My 15yr old son is ruling my life...

(77 Posts)
HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 16:53:16

Help. This is a nightmare. How do I start...?? To get to right here, right now would take ages!!! Brief and basic - single mum til son was 10, he's now 15. Partner (of 5 years) has secured a job elsewhere. This means moving. Yes, horrendous timing. New job wasn't expected to become available for another few years, and if he hadn't taken it now, it could have been 25-30 years before it came up again. I have put my life on hold to stay here until son sits his exams in the summer. He was so upset at the thought of moving I had to do something. We agreed that if he could just consider the idea of moving that we would stay here til the summer hols at least. Lasr weekend we were supposed to visit my parents for the weekend - family live some distance away. He texted me to say that he didn't want to go. I replied that yes he was. He then said he would not be home that night and that he'd be home Sunday. There was more. He would not be moving full stop, he'd had a meeting with youth services who were looking into getting him into a flat or hostel. Boom. 15. Now, please, he does not come from an under privileged home, he is very bright and I was once a teenager also. I contacted the school. He had been to see his guidance teacher, and yes, they had rang youth services, but she has not encouraged him to do so. We have had meetings with guidance staff at the school, but son remains mute. Last night I asked him to write down his grievances to make things easier for him. On reading his grievances, it would appear that not only does the entire world, but the whole solar system itself, revolves around my boy! I'm so proud. Basically life is better without my partner here, he hates him, I care more about him than my son, the best thing about home is leaving it. In fact, his only suggestion on how to make his life better is to allow his girlfriend to sleep over...!! I feel like he has me over a barrel.

He hates your partner, he'll be doing exams at school, and you want to take him away from his friends? I'm with your son here, I'm afraid.

That's a huge upheaval at that age, especially if he hates your partner. Did you discuss the situation with him and try and come to a compromise or just tell him you were moving?

I had a teenager living with me for a year or so in similar circumstance (dad was a lone parent who got transferred abroad). Do you have friends he could stay with locally until he's finished school at least? Otherwise, I'd seriously consider staying and meeting up with your partner at weekends. Sorry - probably not what you want to hear.

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 17:10:55

Talk about stating the obvious. Thanks anyway.

juneau Wed 22-Jan-14 17:15:11

I'm sorry you're being torn in two, but I'm afraid I'm with AP above - your DS (at least until he's finished his education), should come first. I'm assuming that he's planning to do A levels at his current school? If so, I really think, if it was me, that I'd stay put until he's 18. If he chooses not to move with you at that age then it's not so young for him to either get his own place, or he could be going on to further education.

An alternative, if you've already burnt your boats with regard to staying where you are after June, might be for him to lodge during term-time with a friend (if there is a friend with a family that's willing to have him). It seems harsh to uproot him from his school if he's settled, although many teens do change at 16 to do their A levels elsewhere. Is his dad on the scene and nearby? Is the girlfriend serious?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 22-Jan-14 17:19:13

If the OP posted "we have to move because of money/health/housing" people would be finding ways to help, reassure etc. This is a five year relationship with (presumably) no serious conflict between son and partner.

Change is scary for everyone. It's not necessarily bad though.

VelvetGecko Wed 22-Jan-14 17:24:41

I'd imagine it must have been hard for your son having you to himself for 10 years, then having to share you and now you want to take him away from friends/school. Has he always disliked your dp or is this just since you told him you were moving?
If he were younger then I'd say tough really but he's almost an adult and his opinions should be carefully considered.
Sorry not what you wanted to hear but I could never force my child to live with a man he 'hates'.

LeBearPolar Wed 22-Jan-14 17:30:47

When I was your son's age, my parents decided to move house. By the time the move went through I was six weeks in to my A Level course. I had to change schools, leave all my friends behind and the home I'd grown up in and start again in a sixth form when everyone had known each other for ever and where I was a half-term behind.

I spent months pleading with my parents to let me finish my schooling in my home town - I even had a local family who offered to take me in for the term times - but to no avail.

I find change immensely stressful and difficult, but that was the hardest one of all. I still don't think of the place we moved to as home, and I have no friends of my own age from that time in my life.

