AIBU - DS seems to think I am!(121 Posts)
My DS is driving me mad
He's 15 and he used to be my closest friend, but recently he's changed, and won't listen to me anymore
He has got it into his head that he wants to go to College next year - but he wants to go to a college that runs a watersports course, and he'd have to live there in a room during the week because it's so far away.
He's been into watersports as a hobby since he was little, I've driven him everywhere at weekends and he's missed class time for school competitions, but he's not going to be an Olympic champion, so I don't understand why he's got this idea in his head that he can make a job of it. The teachers at school and his clubs aren't helping, they have told him that this particular college is a great place, and that he'd really enjoy it, it's a good idea and have told me how proud I should be of him . I took him to the open day there in the hope it would put him off, but he still wants to go! But he's too young to leave home and live with loads of other teenagers; he can't cook (he's not messing up my kitchen!) I do all his laundry and I buy him everything he needs so he's never had to manage money - how will he cope away from home?
I've told him that he will be going to local 6th form and after a year, we can talk about it again - but I'm hoping that he gets a steady girlfriend or gets a job, so he doesn't want to move. Now he says that wants me to go and look at the 6th form with him at the open day next week, but whats the point? Its the only one locally, so that's where he has to go.
My exH isn't helping - he's told DS that he should "follow his dreams" if that is what he wants to do . He took DS to open a bank account and is offering him money to do odd jobs and for helping out in his GF business, he's telling DS how well he's doing at school and he's even told DS that once he's 16, he can choose where he wants to live He took me to court to see the DC's ages ago, but the Court said that they should live with me and DS decided that he didn't want to see exH anymore after he moved his new GF in. exH kept on harassing DS, writing to him, going to school parents evenings, sending presents and he has wheedled his way back into DS life now with all this talk of going to college, and DS believes it! Ex keeps asking when me, DS and him can sit down and discuss it - but I can't stand the sight of the man, and it's nothing to do with him, anyway.
Now my Mum's getting on at me too - she has to look after the DC's while I work, and she moans about not having any free time - but now DS is nearly old enough to look after his younger DBro, my Mum is saying I should let DS move out!
How can I talk sense into my DS? He just won't listen to me at the moment; I've tried yelling at him, bribing him, crying and telling him how much I will miss him, but he's obsessed and no-one except me is being realistic
I'm sorry but this sounds to me at least more about you and your feelings than what he actually wants himself and what is best for him.
I think it's fantastic that he has a firm view of where he wants to go in the next chapter of his education, so many kids at that age don't know what they want.
Let him go, he will resent you for standing in his way, he may change his mind in any case.
This can't be right, noone could be that unreasonable and not know it surely
Me too expat - was going to respond in case genuine, but really don't see the point..
The parent is the one job where you make yourself redundant and you start letting go gradually. He was quite capable of cooking at 8yrs! If you do your job well they come back because they want to it. If you do it badly they either break all contact or you have a fearful young person frightened to be independent.
im afraid I do think YABU.
I totally get that you dont want him to move out, but hes got the support of his school and its a good college. Why are you so set on him getting A levels?
'he can't cook (he's not messing up my kitchen!) I do all his laundry and I buy him everything he needs so he's never had to manage money'
This is the reason he should be going, not the reason he shouldn't. Time for him to grow up and be a man. Sorry, you won't want to hear it, but your DH is right. You clearly love him very, very much, but its time for him to make his own way. Give him some cooking lessons, teach him basic budgeting, teach him how to do the laundry, then give him a key so he can come back and see you.
This can't be right, noone could be that unreasonable and not know it surely
You would like to think so-but unfortunately I think it quite possible.
Why shouldn't he move out? Because he can't do any cooking when you won't let him practice? Because you'd lose your best friend? Why are you infantilising him? why not let him learn the skills to live independantly?
He is old enough to get married and is old enough to move out - particularly if it's to a college environment, not just a bedsit on his own.
YABU. This is not about you, it's about him and it's his life. If you don't give him the freedom to make this choice he will resent you.
For what it's worth I was a water sports instructor in my younger days and taught all over the world. Not much money in it, but wonderful times and happy memories. And many skills that are transferable- customer service, organisation, time management, safety management, teaching and lots and lots of teamwork. The guys who progressed also had business management, marketing etc to add to that.
