AIBU - DS seems to think I am!

(121 Posts)
HappyHome14 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:26:30

My DS is driving me mad angry

He's 15 and he used to be my closest friend, but recently he's changed, and won't listen to me anymore angry

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 confused. 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 angry. 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 angry 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 angry

DawnOfTheDee Thu 29-Nov-12 10:30:13

You don't have to be at 'olympic level' to be able to make a career of something.

I think it sounds great that your DS has a firm idea of what he wants to do and has found a college that will let him to that.

Ime 16 is quite young to move out but it's possible, especially as he is so driven.

Could you consider the college but say to your DS he has to prove to you he's responsible enough to do it? ie. learn to cook, do laundry, etc.

Felicitywascold Thu 29-Nov-12 10:32:33

1. What college is it? Is it boarding or real 'independent' living.

2. how does DS think this will be funded?

3. Of course you should go to the open day with him. What an odd attitude to not.

StripyShoes Thu 29-Nov-12 10:33:06

How about being proud of your son having vision, ambition and drive? He May not make loads of money (or he might, I don't know the industry), but he will be doing a career that he loves, which is worth a whole lot more happiness.

Why ate you so against him going into water sports?

charlmarascoxo Thu 29-Nov-12 10:33:08

Is this a serious post? if so - YABU!!!

Your poor son. Wouldn't you rather he do something he loves rather than go to local sixth form just because you can't deal with him moving out.
He even offers for you to go look around sixth form with you and you just dismiss it?!

Btw it has everything to do with your dh because guess what he's his father.

DowntonTrout Thu 29-Nov-12 10:34:03

Oh dear. You sound a bit controlling.

And you want him at home so he can look after your younger DCs? I'm not sure it is you that is being realistic. Surely you should be supporting him in his education, not putting barriers in the way of why he can't do it?

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valiumredhead Thu 29-Nov-12 10:36:01

How will he learn to fend for himself if he's not given the chance?

I left home and had my own place and worked at 16 - perfectly manageable.

mollymole Thu 29-Nov-12 10:38:03

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Mrsjay Thu 29-Nov-12 10:38:19

least your son knows what he wants to do of course he can make a career out of water sports he could go all over the world teaching your son isn't your mate I know you are upset but he is your son and not your friend he is changing because he is developing into a young man and a sensible one at that, many 15 yr olds wont find their passion for another few years my dd didnt until she was 17, go to the open day with him encourage him and be happy for him,

gloomywinters2 Thu 29-Nov-12 10:38:23

he,s sounds like he really wants to do it if you don,t let him he may resent you for it it,s good he,s found somthing he really wants to do be proud and support him.

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 10:39:06

Have you actually let him cook, iron etc? I'm sure that he is quite capable if left to get on with it.
Why is your mother giving up free time to look after DCs when a 16 yr old can manage his brother? He is old enough to get married-join the army!
It is pointless sending someone to do A'levels if they don't want to be there.
It seems odd that his teachers and club leaders are all for it if it is such a bad idea.
I would stop the emotional blackmail-it will drive him away. You shouldn't be his closest friend-you are his mother!
and no-one except me is being realistic

I am very surprised if all his teachers are not being realistic.
Sit down and talk to him about his future and his wishes-and leave your own out of it.

witchface Thu 29-Nov-12 10:39:24

I think reverse aibu from exh

Mrsjay Thu 29-Nov-12 10:40:25

you want to keep your son home to babysit his siblings you dont let him mess up your kitchen hmm your son will manage when he moves out of course he will manage .

you're proud of the fact that at nearly 16 he can't cook because you won't let him mess up your kitchen? Really? I'd be embarrassed if my nearly 16yo couldn't plan, cook and clear up from a whole meal.

And not even starting with his dad "harrassing" him by being interested in his life and sorting out contact confused

I hope to goodness this isn't a serious post, as i feel sorry for your DC if it is.

DeckSwabber Thu 29-Nov-12 10:41:19


WileyRoadRunner Thu 29-Nov-12 10:41:40


I feel really sorry for your DS. How unsupportive are you! You can't even be arsed to go and look at the local 6th form with him. You accuse your ex husband of harassing him by going to parents evenings confused.

