to feel I'm 'losing' my son?

(75 Posts)
LostHim Sun 12-May-13 10:27:16

Yes I'm sure IABU....

We have 2 teenage boys. Eldest boy is 15 and he's 'grown up' what seems like very suddenly. Weekends used to be doing things as family, town, cinema, meal out. Now he doesn't want to do anything with us. He is either out with his friends and when he is here, all he wants to do is skype.

I miss him, we have lost 'the connection' somehow. He doesn't want to talk to me. He says I'm embarrassing! What is upsetting me also is that this is surely the start of a very long period to come.....when he goes to university etc.

As I type I know I'm being silly. I can't clip his wings I know. But I feel so upset.

Moonstorm Sun 12-May-13 10:29:27


No advice, I'm afraid

Lj8893 Sun 12-May-13 10:31:11

It won't last long, my brother went though this stage and is now very close to my mum. My dp also did this and is now the biggest mummy's boy!!!!

ChocsAwayInMyGob Sun 12-May-13 10:32:55

Glad to hear that Lj, I'm a Mum of 2 sons, and was worried.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 10:34:12

its fine all parents are embarassing (sp) at that age , dd1 wouldnt be seen with me at 15 dd2 doesn't mind so much but if we meet any of her friends I have to walk on and not look at them grin

your son is growing up and doing his own thing it is hard but you need to accept that, I organise days out now and again for the dds so we are together and spending some time together, I think inisisting he spends some time with you maybe make it a monthly thing will do him good he will moan and groan but it keeps the connection up ime, and dd1 is now a grown up and have turned the corner, your son loves you him doing what h does is no reflection on you it is what teenagers like doing,

digerd Sun 12-May-13 10:34:19

He's 15 - could be a lot worse - and it will get better when he matures.

A lot can happen in the three years to come. I was closer to my parents at 18 than at 15 (when I was probably a bit of an arse asserting my independence) and have probably become closer still, although of course the nature of my relationship with them has changed.

He's 15. It happens. He'll grow out of it, I promise.

They really do tend to start coming back to you more at around eighteen, in my experience.

I do remember well that feeling of the end of family life as you knew it.

My two daughters are grown up now (one still at home); we were on holiday together about six years ago in a remote cottage. I looked out of an upper floor window one morning and saw my eldest disappearing over the brow of a hill as she went for a run.

At that very moment I realised for certain that that was going to be the last time we would go on holiday together - and it was. It was such a sad feeling - but then you realise that it is all for the good and quite wonderful to see them moving on independently. We all had lunch together last weekend in the sunshine; first time in ages - it was so lovely. As Toad says, the nature of your relationship does change - but that's OK. It really is. thanks

Sugarice Sun 12-May-13 10:55:51

I have three teen ds's , the eldest has just turned 18 and this is what they do in my experience, they prefer the company of their peers and do find us parents embarrassing, even if we are achingly cool and 'down with the kids' wink

My ds2-15 is just how you've described your boy, he doesn't have a proper conversation with us unless it's important or interesting to him, he grunts!

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 10:57:26

aw your post was lovely talc smile you are right the change is the relationship is a good thing

TartyMcTart Sun 12-May-13 11:09:34

My boys are only young (8 and 6) but I really don't want this stage to come! At the moment I'm still called 'mummy' and they'll hold my hand when we're out and about although DS1 is a bit more cagey about it these days!

I still think of myself as an 18 year old (am 37!) and can't imagine I'll ever be that embarrassing mum who has to walk ahead when we're on a rare shopping trip when they're older. In my eyes I'm young, trendy and not embarrassing at all I know this is all in my head though wink

Purple2012 Sun 12-May-13 11:16:48

It's natural. Try to not worry about it. In a couple of years the grunting and being embarrassed will stop.

exoticfruits Sun 12-May-13 11:17:01

It is a phase. I can remember when my parents were deeply embarrassing. They come through to the other side. We are off to stay with my eldest next week. Relationships change all the time-they are never static.

I have boys of 17 and 15 and I feel your pain.
They are both lovely boys still lots of hugs but that precious family time that we had up to around age 12 has gone.
We still manage some quality time though. We all eat together every day and so there is conversation there, we are very rural and there is much taxiing about so lots of chatting in the car. Holidays are good.
Nevertheless I have felt for a while that there is a count down to next year when DS1 will fly the nest to uni and probably never come back.