So I can very much see your son's point of view, I'm afraid, although I know lots and lots of children move and are perfectly fine with it.

juneau Wed 22-Jan-14 17:30:49

I dunno - I was a step-child and it was shit, so I guess I always feel empathy with DC in that situation. This boy has, presumably grown up in this area and lived his whole life there. His friends are there, his gf is there (yes, I know he's only 15), and now he's been told he has no choice in moving, just because his DM has decided to follow her DP somewhere far away. He doesn't want to go. He knows that once he's 16 he can say 'no' and stay if he's really determined to do so. Maybe my advice above seems harsh and maybe the OP should go, but find some way for him to stay. She can force him to go, I suppose, but I don't think that would be a happy solution for any of them.

Goodness, what a difficult situation OP. How awful for you to be stuck in the middle like this.

How far away are you planning on moving?

Can you try to do some research on the the area you plan to move to that might be of benefit to your son. A good A level college, good university nearby, excellent recreational facilities and the promise that his current friends can visit whenever they like and that he can visit them might make the move easier for him. How are the transport links?

The Summer is a while away yet and although your DS is digging his heels in now it could be all change by then.

cory Wed 22-Jan-14 17:36:15

Are you seriously saying that you were considering moving just before he sat his GCSE's and that he actually had to argue this with you???

Because if so, then I'm sorry, it's not him ruling your life, it's you wanting to run your life without the considering the impact on him. I can see that he has lost trust in your willingness to think of his needs as equally important to the rest of the family and you will have to work hard to regain that trust.

Imo there is a small window where you can move during your later teens without seriously damaging your education and that is, as juneau says, straight after his GCSE's, with a view to doing A-levels at a new school or college. But that would always be based on the assumption that there would be a suitable school or college offering the right courses which is willing and able to take him. Have you looked into this? Have you discussed it with him? It is his future you are talking about here: not a naughty teenager refusing to pick his coat up or something.

Unexpecteditem (great name, BTW) if the op said she had to move for health or financial reasons, the gist of my post would have been the same - "your son is at an portang stage in his education; do what you can to let him stay whet he is".

hugmebrotha Wed 22-Jan-14 17:37:49

You're being really unreasonable, can you not wait until he's done his A levels? When he goes to uni he'll be living away from home anyway so it won't matter then.

I can only imagine how upset my DD would be if I suddenly announced that we were moving away. He'll feel so alone because as you've said, he doesn't like you partner, so he'd only have you.

FFS, "an important"

The OP has said she'll stay to GCSE's, why the hell should she stay for A levels too.

Loads of 16 year olds move to six-form collages or different schools they know no one. DD1 may well choose to.

A 16y can skype, a 16 can get on a train and go back and see his old friends. In two year he'll be of to uni and see hismum 3-6 times a year max

cory Wed 22-Jan-14 17:52:13

Starballbunny, there is a big difference between choosing a college because you think it would be a good fit and being told that you have to move because it would suit the adults.

And there is a massive difference between taking advice on education from a parent who has already shown she is considering your education as important and being expected to comply with the dictates of a parent whom you have recently had to talk out of the hairbrained scheme of moving just before important exams.

That was my point: the OP has undermined her ds' trust that she understands his needs and has his best interests at heart. She now needs to regain that trust. She needs to do that by demonstrating that the move can be a good choice for him educationally and that his views will be taken into account when it comes to choosing a new school or college.

So come on, OP- what have you done to find out about the educational opportunities in your new location? How will it compare to what you are asking him to give up? You will need to sell this to him.

NatashaBee Wed 22-Jan-14 17:57:54

Exactly, cory. I would never uproot a 16 year old like that if they really didn't want to go (although I would obviously try to find them a good school and convince them to come) - to me, he's made it obvious he's not going and it's a matter of finding an interim solution until he's 18 and he and all of his friends go off to university. Would any of his friends parents be happy for him to board with them?

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 17:58:13

Thank you everyone! Yes, I totally see where my DS is coming from. We had to leave our home when I was a teenager, and I had grown up in that house, as had my older siblings. We weren't moving out the area but it made me deeply unhappy at the time. My son has not grown up here, but has entered, and is now in mid-teens here. ...still a very shaky time for anyone. I have looked into every avenue. No-one I know here is willing to take on a teenager. We have told him he can have his friends to stay whenever, we've told him we'll get him a season ticket for the train so he can visit here! We even offered to buy him a scooter! When we moved to this house it was the summer before high school, and he kicked off then, about moving 7 miles. A different catchment area. Fair enough. So for the last 4 years we've paid over £500 a year so he can go to the same school as his friends. I have done nothing but bend over backwards to make life easier for my DS. Right now, it feels as though DS is using this as an excuse to get his own way and to get away with some pretty appalling behaviour. And no, there has been no conflict between DP & DS until moving was mentioned. Dad doesn't help. If my life is made more difficult, all the better.