Tbh I wouldn't b surprised if he's out the door and living elsewhere as soon as he can. You sound very controlling and that you want him to give up his own dreams and chance of independence to please you.

Frankly OP you sound awful, cannot believe a mother is so obviously unsupportive of her child. You should be proud he has a relationship with his father, and that he wants to make something of his life. Instead you seem disappointed.

messtins Thu 29-Nov-12 10:41:53

YABU. If he has not had any learned the lifeskills to live (reasonably) independently at 16 then you have failed to teach him and it's about time he learned some. His DF has every right to have some input into his decisions at this point if DS wants to listen to him - he probably craves input from a male role model. Whatever the history between you two it sounds like at the moment he is trying to be a good father.
Your DS sounds very mature, being prepared to consider your preferred option as well as his, and you won't support him by going to look round? confused I would imagine at 16 there are actually lots of options for further education or training that he could consider, but he seems to have a strong drive to follow his passion and do the watersports.
It sounds like everyone else in his life who cares about his future thinks it's a good idea apart from you. Maybe you need to take a step back, take your feelings about him leaving out of the equation and look at what's in it for him.
Do you want him to give in, do what you want and then resent you?

ATailOfTwoKitties Thu 29-Nov-12 10:41:59

Yep, another vote here for reverse AIBU. Are you the ex?

PickledInAPearTree Thu 29-Nov-12 10:42:32

No way! Got to be reverse.

Taking this at face value.

It is your job as a parent to facilitate your children developing into who they want to be not into your ideal of what they should be. Why are you not teaching your son the skills necessary to live as an independent person?

MyDaydream Thu 29-Nov-12 10:43:00

My aunt went away to live at college at that age to study her specialist interest. She was never going to be an Olympic champion either but she did work in that area after she left. It also taught her independence, gave her confidence and she's done really well for herself.
Your argument on cooking, looking after himself and financial planning will be the same whatever age if you don't start making him do these things. So what if he messes up your kitchen, make him clean it because he won't learn otherwise. Or you'll end up with a fully grown man living in your house who's incapable of doing anything because you never let him or showed him how these things are done.
Maybe the local 6th form isn't best for him, and forcing him somewhere he doesn't want to go could just mean he doesn't try, leaves and then you have him round the house all day doing nothing.

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 10:43:02

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'm not surprised that he wants to go as soon as possible. How can you possibly think it is good for a 15 yr old to have everything done for him? confused

I think that you need to get out, make your own life and stop relying on DS.

ChocolateCoins Thu 29-Nov-12 10:43:14

Sounds like he's getting support from everyone else so he's probably going to go ahead and do what he wants. So why not just support him, help him and be proud that he actually has ambition!

You are actually ridiculous for not going to see the local sixth form with him. Sounds like you're the child not him.

Why not teach him how to cook basics and how to wash his own clothes so that he will be able to look after himself when he goes? Because it sounds like he will go. With or without your support.

Good luck to your DS.

exexpat Thu 29-Nov-12 10:43:32

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SugaricePlumFairy Thu 29-Nov-12 10:43:45

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..

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 10:45:27

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?

TeeBee Thu 29-Nov-12 10:46:33

'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.

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 10:46:47

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.

charlmarascoxo Thu 29-Nov-12 10:47:18

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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.

Graceparkhill Thu 29-Nov-12 10:47:33

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IceNoSlice Thu 29-Nov-12 10:47:50

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.

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pootlebug Thu 29-Nov-12 10:48:26

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ihearsounds Thu 29-Nov-12 10:48:26

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.

Goldmandra Thu 29-Nov-12 10:49:10

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?

ShamyFarrahCooper Thu 29-Nov-12 10:49:50

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.

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MissCellania Thu 29-Nov-12 10:51:57

Well teach him to cook and shop and do laundry then! You should have done all this already.

BoomBoomBoom Thu 29-Nov-12 10:52:26

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

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 10:52:48

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.

ihearsounds Thu 29-Nov-12 10:54:26

Also sounds like the making of ultimate mil from hell.

DaveMccave Thu 29-Nov-12 10:54:33

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Jins Thu 29-Nov-12 10:56:21

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.

