Difficult question regarding DS aged 14

(93 Posts)
AndieNZ Sat 27-Aug-16 13:03:27

Anyone else finding this age a nightmare?
Basically DS is 14 and can be quite lazy. He likes to slob around at the weekends/school holidays and would spend hours on either Xbox or watching complete crap on YouTube. He has a cant be bothered attitude.
I am alone this bank holiday weekend as DH is working. So there is just me, DS and our dog. We are normally quite an active family and enjoy long dog walks or family days out on the bank holiday but with DH working, it's left up to me to decide what we do. I would normally have lots of things planned well pencilled in as things can change due to weather etc but due to money being a little tight at the moment, I have just decided to go with the flow and see what the weather brings and decide what we feel like doing.
I'm having a battle with DS today as the weather is gorgeous but he refuses to do anything with me! He refuses to do anything outside at all! All he wants to do is stay in and play on Xbox. Last Saturday, the weather was pouring down and I asked him what shall we do today and he said he didn't want to go out, he just wanted a PJ day, and that's what we did as the weather was so rotten. But when the weather is so nice, it just goes against the grain to stay in playing on an Xbox. I've tried to compromise and suggest part of the day he can do what he wants but the other part we go out for a canal walk with our dog, suggested lunch out (normally at that suggestion, eyes are lit up and he's out of the door) and tried to be breezy and jolly about it all.. But no. So I asked him what he wanted to do. All he has suggested is that we go out in the car and park up and look around the shops. This is something we did two days ago as we went out on a town centre shopping trip buying new school shoes and stationery etc. I've calmly sat down and tried to explain things to him but he's off like a firework slamming doors etc. We have now mutually in the heat of a row agreed that we shall do our own things today separately.

He also appears to be going through a period where he doesn't seem to have many friends on the scene at the moment. During the school holidays is a little hard as his school is a fair distance away and his schoolfriends live in the next town. There aren't many kids who live on our street his age that he has anything in common with. If he was refusing to spend time out with me due to having plans with other kids then I would back down and appreciate that. But as a parent I am struggling with this.
A thought struck me that at 14 is he at that age where I should I let him decide how he spends his time even though he is glued to either a computer or TV screen? Or do I drag him out with me?

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Sat 27-Aug-16 13:13:49

I don't think it's abnormal for a 14 year old to not want to spend much time with his mother.

BuggerLumpsAnnoyed Sat 27-Aug-16 13:14:51

I don't think anyone would get anything out of you dragging him out with you. I personally would leave him to it quite a lot.

19lottie82 Sat 27-Aug-16 13:15:26

Although not ideal, his behaviour sounds pretty normal to me!

Can you not offer to collect one of his friends to spend the night?

19lottie82 Sat 27-Aug-16 13:16:40

I would have rather died than hang out with my Mum when I was 14.

WannaBeDifferent Sat 27-Aug-16 13:16:45

This sounds normal to me . Sad for you , but normal teen behaviour .

Notsoaccidentproneanymore Sat 27-Aug-16 13:19:07

Ds2 is the same age. Are you sure my ds isn't living at your house? (Apart from the fact I can currently see him - playing TF2)

Nataleejah Sat 27-Aug-16 13:20:50

At 14 'family time' is not cool anymore. I'd give him some tasks to do around the house, or kick him out to walk the dog by himself.

CremeEggThief Sat 27-Aug-16 13:22:52

My almost 14 year old DS is the same, although he will come out for the odd day trip. He's been out with me twice this week; once to get some new uniform and once on a coach trip to York. I barely see him at home, as he spends nearly all his time in his room. Sometimes he stays in bed all day long on his laptop, for 11 or 12 hours and that's not even counting time on his phone as well. He'll sometimes surrender the laptop, but it's very hard to get his phone. I don't like it at all, but what can I do? I'm a single parent with no back up.

LemonScentedStickyBat Sat 27-Aug-16 13:23:14

Well, he suggested going round the shops. It's not a crime to not want to do a canal walk. And other things like cinema, swimming cost money too - what were you expecting him to suggest? (Genuine question, my eldest is not a teen yet)

electricflyzapper Sat 27-Aug-16 13:26:42

It's normal I'm afraid.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is miserable too. But I have found all my teens are exactly the same. In their rooms, on their pcs/phones all day every day. They don't want to see friends because they are in constant contact with friends via the Internet.

It's sad, but it is normal.