hugmebrotha Wed 22-Jan-14 18:03:22

it's only a few more years until he finishes school and will no longer be living with you. I understand that you've done a lot for him but after he goes to university he'll be thinking about getting his own place away from you. Surely it would make more sense just to wait until then?

noddyholder Wed 22-Jan-14 18:04:40

I am also with AP your first duty is to your ds and his wellbeing and education. Your dp can wait

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 18:11:31

Yes, I have looked into the schools and colleges there. High school is 2 minutes from the house compared to 7 miles and 2 bus changes here. The school there is very good. There is a technical college 17 miles from the house with a straight bus route. They do courses for 16yr olds, he is interested in becoming a chef, which they, ahem, cater for. This is not a hairbrained idea. My DP made me aware of the possible job/move very early on, we did not have a crystal ball to let us know when the job would become available, and I'm well aware it is the worst possible timing ever, hence my partner of 5 years and I are now living apart, while DS sits exams.

Rosencrantz Wed 22-Jan-14 18:11:38

I'm with your son. Do long distance with your DP until DS has finished the year. Space from your DP will do your son some good.

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 18:43:33

I am doing long distance til the end of his 4th year.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 22-Jan-14 19:22:22

I'm biased, I moved loads as a child and teenager. It was fine. I did great at school. Needs must. Your DS sounds like he's dug his heels in without giving you a fair hearing.

Having re-read your OP and your subsequent posts I'm not sure what you're asking?

You're staying put until the Summer and then you're moving. Is that right?
If so, are you asking us how to make your son move with you or if it's ok to leave him behind as he'll be 16 then?

I really feel for you as you're being pulled in two directions.

Can he not live with his dad for a bit then? Is that an option? I agree you should stay til significant exams are over and then talk about it. But your son is being really unfair on you and thinking only of himself - as teens are likely to.

Have you made a list to share with him? Might it help him to digest your perspective.

I moved loads, and often didn't want to. Has served me very well indeed as I am able to adapt well to a lot of new situations where other people stress about it. As a result I got on better at work ...

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 20:19:02

I don't know what I'm asking!? I'm just in a bit of a state tbh. No-one seems able to advise me. The move wasn't my choice. No, I'm not moving til the summer. There's a job there for me too, which starts in April. I have had to arrange cover for the time when I'm not there. The move is 2hrs away. We cannot afford two homes. Or commuting costs.

I did not know where my son was last weekend. I did not find out until a meeting was set up at school on Monday, when I asked him where he'd stayed. I had not see my son since Friday morning. We were supposed to go to my parents for the weekend, a 3hr drive away, so we could go to a birthday party and also visit my granny in hospital. DS didn't want to go. Refused to come home. Behaved like a toddler. I did nothing. What could I do. Couldn't go and get him and physically remove him. Couldn't phone police. His behaviour when he doesn't want to do something is getting out of hand!

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 20:22:01

His Dad is 3hrs away also, in same area as my parents. DS gets on well with him, but doesn't want to live there either.

It's basically pretty clear cut in the immediate term to me, but then I am not always renowned for my sympathetic stance. He "wins" until the end of GCSE.

And then he chooses to live with you in X or his father in Y. Most kids don't get a choice. But he's 16, so get's to choose. Your finances are dependent on you working - and your job is in X from such in such a date.

Some reality about what it's like living in a hostel and the choices he faces from that side might help.

You talk as though this move just "happened" to you. It didn't. You choose to do it now, your partner chose to accept the job.
If it were my family we would have turned down the job offer and stayed put until he had finished 6th form or college at the very least. I would put my son first.

In my experience (I have a DS of 20 and one of 17, so I do have experience of teens) is that they're often not keen to compromise or to see things from someone else's point of view. This makes doing something that requires some involvement from them quite difficult if they don't want to cooperate.

I think that unless your DS changes his mind and wants to move with you you're going to have to either put your move on hold (Which doesn't seem very workable now that you have a job lined up) or find somewhere for him to live where you are now.

I don't think you can resolve this in a way that'll keep everyone happy I'm afraid. Just super bad timing re your DPs job unfortunately.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 22-Jan-14 21:45:50

She's not joined a cult or moved to Siberia, she's moving to a nice area with access to good schools where she and her partner of five years both have jobs.

