Problem at weekends(30 Posts)
In May this year DS14 decided not to go out with us any more on Sunday afternoons and since then we have an awful lot of anger from him.
We were fine with him staying home - growing up and all that...DS plays, reads and works on his projects when alone - no problem whatsoever.
But we cannot make sense of his anger. Twice we said you need to come with us again but he was even more angry and ruined the whole trip, so we dropped that idea in a hurry.
Then we figured out together that the anger is to do with the fear of all that empty time at the weekend and since then DS makes a plan with what he wants to do, which he says helps him a lot.
DS seems to have good friends at school but does not meet them outside school apart from very rare occasions like a fun fair. We live in a very rural area and lots of children seem not to meet up here.
The anger is sparked by the tiniest conflicts or nothing at all and usually ruins half of the weekend. During the week we have the best of times.
Anybody can help with that?
I don't have any experience really, but didn't want to leave your post unanswered.
Are you saying that he has become angry since he stopped spending Sunday afternoons with you, and that you feel it is because he has too much empty time to fill?
Because honestly that doesn't sound likely to me at all, and I do have four teens; generally they are all happiest when they are lazing about
Are you sure that the anger didn't precede him saying that he no longer wanted to spend Sundays with you?
Or that the anger doesn't come about because he enjoys his time alone so much that your presence irritates him when you all arrive home?
Or could he be doing something inappropriate while you are out that makes him angry when he has to stop (violent video games, porn?).
He's a teenager, most of them seem to get angry at nothing and out of nowhere but are delightful the rest of the time.
He may just be bored. Without wishing to pry, I'm wondering whether you need to go out on Sundays. He may prefer you all to stay home at least some weekends. If you're going to the same place every Sunday he's probably bored of it and would want to do something different. Are there any clubs etc he could join e.g. Cadets or sports clubs that would keep him busy at the weekend?
Do you think he could secretly be feeling a bit of a failure because he believes all other teens his age are great social successes who are out meeting friends and snogging girlfriends and partying non-stop? Or at least that this is what your teens ought to be like.
I remember about his age reading a (clearly very archaic) story where it said that the years between 15 and 17 are the happiest in a young girl's life and thinking "oh, so that's it then, this is as fun as it gets".
What sort of things do you do on Sunday afternoons?
I think that sort of behaviour is fairly typical, Sunday afternoons can be pretty boring
for adults as well as children.
My teenage DS does sport all Sunday mornings and then the afternoon is meant to be for homework - however yesterday afternoon we were both bored. It is difficult to find things that suit adults and teenagers at weekends, I can remember being bored senseless as a teen.
We go out enjoying all sorts of tourist attractions or just go for walks and visit tea shops.
DS did this with us for years and years and was as happy as he can be - we were really astonished that he enjoyed so much going to 'boring' gardens and such.
Then when he turned 14 we said, you know, you don't have to come any more if you'd rather do something else. He then decided to stay at home and all seemed ok.
But when we came home from our first outing we came back to a rather irritable child, which supports the idea that he likes it so much to be alone that he suddenly can't stand us any more.
But then again, he does phone us sometimes and says he lonely and bored.
There is no porn or violent video games because we have parental controls in place. (we take the router with us) - he usually plays on the wii...
We would love him to go out and very much encourage him to find some sort of activity maybe for Saturdays, so that the weekend is not just so long and boring but he is very much against it. He is bit nerdy and not very confident. He also believes that nobody meets at the weekend...so he says, at least.
Thanks guys for trying to help...
I think he sort of thought the world was his oyster when he said he wasnt going out with you on sunday afternoons.
But it hasnt panned out that way, and actually realises that instead, he is more reliant on his parents that he thought. Hence the anger.
update: just chatted to DS and put forward to him the different theories we have discussed here.
He then admitted (with a lot of trepidation and cringing) that he tries to create the upset to get rid of that feeling of dread that he feels.
So, that's great - at least we know that now.
Also, he said that he does not want to come to pubs and cafes with us any more because he feels embarrassed to be seen with his parents at his age
My goodness, you do have to be a qualifed psychoanalyst to understand your children...
Now there is just the minor issue of dealing with this...(we'll get there...)
Glad you are making progress.
All teenagers get embarassed to be seen with their parents, so nothing unusual there.
Feeling of dread. Personally, when I am starting to get bored, I get some sort of funny feeling too. So I understand where he is coming from. I thought it would be that. I actually start to feel like depressed or something? Even seeing very uncluttered spaces can make me feel like that too. Like, everything has been done or achieved, so what else is there to happen? Nothingness. Only saying this on here to help your son, have never really explained it to anyone else in rl. Too embarassing.
That is why he is right to make a plan of what to do. He may always need to do this in his life. I do too.
But I have come to realise in life, that even if there is not much on the horizon, life has a funny way of filling in the gaps.
That's great that he's explained how he is feeling
Is it possible for him to invite a friend to come on an outing with you - perhaps choose something that might appeal to teens or let them go off on their own and then meet up with you for coffee and a cake or whatever?
