DS 16 wants to move to XH as easier option - am furious!(100 Posts)
I’m so mad but what can I do?
I feel like I’ve grafted and put so much into parenting, and yet what’s the point? I fear DS is throwing away his Exams, his future at Uni, and our good relationship because his Dad has basically told him that it’s okay, he doesn’t have to pass exams as he can come and work for him and live there. DS is bright, but struggles. He just doesn’t like studying, like a lot of kids, but he has potential, all his teachers agree, if he just knuckles down a bit more.
I also feel rejected.
XH lives 300 miles away, and has never been a ‘parent’, more like my sons ‘best mate’ and gives him everything and me nothing. Minimal, missed maintenances, absolutely no parenting, and so nasty and critical of me that I eventually had to go NC. XH works when he feels like it, as he got an inheritance from his Mum, and lives in a house paid for by his girlfriends wealthy parents. So he’s been telling DS that money doesn’t matter, that only do work he loves, that exams are rubbish. He’s also been guilt tripping DS by saying that I’ve had him for his life and he misses him and wants to spend time with him etc.
I’ve been telling DS he’s got to study and his head is just now filled with crap fro his Dad. He will say ‘I just want to go and play PS4’, and every time I talk about what he wants to do, he just rubbishes any job and says ‘it’s got to one he really loves’. He’s moaned to his Dad, and they’ve made a plan for him to go live there!
We broke up when our son was 1 years old. I’ve parented him single handed, with little help, all his life. I am concerned that DS is going to end up like his Dad!
Help! What do I do?!
@chocolateychocolate wow how are you with that? I do also feel that this will be it, DS will not come back. I think he’s quite serious. Is your DS okay? 16 is such a critical time, I worry. Did it affect your relationship?
DS also has a younger brother, who will be devastated.
So how is it going to work next year, when DS is living with him after GCSEs, if he goes off travelling and to festivals? Will DS be left at home alone?
Don't stress too much about exams though OP. Your son can always resit, or take them when he is older (and wiser). The shiny novelty of living with his dad will wear off very fast, and your son will be wanting to come home to his comfort.
My eldest went to live with his (non contact, non paying) father when he was 17. He was there for about six weeks before his father became violent and threw him out. Parenting is tough, even if you take a hands-off, do-as-you-want approach, it's still having an adolescent extra person hanging round the house. Absentee dads can very rarely cope!
Unfortunately, I think you can't stop him although it doesn't sound like his Dad will actually want the reality of dealing with/looking after a 16 year old? And your DS may also change his mind in a year's time.
I'd point out to DS that what his Dad is saying makes no sense. The best way to achieve his "fantastic job" is by doing well in his exams. What if he chooses his dream career but can't do it because he didn't bother in his exams and then has to do a load of retakes etc? If his amazing career choice doesn't require any specific exam results then nothing is lost. His Dad is actually narrowing his choices, you are wanting to open them by encouraging him to do well at school.
@chocolatey that sounds very tough. So sorry.
If he’s not doing his GCSE’s until next year and doesn’t plan to move to his dads till then I wouldn’t worry too much, a lot can change between now and then. What are his predicted grades? What does his dad do for work that’s so appealing to him?
Maybe talk to his dad and see if he will agree to keep his mouth shut about the moving in thing until ds has actually done his GCSE’s, he should be encouraging him to work towards his exams whilst reassuring him that it’s not the end of the world as long as he tries his best. After he has sat his exams he can decide what he wants to do next but remind him that he does have to stay in education until 18 and can’t just “go to work with his dad” unless doing he’s an apprentice.
Kangaroo, it was horrible to tell the truth. My ex even had the gall to send his new wife down to collect my ds. I was crying my eyes out and she was smirking. It felt like I was grieving for the first year.
BUT it hasn't happened for you yet; things could still change...
@zaphod oh yes XH will leave DS at home or send him back to me I imagine. Or take him to the festivals and expose him to early drug taking. His GF won’t like it, who is 19 years younger (not bitter... honestly... )
Ah yes son can go at Dads convienence- I feel for you - but yes let him go after he’s done his gcse exams - then he has options later if it goes pear shape.
You ex sounds like the type that will leave him home alone whilst he goes on his jollies. He may also have said it thinking son wouldn’t want to go and what does will his girlfriend think. It won’t all be roses there!!!
