Advice Needed! Please Help!

My 15 year old step son has been living with us for the last 2 years. He has become an integral part of our lives. He has been doing great in school, has a ton of friends, and even had a great girlfriend. When he came here, we told him, try it out for a year. If you want to go back to Idaho, great. If you want to stay, then that’s it. You stay until you graduate. He is in Idaho right now, and he wants to move back to Idaho. He says that he misses Idaho beyond belief, he wants to move back really bad, and he knows about the deal he made with us, but his sadness is overwhelming. So what do I do? Let him go back on his deal, leave us, but know that he is going to be happy, or make him stick to his deal, but know that he is going to be miserable. What kind of choice is that?

I talk to his mom on Friday, and she was really shocked. She told me and he told me too, that if he moved to Idaho again, then that would be it. Then I asked Wendy, what would you do if Scott said that he misses Oregon and wants to go back. She said “I would tell him too bad, so sad.” Why would my answer be any different?

The only caveat is that we don’t have legal custody, Wendy never did the paper work.

Please help.

any chance for a group meeting with all involved? maybe make a list or pros/cons and discuss reasons. there could be something that triggered this idea and it could just be temporary.

That’s true, teenagers change their mind every other week, if not more often. Maybe he met a girl and doesn’t want to leave her? I’d say give it a couple weeks without bringing up the subject, then see what he says. If he still wants to stay in ID, then a discussion with all parties ought to take place, with more information as to why he wants to stay and no pressure for one or the other.

This is not something I have personal experience with. Does he visit Idaho every summer? My friend’s stepson is with them all school year (incidently in Idaho) but during summers goes to Tennesee to be with his mom. The whole family is very pleased with this arrangement. He graduates next year and plans to attend college in Tennesee, so maybe that’s his way of balancing things out.
I do think kids should stick to an agreement- it’s good training. Unless there are true extenuating circumstances like an emergency or huge conflict. Sounds like his home with you is great, so he should stick to that. If his mom uses the custody issue then I guess you are stuck.

I don’t think there is an easy answer to this.

Before any decision making would take place my questions would be how was he in Idaho? Were grades teh same as they are now? Was he ever in any trouble? If he is doing better now then I would make the decision and make sure he knows why. At 15, you have to consider the fact that while you see him as still a child-he sees himself as a man and capable of making adult decisions. If his grades are fine and his reasons are sound I would let him move back but do it clearly stating that its hard for you to let him go and you want the best for him and thats why you let him go. And then despite Wendy’s attitude I would make it clear that you are there to support him.

If his grades fall back in Idaho, or if he starts slipping in other area of his life I would haul him back. THe freedom to make adult decisions demands those decisions be carried out with adult responsibility.

Good luck!!!

I agree with both newamy and Suzeeq… yes it is good training for the them to stick to an agreement BUT on the other hand they change their mind every other week. (I have a 14 yo Girl)

Talk to him, I would let him know that you won’t hold him to his end of the deal, That you are still here for him if he want to come back home.

Give it a week or two to see what happe . Maybe the closer to school starting up he will start to miss his friends and want to came back home.

I would give him time… and to let him know you understand how it is to make up your mind at the age of 15.

I don’t have any experience with teenagers, but I agree with what has been said already. Maybe you, step son, mother and father can all get together and talk about it. Maybe something has happened recently to make him want to go back to Idaho, and the issue can be resolved. Personally, I would not him to the deal that was made. If he feels he would be happier in Idaho, I would let him go. I think at 15 he is old enough to know where he would be happier and most comfortable. Let him know that he is free to make whatever decision he feels is best for himself, and that you support him no matter what he chooses. Good luck!!

I think that he’s feeling the homesickness because he is actually there, in Idaho, with all his memories. After being in Idaho for a while, it will probably turn and he’ll be homesick for your place. Kids are pretty changeable and usually only look at what’s in front of them, not what’s a year or two down the line.

I think before I’d agree to letting him go back, I’d get the mother to agree to letting him come back if he felt the need. Not much can be worse on a kid than thinking they are stuck in a situation they can’t get out of if need be.