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 11:21:34

All parents are embarrassing. It's just a question of degree.

We're experiencing the same with our teens. I don't mind it actually. As long as you do have periods where you re-connect. I still occasionally tickle mine - it works smile

LostHim Sun 12-May-13 11:33:54

Sniff! Thank you all.

Booyhoo Sun 12-May-13 11:37:32

op dont you remember being 15?

orangeandemons Sun 12-May-13 11:38:30

But they come back!!

Ds refused to be seen anywhere with me, and never wanted to go anywhere with us. But now, age 19, he is utterly utterly delightful, and I could spend hours with him. Delightful beyond anything. He gives me big bear hugs and kisses me goodbye on the top of my head.

The only problem is he thinks money grows on trees, but I think the adult relationship with your dc is every bit as nice if not nicer as when they are little

orangeandemons Sun 12-May-13 11:39:52

And they still need you too. They may be independent is some ways, but at the first sign of trouble they still turn to you.

Dawndonna Sun 12-May-13 11:41:25

Perfectly normal behaviour. I had nothing but grunts from Ds1 between 15 and 17. He's 28 now. He lives in his own place round the corner and is here at least once in the week and every weekend. If he sees me out he always gives me a hug.

Hiphopopotamus Sun 12-May-13 11:42:45

I don't know if any of you watch Modern Family, but there's an awesome quite from it about raising children..
“Raising a kid is like sending a rocket ship to the moon. You spend the early years in constant contact then one day around the teenage years, they go to the dark side and they’re gone. All you can do is wait for their faint signal that they’re coming back.”

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 11:44:17

I had nothing but grunts from Ds1 between 15 and 17.

This. I had the most beautiful, charming and articulate little boy. Now, it's almost as though he has lost the power of speech. I tease him about it occasionally and he responds in full sentences. So I still think there is an ability to talk in there, buried under a mountain of teenage hormones.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 11:44:28

Raising a kid is like sending a rocket ship to the moon. You spend the early years in constant contact then one day around the teenage years, they go to the dark side and they’re gone. All you can do is wait for their faint signal that they’re coming back.”

Phil is an obvious parenting guru grin that is what I thought of when iw as reading the thread I couldnt remember the exact quote, I love modern family it is hilarious

hugoagogo Sun 12-May-13 11:44:55

This is normal, natural and very much to be desired.

Faxthatpam Sun 12-May-13 11:46:41

As others have said. They come back, and its lovely. Some take longer than others to get over it, but when they do it is an amazing and wonderful thing to see your children become adults.
YY to the needing thing too.

LadyEdith Sun 12-May-13 11:49:36

It's technology as well isn't it. When I was 15 my bedroom was freezing as money was tight and my parents didn't put the heating on upstairs. When I wasn't at school I was mainly with my parents in the living room. Sometimes my friends were there too, or I was in their parents' living rooms. No choice really. No laptop, no mobile phone, no ipod with headphones. Very different for today's teenagers.

ExcuseTypos Sun 12-May-13 11:49:41

Agree with you hugo. Try have to distance themselves for a time, inorder to become confident, independent adults.

They do come back to you. For now keep telling them you love them- even when they tell you your embarrassing.

thebody Sun 12-May-13 11:53:21

Aw op perfectly normal.

My lads are now 23 and 22 and just last week we went for a drink. 3 grown ups together and had a really good laugh.

At 15 and 16 all I was needed for was a lift and a tenner.

My girls are now 14 and 13 and all change again.

He will come back to you. Keep up the daily hug, pat on the back and smiles.

It will all be ok.

mrsjay Sun 12-May-13 11:55:16

you are right lady teenagers socialise on the internet nowadays , it is what they do ,

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 12-May-13 11:55:38

Ours are 15 and 18. They do come back and get nicer again but for the time being it's about finding their indepenndence and more importantly learning to be happy with who they are. It's also a transition for us from one seaason of our lives to another one. The next season gives us freedoms too.

