Is my household at all normal (Its not normal but I couldn't think of a better title)(Question from a teen to parents)(16 Posts)
Hi guys (However I'm presuming mostly girls)
I'm a 17 year old guy and have been looking on their forum for a while to see if the way my parents act is in anyway normal/acceptable. Don't worry I'm not like that other 17year old that was on here a couple of weeks or so back.
A short backround. I've just started 2nd year A2 predicted good grades and want to get into a Russel group uni to do engineering, I count myself as rather sensible, yes I do some silly things however I would say I'm more sensible/responsible than most. My parents though are very protective over certain things, eg they don't like me going out to meet people unless they know who and where the whole time (don't even think about staying/going out late.), they also have been long time anti games such as GTA and they will not allow it in the house until I can buy it age 18, as a last example my dad will come in to the spare room (where I have a tv/laptop ect) at 10:40 and tell me I need to go to bed now as its getting late. He particularly treats my like a 13/14 year old. For another example I leave semi dirty clothes over a chair in my room so I can wear them another day, however my dad has a complete hissy fit unless they are hung up on a hanger over the wardobe door, it makes no real difference however he enforces this very strictly.
All of this would be bearable by itself, you are thinking. yes their are overprotective however at least they are "Nice". But to add to this.
However I will now give you a run down of this evening. I was sat in my 14(Nearly 15) year old brothers room at (9:15 watching the end of evan almighty with him), my dad starts shouting upstairs saying my brother needs to start getting ready for bed. I point out CALMLY (I make sure I'm calm to make a point as you will see why in a minute.) to him that considering my brother will sleep in tommorow he could stay up longer. My dad storms upstairs tells me to get out and for my brother to get to bed. My brother then repeats my point, my dad then responds by telling him he will block his internet until the next morning. At this point I go downstairs and get some food. I get back to my laptop and find my internet blocked, I go and tell/ask my dad to unblock it and he tells me that he is too busy watching x factor (apart from the fact he was very happy to get up from it a minute a go to shout at my brother.), I ask him to unblock my internet again. My dad then stands up gets right into my face shouting (full on spitting in face shouting) at my on how he is watching tv, he will not unblock my internet, how it is his internet, he pays for his house and how I need to stop laying the law down (refering to my question my brothers bedtime.). I reply calmly saying that he wonders why I can't wait to go to university next year, he replys saying that he doesn't care what I think.
(He thinks he can work the internet router and I have found a way around his blocking, of the internet, its inconvenient but it works, if you are wondering how I'm posting this.)
This incident isn't a one off either (incidents similar to the above probably happen once every could of weeks.) my dad is controlling over everyone in the family (Notice my mother never spoke up in the above incident even though she full on agrees with my point of view.), he was arrested for pushing/throwing my brother against a wall, he threw a knife across a hotel room which cut open my brothers lip and regularly he will just storm off if even the smallest thing that upsets him is said. He is "nice" most of the time however has serious anger management problems that he will not admit. (I used to have anger problems like him however school helped my with that in years7-8).
I honestly don't know what to do, he won't admit any fault if you try and speak to him (and he normally turns that into a shouting rant on his part), or do I just try and put up with him for another year, concentrate on my studies and then enjoy life without their controlling?? any advice/tips/experience on how to deal with this.
Hope the above makes sense, I'm good at physics but not at essay writing, hahaha. I've probably missed out stuff and added in more about some stuff that I should but hey, I kinda needed to get it off my chest.
It doesn't sound 'normal'; it sounds as if your dad has anger problems and takes it out on you and your brother. (I'm basing this mainly on the later incidents / arrest, as the first one you describe could in isolation describe an irritable parent IYSWIM.)
I'm sorry you and your brother are experiencing this, it's absolutely not acceptable and terrifying. I grew up in a violent household (father attacking my mother) and it's a crappy place to be.
It might be worth calling the NSPCC for a chat www.nspcc.org.uk/help-and-advice/worried-about-a-child/are-you-worried-hub_wdh72939.html
Do you have any other adults around who could help support you and your DB? Perhaps an aunt or uncle?
This has made me so sad and angry on your behalf. I wellremember the helpless feeling of knowing that you have to live with an unreasonable, badly behaved person until you are old enough to leave.
I don't know what to say that will help but didn't want to ignore your thread.
My eldest DS has just gone to uni and we've had issues over the years between him and his dad - there have been outbursts of temper on occasion but it's been more a case of finding an equilibrium and making adjustments so that everyone can feel relaxed in their own home.
I can't stand that 'it's my house, I pay for everything so you do as I say' attitude - I wouldn't stand for it towards my dcs.
You sound like a lovely guy (and what a nice big brother watching films with your bro). I hope someone can come and give you helpful advice rather than just sympathy. Is your dad abusive towards your motheras well?
I'm wondering if you could speak to someone at school, although I've no experience as to what theycould do.
Could you try Childline? They have an online chat service as well as the phone line, and go up to age 19.
One of my friends grew up in a house like yours.
She went to Uni and never looked back - apart from to look out for her younger sis, and they have been best friends for years now.
You sound sensible. Ride it out, don't let it interfere with your work, and keep your mum and brother on side. If you think it is crossing a line from petty/nagging to abusive/threatening, then DO tell someone - school counsellor? I think you'll be just fine though.