Why is he your closest friend. What about you both having friends your own age? But anyway...
What is wrong with doing a watersports course? He doesn't have to be an olympiam (plus anything can happen in 4 years) to want to do this. There are many options open up to him career wise. Have you looked at the possible jobs at all - coach, pe teacher, personal trainer plus more..
He has found something that he is good at, and as his parent you should be very proud of him.
He is not too young to leave home at 16, and your ex is correct that if your ds decides to move, legally he can. Just because he cannot cook or do any washing means nothing, and tbph these are skills that you should be teaching him, or do you expect his dp to do all these things for him, or never leave home? You have to accept that sooner or later, like it or not he will be leaving home and as his parent it is your job to send him off with the right skills including managing money.
You told him that he has to go 6th form but you don't see the point in looking? Go, have a look. I've recently been with one of my dc's and glad we went even though she had already decided where to go, because quite frankly it was dire and should would have dropped out in the first year. How can you expect him to go somewhere that he hasn't seen, or even had the chance to talk to students and tutors about topics. Yes the books look nice, but reality is different.
Your exh is correct and he should follow his dreams, not yours. Good on your ex for trying to maintain contact and give a toss about your ds and his education when many parents would have just walked away. Big pat on his back for opening up an account and encouraging him to earn money for himself, thus allowing him to budget.
Why can you not be an adult and sit down with your exh and ds? Your emotions towards your exh aren't important, sorry, but this should be about your son.
And if your mum wants free time, how about paid childcare? So what if your eldest is old enough. Mine are, but for regular childcare I pay, and use the older siblings occasionally.
You might feel that you are being reasonable, but what about your ds? How you going to feel in years to come that he hates you because you nagged him that much that he gave up on his dream just to satisfy you? You have to accept that he is growing up, that he is becoming a man, and he will like it or not move.
There is one message you need to get loud and clear here. The more you try to hold him back, the more you will drive him away.
He is prepared to compromise. Please put your own needs aside and explore his sixth form options with him. He does have a choice and if you're not careful he will take any option which involves him moving away from you.
Go to the sixth form evening with him then sit down and work out the realities and logistics of that and him living at the watersports college. Be open minded and honest and stop trying to manipulate him. Then maybe he will make the decision you would like him to make. If he doesn't you must support him and try to make sure he is successful.
I, too, am wondering if this is a reverse AIBU. If it is not you need to think long and hard about the messages you are sending to your DS.
You've tried yelling, bribing, crying and emotional blackmail. Now try listening and supporting. Your future relationship with your son will be non-existent if you don't start allowing him to make his own decisions.
In the meantime stop doing all his cooking and laundry. He is old enough to be doing things for himself now.
Also, I think the `he wont be an Olympic champion` is awful. Why wont he be? I tell my children they can be whatever they want if they believe in themselves, dont all parents?
I'm hoping this is a reverse AIBU.
There is nothing worse than a parent demanding their child stay at home because the parent wants their company. He's growing into a young man who has dreams for his future. There are plenty of jobs he could do, but at 16 he doesn't have to choose his forever career! He wants to experience life, not babysit his younger brother.
I've tried yelling at him, bribing him, crying and telling him how much I will miss him
That is just awful. It's not about you. It's about him. I've seen the resentment that builds from a parent thinking their child should stay around them forever and be their best friend. It's not healthy at all.
Well teach him to cook and shop and do laundry then! You should have done all this already.
Is this serious? if so YABVU
If it is you sound like my "Grandmother" (I lived with her growing up) and guess what I did the minute I turned 18? I ran far away from her as possible and never saw her again. You sound controlling. She used to do all of this to me ; I've tried yelling at him, bribing him, crying and telling him how much I will miss him
I expect that if we heard his father's side it would be a different story and rather than 'wheedling his way back in' the poor man has had to get through a lot of your brain washing-well done him for succeeding.
Also sounds like the making of ultimate mil from hell.
If it's the college I think it is the pastoral care is second to none and they are well set up for under 18s.
If my 15yo had a dream and sense of direction like yours has I'd be cheering from the rooftops.
My friends son works for a well known holiday company doing water sports lessons abroad May to October with paid food and accomodation and earns loads, in November to April he runs a council watersports scheme. He lives in a converted huge village police station.
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