DaveMccave Thu 29-Nov-12 10:57:36

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GreatUncleEddie Thu 29-Nov-12 10:58:35

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And the way its going he is going to hit 16 and run for the hills.

I'd have to say that 5 angry in a supposedly serious post is quite impressive.

Do you have angry management issues?

"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

financialwizard Thu 29-Nov-12 11:03:07

Is this a reverse AIBU thingy?

If not are you serious? You're completely mad if you don't let him go. Spend the next year teaching DS the life skills he needs to go to that college and let him follow his dream or you run the very real risk of him resenting you for the rest of your life.

Why would you not encourage him to follow his dreams? I feel very sad for your DS if you really are this way with him.

Sounds to me like you need him more than he needs you.

DowntonTrout Thu 29-Nov-12 11:05:10

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MsElleTow Thu 29-Nov-12 11:07:00

We read on here, so often, that people have teens that have one drive, don't want to do anything other than bimble along and play on an X box!

You have a lad who is driven and motivated and knows what he wants to do! You should be proud and encouraging him, not stifling and suffocating him. You carry on the way you are going and he will go and not come back! I feel so sorry for him.

My youngest DS is the same age as yours, he wants to be a nurse. I am encouraging him all the way. I don't know if he will be the best nurse in all the world, but I know he will be the best nurse he can be!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 29-Nov-12 11:08:50


exexpat Thu 29-Nov-12 11:11:02

I somehow doubt the OP is going to return to this thread - it's her (?) first and only post on MN...

Graceparkhill Thu 29-Nov-12 11:12:29

Ah well- it got my adrenaline going.

financialwizard Thu 29-Nov-12 11:13:57

Actually you can have my very first biscuit if this is real

Merrylegs Thu 29-Nov-12 11:14:17

I'm thinking it's character in a book? Like if she had said 'oh and he lives in a cupboard under the stairs' kind of thing. Hmm. Watersports.....Freewilly?

Dead69Girl Thu 29-Nov-12 11:16:12


its his life and his choice, if you stop him then it could cause problems for your relationship with him,

let him live HIS life

NewKateMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 29-Nov-12 11:19:20

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shewhowines Thu 29-Nov-12 11:29:01

I can understand you being apprehensive about a 16 yr old moving out, but YABU for all the reasons mentioned by others. I also think it's great that your exH has proven his love for his Ds by fighting so hard to maintain a relationship with him, through so much opposition and hostility.

Grow up and put your son before yourself - even if you are naturally worried about how he will cope.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Thu 29-Nov-12 11:30:46

My DS is 20 now but for as long as I can remember he dreamed of being a falconer. Hand on heart, I very much doubted it would happened for him, it's not exactly the sort of job you can study for but I would never, ever have tried to stop him achieving his dream. He went to college, studied animal management and took a job he really didn't want. He hated that job so moved to one that was slightly better. Every weekend he would go off and volunteer at a local falconry place, he'd go no matter what the weather and he'd put long hours in doing the cruddy jobs no-one else wanted to do. At the grand old age of 19 he applied for a job as a falconer 200 miles from home and do you know what? He's there now, working his socks off and getting rave reviews. I am bloody glad we never rubbished his ideas and dreams.

There are jobs in the world of water sports why shouldn't your son achieve HIS dream? Let him go to the college. He'll learn to look after himself very quickly.

FlankerMum Thu 29-Nov-12 11:30:59

OP, if you are genuine . . .

I can sympathise with how you're feeling but not with how you're behaving!

I'm in a similar situation with my 15 year old DS, who announced at 14 years old he wanted to do 6th form in a similar college (a rugby college) when the time came. This would involve him boarding at the college with other boys his age but being responsible for laundry, budgeting, self catering etc.

When he first talked about this I felt a huge pit in my stomach and not a little panic! He is my only son, the light of my life, I can't imagine him not being here at home with us and he's far too young to be doing all that!

BUT at 15 years old, he's in year 10. He has the rest of year 10 and all of year 11 before he would move away. Young men grow and mature so much in those years! Already he has shown maturity, ambition, realisation that to achieve in his chosen sport he must work exceptionally hard and have enduring commitment. I'm so so proud of him for this and wouldn't dream of trying to hold him back! Is he going to be an international rugby player? I don't know, the odds are long, very few make it that far, but to have a dream, a goal in life will give him purpose and shape the man he will become. It will open up all sorts of opportunities for him along the way. Surely better that than mooching along at the local 6th form, ambition squashed before he even starts, thinking there's no point in aiming for the highest he can.