The only thing I have ever insisted on is Sunday roastwhich we have at 6 and attendance, unless there is a formal invitation elsewhere is not negotiable. He skypes - OP didn't you argue with your parents over blocking the phone for everyone else.

All will be well

pantsjustpants Sun 12-May-13 12:02:21

My eldest two ds's are nearly 24 & 21 (also have nearly 7yr old dd and 16mth ds), and I just have the greatest relationship with them now. They did the grunting and too embarrassed to be seen with me thing for a while, but by 18 they're coming back to you and it's a lovely grownup relationship.

You should be proud that he has the confidence to act like this. He'll be back!

Whoknowswhocares Sun 12-May-13 12:04:49

My son was exactly the same. He is now 19 and has been back to his lovely, family orientated self for about a year now
He is actually quite embarrassed about the 'silent phase' now! says there was no reason for it and he can't understand himself why he was like it.
It's a natural part of growing up though, they need to pull away from us to develop their independence.

Lifeisontheup Sun 12-May-13 12:08:32

My Ds was like that at 15 now at 19 he is very affectionate and happy to be with me. All of them still want to come on holiday with us how ever much we try to discourage them grin
As my 21 year old dd said 'it's a free holiday, what's not to like?'

cory Sun 12-May-13 12:12:43

I have a 16yo with severe anxiety issues: my fear has been that she needs me far too much and might not be able to become independent. Seriously, you don't want to be in my shoes. Be proud and thankful of your independent 15yo.

Kewcumber Sun 12-May-13 12:12:48

My DS is only 7. However I have two brother in laws who obviously never went to the dark side but stayed firmly attached to their mother. Didn't move more than a mile away - lived together, still bring their washing home, unmarried and still holiday with their parents (in their 50's).

Having your teenager go to the dark side for a while is asmall price to pay in my experience for having well adjusted adult children in years to come. Developing independence is a sign that all your work has been worthwhile.

Areyoumadorisitme Sun 12-May-13 12:14:41

We have ds12 and 9. The 12yo is just starting the teen phase. What worries me is that I don't think I was too bad until 15ish but I can remember really hating my parents when I was in sixth form before going to uni. It certainly took moving to uni to get me back to liking them.

It will be a long journey.

exoticfruits Sun 12-May-13 12:23:47

Once they go away from home they really appreciate you!

financialwizard Sun 12-May-13 12:31:56

My DS who is 12 is also like this, Breaks my heart but I am holding on to him changing as he gets older (probably 20 years).

time4chocolate Sun 12-May-13 12:46:43

I also would echo what cory said - I have a DS (12) with ASD (high functioning) and lots if social/anxiety issues and I would give my right leg to be in your position in a few years time, for my son to want to prefer to be with friends for a couple if years and then return to me as an independant young adult, however, I feel this will not happen and he will be with us forever (not that this is a problem) but not what I envisaged life would be like for him pre diagnosis .Just thought I would post from an alternative perspective.

Ragwort Sun 12-May-13 12:51:08

financialwizard - was just about to post exactly the same about my 12 year old son. It is such a struggle to find anything to do as a family, we watched a tv programme a week ago together, had a lovely evening, we had recorded the same programme to watch last night, he refused to, sad. All we are useful for is taxi service grin.

However, I can remember being the same, I refused to go on any family holiday from about 12, being with my parents was so 'uncool', now my DPs are in their 80s and we all enjoy each other's company, in fact DM, DS and I are planning a joint holiday. grin.

tallulah Sun 12-May-13 12:55:33

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years. Mark Twain

OhLori Sun 12-May-13 13:00:56

Interesting thread. I feel my son becoming very independent. He's 10.

Oh, goodness, being an embarrassing parent to a teenager is par for the course.

In fact, it's a superpower that you hold as you can always threaten to do something extra embarrassing if they don't behave. grin

My DSs are 18 and 21 now and we are very, very close.

Acandlelitshadow Sun 12-May-13 13:05:12

Echoing what everyone else has said.

15 is the end of the worst teen bit IME. By 16 they're nearly human again and it just gets better from then on.

That said, Ds1 is very much his own man at 21 and doing his uni placement year. We can go quite a long time without hearing from him although he still likes to hibernate here when he has a few days off grin.