I live rurally with three DC aged 17, 16 and 11. The eldest and youngest go to school about 15 miles away (my choice of school) though the middle one has opted to do A Levels at college only 6 miles away. My weekends are largely about ferrying them to things - sports, music, meet up with friends, cinema, gigs, parties etc etc. The amount of miles I cover is obviously large due to how far from friends and sporting commitments we are.
if you live in the middle of nowhere and are disappearing off to do your own thing it sounds like you are isolating him a bit. Perhaps some Sundays should be about enabling his social life too?
My two aged 13 and 15 do absolutely NOTHING on Sundays. Younger one seems to have a little routine about tidying up his room, but apart from that they do not wants to go out on visits, play sport, or hang out with friends. They will reluctantly help me with jobs round the house or garden and sometimes we have a big music session with a variety of instruments. But on the whole they seem quite contented at home.
When asked about this inertia they replied" Mum, at least we are not drinking and doing drugs and you know where we are. We are TEENAGERS, we are not supposed to do anything"!
It was so easy when they were little and we could go out to feed the ducks, go swimming or tramp round National Trust properties.
mysteryfairy and all,
I would love to drive him somewhere! We always encourage him to find some sort activity or invite a friend. He finds it all cringeworthy....
He had a hard time making good friends and has finally succeeded to have good friends for a year or two at school. But he just can't take it to the next level to meet someone outside of school. We can't do more than encourage him...
It was so easy when they were little and we could go out to feed the ducks, go swimming or tramp round National Trust properties - totally agree with this, I find it really hard to find something to do with DS (12) that we all enjoy - he is not interested in going for a walk/NT visit/tea shop etc - I am not interested in watching a rugby match in the pouring rain. It is hard, I guess we just have to get through the next few years as best we can .
Palika, is he on any of the social media - I know, I know, work of the devil, but it does seem to be the way that my teens (and others) organise stuff/find out what is going on.
All sounds familiar tbh, they want to be adult but they get a sniff of it and very scared and stroppy.
What about letting him choose where to go one Sunday? Perhaps he could bring a mate?
he is on facebook but generally does not like it a lot. He is a bit scared of cyber bullies, finds the girls intimidating and finds many posts silly and boastful (would agree with the last thing)
the thing with bringing a mate is the problem - he just does not invite anybody - just can't get over that hurdle - nobody invites him either.
I asked him if he wants to chose where to go and he said he would not know where to go...
All this makes him sound very under-confident and socially inapt. But he is not that bad. The teachers say he is very well integrated at school, has lots of friends and (unfortunatly) spends too much time in lessons chatting with people.
We will pursue the idea of getting him to join some club at the weekend or to invite people.
We will also clamp down on the anger by finding some 'proper' consequences. Let's see what happens.
thanks for all the input, guys, it;s good to talk!
What about giving him a choice of 3 places to go, narrow it down a bit?
Does he ever have mates over just to hang out after school, or go into the nearest town?
I'll probably get shot saying this, but just leave him be. Not sure how often you commenting on 'not going out' with friend, but sometimes concern can come a cross as controlling and nagging.
I would invite him out and maybe have a discussion on what activities you might all want to and then if he says no, just leave him to be bored, on his own. It is part of growing up and if he asks for help in planning his time, then help him, but leave him to it.
It's a difficult age.
Can you set stuff up for him. I have a friend who is very worried about her solitary DS who never voluntarily arranges anything or leaves the house. My DC are very sociable and don't need any prompting but I periodically arrange with the mum of this boy for him to go out with my DSs - to see some new release at cinema or laser tag normally. My boys are happy as I bank roll this above their normal allowance, he seems happy to go along and although they are not at school together or anything they all get along ok provided there is a focused activity. Do you have some family friends like this? Btw I wouldn't suggest a national trust trip, tea room or walk for them - its always a teen thing where my function is purely to taxi.
really interesting, DS is nearly 14 & suddenly prone to rages.
Ds is a bit younger but I do lots of setting stuff up still and ferrying him around.
It's a difficult age.
My Ds has only just started to see school mates, very occasionally, at weekends. He wanted to keep home as the protected place away from school.
We also had quite a lot if this. He dreaded the long pauses but didn't want to be seen with v uncool parents doing uncool things.
Best times so far are doing something together round house.
We did a makeover of his room, how he wanted. I bought paints and brushes, we painted it .It's not done v well, but he is deservedly proud of it. We bought flat pack desk and chest of drawers and he put them up, ditto office chair. I made him work to a budget. I gave him the paint and brushes for free, but everything else, blinds, new carpet, had to be catered for out of the budget.
Now I think back, it was good. He had to work out what was best vfm, what he could afford, we did the purchasing together, ( Argos v amazon v IKEA) , I supervised the flat pack, we all painted.
Can you do something as a family like that? Redo your shed? Get him to take over the weekend catering? Something that involves you all bit gives him adult skills?
Also, can you find a mixed age mixed gender activity? Much more accepting and inclusive.
They might be slightly quirky. Eg
Mucking out in a stables
Taking dogs from the local rescue for a walk
Animals are a Good Idea. Provided they make noises and recognise you.
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