Seriously, I understand your feelings but really and truly they are all about you! I know this because I had those feelings too, I'm just glad I managed to hold them in because I realised that they were 'poor me' feelings and as a mother I have to help him all I can to achieve his potential. He will meet enough obstacles to success along the way, how can I, his mother be the first one?

It's not too late for you to change your approach and help your son. You are going to be so incredibly proud of him one day! Wouldn't it be great one day for him to tell people how proud he is of you and how much he loves you for being there for him and supporting him when he most needed it? Or do you want him to say 'well it was no thanks to her'?

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 29-Nov-12 11:32:43

Yabu to not let him go. Also are bu to consider your child your closest friend. That is not what parents are for.

Your exh is giving him the right advice.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 29-Nov-12 11:34:48

How have so many posts been deleted already?! hmm

I miss all the fun!

expatinscotland Thu 29-Nov-12 11:35:38

Reverse AIBU?


Flanker that is a beautiful post.
<something in my eye>

ThatDudeSanta Thu 29-Nov-12 11:39:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floggingmolly Thu 29-Nov-12 11:44:03

Your relationship sounds horribly unhealthy.
Your 15 year old son is not supposed to be your closest friend. You won't allow him to learn to cook because it would mess up your kitchen hmm ; he'll eventually grow to hate you if you stifle every bit of life and independence out of him because you've got no life of your own.
No wonder he's desperate to get away.

squeakytoy Thu 29-Nov-12 11:46:47

I cant take this OP seriously at all. It has to be reversed or a wind up.

FiercePanda Thu 29-Nov-12 11:54:46

This sounds like a storyline from Doctors. hmm

Seriously, OP, if there's even a shred of a chance of this being genuine, you sound like one of those creepy mums who beg and cry for their "wittle baby bwoys" to stay at home with them forever. I'd be so proud of my DS if he got to fifteen and had all this ambition, passion and drive - the fact you can't see this is ridiculous. He's your son, not a possession to keep forever like a prize, and he's growing into an adult and needs to be cut from the apron strings... and for god's sake, let him cook. He's more than capable of cleaning up afterwards.

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Thu 29-Nov-12 12:03:24

Oh lord, you are not being very supportive are you? and to be fair your Ex H sounds like a dedicated Dad..
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,
what is wrong with you woman? keep this up you will be on your own,looking after your DS2 and your eldest won't want anything to do with you.

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 12:04:52

I am being to think it is a reverse AIBU.

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Thu 29-Nov-12 12:06:59

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

And this ^ is just plain weird, first ever post eh?????

NatashaBee Thu 29-Nov-12 12:07:14

YABU, obviously. Why on earth haven't you let him cook or do his laundry?

I think he, you and your ex need to sit down and have a frank discussion about how this will be funded. It sounds like your ex has already started encouraging him to save - what will his living costs be, and how much of it can you help with? If your DS wants to go, then at least give him the chance to have his say on how he will fund it.

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 29-Nov-12 12:07:40

Is this a reverse AIBU by the exh?

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 12:09:21

I think OP ought to come back and enlighten us.

TuftyFinch Thu 29-Nov-12 12:15:58

Are you the son?
I'm going to answer as if it is because ...
Your mum will miss you, you will miss your mum. If you have a chance to do this then you should. You may not get a second chance. Could you, or your dad, speak to one of tutors at the college? Explain how against it your mum is and maybe they could reassure her.

CheeseandPickledOnion Thu 29-Nov-12 12:20:09


Your poor, poor son. How lovely to have a mother being completely unsupportive of what you want to persue. Can't be arsed to look at the local 6th form? So what if it's the only one?! And trying to bribe him? And the relationship with his father.

I really feel for your poor son.

kasbah72 Thu 29-Nov-12 12:25:36

If this is genuine then I think you need to work out why this has upset you so much.