Can you surreptitiously get the gf on your side...? Be super positive about it. Say 'Oh it'll be so nice for all of you to spend the summers travelling and living together', 'I bet you and ds have so much in common you'll be best friends in no time'
Maybe he needs to spend more time with his dad to appreciate what a good parent is and what a lazy arse his dad is. He will spot the difference, you know.
This in spades. He will learn.
Unfortunately XH has been telling DS for months that he can just come to his after his exams, if he doesn’t do well, which has directly corresponded with DS giving up studying. He’s given up. He sees his way out as his Dads. He did 5 hours total revision for all his pre exams, for all of last year. And yet him and his Dad agree he ‘really tried’. His grades have plummeted. He will have no options.
So this next year he’s going to fail. His attitude has totally changed.
If he’s 16 how come he hasn’t his GCSEs already?
I don't think there is anything you can do the than give your opinion but don't stand in his way as he will only fight against you. Your son needs to learn the hard way.
Unfortunately no contact with XH and GF too (she stopped XH travelling to see DS as she didn’t like him seeing me). Urgh it’s all so depressing!
May have slightly fudged age to avoid being spotted, GF on mumsnet. Also DS will be 16 when he moves. Apologies just in a bit of a head wreck.
Won't he miss his friends if he moves so far away?
Try telling him can go but he'll have to attend the local sixth form or college as its the law to stay in education till the age of 18, if his dad doesn't make him go he'll be massively fined or sent to court, his dad will probably hate the responsibility
At 16 doesn’t he either have to be in full time education or have an apprenticeship?
Hang on, when you say you’ve organised extra help for him over the summer, do you mean tutoring and stuff? If so, maybe your son has a point.
The fact that you seem to see GCSEs as make or break makes me wonder about this too.
Could he have a point?
I would let him go for the whole summer. A court would take his wishes into account anyway.
Op, I would come to a compromise with ds, if he gets the best grades possible for his GCSEs and then he can go and live with his father if he still wants to (otherwise he will need to resit them at his current school) keep all of his a level options open to him, and ask his most favourite teachers to talk to him, encourage him as much as possible.
I would then physically go through all of the jobs you can do with rubbish GCSEs and organise some work experience as an office cleaner, refuse collector, check out assistant etc. I find teenagers don’t listen very much, but experiencing it for themselves will have a bigger impact.
Drive around the bedsits, and the homeless and point out that one day neither you or his father will be around to help him. At some point the buck will stop with him, and he will need to be financially secure.
What does he hope to do? Ignite some real discussion into whatever it is. Keep talking. What car does he imagine owning one day etc.
I would drop all talk of him moving to xh, and keep bringing the focus back to his dreams/aspirations and future.
I would be thanking GF profusely next time you speak to her for agreeing for ds to move in permanently with her, and the costs involved. I would say how fun you think it will be all three of them to go away and go to festivals etc, and that you hope she is ready for the sheer volume of cooking, cleaning, food, laundry and stinky teenage fumes that will come with him. I am sure her dp will do most of it ( not! )
Tell her you are looking forward to a holiday in the Caribbean, dinner with friends and a complete break, not having to collect ds at all times of the day and night, and let HER sort this out with xh.
She will run a mile if she has any sense.
You say he doesn’t have to pass exams as he can come and work for him and live there. So what is the job/career he is proposing for DS? Maybe he has a company that makes a considerable amount without many hours? I’m guessing that is a ‘no’ from all your comments but I’m still asking what the work is? and it presumably involves some further study as he is under 18?
I would say that the more you resist his idea of moving to his dad, the more entrenched he will get in doing it.
Tell him that it is ok, arrange a trial run over the summer and let him go. I’m sure that if his dad is as bad as you say, he will be back in no time.
But in the meantime, just remember that at 16 he is fighting for his independence and having a mum that is even controlling his studies at this age might be incredibly frustrating for him. DS doesn’t have “potential”, he is a bloody genius but I’m sure he would stop caring about school and his grades if he got so much pressure from me. I know that because that’s exactly what I did when my mother started to take decisions about what my life was going to be. At that time my life focus moved from studying to how do I get the hell out of her house, ASAP.
Interestingly, if she had not got so entrenched about me studying what she wanted where she wanted, I would have done exactly what she wanted out of my own decision. Instead, I stopped studying, got bad grades and ended up doing something completely different just to piss her off and show her she was not going to dictate what my life would be.
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