Everyone makes trade offs in life, or makes decisions that their children don't agree with, but which will ultimately be good for them. Except for professional martyrs.

flow4 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:45:33

I'm genuinely surprised at the number of people saying "stay put, your son should get what he wants". Usually, the consensus around here is "You're the parent; what you say goes - just make him do what you say.

It's not as if the OP is planning to do anything that will harm her DS. He'll presumably go to another school that's equally good. He'll lose contact with some friends, yes; but he'll stay in touch with others and make new ones. He'll have to try a long-distance relationship with his gf, and that'll be really hard; but it would be at least equally hard for the OP to run her relationship long distance, which is the alternative.

It will be difficult for the OP's son, but that doesn't mean she's doing anything wrong. Sometimes life just gets complicated, and it's impossible to balance everyone's needs. Everyone deserves sympathy here, IMO.

nuff, let your son see youth services. It will be helpful for him to have real info about what his options are. I would be very surprised if the state offered to support him - it costs a fortune to support teens - and I think the most likely option is that they'll tell him he has to go with you. And if you think it's a real possibility that he'll leave home, then you want him to know where to go for the help he'll then need. Talk to them yourself if you want: they'll tell you what his options are, too.

Realistically, it's 6 months before you move. A lot changes in 6 months of a 15 year-old's life. By then, he may split up with his girlfriend, or get fed up with school, or realise you are a human being with needs too, or simply decide he wants a change... It may not work, but if I were you, I'd try lots of sympathy and talking and listening, and invite him to help you problem-solve: you could try "I know it'll be hard for you. There are so many things to work out and weigh up. Can you help me? What are your top priorities? What do you think mine should be? If I stay here and give up my job, what would we do?..."

If he won't talk, I'd just wait as long as possible... It is likely that things will feel much clearer in 3 months.

flow4 Wed 22-Jan-14 22:53:29

P.S. I know I'd struggle with that because I like certainty and planning, not uncertainty and leaving things alone! If you're like me, you're going to find it very difficult and stressful to accept this kind of uncertainty, and you'll probably be pushing your DS to agree to what you want so that things feel more settled... But he's not ready. If I've learned anything from living with a 'challenging' teen, it's that if you try to make them do something because you need certainty, they will fight you, and you will end up with more chaos than you would have had if you had let things be! confused

Fibreopticangel Wed 22-Jan-14 23:39:03

I'm another one who thinks your son should have his way.

He's still a child. And the most important thing to teenagers is their peer group. He's at a crucial stage in his education and if he's unhappy he's not likely to do his best.

I think the least you can do is support him for another 2 academic years and stay put at his home and with his friends. Your relationship with a man who isn't his dad will have to wait.

If not, you run the risk of him blaming you for years to come - is that what you want from your relationship with your child?

Sorry to be harsh, but I think parents often underestimate just how much a teenager needs their parent(s) and stability. It's easy to think they're adults - they're not. I don't think they're properly mature until around 21 (mine are now 21 and 17).

Custardo Wed 22-Jan-14 23:50:26

its not like he wants to be a doctor or anything - his education towards being a chef isn't going to be irreversibly harmed by moving - sure, he will miss his friends but they might be leaving next year anyway, and you are supposed to miss an opportunity of a lifetime for this?


the options i see are this

your dh rents and comes homes at weekends - son stays where he is

you move - son will not like it - but to be honest a lot of his problems are simply being 15 - it goes hand in hand with self centred twattishness

if you do ecide to move, i would tell hostel and youth people to fuc,k the fuck off - you are the parent of YOUR 15 year old child

15 - shit, its nothing, its not grown up
its not responsible

yes, lets get a 15 year old a flat and expect him to cope - im sure he will pass his exams - i mean it will be party every night at his place wont it.

oooh, GF could stay over - you might be a granny this time next year

see what i mean - leaving him there is a stupid idea

I hv a just turned 16 yo DS..he doesn't revise...24/7 on his iphone and has zero motivation...when telling him he will hv to go and live with his Dad due to his attitude, he said he would kill himself rather than live there!

His Dad lives in Kent and we live in Essex. ..difficult but do able getting to school...but not so easy to hook up with mates

I agree with you Custardo. Plus from what the OP says about not being able to afford two homes and having a job lined up the move is a done deal.

So, the question the OP is really asking is - How do you make a 15 year old that doesn't want to move to a new home move to a new home? And if she can't make him, then what?

