To require my DS to discuss his plans with me?(22 Posts)
He is 13, has a large social group and to be fair is quite street wise.
We live in a very large village, and I am fine with him being out and about but AIBU to ask that if he leaves the village, he should let me know? there are several other village and a small town that he just takes off to.
On Sunday he was gone for 5 hrs and I had no idea where he was (he cycled off from his Dad's while I got the bus home with DD, and knows he is supposed to remain in the village unless we have talked), and it transpired he had gone to the town.
He has just let slip that as he is off with the strikes tomorrow, he has made arrangements for the whole day but not even had, what I consider to be, the decency to ask if it is OK.
I don't want it to be a heavy deal just kind of 'hey Mum do you mind if I do x or y' so we are communicating....
It is the tip of the ice burg of, I suppose, usual teen behaviour that is driving me potty, lazy, difficult to get to co-operate unless it is in his interests, lots of small thoughtless lies about things that in themselves don't much matter but the lying gets to me, causes a scene about homework, of volcanic proportion, contributes almost nothing to the house but expects all the privilages....
He has a nasty temper and when I deal with things the level of his anger is actually quite sad and frustrating . He smashes things, kicks and punches furniture, is a master of taking the argument onto several levels if I don't keep focussed and calm (if I am tired or not on the ball I do sometimes get drawn into whether I dotted my i's or crossed my t's sort of details)
He is on the other hand very sweet, funny, smart and loving, and due to a tricky past with his Dad, we generally have a close relationship, although I appreciate my post might not make it look like we do.
Things get twisted, so I try to deal with a basic issue, ie what arrangement we have with regards to him going out, and suddenly he raises the fact that his Dad still drinks and he feels let down, and I feel like shit. TBH. He has admitted he provokes his Dad and their relationship is very difficult.
Sorry if this is a rambling rant but I am in pieces. We have worked so hard together and come such a long way, but I need some perspective as I am wobbling about it all.
I am going away this weekend and he hates it, despite the fact that he knows I don't drink he worries, and is possessive about me (he always gets in a state if I have any social plans, which are generally few and far between, although I have been trying to get a bit of life back after nearly two years of mostly being isolated)
I completely understand that he will have things going on as a result of the past, but I still have to be able to 'parent' and I am losing the plot.
Sorry it is ,long and any help on any of that would be appreciated... x
YANBU. It is just common courtesy to let people know what your plans are.
At the weekend I saw a boy trying to cover his mother's legs up with a tea towel. He thought her skirt was too short. It was just on the knee.
you need to address the " He smashes things, kicks and punches furniture" or he will grow into a man who does this to his partner/wife/children.
get help. - GP/CAMHS/parenting teens course locally
It sounds like he provokes his dad because he has no respect for him - re the drinking and the past. How about his dad looks at his own behaviour and spends time with his son having 'boy time'. It's what my DH/DS do.
"Respect has to be earned not demanded." As my mum used to tell my dad all the time.
He might need some support from CAMHS but problem children rarely come with out problem parents.
That's not intended to be a criticism, but look at what you're doing. Can you identify behaviours of yours/your husbands that may be contributing to / exacerbating the situation and then work on those.
As Gandhi said "you must be the change you wish to see in the world"...
YANBU - it sounds like you are over compensating because you feel guilty about things that you have vaguely hinted at in your post (his Dad and his worries about you) but he is taking advantage somewhat. The smashing things and the frightening temper are not good and he should be discussing plans to go out with you. Even as an adult it is common courtesy to let people know where you are and not leave them fretting for 5 hours let alone at aged 13.
It probably isnt going to be easy if he is used to this though to wrestle some degree of control back again but I would agree with the other poster who said that if you don't he is probably going to get worse, less respectful and perhaps more reliant on violent acts to assert himself as he gets older.
itdid Camhs and SS when we had problems, god it is a long long story, but I am concerned that what I am seeing now is unhealthy at times and beyond norm teen behaviour.
I am shattered. I have supported the healing of DS and his Dad's relationship and worked hard with them both. DS is torn between hating him and never wanting to see him and then asking to go for extra time with him and them being very close. He will walk out of his Dad's after a row and they both have a tendency to say whatever vile stuff comes into their heads at the point of anger, and twisting everything you say to suit them. But Ex id an adult and DS is 13, which I am finding scary because he is very much a young person, but approaching an age where indeed his actions will be carried through to other relationships
Itsnearly, you are absolutely spot on, The poor kid went through stuff that doesn't really make it a great surprise that he has difficulties. I am struggling between doing long detailed posts that would make it clear why we are in this place and not 'drip feeding'.
Basically, his Dad, from whom I am separated has a difficult relationship with drink and anger management issues, and possibly an undiagnosed personality disorder.
I suffer from Depression which, hand on heart I have worked through counselling and personal development to control it and rebuild my self esteem and deal with my own past issues and overall, improve the home life for my DC's (I also have DD8).