What did you imagine him doing with his life? What did you imagine YOU would be doing with you life at this point? Are those things realistic or even relevant any more? Is that what you are finding hardest to let go of?

Things don't always work out the way we planned. You need to sit and write a list of pros and cons for HIM as well as for you and think about the next year as being the time to get your relationship in to a more mature one.

He is showing initiative, he is making use of the years of paying out/ferrying around for hobbies and he has the encouragement and support of those who teach him. That's great. However, he is choosing a competitive field and needs to take it seriously.

It sounds like the course itself is great but there is also a list of things you BOTH need to address in the next year:

1. What exactly is involved with the living arrangements
2. Teach him to cook the basics. Get him a student recipe book, get him a starter cooking kit of his own (Ikea do them really cheaply)
3. Teach him about budgeting. Use the jobs he is doing for his Dad etc as a way of teaching decent money management.
4. Teach him how to do his own laundry.
5. Instead of paying for everything, build in some jobs of your own that you will pay him for eg. looking after his sibling, if that is something that works for everyone.
6. Get him to research the potential jobs that could come out of this qualification
7. Get him working at the weekend/holidays in a similar field, even if it is on a volunteer basis. See how he feels about the hard side of the business
8. Enquire at the college about mentors. Is there someone you can both talk to about your actual concerns? (messing up the kitchen doesn't count)
9. Give him independence in a structured way over the next year. Reward him when he takes responsibility and show him respect. If he screws up, don't say 'i told you so', work on it with him.
10. Set out all of the above but say that you also want him to visit the A level course colleges with you to see the alternatives that are available and spend time discussing alternatives in the next year doesn't pan out the way he thinks it will.

Take a step back and don't push him away by forcing your life plan on him. Just be there to support and prepare him. Whatever happens next, you will both be better off as a result.

DowntonTrout Thu 29-Nov-12 12:33:44

My DD has a dream too. To follow this and attend the school to facillitate this she will have to live away from home for five years. I have 6 months to prepare her to be safe, look after her things, to travel in and around London by herself. I am having to cut the apron strings.

I will miss her so much when she's gone. We are two peas in a pod. I am not ready to let her go.

But I must. And I will do everything in my power to support her.

She is 10!!!

HappyHome14 Thu 29-Nov-12 12:35:18

OK, I'll come clean - I've N/C - it is reverse AIBU, sorry blush

It's my DSis who is doing this to my DN.

I wish it wasn't exaggerated - she has emailed/skyped me most of what I put in the OP trying to get me to agree with her; I've been fairly non-committal so far in response because she's got a fiery temper and takes it out on DN's and our DM when she's pissed off. DN does seem to have the support of his Dad and the school so I'm not sure how much more I can do from here (I moved away).

I just wondered if I am too emotionally cold about it - I'm getting cross with her attitude, but there is a lot of history, we've never been close and recently we've had words because I think she takes advantage of DM and she was a cow to her exH, so thought I might be letting that influence my opinion.

I might try giving her a ring next week and talk to her about it - after a wine or two as she won't take it well. Some of the ideas/replies here have been really helpful - thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply.

Sorry MNHQ, didn't mean to give you more work to do blush

Alisvolatpropiis Thu 29-Nov-12 12:39:12

Downton you sound like a fab mum!

Just being nosy now,is your daughter going to ballet school?

AnnoyedAtWork Thu 29-Nov-12 12:43:09

For gods sake the OP is just being sensible and realistic, which 15 year olds are not! It's a tough old world out there I think you should put your foot down with your son. He should stay in proper education and keep the sport as hobby till he is 18 then he can decide

RingoBaa Thu 29-Nov-12 12:43:20

I never get the point of reverse AIBUs. Why not just explain it properly from the beginning? Save everyone a lot of time.

DowntonTrout Thu 29-Nov-12 12:44:59

Phew. Was beginning to think I was a hard hearted uncaring excuse for a mother!

Theatre School.

Glad this is a reverse AIBU. couldn't actually believe that someone on here could be so self absorbed and blinkered.

OTheYuleManatee Thu 29-Nov-12 12:45:57

My guess is that unconsciously since her divorce your DSis is treating her eldest DS as a kind of substitute DP, and is terrified at the thought of being abandoned all over again.

