. As lovingly as possible, draw the lines where they need to be drawn. Your house isn't liberty hall. Then, from his response, judge where to go next.
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Deepak Chopra is the author of more than 50 books on health, success, relationships and spirituality, including his current best-seller, Reinventing the Body, Resurrecting the Soul, and The Ultimate Happiness Prescription, which are available now. You can listen to his show on Saturdays every week on SiriusXM Channels 102 and 155.
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