Oops..fat fingers on android...

So yes, they are very selfish indeed! But I do think this age is very fragile for them and moving even a few miles away, is just unthinkable in their world.

I have no answers but hope you come to a mutually acceptable resolution. It's a tough one and I have great sympathy for you OP.

OP, I know you say that your DSs father thinks the harder your life is the better but what sort of father is he? Would he happily have your son move in with him so that your son has another option? Would he be willing to move closer to your DSs current school do you think?

He is his father and there ought to be just as much onus on him as there is on you to find a workable solution here. Your DS has lived with you for 15 years. Perhaps it's dad's turn now?

cory Thu 23-Jan-14 10:41:27

flow, I don't think we are all saying "let the son decide". What I am saying more is "you have made a bad mistake by being thoughtless and not discussing things in advance in the past" (when you tried to make him move just before GCSE's). This time you need to regain his trust by showing that you can discuss and compromise.

This means (as flow says) lots of sympathy and listening and understanding of his pov

(the idea of letting a 15yo set up for himself sounds mad and I would use any tactful means of avoiding that)

It also means presenting yourself as somebody who is in charge of their destiny- otherwise you won't be able to exert any authority over him. "The move wasn't my choice" makes it sound like you don't expect to have an equal say in family decisions- that won't make your ds feel more reassured. For this to work there needs to be a general feeling of "the move is now all our choice", we have all had a say and we are all involved in sorting out the practicalities. Even if in reality that means that somebody has to compromise (and yes, it may well be your ds).

I have no idea what your family is actually like, but I think if I were a suspicious teenager here I would feel that my mum was being rushed into things she didn't have much control over out of anxiety to please her partner. He may of course be totally wrong in this, but it's important he sees that you have an equal say in decisions and that what your viewpoint is equally guided by concern for the wellbeing of all three of you. If you can manage to make him feel that, he may well come round to the move.

As flow says again, involve him in the problem solving. He may well come round.

flow4 Thu 23-Jan-14 10:49:41

I see what you mean cory, and it may have been a mistake not to do more discussion before decisions were made... But job offers don't stay open long, and even if the OP could have handled things differently, she is where she is: she needs to deal with the situation as it stands. And it's a difficult one...

cory Thu 23-Jan-14 10:58:08

That is very true, flow.

But I do think it is important to send signals (even if not speaking it aloud) to the ds that from now on discussion will be more open, there will be more time for thinking things over and that there is no absolutely no foundation to his suspicions that his mum will put everybody else's needs second to pleasing her partner. Make him see it's a ridiculous idea, that you all count, that you are all working together on this.

HDEnuff Thu 23-Jan-14 18:23:32

As I said at the beginning, it would be a long story to get to here and now. The move has been discussed regularly, amonst the whole family, for the last three years. It is not some silly desire to please my partner. My DP has been doing this 'new' job for the last ten years part-time, taking holidays from his life-long job to do so. Someone retired and he was offered the position. There is only one full-time position. It only arises every 25-30 years. Moving a 12 yr old would have been hard, but a damn sight easier than this situation. The guy who retired kept changing his mind and staying. Timing was out of my control. I would appreciate it if you did not refer to me as if I have not fully considered the impact it is going to have on my DSs life. To move NOW is what I meant as not being my choice. I'm not some dopey 'hairbrained' witch. No-one I know has been through this, no-one can help or advise me, I used mumsnet when I was struggling as a single parent years ago, I thought someone may be able to give me some insight. I did not come on here to be criticised as a mother. This wouldn't be the first time myself & DS have moved, but it is the first time we've moved with him being a teenager. His behaviour is scaring me, and I don't know how to handle it without alienating my son.

cory Thu 23-Jan-14 18:29:25

Really sorry if I have seemed overcritical, HDEnuff, but we are not mind readers, we can only go on the information you provide in your posts. What you've said now was not at all apparent from your first post. What you did tell us what that you had originally told him he would have to move just before his GCSE's and that was the only thing I referred to as harebrained- not you as a person.

I still think the advice you have been given stands though: you need to take a step back, reassure your ds that you are taking his views into account and hope that he will calm down before the actual move. There is a good chance he will. He is only young and 6 months is a long time.

HDEnuff Thu 23-Jan-14 19:23:23

Sorry if I sounded spikey, was not aiming it at anyone personally. I'm happy to hear everyones views. Wish someone would come along and tell me what to do. Like I say, I couldn't explain every tiny thing or no-one would bother reading, they'd be there for a aaaages.