Luke I sympathise as living with someone with anger problems is very difficult. I am so sorry as it does sound as if your father has a problem, perhaps with depression as this often comes out as anger especially in men. Thank goodness you are bright and have managed to get control of your own temper. My dad was in a similar position to you and through going to university was able to make a great future for himself. He escaped his father and later on was able to help his family a lot financially.
I know it is hard but can you try to have compassion for your dad, he doesn't choose to be how he is but he has got problems. Can you rise above it and try to humour him, soon you will be free. Maybe one day he will get help but he won't hear it coming from you as he is so hung up on thinking he has got to stamp his authority with his children. You sound like a strong person and I am sure when you are a dad you will handle things very differently. Other people on Mumsnet have had similar problems and I'm sure they will have some good advice for you, just hang in there!
You sound lovely. And no, it doesn't sound normal, particularly the 'yelling in your face' part.
If you're as good as you sound, I'd be very proud if my son grew up like you.
I wish I knew what could help.
*the 'yelling in your face/knife throwing' parts.
Do you worry for your brother when you finally get to leave?
Thanks for the replies peeps.
I'm going to bed now (got work early tommorow ) so probably won't reply till tommorow evening after now (Didn't want you to think that I was ignoring your replies.)
I don't really know whether to tell someone or not. 98% of the time everything is perfectly fine. Surprisingly me and my dad get on well most of the time as we have similar interests, however my dad has this very nasty temper and view that he is "above" the rest of the family, that kinda overrides the whole feeling of the family with his outbursts
I'm kinda temped to ride it out (don't want to cause a fuss and possible larger problem if I tell someone.), as I have said its only a year till uni for me. Its difficult about my brother because I have always stood up for him so I don't know how he would fair without me, however he tends to be better at avoiding getting into the arguements with my dad (he spends most of his time either with mates playing football or on his xbox.)
Thanks for your support/advice. My dad went to bed early so my mum and I were just having a chat about stuff (mostly about how my dad reacts) and how the problem is that he won't listen to us because he see's himself as above us and we can't change that because he won't listen to us.
You are right that lots of the stuff is normal, I would always want to know where my 17 year old son is and I won't let him have GTA. However I think a 17 year old needs to be treated as far as possible like an adult. Laying down bed times and enforcing petty rules about clothes are too controlling. The shouting and the rest is nasty aggressive bullying.
You sound like a lovely caring and mature young man. I think that you are handling a difficult situation very well by remaining calm. I think it's important that you stay that way.
I guess you have choices?
You can rise above it, minimise the confrontation by sticking to the rules, knowing that it's not for much longer.
If you want to confront the issue then you would have to talk to someone from outside, other posters have made suggestions.
Good Luck and keep working hard.
That sounds miserable. Your father may have some positive qualities but he is definitely a bully. Question is, can you cope with placating him for another year while you do your A levels, or is it unbearable enough for you to seek an exit route now? Or, do you challenge him? Which could end badly...
It would be a good idea to talk to someone outside your family to get some perspective on this and work out which approach feels best to you.
I can see you are worried about your brother. Staying for a year might help you to protect him but it's not entirely your responsibility. I don't know, as a big sister myself, I'd be torn between protecting my little sister and realising that's my Mother's job and I can't solve a bullying father all on my own.
He sounds like he likes to be totally in control and got pissed off that you `questioned` his authority regarding your brother.
I love my dad to bits, but he was a lot like this when I was younger (minus the violence and knife throwing). We just had to tiptoe around him to keep him happy and would never have dared to argue with him or answer him back. Certainly made me realise what kind of man I wanted to marry and what to avoid.
I think it's OK to want to know where you are and not allowing GTA. The rest is not OK. I hope my son is like you when he is a teenager.
Other folks have made useful suggestions, I hope some of them help.
I had this problem when I was young. Both my parentsdidn't seem to know how to handle the adult me and kept treating me like a 14 year old even up until recently (now 40!)
sometimes with the 'getting ready for bed' stuff its best to agree. . if you like consider it agreeing that you've heard the 'advice".. I.e. ' he should be getting ready for bed' 'yes ok thanks' otherwise if he has 'commanded' then he will see anything else as arguing.
It might be worth looking up transactional analysis for your own interest -it will certainly be useful for the teamwork parts of your degree. It seems you are moving towards an 'adult' style of communication but your dad, with you, is keeping everything parent-child.
If you do learn this don't lecture your dad on it but try some techniques to attempt to get adult to adult interactions going. . its worth a practice!
Some people see all relationships in terms of power.. but sometimes as a parent you also just want everything finished at the end of the night so you can try to get 10 mins to yourself!
I wonder if a hobby that kept you out of the house so that he could wind down would help? living with other people. . as you'll find at uni.. can just be stressful in itself. . hopefully you will learn better tolerance. . or better strategies! Good luck! "
My dad was the same. We all walked on eggshells. Now, at 70, he's crawling all over us just to see his grand kids etc but none of us like him, see him.
The minute you go to uni, you will be basically free of his controlling nonsense and you'll need to support your brother who will be stuck at home with all of this.
Don't you ever speak to your mum about it? You need to broach it with her. I'm sure he's just ground her down as my dad did to my mum, but ultimately she is also responsible for your welfare. I often wish I'd put more pressure on my mum to stand up to my dad. It's very damaging growing like this and you have my sympathies, but no, it's not normal and you won't always be in this situation.
In retrospect I wish we'd all challenged him more but at the time we felt powerless.
By the way, I'm totally against GTA and he is spot on there...
Join the discussion
Please login first.