Problem at weekends

(30 Posts)
Palika Sun 20-Oct-13 22:54:38

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?

Palika Mon 21-Oct-13 15:18:35

Anybody?

adeucalione Mon 21-Oct-13 15:52:51

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 aboutgrin

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?).

FernieB Mon 21-Oct-13 15:57:15

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?

cory Mon 21-Oct-13 16:02:23

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".

Ragwort Mon 21-Oct-13 16:07:25

What sort of things do you do on Sunday afternoons? confused

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 grin - 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.

<not helpful>

Palika Mon 21-Oct-13 16:55:30

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. sad

But then again, he does phone us sometimes and says he lonely and bored. hmm

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...

trish5000 Mon 21-Oct-13 17:01:00

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.

Palika Mon 21-Oct-13 17:26:14

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 shock

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...)

trish5000 Mon 21-Oct-13 17:40:50

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.

bigTillyMint Mon 21-Oct-13 19:20:21

That's great that he's explained how he is feelingsmile

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?

mysteryfairy Mon 21-Oct-13 19:30:05

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?

Travelledtheworld Mon 21-Oct-13 20:54:22

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.

Palika Mon 21-Oct-13 21:58:47

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...

Ragwort Tue 22-Oct-13 08:50:19

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 grin.

bigTillyMint Tue 22-Oct-13 17:04:43

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.

valiumredhead Tue 22-Oct-13 17:25:26

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?

Palika Tue 22-Oct-13 18:01:04

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!

valiumredhead Tue 22-Oct-13 18:10:03

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?

Homebird11 Tue 22-Oct-13 18:13:57

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.

mysteryfairy Tue 22-Oct-13 18:36:05

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.

lljkk Wed 23-Oct-13 18:13:42

really interesting, DS is nearly 14 & suddenly prone to rages.

valiumredhead Wed 23-Oct-13 18:24:31

Ds is a bit younger but I do lots of setting stuff up still and ferrying him around.

It's a difficult age.

ancientbuchanan Wed 23-Oct-13 18:44:27

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?

ancientbuchanan Wed 23-Oct-13 18:51:05

Also, can you find a mixed age mixed gender activity? Much more accepting and inclusive.

They might be slightly quirky. Eg

Chess
American football
Bell ringing
Wall climbing
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.

cordyroy Wed 23-Oct-13 22:23:02

Hi Palika

Sorry to hear you're having a tricky time, teenagers are a little hard to fathom sometimes! I just posted a similar thread with regard to my dd (13) not socialising at the weekend. Mostly she is still happy to come out with us but if she does stay at home she seems to quite enjoy the time out (she has a 3yr old brother so a little break is appreciated at times!)

I don't really know what to suggest about the anger, although you do need to understand what is causing it, maybe he does feel isolated and as a previous post mentioned maybe he expected this freedom to bring a little more excitement and adventure, there should also be some consequence you feel his behaviour is not acceptable.

Maybe an idea to help him structure his time and have plans in place so he has something to look forward to.

good luck x

Palika Thu 24-Oct-13 19:18:58

thanks very much for all the input.
Had another chat with him today about half term and what he wants to do and it was all no, no, no.

I told him that he won't get forced to do anything...he relaxed. It is a difficult age indeed.

let's see what happens with the new awareness that this anger is anxiety fuelled. It already made some difference today (his half-term started today). He said, he cannot tolerate the tension whether something good will happen, so he behaves badly, so that we 'have' to forbid it.

What a great insight! I can definitely recognise this pattern - he already did this when he was a child and I could never understand why he behaves badly around good things happening (I even had a thread about this here a while ago)

Fingers crossed that he now can prevent this from happening. I will keep you posted.

ancientbuchanan Thu 24-Oct-13 21:16:01

Can you also sit next to him watching tv doing nothing, but occasionally giving him a cuddle? It's quite hard, as we are all so busy, but boys need more cuddles and mum time than they are prepared to admit. Just chilling together on his terms.

I

Ragwort Fri 25-Oct-13 08:21:18

It is such a difficult time for teenagers - my DS doesn't even like to watch tv if I am in the same room but at just wants me to be 'around'. It is hard because I am the sort of person that likes to have structure to my life, ie: know what I am doing, where I am going, the thought of just sitting around bores me stupid unless I have access to mumsnet.

I don't know what the answer is, I think you just have to get through the teenage years as best you can. smile

valiumredhead Fri 25-Oct-13 08:48:20

I find that if I sit on the sofa ds will come over after about ten mins and sort of lean on me and if I'm very slow and make no sudden moves I can put my arm round himgrin

It's hard as you go from constant cuddles to suddenly realising that now they are older you are lucky to get anything, which can't actually be good for teens, everyone needs human contact.

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