We can't get rid of 20 year old dd. She's 2nd year uni and never seems to be there grin.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 12-May-13 13:31:26

I do recall obtaining compliance by threaening to kiss ds wwhenever I droppped or picked him up btw. Worked a treat !

marriedinwhite - yes, exactly!!

I also threatened to roller blade to parents evening grin

Acandlelitshadow Sun 12-May-13 13:36:49

I've been known to threaten to sing when all their friends are round. Always works grin

Roots and wings, roots and wings smile

DS is 16 and mostly his own person, so when he chooses to spend time with us, he is wonderful, but seeing him growing in confidence and independence is even more wonderful.

Iggi101 Sun 12-May-13 13:45:24

Talcandturnips - just to say regarding the last holiday thing, I had my last childhood holiday with parents at around 15. But since then I've had the odd holiday with them in my 20s, 30s, and now in 40s we are going on a joint holiday, complete with grandkids - so she may be back! grin

WhyMeWhyNot Sun 12-May-13 13:54:32

If you look at it as if the situation was reversed you would worry just as much. If he had no friends, followed you round the house all day, wanted to come with you every time you went shopping etc you would worry he wasn't maturing properly. As a mum our job is to help them fly, he's testing his wings right now.
The worst time for me was when they stopped kisses at bedtime. Now they're grown with wives of their own but i get the kisses again. Even though only at hello and goodbye smilesmilesmilesmile

BackforGood Sun 12-May-13 13:57:12

I'm just amazed that he has been spending weekends doing 'family things' with you up until now ! shock.
My dc have busy social lives of their own, and have done for many years before hitting 15.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 12-May-13 14:03:36

You know,(and this is a bit off topic) I was thinking this morning how families seem to spend more time together as a family than they did in the 80's when I was growing up.
Or maybe it was just my family, but as I recall, we NEVER did much all together. A holiday once a year, and every evening meal, yes. The VERY occasional trip out somewhere, but generally weekends/after school, we would all go off and do our own thing, from age 5/6 onwards.
It's good. It's a good thing to be away from your family as a kid, especially as you grow up.
They NEED that privacy and independence.
Children are attached to you on pieces of elastic, if you have done your job right.
Having said that, I only have a 7 yr old, and I have already informed him that I WILL be living next door to him when he grows up (he has signed the paperwork etc) so I have that as insurance. wink

qualitytoffee Sun 12-May-13 14:07:06

losthim..honestly, hes still your boy! smile
If hes hurting, or worrying about things, i'd bet my house that you are the first person he'd come to.
Lookit, my son is 17, and he spends half of his time in his room, xboxing and chatting to his mates, but i still get the (occasional) hugs and kisses shock
Its a transitional change, but rest assured as long as he knows your there, you'll always have him x

MumnGran Sun 12-May-13 14:15:59

Losthim .... this is so normal it should be included in the same list as colicky babies and 2yr old tantrums.
All teenagers think their parents are embarrassing, its a rite of passage, but it actually says a lot about the quality of your relationship that he is able to openly speak with you about how he feels, at that level.

It will get worse but as Ifnotnowthenwhen said "Children are attached to you on pieces of elastic, if you have done your job right"
There comes a day (sometime in their twenties) when they come back to you .....suddenly you don't appear to be quite such an embarrassment ...and might actually have the occasional useful thought to contribute grin

Parenting is tough, and this stage is why golden-oldies tend to say " enjoy them when they are young" ..... because the stage of not needing you, or wanting you, is hard to take.
But it IS a testament to how well you have done the job of teaching them to be independent young adults flowers

Ragwort Sun 12-May-13 15:05:15

Ifnot says a lot of sense, there is loads more 'talk' these days about 'family time (hate that expression), family days out etc etc.

As with Ifnot - when I was growing up we rarely did things 'as a family' past primary school age; meals out in restaurants were strictly birthday treats, the occasional visit to grandparents/relations but we didn't have visits to theme parks etc - not because of the expense, it just wasn't the norm. We would have our own activities, and most of my friends would all have Saturday jobs from age about 12, I know that's not so possible these days or I would be out babysitting etc (blush - no way would I employ a 13/14 year old as a babysitter myself but I had many holiday jobs minding children !). As I said earlier, I wouldn't have been seen dead going on a family holiday after the age of 12.