He is so like his Dad, and it hurts because I do think he needs help but CAMHS and SS wouldn't entertain taking him back on.
School sees a bit of what I get.
He is funny, charming, we have lots of hugs, laugh a lot and tease and banter. He will come and sit with me when I am in bed and just talk.
When we are like that, I can reach him, he recognises how he is and we talk positively about how we can work together to sort it. And I am open to him saying OK but you know Mum, it annoys me when you do X or Y....
And then the next day we might have just as well talked about the weather. He can be beyond cruel to his sister, who has started to retaliate, but it is like a switch is flipped and I can't reach him. Just like his Dad. Funny, intelligent,capable of being so kind and tender, talks and seems to listen and you think 'hey' we might actually be getting somewhere' and bam
I look in their eyes at that point and it is like being with a stranger.
But stick them in a office with any of the specialists we have seen and the charm and general picture is of two people that don't really need help and that I am perhaps fabricating and exaggerating as a result of my depression. And please believe me, I am not.
My own problem right now, which I do have to deal with is that I am fed up of fighting to get any help, from putting socks in the wash basket, to getting the washing up done once in a blue moon, being moaned at every meal that I cook because, 'it's tuesday I don't like mash, I only eat one kind of ham'.. I don't pander to it and they just get what is on the menu... but it is exhausting... the usual pile of plates in his room, turning up later than arranged,... contradicting virtually every decision that I make as a matter of course..
I give him a £1, he wants 2,
I ask him to be in at 8.30 he says 9,
he's hardly got anything because it is all broken, he will smash things on the drive just because, well, he doesn't know, i.e a phone charger belonging to a phone that just needed unlocking, he swung around his head and smashed on the wall, and left the bits all over the place.
I am calm, generally, try not to raise my voice, (DD is frightened of shouting) assertive, don't engage, try to be flexible if he wants to discuss something reasonably, but it builds up and I actually want to shout and rant and say all the things that come into your head because quite frankly I am fed up of being a lone parent and how much bloody hard work it is.
But I am the 'safe' parent that they both admit to needing. And I want time out now.
I want to say, 'hey, I am going to a friends tonight and share it with him without then having to worry if I will have my evening sabotaged by a stream of emotional texts. And being torn into confusion by guilt and worry and just thinking FFS can I not just have a night off? And the other option of having to do it secretly which just is just so crap.
This morning, I found pieces of fruit all over the drive and on asking, initially why, discovered from DD, that DS and his mate had taken a kitchen knife and some fruit and were throwing it in the air and trying to slice it as it fell. Not best impressed but sort of <shrug> but DS was angry at DD, said he knew nothing about it, I said hey, it's not that big a deal, just be honest with me OK, but he was too far gone. He pokes and pokes and with the best will in the world at some point
And it all starts coming out, it is as if he sees himself as my parent, and says that I should be punished when I mess up. as we are trying to get ready for school, as he refused to leave the house and I had got annoyed, I stated that he had to go to school and I wouldn't give him a cheque for a school trip unless we could leave the house so he could catch the bus. I gesticulate with my hands a lot and as we stood by the door, he reached over grabbed my hand and squeezed my fingers.
I shouldn't have said anything about the bloody banana but it was just one of those moments, I never envisaged it escalating.
I have to work, I am sorry for offloading and ranting, and thanks......
We've come a long way but still have a long way to go it seems
Ok, so if I have this straight, you Ds 13 has a tough time with his dad and you have had depression. You DD is being picked on BY DS, and is retailiating. Your at the end of your tether and life has never been so bad, although a lot better than it was.
Professional don´t want to help and you feel like they want to blame you depression and you feel like they are thinking you are seein a different reality!
I was once igve a very good saying by a friend of mine, when I had a lot of doctors tell me that the sky was pink!
"reacting normally to an abnormal situation does not make you mad"
Well, I think 13 (despit the problems) it is time for course and effect.
So you leave the village again without talking to me about it. Your bike goes
Sorry, but it does sound like he is need of some firm boundaries.
At 13 I think you need to know where he is etc.
If he is not old enough to know what acceptable behaviour with knives is then he is not old enough to have them.
What about approaching some one and setting up a mentor, May help him to have a stable male figure in his life to set some examples of acceptable behaviour.
If the school is any good, what about going down there to talk things through and see if they can offer some help.
Can you DD go and stay with realatives, Get DS to fathers or on school trip, and go out, even if it is just one night of not having to worry it will make you feel more in control.
You are the parent and need to take that controll back, fast!
He had a mentor StarryNight, DS kind of 'performs' for others and is pretty well a bright cheery soul who the mentor couldn't see past. He had to be removed from the case as he made inappropriate comments to me.