People can get very weird and controlling when they are afraid of being abandoned - it's at the root of a lot of abusive behaviour by men as well and can cause terrible damage in relationships.

The sad paradox is that when people get really controlling they drive away the people they're trying to cling to - I'm willing to bet your nephew wouldn't be pushing nearly so hard for FE some distance from his mum if he wasn't feeling a bit suffocated by her neediness.

Would your sister respond at all to thinking about the motives under her wanting to cling to her son?

TinyDancingHoofer Thu 29-Nov-12 12:54:24

Your DSis is clearly being unreasonable. I feel sorry for your nephew and kind of see why he wants to move away at 16.

Could you have a chat with your DN, give him some unbiased support, maybe teach him to boil an egg, make spag bol?

Oh downton what a lovely mum you are. Good luck to you and your dd!

Onetwothreeoops Thu 29-Nov-12 12:59:33

Are you brave enough to tell your sister that part of her responsibility as a mum is to prepare her children to leave the nest and live their own lives? You may as well throw in that all her children will leave one day and she needs to prepare for that herself grin

DowntonTrout Thu 29-Nov-12 13:03:20

Well, you know it breaks my heart.

But she's still getting an education and if things don't happen or if she decides it's not for her after all then she can go off on a different path at 16 or 18 with her GCSEs behind her.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained in my opinion.

MrsMuddyPuddles Thu 29-Nov-12 13:05:07

glad I didn't throw a temper before reading the "it's a reverse AIBU about my nephew"

In that case: teach him the life skills that your sister won't. Have the boys up for a week, and only take a few days off work. Ask him/work with both of them for meals (depending on the level of infantalising the older has been through).

Your sister does have one good point: what sort of back-up is there if this falls through? What other skills does the college teach? Would it be possible for DN to go through 6th form locally as she intends, then go on to the college a little older and with a few A-levels to fall back on?

catgirl1976 Thu 29-Nov-12 13:06:40


Why can your 15 year old not cook or do laundry? These are important life skills.

You should be encouraging him in his ambitions

Let go. I am sure it is very difficult to do but you really need to.

catgirl1976 Thu 29-Nov-12 13:07:11

Oh..........just seen it's a reverse AIBU.

shadylane Thu 29-Nov-12 13:10:17

I'm sorry but you ABU. You should be proud of him and encouraging him. Also you need to tell him to do his own washing.

nannyl Thu 29-Nov-12 13:10:59


I suggest you teach him to cook and mess up your kitchen and do laundry and manage money etc

given that these are essential life skills and up to parents to teach

what a bit of luck he had a dad who cares for him in his life, sounds like he needs him, and great person to be involved in his life!

AlienRefluxLooksLikeSnow Thu 29-Nov-12 13:11:33

Why do people do reverse AIBU's fairly new, and haven't seen one before,but why don't people just come on and say, is my sister being unreasonable surely?? Then you wouldn't get 3 pages of folk going 'what? eh? reverse AIBU'!!

Mrsjay Thu 29-Nov-12 13:13:42

Oh it a reverse well i don't think you should support your sister is she really that controlling of her children and your mum shock I do hope your nephew manages to go on his course seems the lad needs a bit of breathing space,

FWIW my mil could have been your sister she was awful with both her sons and insisted that because she was a single parent they owed her everything we did work it out in the end but i know my DH had a terrible teen years with her and he left home , his brother moved hundreds of miles away from her

Chandon Thu 29-Nov-12 13:14:12

something weird about the OP, cannot put my finger on it.

Has this been posted by the child perchance?

Something's up, just tell us! Interesting dilemma.

Chandon Thu 29-Nov-12 13:15:49

oh, did not read that indeed it IS reverse AIBu.

Hate those, it is like you don't trust us

Chandon its a reverse AIBU posted by boy's aunt

Viviennemary Thu 29-Nov-12 13:20:22

YABU. I don't think you have his best interests at heart if the only reason you don't want him to leave is that he is to look after your younger children. You should show an interest in the course he wants to take and find out more about it rather than dismissing it completely.

oldraver Thu 29-Nov-12 13:46:46

Is this a wind up thread ?

