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To be annoyed at DSS (again)

(104 Posts)
Slowforthewin Sat 22-Feb-20 03:47:44

Our weekend with DSS. He normally gets dropped to us Friday night as makes sense with the traffic.
DH gets a txt, he doesn't want to come. Exhausted, big week at school etc but he'd get dropped down sat morning. Fine. DH also shattered, had just landed so didn't have the energy to argue.
We get out of the gym, to a txt. DSS really doesn't want to come and I don't have the energy to force him, balls in your court.
DH had already booked and payed for sports tickets for him and DSS. Spent the next 1-2 hours on the phone with DSS trying to get him to explain every possible reason why he won't come.
It's not comfortable. He has his own space, sofa, in his room. Very relaxed household.
I've made plans to play online with a mate. He has everything he needs to play online + private space to do so.
I have assignments to do. He'll have space/time to do these.
Sport is boring. He is sport obsessed.
We are too busy, he doesn't get down time. He gets nothing but down time here.
I'm just so sad for DH. He is such a good dad. But he constantly has to fight to see him. DSS's mum basically says it's his call so if DH forces him to come he looks like the bad guy.
I'm just sick of him picking and choosing the bits he wants from DH and when it doesn't suit him, he just drops DH. AIBU or is this normal for a 12 yr old?

Wonderland18 Sat 22-Feb-20 03:53:44

I think it’s pretty normal for a 12 year old. DSS is exactly the same age and acts the same way.

I also remember both my older brothers starting to refuse to go to my dads at weekends around that age

Abracad Sat 22-Feb-20 03:59:35

As a parent, step or otherwise, part of the deal is to act like an adult while remembering that they are children - whether irascible toddlers, or hormonal teenagers. It is not unreasonable for your DSS to find the situation hard to deal with and to express that, however unreasonable the expression might feel to you. As a general point, your DH should not give up and should continue to make a consistent and loving space in your lives, and should continue to tell him he loves his son and wants to see him as much as possible. In the end, that will be what counts. And with this specific refusal, or this period anyway, perhaps to explore what the issue is and make changes to make it feel better for him. Perhaps he wants to sleep at home but go for dinner with his Dad? Or not that, but some other modification. But he must be the adult and he must keep working at it. To do anything other than that is to irrevocably damage their relationship.

Sobeyondthehills Sat 22-Feb-20 04:35:55

I am dreading this when DSS gets to this stage, but I think its very normal not to want to hang out with your parents at the weekend, particularly for kids in two households, they are going to want to be at the home where all their friends are and its a shorter walk to the fridge.

UnexpectedItemInTheShaggingAre Sat 22-Feb-20 04:36:14

As a general point, your DH should not give up and should continue to make a consistent and loving space in your lives, and should continue to tell him he loves his son and wants to see him as much as possible. In the end, that will be what counts.

This x1000

BillHadersNewWife Sat 22-Feb-20 04:55:51

It's completely normal at his age...what's NOT ok is for your DH to spend 2 hours on the phone pressurising him!

HoppingPavlova Sat 22-Feb-20 05:08:49

Very normal. At 12yo they are realising they are not a pi session that is an extension of their parents but a person in their own right. Their friendships become more important to them than their parents, whether their parents both live together in the same household or separately.

Most kids start and rebel against any time share custody arrangements around this age. They want to start and live their own life and see their parents when it fits in with them - hence a part of the whole explosive teenage situation. In my experience with friends kids in this situation the preference from around that age on was to remain in one household on a permanent basis and then go to the other household when it suited them (the world revolves around them at this age supposedlygrin), generally that would be for a week in the school holidays if their friends were going on hols and their sports were taking a break etc. Also, going away for a holiday with the other parent and family. Basically anything that benefits them personally, not much thought for others. It’s all developmentally normal and teens are annoying for this reason whether they live with you full time or as part of a split situation.

BillHadersNewWife Sat 22-Feb-20 05:21:46

And what's more...the children of a divorce are not living a life with two parents so "choosing the bits he likes' will always be an option as they grow.

It's one of the downsides of splitting up...but it's not a terrible thing...it's just how it goes and as DSS matures, he may find more reasons to see your DH.

If DSS Mum won't force him (why would any Mother force a 12 year old) then it's highly unlikely your DH could force him anyway.

TheGirlWithAPrince Sat 22-Feb-20 05:41:06

Okay you have to think of it like this..

When does your dss get time for himself? I'm the week he goes to school, goes home, has dinner and does homework or plays a little maybe bath and then it's bed.

Weekends are children's own time, but yet they now get dragged to another parents house, they don't get to spend it with there friends, they don't get to enjoy time to themselves.. Its all about spending time with the other parent.

