How do I reconnect with my 14yo DS?

(23 Posts)
jenny99 Sat 30-Mar-13 09:29:16

He is my eldest (of 2). When he was little we were so close. I could look at him and know what he was thinking etc as I guess is the case with many mums/children.

I've always been a sahm. Marriage going through terrible time and we are about to break the news that we are divorcing sad

I just feel no connection to him any more. He is generally a well behaved boy. Not too stroppy, and he hasn't yet discovered girls or started a social life other than his friends spending a lot of time here and him being at their houses.

His dad and him get on great, talk football, go to football....his life is football. I don't understand football at all nor do I wish to. I actually was the one who encouraged my husband to get a season ticket for the children so that they spend time together especially as they get older.

But I feel like whatever I talk to him about he isn't interested. I know this can be normal for a teenager but I get so hurt that he will talk to my husband so much even tho it is just about football.

If he is reading the newspaper I try to talk about the article he is reading, or talk about what he watched on tv etc. but it is always one word answers.

Can anyone suggest anything I can do to recapture our bond? Or is that it and I hVe to let him go and grow up. I feel it especially important given that the family will be 'splitting up' although he will remain with me probably 60% of the time. I guess if I'm honest and truth be told it seems so hurtful that I hve spent all his life caring for him and being here for him and now he doesn't want my company or my input on anything sad

I know teenagers are hard and I just want to know the best way to handle it please. I remember feeling my parents don't understand me at all so I know how he feels...

drjohnsonscat Sat 30-Mar-13 09:50:50

No advice as my DCs are young but I fear this as a single mum with a boy. Bumping for advice for you. The only thing I would say is that you are obviously going through a sad time and perhaps feel it more than you would otherwise so don't necessarily feel you should engineer something. I guess a lot of this is normal.

Also you obviously love him and care about this. That is what matters in the long run even if he seems remote now.

drjohnsonscat Sat 30-Mar-13 09:52:32

Sorry that was a really non answer. I really wanted to post to empathise and say that I can completely understand how you must feel. Hope someone sensible turns up soon.

2fedup Sat 30-Mar-13 09:55:35

My DS of a similar age only chats when we are either in the car on the way somewhere or when I forcibly make him join me for a coffee. We go a long way for a coffee grin

Numberlock Sat 30-Mar-13 09:59:30

I take each of my 3 sons away individually, they are 17 17 and 14. Doesn't have to cost much. Is this an option?

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 30-Mar-13 10:04:45

Movie nights?

My dds eldest brother is 14 and stays over sometimes, I have no clue what to say to him apart from are you hungry/eat this/have this. He sometimes rings me and I'm on the phone thinking well what the fuck do I say grin

jenny99 Sat 30-Mar-13 10:08:11

Going away is a great idea and I am guessing it will be possible when their time is split between us. Where have you been that has proved successful?

In the car he sits on the phone texting sad
I understand that is important to him and don't want to be a nag and tell him not to.

Perhaps I should engineer some spare time when we can end up near Starbucks by coincidence?!

Thank you for all suggestions. Every one is appreciated x

Numberlock Sat 30-Mar-13 16:12:04

By coincidence, I'm on my way back from London with my 14 year old son. Earlier this year I went to Paris with one of the 17 year olds and Stratford with the other. The majority paid for with Avios points.

What kind of music, comedy, films does he like?

ivykaty44 Sat 30-Mar-13 16:19:15

I do the coffee - but I get most out of my teen when we are in the car - as teens don't like having to look at adults when they talk and whilst I am driving the teen doesn't have to look at me smile and I don't look at them either which makes them feel more comfortable.

I drive mine about 1-2 hours per week so make the most of this time. We also do starbucks one evening a week (starbucks is open till 8pm near us so ideal for a late coffee and chat before dinner)

It isn't quantity but quality and even a car drive can be quality if the mood is good smile

remember to ask open questions that require more than a yes or no answer and keep the questions light and keep asking but also keep silent and remember to think really hard about listening, listening is really really important

jenny99 Sat 30-Mar-13 16:53:57

Thank you for your comments.... I will make sure I'm listening hard too.

He likes comedy, but dad gets in there too, has same taste. Took him to dara obrian, got tickets for Miranda, and that sort of thing. But he likes the films with Adam sander and I like Jennifer Anniston so we've seen some of them together and we went to the cinema together last month. Nothing out much at the moment that he fancies. Dad tries to jump in on everything especially at the moment given our situation and I want so much to just be close to DS again myself. Perhaps I just need to give it time....planning on doing some baking of his favourite things too - the way to a boy's heart?!...

He listens to radio 1. Says capital is too 'mainstream'. I took him to Cheryl cole live and also rihanna (I know, mainstream but remember he is a teenager!).

Numberlock Sat 30-Mar-13 17:02:27

We also watch a lot of stuff on iplayer, 4od etc.

Is there anything in particular you're concerned about or just want to enjoy time together?