I think of our expectations of 'family life' are much higher these days.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 12-May-13 15:15:44

I was a 13 year old babysitter too Ragwort- To a five year old. Luckily he was quite sensible!

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 12-May-13 15:20:19

And yes, I think the expectation of "family time" is quite a lot of pressure too.
I was actually thinking about it all because it's Sunday, and ds and I were a bit bored and didn't fancy going anywhere , and he wanted to ask a friend over.
I didn't want to because if I do invite one of his friends over at the weekend, they can never come, because they are out on a family day out or something. (I don't think these are excuses btw-we see them lots after school etc, and do holiday kid swaps, so I don't think it's that they hate us!)
I have stopped expecting to see other kids at weekends, because weekends are "family time" for them. I would be happier if ds could just call at his friend's down the road and have a play and I could have a nap

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 12-May-13 15:21:25

If that sounds like I am trying to offload ds on another family, I would be just as happy to play host to other kids. I like having a house full of kids!

hugoagogo Sun 12-May-13 15:23:18

Yes dd's friends are hardly ever allowed out to play, because they have their evenings and weekends planned for them.

HarrySnotter Sun 12-May-13 15:25:19

Oh this all makes me feel like crying! DS is 9 and so cuddly and affectionate. He's going to hate me in a couple of years and I'll be gutted!

Wuldric Sun 12-May-13 15:40:34

Nah, don't cry. DS is taller than me now, and has just picked me up and flung me on the sofa. He does that from time to time. I think it is a sign of affection. It is a different dynamic with teenagers, but there are still precious moments.

marriedinwhiteagain Sun 12-May-13 15:40:36

Thinking more about this ....we don't lose our sons. We lose our boys and rather like a butterfly after a while they emerge as men but rather than from a chrysallis from the awkwarndness of adolescence.

jellybeans Sun 12-May-13 15:43:11

It sounds normal and is just as likely with girls as boys. It is the road to becoming independent people which is our aim as parents even though it is hard. They tend to attach more to peers at this age than parents. However I was the same with my parents and now we are super close so it is usually only a teenage thing I think.

cory Sun 12-May-13 16:07:11

Harry, he won't hate you just because he is a man and has his own life. Assuming that you had good parents that you love, are you actually spending every spare moment with them? Would you not find it annoying if they expected that? It's not a sign of hate, it's a sign of independence.

orangeandemons Sun 12-May-13 17:10:09

Oh Harry I remember feeling like that, my ds was so cute and cuddly. But you know he is still like that now...but better.

He's just sent a text telling me how much he loved me....and we can talk about current affairs and all sorts of interesting stuff.

noddyholder Sun 12-May-13 17:13:34

Don't worry My ds went through this. He is going to uni this autumn and although I will miss him like mad it feels time. He is much nicer and closer to us now than he was in what I call the 2 year wilderness 15-17. He is coming on holiday with us next week and is looking forward to it and he talks a lot about when uni ends and he is back home All my mates whose children have graduated have them back living at home mostly and see them masses. Today we have all been home and had a big brunch and read the papers etc Don't panic!!!!!!!

80sMum Sun 12-May-13 17:31:56

Aw, don't worry OP. Just think of this as his "chrysalis" stage. He's going through the metamorphosis from child to adult. When he comes out of it, he'll still be your son and you'll find each other again on a different level.

If DS (newly 17) is spending the weekend with friends we often ask him to come back in time for dinner one of the evenings. He'll say "why?" and we say "because we like to see you too" and he'll grunt "ok". We don't have cell phones etc during meals, they all get put away so that is guaranteed family time.

Oh and I usually try to serve something he really likes at that meal, it helps with future cooperation.

valiumredhead Sun 12-May-13 17:40:00

I know exactly how you feel and ds is only 12 sad

lateSeptember1964 Sun 12-May-13 18:24:25

Not very good at links but this sums it up for me.

lateSeptember1964 Sun 12-May-13 18:24:50


lateSeptember1964 Sun 12-May-13 18:39:08

I just can't get the hang of linking. Hope you get to see it as its just lovely. As the mother of four boys I know the feeling

noddyholder Sun 12-May-13 18:43:49

I think things like that re a bit miserable!

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