MargotLovedTom Sat 27-Aug-16 13:28:33

I wouldn't want to drag him anywhere with me; I think it's normal that he doesn't want to do much with his mum. This is an age when they start pulling away. It's a shame he's not more proactive in arranging to meet his school mates in the next town though.

t4nut Sat 27-Aug-16 13:28:34

Normal. Get used to it for next few years.

MargotLovedTom Sat 27-Aug-16 13:30:27

electric I also think it's sad that remote contact via technology often replaces mates actually getting out of the house and seeing each other.

happypoobum Sat 27-Aug-16 13:34:21

Yes DS was like this at 14. He is 16 now and will still come on holiday with me and go out with me about once a month, but that's it.

Being surgically attached to online gaming is normal unfortunately, and as long as he seems happy I would leave him to it. I agree with PP that where we used to spend our time actually with our friends, or even talking to them on the phone, todays teens don't have to leave the comfort of their rooms to have "conversations" lasting hours with their mates. They don't have to be fact to face to play games with them, it can all be done virtually.

I think you need yo think about stuff you can do on your own, with your own friends, and leave DS to his own devices. Is there a walking group that you and DDog would enjoy? Other stuff you would like to do alone or just with DH?

VimFuego101 Sat 27-Aug-16 13:34:20

I would leave him be - he's 14! On condition that he helps around the house and is present at family meals.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 27-Aug-16 13:34:39

I have a nearly 17yo DS and I have to agree this is The Norm.

(My 14 yo DD though would bite my hand off for a shopping trip as long as she was looking at clothes/make-up. <<sigh>> )

If I was you, I'd call the dog "Who wants to go walkies, oh yes, my Good Child grin " get the lead out and leave your DS to his XBox.

My DS maintains its his holiday time, he does his thing. wink

Gwenhwyfar Sat 27-Aug-16 13:34:46

He's your son, not your partner. Why would he want to spend his Saturday going shopping with you? Maybe you need to get some interests of your own?

FloweryTwat Sat 27-Aug-16 13:37:27

Is he having a lot of contact with friends over social media? I was surprised at how little my DN's spent actually in their friends company as we all lived in each others pockets, but they chatted and played games online instead. He could be doing that?

Imbroglio Sat 27-Aug-16 13:38:54

Yes its normal - expect lots of this from now on. They do grow out of it eventually but it will be a different relationship.

Could you ask him to help you with a 'project' if you want to do something together/outdoors? Something practical... eg sorting out something in the garden or a trip to the dump. Or ask him to cook dinner one night.

OverlyLoverly Sat 27-Aug-16 13:40:32

Do you have any restrictions on the amount of time he plays on his XBox? If not then I think you should. Ask him what he thinks is reasonable?

He may not mind hanging out with you but finds the lure of the XBox too much. They are addictive.

Also, do you check what games he plays? I think some games can make DC feel agitated especially if they are playing games they find too difficult or intense.

sparkleglitterdaisy Sat 27-Aug-16 13:41:42

Yes, agree that's he sounds normal . Let him do his own thing , he is probably online with his friends ?

BrendaFurlong Sat 27-Aug-16 13:42:00

Normal.
My DC do go out and meet their friends - but all activities we once used to do together are now done with their mates or not at all.
I took them both away for a long weekend recently and while DD1 was happy to do our usual holiday things (National Trust, museums etc) it's because it's her area of interest. DD2 on the other hand hated every minute of it and it wasn't much fun for any of us.

I remember being 18, living at home (university holiday) and being forced to go with my parents to a neighbour's mother's birthday party. It resulted in a stand up row with my mother who said I was rude, and the invitation was for the family. I thought it was ridiculous to make a teenager go to the party of an elderly woman she had met twice. (Family parties for grand parents etc are a different matter. Boring but compulsory)

I keep reminding myself of this when the DC are being particularly intractable. They are old enough to have their preferences. I can't force them, although I do have minimum expectations: they have chores, must appear for meals (they have responsibility for cooking some of the meals) and must put their plans on the family calendar, having asked first it if requires a lift (semi rural area with buses to one town only - their friends live elsewhere.)

Other than that -- they stay in their rooms and I do my own thing.

Justaboy Sat 27-Aug-16 13:42:26

Mate of mine had a son like this as surly as you never want, as awkward uncommunicative difficult and heading the failure at school a while ago.

However he has attained 3 A*'s and is off to Oxford to study Law!.

You couldn't make it up could you;!

maddiemookins16mum Sat 27-Aug-16 13:43:42

Sounds about right to me. I'd let him get on with it tbh.

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