SanityClause Sat 30-Mar-13 17:27:37

What about something like Go Ape? I did this with my DDs last year (for a different reason) and we had a ball.

I took DD1 to Amsterdam a couple of years ago. We went to some art galleries, the Anne Frank house, and general touristy mooching. I want to take DD 2 as soon as I can afford it, as it was such a success.

jenny99 Sat 30-Mar-13 17:52:19

Go Ape looks great and my little one is desperate to go there but I think there are height restrictions on some stuff - older one isn't into physical things.

We've been to Amsterdam, yes it was great.

I definitely think I should plan a trip with him. That's a great idea. And just try to watch more tv even and simple stuff like that. Make sure I listen etc

Nothing in particular that worries me really just losing them to black hole of teenagers! xx

50shadesofvomit Sat 30-Mar-13 17:59:47

I'm a single mum and my oldest is 13.

He likes doing "adult" things with me that is unsuitable for his younger siblings like watching scarier movies/programmes.

I also engineer situations like having him help do the weekly shop without his siblings so he's more likely to open up.

Having his friends round and driving them places often ends up with me finding out the gossip in his life.

feckawwf Sat 30-Mar-13 18:00:14

I could have written your thread! Ds is 13 and I'm going through exactly the same! With 2 other Dcs it's very hard to make time for quality time with him and he is defo a lot closer to DH (footy helps!) we went for food and cinema yesterday that was fun and are off to a caravan in Scarborough this weekend (£99 for 2 nights bargain!) have you thought about glamping? Teen boys love camping, you can get wigwams for about £40 per night.

YippeeTeenager Sat 30-Mar-13 22:30:40

Just wanted to say that I think this is very much an age thing, and just the same for girls as boys. I was talking to another Mum yesterday and we both agreed that we feel we are really struggling to connect with our 13 year old DDs at the moment - everything we suggest to spend time together thy don't want to do sad My DD likes a chat while she's in the bath which might not work with your DS, and I drag her out to walk the dog every day and then she talks non-stop, the rest of the time I can't get a word out of her. She doesn't want to do any of the things we used to do together, and I'm really struggling to find new things to replace them.

It sounds as though you do manage to have some time together even if it doesn't feel like it!
He will eventually come round and be your boy again, but right now he's a young teen turning into a man..and probably feels safest identifying with his dad.

My DS1 barely grunted at me aged 13-16... then he suddenly became friendly again and chatty..and these days he comes in and plays his latest song (he writes them) to me, hugs me.. and is affectionate just as he was when he was little smile

happyAvocado Sat 30-Mar-13 23:37:05

I can see that for my son is important for me to get excied about stuff he does.
If there's a project at school and he needs soem extra shopping we go together. I always ask him on his progress, ask how it went and make sure I remember names of his friends smile

when he is on his own watching football next time ask him soem football questions, go away, read soem comments on sports pages and say - so and so commented that game that.... I think it is likely to get him talking
slowly you'll learn to share his hobby and he will talk to you more

flow4 Sun 31-Mar-13 00:03:57

It's normal. It's poignant, and heart-breaking at times. I have been through it with DS1, who is about to turn 18, and it is just beginning with DS2 - I can feel him beginning to pull away. sad

You do have to let him go... He'll fight you and resent you if you try to pull him back. Look for contact with him 'little and often', within normal daily activities - mealtimes, giving lifts, unpacking shopping or the dishwasher together, watching TV. I wouldn't personally try to read up and comment on his hobby if you're not naturally interested in football - I'm afraid he might think you are ridiculous.

My DS1 is beginning to come back again... This 'distancing' stage doesn't last forever.

MuchBrighterNow Sun 31-Mar-13 08:40:33

If you are about to "break the news" of your divorce I'd say it's almost certain that Ds already knows. Maybe he feels hurt and resentment towards you and a frank talk about what's happening and how it's going to change things will help him open up.

Coconutty Sun 31-Mar-13 08:50:09

This is absolutely normal, with boys and girls. Heartbreaking and worrying too but he will come back to you. DS 13 is a computer addict. If I didn't intervene I would never see him.

I find krispy kreme donuts good to chat over.

worley Sun 31-Mar-13 08:59:10

im with other posters..an age thing.. ds1 (14) talks to me when he wants something such as a cup of tea, new mouse or ear phones..
he has now taken to sitting in sofa with me in the evening (single parent.. ds2 is 6 and in bed at that time) and although he's playing minecraft on his laptop he's close to me.. I've also strayed making him come with me whilst I drop ds2 off at beavers as we have an hour together.. to wander round asda or go to macdonalds.
as another poster said. I only know the gossip in his life when I drop his friends off or their round and they talk non stop to me if I'm in room at same time!!

jenny99 Sun 31-Mar-13 10:14:41

Thanks all for your comments and ideas. Really appreciated. Been surfing too about it. I think I need to make a much more conscious effort now to keep the connection whereas in the past it has always just been there.

I definitely like the Krispy Kreme suggestion! He loves it when I've been near one and come home with a box smile

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