To disconnect DS phone?(36 Posts)
DS started at a very prestigious (and bloody expensive) 6th Form boarding school in September. It's very relevant that this was his choice, he worked very hard to be accepted, and had to jump through many hoops to get there. DH and I were very supportive though, and rightly proud of his achievements. Also relevant that he has never boarded before.
DS has always been very close to DH and I, we've always done lots together, and have common interests, and a great relationship.
However, since he left to go to school, we have had one phone call in the first three weeks (after repeated requests for one). He also ignored nearly all text messages. I found this very upsetting, and hurtful but tried to accept he was busy, settling in etc.
He came home for a visit last weekend, and was his normal, lovely self. He's loving school, which is obviously great. I explained to him that his lack of contact was hurtful, and we agreed that he would call home once a week, on a Saturday. No phone call yesterday. And no response to text messages (which are definitely getting through). His phone contract is in my name, and I pay for it. AIBU to cut it off tomorrow, as he's not using it for the purpose I intended? ie to call his worried mother?! I can't decide whether he's just being a 'normal' 16 year old, or an ungrateful, entitled little shit? Sadly, I bet he'd soon make contact to find out why his phone was no longer working...😩
I can't decide whether he's just being a 'normal' 16 year old, or an ungrateful, entitled little shit?
He's being an ungrateful, entitled little shit IMO...which is entirely normal for a 16 year old that's getting used to living somewhere new, all the excitement that brings etc.
I wouldn't cancel his phone contract...you'd be cutting off your nose anyway as he definitely won't call then!
Yes it's normal (the ungrateful and entitled part too!) and no I wouldn't cut it off, that's not going help. It's important that's he's happy and I know it must be hard but I'd give him a while to settle down. I imagine there's plenty of extra curricular activities, he's busy and he's just trying to find his feet and fit in with everyone. Of course that doesn't make his hurtful behavior okay, but I'd be lenient considering he must have a lot on his plate.
I think you're overreacting a bit tbh. I didn't go to boarding school, but when I went to uni aged 18 I rarely phoned home (admittedly this was in the days before mobile phones). Sounds pretty normal to me!
I don't get why him not calling home makes him ungrateful, tbh.
He is wrapped up in his new life. That's fairly typical teenage behaviour.
I think you're overreacting a bit, he must be busy and excited settling into his new school. You know that there are school staff in loco parentis so he's safe, and you'd know quickly if there was a problem. Try and relax. Have you tried asking him for a solution? For example, I really want to talk to you regularly, when would be best for you?
Pacific, I'm fully prepared to accept I'm being ott, but I have no sense of perspective, having never been in this position before, and being used to daily involvement in his life.
Can I ask why you wouldn't call home? Would you have done if you'd had a mobile? I am getting paranoid that our relationship isn't as good as I thought, that he secretly hates us all, blah blah. Hopefully ridiculous, but I miss him so much that my mind is working overtime. I wish I hadn't let him go, which I know is awful, and selfish
Cunting, we had that conversation, and the compromise was that he'd call once a week a Saturday, and that I would be happy with that.
All cutting his phone off will do is make him resent you.
Unfortunately some people are just like this.
You said yourself, he's busy settling in. New friends, new routine, first taste of semi-independence, he's probably havig the time of his life all day, exhausted by bedtime and replying to your texts has just slipped his mind. I can understand that it may be hurtful to be 'ignored' but he isn't doing it deliberately to hurt you. I get that you're excited to hear how he's getting on but you're in danger of seeming a bit neurotic and overbearing. If you are texting him constantly he might find it a bit embarassing in front of his new mates and will probably get a bit of a ribbing for it if they notice. You know he's ok, you'd be contacted if anything happened, either by him or by the school. I can't see that cutting off his phone is going to achieve anything positive, more likely it will cause resentment which seems a shame if up until now you've had a close relationship. Patience - he's just testing out his new wings, he'll come back to you
Yabu. He's 16 and living away from home probably enjoying himself with his new mates. The fact he doesn't want to ring/text mum every night hardly makes him ungrateful, he's just growing up. I'd be annoyed (and sad that he doesn't need me as much anymore) but I think it's harsh to cut his phone off.
Philip, I think it makes him potentially ungrateful because he knows that I (willingly) took on extra work to pay for this experience, and I think any relationship is a two-way street. Although I don't begrudge him a penny, I don't think him sailing off into the future waving a two-fingered salute to his parents who are funding the show, would be a very nice quality.
Has your husband had a go at explaining how important it is to you?
Well, it isn't but disconnecting the phone is likely to have the opposite effect to the one you want.
I imagine OP you are feeling very much surplus to requirements which must really sting and if it was me I would be wondering what the rest of my adult relationship would be like with this boy as he becomes a man?
It's difficult because I do think some people and men especially seem guilty of this to me are just rubbish at maintaining contact and it's not a reflection on you but doesn't make it any less hurtful. My dad was the same.
Ok, I'm prepared to accept I'm being U! And yes, prob neurotic. Thank you for the perspective. (Just miss him so much!!)
I went to boarding school and when I first started I used to actively avoid calling my parents because I missed them, and every time I spoke to them I missed them more.
It was much easier for me to get on with activities and stay busy with my friends.
Could it be that but he doesn't want to admit it?
Jessica, thank you. You pretty much summed up my worries, better than I could.
It's not that I wouldn't call home... it's just that I didn't call home. I was too busy to think about my parents! We had, and have, a great relationship btw!
Casual, no, but that is a good next step, thanks.
Toon, no, I don't think so in his case. Last weekend he was bursting with enthusiasm, and seemed to be genuinely loving it.
I think in that case it's perfectly acceptable to have that conversation with him but I'd leave it a while and maybe when he's home for half term go on a lovely autumn walk and have a drink in a pub and have a general chat about relationships changing from parent / child to two adults, and how does he envision it? What sort of relationship would he ideally like to have with you? Would he be upset if for example you and DH went away for Christmas without him? If he looks shocked then that's a good route in - 'you know, that's a little bit how I feel when you don't call.'
I would also tell him you FELT like disconnecting the phone, but didn't!
I do honestly sympathise!
Have house staff been in touch? I would usually call new starters in the first few weeks with an update.
If not, I'd have no issue with a parent calling for a general settling in chat. Why don't you do that?
He is probably wrapped up in all his friendships and activities, and frankly, 16 year olds don't usually hanker after lengthy conversations with Mum. I would call him weekly and tell him he is expected to answer or to call you back same day. If he continues to take the piss by staying out of contact, bring him home. You are not under any obligation to fund him living away from home or an expensive private education.
Jessica, great plan, grateful thanks.
Instantly, I had an email from house master just before last weekend visit, just say along the lines of 'juniorwhat appears to be settling well, and adapting to life at (school), he is a polite and well-mannered young man and I look forward to getting to know him better. Let me know if any issues come up on home visit'
Since the only issue that came up is that I miss him, I'm not sure I could call just because of that? I got the impression that the house master was 'efficient', but not sympathetic to neurotic parents particularly, and son backed up that view on his visit home. Son really likes house master btw, which is the main thing.
The important thing is that he is settling in and enjoying himself. hard though it is, try to back off a bit maybe.
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