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Terrible morning - DS in tears both very upset

(124 Posts)
onceamai Fri 05-Nov-10 09:21:10

A bit of background but I feel really at the end of my tether and very upset.

DS is 15, very bright, at one of the most academic (and most expensive) schools in the country. Very good grades, popular and sporty - everthing going for him (apart from his awful mother) Every time I speak to him I am snapped at in an insubordinate way "what" "in a minute" "ffs" "no I didn't".

Every time I ask him to do something it's in a minutes. Of particular note is his bedroom which is a complete tip. I had a week off at 1/2 term and wanted to tidy it. He had two weeks - complete refusal to help always later or not now. In fact seemed to spend entire two weeks in bedroom on computer, game station, etc.

Is asked constantly to sort out piles of clothes on chair and make sure what needs washing is in linen basket. Always an issue finding essential stuff - asked time after time to get games stuff ready night before so if something can't be found or needs washing there's time to deal with it. Never happens.

At five to eight this morning - we have to leave at 8, "where's my PE top". Is it in the cupboard I say, no. When did you last have it - if you unpacked rucksack at beginning of half term and put in wash 3 weeks ago, shoudl be in cupboard. Response is rude and insubordinate - more the tone than the words. PE top found, screwed up in heap bottom of pile on chair.

I completely lost it, yelled at him about rudeness, speaking to me like s**t, treating me like a servant, complete lack of responsbility. Never doing what is asked.

Response is "i'm still growing and I get tired and you don't understand". I completely lost it again - I'm nearly 50, work full time, bend over backwards, can't do any more and dreadfully "I don't have any of this with your sister".

Then I found that yet again, he had thrown my clothes on the bedroom floor and not picked them up (he uses my hairdryer and mirror in the morning) and I lost it again.

In the car he told me I was a bully (I had said earlier he could get the bus but relented so he wouldn't be late) and he couldn't help it - it was his personality and the only problem was that we were both the same (we are). He said he felt that I said he was useless and had ruined my life - don't think I did. I told him to buck up his ideas and that if he couldn't he could go to the local comp. because I was sick of bending over backwards and making sure he got the best of everything when he was so ungrateful.

Awful, awful morning. I feel absolutely dreadful and a completely useless parent. He got out of the car really upset. I am on the verge of talking to his tutor.

This was all over a PE shirt but I feel at the end of my tether because I simply cannot do any more and feel there is zero appreciation.

Sorry this is very long and rambling but really really upset and worried. DH works abroad Mon-Fri so I do keep a lot of balls in the air and it is hard sometimes. DH though does tend not to confront issues - that's his family's way and why his two sisters are completely non conformist, ie, have never worked, grubby, lazy, scroungers. May be a bit of I'm not having you turning out like either of those two lazy so and so's in here in case it's in his genes.

otchayaniye Fri 05-Nov-10 09:24:37

what's does where he attend school have to to with it?

ll31 Fri 05-Nov-10 09:25:32

maybe completely ineffective but what about going out with him somewhere - so away from tip of room etc! - and basically telling him that as of now he's responsible for putting dirty clothes etc in laundry basket - you're not gong to look for them etc.. thereofre if he doesn't do it, its his problem. rEgarding his room I'd pretty much ignore.. its his room, if he's having friends over etc he may realise he needs to clean it... tho I would help him if he asked

but I'd be more definite about real rudeness and bad language to you etc which I 'd be inclined to regad as unacceptable and to result in computer / consoles going etc...

good luckQ!

Animation Fri 05-Nov-10 09:28:48

I think you need to spend some one-to-one time out of the house.

numotre Fri 05-Nov-10 09:29:49

I worry about you using the high school fees that you must pay for him to go school as a stick to beat him with.

onceamai Fri 05-Nov-10 09:30:31

Taking the computers/consoles away get's a bit harder when I'm 5'4" and he's 5'10" though. First bit might help though although he's not keen on going out with me -embarassment I think.

escape Fri 05-Nov-10 09:31:10

otchayaniye - why so sensitive? I read the school comment as an attempt of painting a back story of a boy who clearly has everything going for him. People are allowed to send their children to good schools, and mention it in passing!
OP - it seems that he is willing to open up a bit, which is good news. my daughter sounds exactly the same , but she is only 9! I'd suggest you keep up some dialogue (calmly) this weekend

Guacamole Fri 05-Nov-10 09:31:15

Hhhmmmmn he's a teenager, are you not going to always have arguments like this. I don't think it's necessary to threaten him with changing schools in his GCSE years.
You obviously feel that he is ungrateful, but yet again, isn't that just the way most teenagers behave?

diddl Fri 05-Nov-10 09:31:24

I think I´d start by throwing his clothes on the floor tbh.