Job was on, off, on, off... Once we'd decided to chill and just get through the next few years, by which time DS would hopefully be at college or at least more reasonable towards the idea of moving, sods law, the job is on.

I didn't suggest moving just before exam time. The move has been on the cards for the last three years, with us thinking it could be up to another three years yet! My son took it upon himself last year to involve the school - there has been a few porky pies told in the poor me department here. The move is a huge deal for him, I know, but how can he be the intelligent, cheeky, handsome, big guy he is 90% of the time, but when things don't go his way, or he gets into trouble, he pulls out.... 'The Move'. I really feel that this is snowballing out of control though, and he is using it to dictate how his life is gonna be, in turn dictating mine, as he knows he can get away with it. I am probably not explaining things well...

LydiaLunches Thu 23-Jan-14 19:32:54

My m had to move for the exact same reason in the summer in between my yr 12 and 13 and my sisters year 10 and 11. I stayed in digs and drank too much, she had a miserable year in the new location, gcse transfer didn't go well, then she ran away to live with her boyfriend as soon as she was 16.

Has he visited the college you suggest? I would investigate further options for him to finish his gcses in situ.

JeanSeberg Thu 23-Jan-14 19:43:00

I can't get past the fact you would even consider making your son live with someone he hates. End of.

LydiaLunches Thu 23-Jan-14 19:46:08

Eh? What is she meant to do re partner? I didn't think my stepdad was all that, in fact I despised him in some respects but I was a teenager and appreciated that my mum had a right to a romantic life and a family life beyond me.

JeanSeberg Thu 23-Jan-14 19:53:09

Never said she wasn't entitled to have a boyfriend. Why do they have to live together though when the son doesn't like him? In two years time she can do what she likes.

HDEnuff Thu 23-Jan-14 20:15:11

He doesn't hate him. Only when he's not getting his own way.

JeanSeberg Thu 23-Jan-14 20:17:15

Stay put and see your partner at weekends.

"I can't get past the fact you would even consider making your son live with someone he hates. End of."

Sadly lots of children use the word "hate" in regards to their parents, siblings and step parents when they don't get their own way despite the relationship being fine the majority of the time. It's just for dramatic effect. I certainly wouldn't consider leaving my DP because my DS2 says he hates him because DP says he can't have £40.00 RIGHT NOW and no he won't be picking him up from a concert at 1.30am that's over an hour away on a week night.

And to those suggesting the OP stay where she is and just see her DP at weekends - Read the OPs posts. She has said they can't afford to run two homes and she now has a job lined up. The move is happening and OP just needs some advice as to how to make it easier for all involved.

longtallsally2 Thu 23-Jan-14 23:23:47

How do you make a 15 year old that doesn't want to move to a new home move to a new home? And if she can't make him, then what?

I think that you start listening, and acknowledging his feelings. He has had years of discussing this job and this move - he knows that it is important to you. But if you want him to let go of some of his negative feelings about it, you need to find time and space to sit down with him and listen to them. Acknowledge that he can't even imagine the prospect of leaving his friends. Acknowledge that he feels frustrated that he can't control the present, and make his family stay where he wants. Acknowledge that he is angry with you for choosing between your dps dream and your dss home. Acknowledge that he is angry because he doesn't think that you listen to him. Let him know that you hear him and that those feelings are real, and understandable, but that in life, sadly, bad things happen.

He loves his home town and friends. Great. Of course, he can move back there as a chef and spend the rest of his life there. But he has a family who love him too. It would be great if he could consider spending 2 years post GCSE living with his family on an adventure somewhere else. It's not forever, but it seems like that to him now.

People only move on emotionally, when they feel it is OK to do so, when they feel they have had the sympathy they deserve for the feelings they have got.


flow4 Thu 23-Jan-14 23:37:58

Good post, sally. smile

cory Fri 24-Jan-14 08:52:03

Brilliant post, sally.

eddielizzard Fri 24-Jan-14 09:02:28

agree with longtallsally

cory Fri 24-Jan-14 09:03:28

We were in a slightly similar situation a few years ago when I got a job offer abroad which was possibly my last chance of a career break (and also a chance to return closer to my own culture).

Dd was desperate to go because she had been through a very rough time and wanted a chance to reinvent herself. I thought the move would probably end up doing her a lot of harm (difficult to get medical treatment, hard to start with a new language and culture when you are emotionally unstable) and would make life very difficult for dh. In the end we didn't go.