I agree he needs a stable male figure.... apart from approaching SS again I am not sure where to turn for that. Maybe the school would help, I have a good relationship with his form tutor. He has an older brother who is wonderful, but sadly he lives to far away to be constant in our lives.
I have arranged for DD to go to her Dad's tonight so I can sit down and talk to DS without having to worry about having to protect her. As a parent to DD, I feel 'normal' and in control, but with DS it is like tossing a coin, some days he might co-operate but others he'd stop breathing just because he didn't like having to do it
Part of me knows which bits are abnormal... and in my gut I look at DS and recognise bits that are parr for the course and the bits that set alarm bells ringing.
He has been assessed and we were told, he is low spectrum Aspergers maybe, ADHD, ODD, but whatever the cocktail is, it makes life a wee bit more challenging than it needs to be. But with no support!
This could all be just because I am going out this weekend and he is kicking out.
Will see how talking to him pans out...
re: not eating what you give him, how about sitting down and planning the week's menu with your DC so they get some say in it?
You could also explain to him that discussing plans is a safety issue, not you keeping tabs on him or controlling him.
Sorry I can't be more help with what sounds like a really tough situation.
YANBA in this house we all let each other know what our plans are. Teenagers and adults alike.
The infuriating thing with meals RedEx is that the menu is entirely based on what they like, but on a whim particularly DS will announce he doesn't eat, Mashed potatoes for instance
But maybe sitting down and saying OK, plan a meal based on what they will eat that week will make him/them think about how difficult it is...
Punching walls, breaking stuff, squeezing your fingers (I assume you mean this was done in a painful way) - it's all intended to intimidate you. And, frankly, it's working - you have already started to think that maybe you shouldn't have told him off for leaving bits of fruit all over (and why the fuck shouldn't he get told off for that? It's disgusting.).
If it was a partner doing this stuff, everyone would be shouting that it was domestic violence. Please think about this. Don't allow his youth or potential SN to excuse this behaviour. He needs to learn to do better (for his own sake, as well as everyone else's).
You are completely right Zombie, he is in that man/child phase that is just so frightening, not from the point of view of being frightened of him but what the hell am I going to do over the next few years to undo the damage?
And it is learned. It is as a result of elements of his past.
He knows. We talked tonight and he was so sad and sorry, frightened of alienating the person he trusts, frightened of not being able to change and growing up like it, aware that how he treats his sister can be unacceptable. Realises there is a defining line between what makes me the parent and him the 'child' and that I am actually just being a Mum by saying such and such must be done.
He recognises that his own behaviour reflects his Dad's sometimes, and cries and cries.
What is done is done and I have to try to untangle it, because he has huge potential, and I know, with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach what it can grow into without the guidance and support to manage his anger.
He has come a long way, two years ago these outbursts were daily, several times a day. Now generally they can be months apart, so maybe in another two years we will see the backside of them. For his sake and as a few people have said, so he doesn't carry it into his adult life and some poor woman is posting on MN about my own son .
Maybe at least his want to change, even if whilst angry he still hasn't acquired all the tools to control himself, is enough for me to keep getting him on track. I will look into support either directly for him or for him through me and a support worker (at the moment he refuses to talk to an outside source).
I wish it was some kind of depressive skewed view of my life rather than the reality of seeing 'red flags' in my own son.
It's better but exhausting, and my depression actually isn't an issue really right now. I am in the best place I have been for a long time.
The punching walls, breaking things, temper, manipulation, controlling, punishing...sorry, but as I see it those add up to domestic abuse. If you don't get support to regain control I agree with those who say that behaviour will only get worse later.
I do hope he wants to change and things can get better for you both.
Hey, don't get so stressed. My DS at 13 could be quite a handful. He used to get really cross about things and slam doors. Three years down the line, he has matured and has learned anger management. He still has his moments but you can see him keeping the anger in check. Meanwhile he has learnt what a hoover is and can cook meals for the whole family.
Your DS is not your ex. Please don't set him up to be a failure, to repeat his dad's mistakes. He is his own person.
You said in your OP that he won't like you going away for the weekend. Ask him to explain his feelings. Then tell him that they are the exact same feelings you get when he wanders off for 5 hours without explanation. Try to get a bit of understanding and empathy going. My philosophy is that you have to teach teenagers how to think because they are very short-sighted beasts.
Mitzy - I have read this with my jaw open as you seem to be my SIL. She seems to have exactly your position, except for the DH drinking problem, and the elder absent brother. Her DS is a cunning lad - all charms and headboy material at school and an evil vicious little sod at home when it suits. I have witnessed behaviour that you describe and do wonder whether the parents realise how "off" it is. They act as if everything is ok, but quite obviously it is not. You at least do realise that it is not ok and are trying to resolve it. In the case of my SIL & brother, I think their recent split has caused them all problems and each is afraid of being strong with the boy in case they don't get support off the other, and access issues arise.