And making him buy his own mirror & hairdryer-or put it on his Christmas list.

And re the school-probably par for the course that they treat mummy like this-I´d stamp that out-and the swearing.

Firawla Fri 05-Nov-10 09:32:19

you don't sound a useless parent at all, of course he may not like being told these things and picked up on his rudeness but you have to do it, cos that is a parents job. you dont actually sound a bully at all
i agree with the above poster would maybe crack down on it a bit harder, dont think he should be able to get away with speaking to you like that and ignoring what he is told while just sat on consoles for 2 weeks, he should be treating you with respect and helping out as that is what you deserve as his mother, i dont think your expectations would be too high to ask that from him. maybe a good idea taking him out and have an open and honest talk between you to sort things out and try to get a better understanding there, but i dont think his excuse of growing and tired etc really stands up, maybe you can paint it in a positive light about taking responsibility etc as he is nearly an adult?
but try not to feel too bad, okay it was just over a pe top but sounds that was the last straw its not really just about a pe top is it and dont think you have been particularly U with him. hope you can sort it out

onceamai Fri 05-Nov-10 09:32:45

numotre - you're right I just get so frustrated that he (and dd) has so much and yet appears to think it's all al god given right. Far far more than DH and i had.

Chil1234 Fri 05-Nov-10 09:35:18

You're not a useless parent. If the altercation left him upset then you more likely got your feelings through to him. There are worse things than having to wear a screwed up PE shirt. When things are calmer, explain again that he has to be more responsible & help out around the house. If he needs help remembering what the jobs are, maybe a list would help. If he needs help doing the jobs, it's OK to ask.

Good luck but really don't feel guilty that you lost your temper.

diddl Fri 05-Nov-10 09:36:26

Rules here-if it isn´t in the washbox it doesn´t get washed.

If clothes don´t get put away & end up creased, you iron them yourself-don´t put them back into the wash box.

Anything on the floor in your bedroom stays there, & if I happen to want to vacuum, I´ll dump it on the bed for you to sort out.

badfairy Fri 05-Nov-10 09:36:32

Sorry but he is 15 ....I think that is all the explanation required. The whole point of adolescence is to rebel against your parents. That doesn't mean that you have to tolerate unacceptable behaviour but please don't think for one minute giving a child an excellent education means that they won't be holy terrors in their teens! Set your boundaries, explain them to him and stick to your guns. No you are probably not going to be his best friend for the next couple of years but that is not your job just now.

lisad123isgoingcrazy Fri 05-Nov-10 09:37:04

TBH I would say if his that worried he can do his own washing, ironing tiding ect. His 15 and needs to take some responsiability for himself. I would give it a week before his worried about what the girls think.

We all have bad days and it sounds like this was yours. Tonight I would sit down with him and sort out a rota for him to stick to. Trust me in 3 years time he will be grateful. He says his tired, whats his bedtime?? His properly tired as he spends all day on PC and not getting out. Does he have a hobby? If not look into one.


Guacamole Fri 05-Nov-10 09:37:17

Is it worth getting your DH to talk to him, maybe he's missing his Dad?
My brother would go through spells like this everytime my Dad went away (Army).
I don't know... But expecting him to be grateful for all you provide for him/have sacrificed for him is not going to happen if he knows no different?

Maisiethemorningsidecat Fri 05-Nov-10 09:38:21

Sounds like a fairly normal teenager, and you are not a bad parent. Make sure that he knows that for every bit of shitty behaviour there you have from him there will be a consequence.

I'm not sure that threatening him with the local comp is a good idea - unless you've drummed it into him that state education is a punishment?

CrazyPlateLady Fri 05-Nov-10 09:39:17

You sound like a perfectly good mother with a teenage son who has a personality similar to your own and you can clash sometimes.

I have teenage brothers and cousins. You are really not alone in this. There are other mums feeling the same and wondering if it is them. My brothers mum (we are half siblings) has kicked him out a few times in the past due to his attitude. It all sounds very very similar.

You are not a bad mother. He is a normal teenager but I would get tough with boundaries if he is going to treat you that way. They often don't see what parents do for them, they are to into their own little world. When he grows up a bit, he will change. My brother has gone into the army and when he came home 1 weekend, first thing he said to his mum was "what can I do to help!" After the issues she had with him in the past, it really was a huge turning point.

mistressploppy Fri 05-Nov-10 09:41:10

I remember being 15 - I bet he feels really guilty. Maybe not guilty enough to change though. Agree with posters above <not helpful, sorry>

Animation Fri 05-Nov-10 09:41:13

I don't think we should expect teenagers to express gratitude all the time. They need a bit of attention though - I think that brings out the best in them.