And now even dd recognises that this was the right thing.

But I did need to take a lot of time to listen to her, to acknowledge her feelings, to put up with her bitterness and frustration without rising to it, to suggest other ways in which she could be helped and help herself, to accept that she was angry and that she was going to be angry for a long time and that I couldn't just expect that to stop to order.

Worth doing, every single moment of it. It was a good decision, we as adults had to make it and I am sure we are all happier for it, but by taking that extra little time over it we have also preserved the family more or less intact.

Andro Sat 25-Jan-14 23:10:10

I'm getting confused here OP, is your son in y10 or y11 (you've mentioned GCSE's and fourth least I think it was you who mentioned 4th year confused )?

Oakmaiden Sat 25-Jan-14 23:21:46

I was wondering the same, Andro - is the son taking his GCSEs this summer, or summer '15?

Andro Sat 25-Jan-14 23:32:57

I'm glad I'm not the only one confused Oakmaiden.

The thing is, this situation has the potential to be easier if he's in Y11 because there is a possibility of convincing him that a new collage will be advantageous for him with respect to 6th form/tech/etc. Y10 is a lot more problematic because he could be starting to take some GCSE exams this year, yet still have another year to do - that is then a nightmare of epic proportions because of different teaching/different order of work/assessed practical work not to mention the huge emotional upheaval.

Oakmaiden Sat 25-Jan-14 23:37:10

Yeah - I can't help feeling if he is taking them next year a quicker move would be better... but if it is this year then obviously waiting til it is done.

Nightmare, though, for the poor OP, either way...

Andro Sat 25-Jan-14 23:39:10

Nightmare, though, for the poor OP, either way...

Yes, although it could be argued that it's a nightmare for all involved (OP, her DP and her son).

Oakmaiden Sat 25-Jan-14 23:40:19

Sure. I was just empathising with the OP because she is the one "here" if you see what I mean. smile

As I understood it, the DS will be taking his GCSE exams this year so he's in year 11.

Oakmaiden Sat 25-Jan-14 23:51:22

That is what I assumed to start with - and makes sense with the "we will move in June" thing - but then she said he was in 4th Year... Which confused me...

HDEnuff Sun 26-Jan-14 10:18:14

Hi folks, we're in Scotland and he'll be sitting National 5s in May/June of this year.

That makes a huge difference then, as we don't have sixth form colleges. He's still got 1, maybe 2, years left at school after this one. Is he planning on doing Highers next year? The higher curriculum usually starts in June, so if he were to move in the summer hols, even if his new school did the same subjects, they may have chosen different topics within.

Is there really no-one he could stay with in term time for a year?

Oakmaiden Sun 26-Jan-14 10:57:12

Ah. Well in that case you are doing the right thing. It sucks for him, I am sure, but I do think that there are larger concerns than a teenager not wanting to move house. You have to do what you have to do.

Remind him he can always move back in a couple of years.

I am sorry it is so difficult at the moment.

helenthomas Sun 26-Jan-14 12:05:01

Hi HDEnuff, I have read your story with a lot of interest. We are in a very similar position. We were going to move when my daughter was finishing year 8, due to start year 9 in the school in the area we plan to move to - we planned to move to where my partner currently lives. In the end we didn't move for all the reasons people gave above, and because we were concerned it was too upsetting for her, and her father also objected to the move which made it harder. We agreed to wait until she finished her GCSE's. She is due to finish secondary school this summer, she is 15. We have visited the area many times and she has an interview for the new college set up to start in September and we plan to move over summer. But she is still saying she doesn't want to go and it's ruining her life and doesn't want us to move. My partner and I have maintained a long distance relationship all this time, we have tried to find a way for him to relocate but it has not been possible to find work. There are better prospects in the new area and I would be able to work part time as we would be maintaining 1 home. I empathise with HDEnuff as I feel we did consider all of the objections and yet she still won't consider the move - which seems to dominate our life. It is really hard because they feel grown up but are still dependent on us, it feels like we have all the responsibility but not the authority to make the final decision. I'm sorry I don't have an answer, I just wanted HDEnuff to know you are not on your own!