It is all a bit awful and will not get better without the parents having a frank discussion and sticking together with a common approach. If they don't, my nephew will think all of this is ok and that it is fine to act in this Jekyll & Hyde manner. Very sad.
Hope you sort it out, for his sake as well as yours and DD.
Billy , Ex left because of his inability to cope with DS to a certain extent, having wanted to put him into care, giving me the ultimatum that it was DS or him. Ex leaving was the trigger for the improvement over the last 2 years. Sad but true.
Senua..... we do talk, a lot. Most of what we have achieved has been by waiting till things are calm, getting some me and him time and giving him a chance to explain. My posts might not express it as I posted in frustration but our lines of communication on one hand are good, But sometimes, in my head, I want to throw the towel in because I am tired. I won't but my emotional well is pretty low at times.
It is DS who sees the reflection of himself his Dad, of course he is not his Dad, and I get what you are saying, but there is a history of the abused becoming abusers and however much I wish it not to be the case, what I see sometimes gives me cause for concern and it feels that I would be actually doing him a disservice not to at least listen to the warning bells. Because if I don't now, then in 5, 10 yrs time, the damage will be harder to undo.
But I tell him I believe in him, champion all his achievements and work on his self esteem....................
DS had been like how I described for 3 years by the time his Dad left. I had fought for help and only got it on a deeply sad occasion when I called the police .
The list of damage to this house (which is rented) which has been done, and continues to be done when things don't go his way, is quite frankly alarming. And having the TV remote hurled across the room and smashed because I remind him to do his homework (at a time that he chose, as we negotiate these things) is the kind of thing that on an off day is 'normal' and wearing, and not what I want my DD to have to endure either.
Did your DS have help with anger management Senua?
When DS hits that point of anger, I can not 'reach' him and he seems just determined to destroy, verbally and physically until it is spent.
If I shut up, he snarls at me, if I try to suggest some of the cooling techniques we were advised to use, he sneers and mocks me, if DD breathes or speaks he launches at her, if I am firm and assertive he shouts, if I try to see if there is a an underlying issue he will growl and grunt, whilst a torrent of abuse comes my way.Interspersed with 'your supposed to help me, why aren't you helping me?
And my DD is frightened of him and just wants to be with me when he is angry but despite a clear rule that he leaves DD out of it, the things he says to her are hard to expect her to sit and wait for him to not be angry any more...........
Hi Mittzy. The only help that DS had was from within the family. He tended to storm off to his bedroom and have a strop in there so we left him to it - no point trying to get communication going when he was in such a foul mood. We had the chat when
we he had calmed down.
<cliche alert> Does your DS have any role models apart from ex? DS is into a very physical sport and having that outlet helps a great deal. The boys can legitimately vent their teenage frustrations by battering each other, and the leaders are good role models. Apart from anything else, by their just being there they demonstrate to the lads that, no matter how big and tough you are, there is always someone bigger and tougher than you. Conclusion: physicality is not the answer, it is better to use your brain.
I'm not sure what to say about your DD. It is not right for her to have to be the brunt of all this. All I can suggest is that you repeatedly say to her that his behaviour is not acceptable and you are working on it. And 'this too shall pass'.
I tried to get him to join a Martial Arts Gym (and ended up doing so myself! ) but he simple won't commit to anything... He gets to about 3/4 weeks and just drops out.
He has limited male role models apart from teachers, my Dad sadly is not a good role model although DS loves him to pieces, he is deeply misogynistic and to my Mum and I Emotionally Abusive and when I lived at home controlling. I monitor their contact as when Dad is in a bad place he says things that just aren't what a 13 yr old needs to hear.
It is sad really, he has genuine reason not to trust my male neighbours,
His Paternal Uncle is an appalling man, sadly caused by Schizophrenia, but not again someone I want him to have masses of contact with.
My own Brother........ I can't really say but again, not someone we have lots of contact with for a very good reason.
There are two or three people I know he admires and thinks very highly of and to be fair, they are good choices
But his brother lives too far away, one of the men he has a kind of hero worship for but this guy isn't someone I actually know properly. A couple of teachers, and a friend of mine..... (perhaps not his best choice^ there!)
I have a couple of ideas. He likes wood work and I am looking for a course but keep drawing blanks, there is the WoodCraft folk but they don't seem to be in this area. I tried to get his Dad to do projects with him as he is quite good with wood but he won't, I had also thought it might be a chance for them to 'bond'.
In a few weeks if I can afford it I want to see if he will come to the gym for some sessions with me.. he does like rough housing.
DD, it is sad, she adores him when he is kind, but as she gets older the impact of his words and actions is changing.
I wish he would storm of for time on his own in a way but he seems to have this need to dump it all on someone.
It had better pass or I'll be the odd one rocking in a corner humming the teletubbies theme tune at weddings!
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