MerryBlessings Fri 05-Nov-10 09:43:49

I really don't think you're being a bad parent. This is just normal, teenage stuff.

I think you should go out just you and have a rational, calm conversation about what happened this morning, discuss the issues and move on. Apologise for the things you said that you feel were said in the heat of the moment but get him to try to understand that his behaviour is selfish, you are working hard to give him a great life.

I think at 15 I would give him complete responsibility for his own laundry/tidiness. He is 15 for goodness sake, he can work a washing machine. I would also be tempted (but then I am quite victorian parent) to remove his gaming privileges if he was being obnoxious and ignoring my requests.

When I was younger my room was always hideous but my parents didn't really nag me about it. If something was lost it was my own fault and responsibility. Eventually I got sick of never being able to find anything and am now generally a very tidy person (ask my husband!). I am glad they didn't make it into a huge issue because I don't think it would have made me learn tidiness any quicker and would have caused loads of arguments.

Overall I think he is a normal, moody, selfish teenager. I think it's important to remember that at that age, you just don't appreciate the hard work that goes into keeping a house, feeding you etc so I would view less selfishly and more naiviety iyswim.

Don't beat yourself up, you aren't a bad parent.


RevoltingPeasant Fri 05-Nov-10 09:44:01

Poor OP. I think this is tough but wonder if you could approach it like another poster said, by talking to him about making the transition to adulthood?

I presume he's off to uni in 2.5 years, so you might point out to him that lots of boys are LOST when they go to uni because they don't know how to take care of themselves. Also, he is nearly an adult, and it's appropriate for him to take responsibility for himself.

Maybe you could draw up a short, pithy list of what you want him to do each week (put clothes in basket, empty napsack, whatever) and get him to tick them off? This might sound childish but I bet he does genuinely forget and structure can be helpful. Then maybe annex certain privileges if he completes everything.

Also, I would step on the swearing thing. I am 31 and would never say 'ffs' to my mother, NEVER. Tell him that is absolutely out of bounds.

curlymama Fri 05-Nov-10 09:46:13

WRT to the appreciation thing, my Mum used to harp on about that to me when I was 15. I truly didn't 'get' it. I learned to say thatI did appreciate the things she did for me, just for the sake of an easy life and getting her to do the things that I wanted her to do, but really I just used to wonder what all the fuss was about. I would think, it was your choice to send me to private school, it was you choice that I was even born, so why should I feel grateful that you have done what you wanted for your own child. Of course, now I'm an adult with children of my own, I totally understand where she was coming from.

So what I'm trying to say is you might want to think about stopping going on at him about that particular point, he is unlikely to understand it the way you want him to until he is older.

My general feeling on teenagers is that if you've done a good job in they years before the hormones break free, then it will all be alright in the end. I was a complete bitch as a 14, 15 yo, but believe it or not, I turned out ok!

I think you need to maybe take a step back and instead try to make sure that there are other adult role models around for your ds to learn from. You are his Mum, and no matter how good you are, teenagers don't want to learn from their Mums. But if he has other adults around that he respects, he can learn from them and take their guidance instead.

harassedinherpants Fri 05-Nov-10 09:50:42

"Taking the computers/consoles away get's a bit harder when I'm 5'4" and he's 5'10" though."

That was the bit that really struck - why is it a problem?? You walk into room, unplug, pick up and hide them. What's he going to do??

I have two boys too, they're 19 and 21. I'm also 5'4" and they're both 6'+ and have both been taller than me for many years. Discipline isn't about size it's about attitude, and your comment sounds like you'd be concerned about taking the comps/consoles away?

In all other aspects he sounds like a normal teenager to me, but it does sound a bit like you two have lost your connection if you get what I mean. I also found that losing my rag and screaming like a banshee didn't help and just alienated them and gives them ammo! I don't think he'll be seen in public with you either grin, but how about a dvd & takeaway/fave meal night to mend some bridges? Ok you'll prob hate the dvd, but get the one he'll love.

washing - if it's not in the laundry bin it doesn't get done!
buy him a mirror and hairdrier tomorrow. It's worth the money to save the hassle.

onceamai Fri 05-Nov-10 09:51:45

Thanks all. I think I will take him out for supper tonight and try to have a calm chat about expectations/support for me and him. Will try to put the emphasis on reaching adult hood and definitely apologise for threatening to send him to the local comp(it's a good school). DH and I made the decision about where he was going when he was 8 so that one really wasn't fair.

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