HDEnuff Sun 26-Jan-14 14:30:22

Thanks Helen, it is good to know we're not the only ones suffering! It is really hard. It's difficult enough being a teenager generally. You have hit the nail on the head when you say they feel grown up enough, and the responsibility/authority scenario is so true! My DS has again taken off to a friends, on Thursday night. His friends mother has offered him a room as a last resort. It is a possibility, and I have tried ringing her to talk. I don't know this friend or his mother, but I am concerned already as this is the second time he's walked out and gone there and she's never tried to get in touch with me!

Rascalls3 Sun 26-Jan-14 23:28:48

Gosh how times have changed. My parents moved to a different area just as I finished my O Levels. I certainly never felt I was in a position to object and never dreamed I had any other option other than to move with them. I am sure in 1979 I wouldn't have. Of course I made new friends and life moved on.
I find it hard to believe that social services will provide alternative (hugely expensive ) accommodation just because your son doesn't want to make this move and I definitely don't think you should have to split up you family to appease a 15 year old child. The mother offering your son a room really isn't being helpful.
My daughter's lovely 19 year old boyfriend had to relocate at 16. He too had a girlfriend and struggled to adjust to a new area and school more than 6hours away and was very down for at least a year, so it obviously can be very traumatic for some teens.
You are in a very difficult position op and you have my sympathies, but at the end of the day you are only moving 2hours away not half way round the world. Stick to your plans and try and keep the lines of communication open with your son ( not keen on the scooter idea though!! ) Good luck!

HDEnuff Mon 27-Jan-14 20:27:26

Thanks Rascal. I know everyone has their own opinion, but it is nice to hear someone telling it like it really is. Hence the title of my problem... I don't believe my DS has an option, but he certainly believes he does. Difficult times. He's still resisting coming home. Finally spoke to his friends mother today... After the school rang her. Seems nice enough, but I really don't need someone giving him a bolthole for when things get too heavy. On the otherhand, it's good to know he isn't on the street! I can't win.

Andro Mon 27-Jan-14 20:52:10

I think part of the complexity now come with the way schools manage the transition years, I had already started GCSE work in Y9 and A level work after finishing exams in Y10 because almost everyone who did GCSE at the school I went to carried on to do A Levels there. Starting at the school in the September of Y10/Y11/Y12 would have put any student at a massive disadvantage compared to their peers. An increasing number of schools seem to do this now, so unless you're moving to a college which is completely separate to a school a move during these years can have devastating consequences.

I too feel for you OP and hope you manage to get this sorted, maybe give him his space for a bit and don't push - I think that the more you push the less likely you are resolve this without major damage to your relationship with your son.

HDEnuff Tue 28-Jan-14 08:12:51

Thanks Rascal. I know everyone has their own opinion, but it is nice to hear someone telling it like it really is. Hence the title of my problem... I don't believe my DS has an option, but he certainly believes he does. Difficult times. He's still resisting coming home. Finally spoke to his friends mother today... After the school rang her. Seems nice enough, but I really don't need someone giving him a bolthole for when things get too heavy. On the otherhand, it's good to know he isn't on the street! I can't win.

HDEnuff Tue 28-Jan-14 08:22:06

Posted that again?! Couldn't have done it if I'd tried! Thanks Ando. Yeah, am really trying not to push him. He's coming home tonight after 4-5 days space. Just scared he's gonna take off again the next time I ask him to go somewhere with us (ie. his grandparents, his aunties, his uncles), just because he doesn't want to/has plans. This whole situation stemmed from him not wanting to go to his grandparents for the weekend. Because it was boring. Half of me wants to tell him to man up...

HDEnuff Tue 28-Jan-14 08:25:01

Posted that again?! Couldn't have done it if I'd tried! Thanks Ando. Yeah, am really trying not to push him. He's coming home tonight after 4-5 days space. Just scared he's gonna take off again the next time I ask him to go somewhere with us (ie. his grandparents, his aunties, his uncles), just because he doesn't want to/has plans. This whole situation stemmed from him not wanting to go to his grandparents for the weekend. Because it was boring. Half of me wants to tell him to man up...

HDEnuff Tue 28-Jan-14 08:25:02

Posted that again?! Couldn't have done it if I'd tried! Thanks Ando. Yeah, am really trying not to push him. He's coming home tonight after 4-5 days space. Just scared he's gonna take off again the next time I ask him to go somewhere with us (ie. his grandparents, his aunties, his uncles), just because he doesn't want to/has plans. This whole situation stemmed from him not wanting to go to his grandparents for the weekend. Because it was boring. Half of me wants to tell him to man up...

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