MrsWembley Thu 29-Nov-12 13:48:56

Been following this in free moments, so pleased to find it's a reverse, as I suspected. I was reading the op thinking, no-one could be that self-absorbed and then admit to it on here.hmm

Auntie, you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and you should do whatever you can to help the boy. I hope you can help him sooner rather than later, after his relationship with his mother has gone completely down the pan.sad

oldraver Thu 29-Nov-12 13:49:53

Ah I've just seen its a reverse. To be honest your sis doesnt sound like a very nice person...totally selfish and it all seems to be about what she wants and not whats best for your DN....thank God he has his Dad supporting him though it sounds like sis has done all she can to thwart that relationship

GreatUncleEddie Thu 29-Nov-12 13:55:46

But WHY do it in reverse?

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Thu 29-Nov-12 14:03:47

What do you actually want from us?

From what you've posted, yeah, your sister is completely U.

But you haven't given us a very fair account of things.

Reverse AIBUs are so fucking stupid because you can't actually put yourself in the shoes of someone who is being U. So you just give us a caricature that, sure enough, we all think is a loon.

curiousuze Thu 29-Nov-12 14:20:15

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

curiousuze Thu 29-Nov-12 14:30:00

Just realised this is about your sister - don't know why you didn't just say that, because all you've had advice-wise is a load of people saying 'reverse AIBU' which is a waste of time!

Can't you ask your mother to teach your nephew how to cook/manage a budget etc while she is looking after him? If the boys can muck in and cook/do their laundry etc then things will be easier on Granny as well.

meboo Thu 29-Nov-12 14:32:36


TheDreadedFoosa Thu 29-Nov-12 14:42:00

What Holemeclosertonydanza said.

Sums it up perfectly.

Op, youve so overdone the my-sister-the-loon angle that its very hard to believe its as black and white as you present it.

You say there is history there, so your sister is someone you dont like...obviously. Id be interested to hear her take on it.

Anyway, ifit is as you say, then there has been plenty of advice...

HullyEastergully Thu 29-Nov-12 14:49:30

colleges specialising in watersports - who knew?

MsVestibule Thu 29-Nov-12 14:50:36

FFS. I don't very often say FFS on here, but I'll say it again - FFS. If you want to put something on AIBU do it from YOUR perspective, not somebody elses. You portrayed her as though she's some sort of bloody pantomime villain with absolutely no redeeming features.

It wastes our time, and the only way it benefits you is that you get everybody to agree that your sister is a cow.

HappyHome14 Thu 29-Nov-12 14:52:50

I'm sorry I've upset people - I honestly didn't mean to, but my DSis seems so adamant that she's right that I thought that the MN jury would agree with her and put me straight for being so infuriated with her. She really has sent me the comments about keeping the kitchen clean, bribing DN/crying about it etc in an effort to gain my sympathy - I'm sure she wouldn't post them on here, but she doesn't seem to see anything wrong with how she is coming across.

DM is disabled so doesn't cook/do housework etc, she's just there as an adult in the house overnight when DSis works shifts. It's one of the reasons DSis and I have fallen out in the past, because I think she asks DM to do too much for her; some weeks DM spends 3 or 4 nights staying at DSis house, even though the stairs are difficult for her and she hasn't got her own room/bed. I've given up on that one though, so has my DBro; DM won't upset DSis, and avoids talking about it to me now.

I like the idea of inviting DN to stay with me - I might try that as an approach to start with.

bliss88 Thu 29-Nov-12 14:54:42

If you stop your son from trying things he will never learn to achieve by himself, people are right he has obv got a dream and should follow it! You will push your son away more if you make it him do what you want. He is becoming a young adult and should be allowed to make his own career path otherwise he will blame you for deciding for him in the future! Ten twenty years down the line your relationship with him will be gone trust me. I've seen it happen.

I understand that you want the best for him and the relationship between the two of you was strong and it still will be if you stop controlling his education, advise him, guide him and he will listen don't nag and control it makes it ten times worse.

Hope it all works out.

curiousuze Thu 29-Nov-12 15:04:55

Your poor mum. I would definitely ask my nephew to stay and stealth-teach him life skills!

exoticfruits Thu 29-Nov-12 17:39:21

It is a relief that no one could actually write it and expect agreement!

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