It's got to be hard and I think you just have to come up with solutions, I would actually talk to him about what he wants, at 12 he should have a say and just say that at the end of the day he has to see his dad but that it doesn't have to mean every weekend is taken from him

Thinkingaboutsummer2020 Sat 22-Feb-20 05:45:35

YABU and your his Dad shouldn’t be going him the Spanish Inquisition, how many weekends has he actually missed?

KahlanRahl Sat 22-Feb-20 05:54:05

It's his RIGHT to see his dad, not his obligation. It's also pretty normal at 12 to want to decide your own free time once in a while. It sounds like you are pressuring him which is very, very wrong. He can decide for himsrlf if he wants to see his dad or not.

Slowforthewin Sat 22-Feb-20 05:59:14

So DH should just accept it then? It's been on and off like this for 18 months. So pretty draining.

LorenzoStDubois Sat 22-Feb-20 06:00:04

Leave him to it.
Don't pander to his moodies.
Enjoy your week without his petulant arsey lordship.

Oakmaiden Sat 22-Feb-20 06:05:36

Pretty much, yeah. You could try to force him, but if you succeed it is likely to make a fairly negative atmosphere, so what is the point?

Sucks for your dh, I know, but it is what it is.

If it helps, it is pretty normal, I think, for an early teen to have very little interest in spending time with their parents.

Sobeyondthehills Sat 22-Feb-20 06:07:16

So DH should just accept it then? It's been on and off like this for 18 months. So pretty draining

Basically yes, but the one thing I missed was the buying of tickets.

If they have arranged to do something together, that has been planned in advanced,with both of their consent, I would certainly be either saying we do it and if not, I will not be doing it again.

Marriedwithchildren5 Sat 22-Feb-20 06:11:49

I'd be hacked off to if any of my children refused to come along to a paid for outside activity and instead chose online gaming. People need to push their kids more! I'm glad your dh tried and didnt give up straight away like most on this thread would have done. Downtime?? I imagine he doesn't miss out on that in life!

thefemalelemur Sat 22-Feb-20 06:16:12

I can see why this is annoying but think you need to accept at this age that he will come when he wants to. Don't make any plans for his weekend (especially any that cost money) and if he doesn't show up you'll have a last minute weekend free to do as you please. The most important thing is that he's in regular contact which is easy enough these days.

oliviastephen02 Sat 22-Feb-20 06:17:57

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

10FrozenFingers Sat 22-Feb-20 06:18:19

Leave him to it. Don't make expensive plans.

Get on with your life together but welcome DSS when he wants to visit.

feliciabirthgiver Sat 22-Feb-20 06:18:21

Honestly it is not him messing you around it is just the natural evolution of their relationship and you need to adapt. The regular weekend contact works really well until they hit about 11 and then it can evolves into something more fluid. As PP have said moving to one night or just go for dinner or a trip to the cinema sounds like a better way of keeping contact. I know it's hard for your DH but this really is very normal and I have been through it myself with my own DD and her dad. Help your DH to adjust and don't make DSS feel bad, he is perfectly entitled to feel the way he does and your DH should feel really proud that their relationship is strong enough for DSS to be honest about his feelings.

BorneoBabe Sat 22-Feb-20 06:21:22

Spent the next 1-2 hours on the phone with DSS trying to get him to explain every possible reason why he won't come.

YABU to think this is normal.

Bringringbring Sat 22-Feb-20 06:36:21

His parents divorced. Means that he grows up with two houses and impacts on his weekends. Through no fault / action of his own - his life is split. Consequently - he has every right to assert his preferences for how he lives the split life.

My ex and I agreed from the outset that we would suck up any weekend inconveniences and changes in order for the children to have weekends they would have enjoyed had our family not split.

In practise this means - if they get invited to a birthday party but on a weekend that they were meant to be with their dad - then they go to the party and be collects (or I drop) to him later in day or even the following day. If they have a sporting fixture on my weekend but they want my ex (passionate about sport) to take them and watch, then I ask my ex and if he’s free - I give up my morning with them and my ex gets this extra time with them.

It means that both ex and I sometimes miss out. Much much much more importantly though - it means our children... do not.

Bringringbring Sat 22-Feb-20 06:39:10

And you to start this thread, annoyed that your 12 year old DSS is “messing” your DH about. For the poor boy to have to endure a 2 hour telephone conversation applying pressure on him to come over - really does speak volumes about why the boy would prefer to chill at this primary home with his mother.

SchadenfreudePersonified Sat 22-Feb-20 07:07:02

It's completely normal at his age...what's NOT ok is for your DH to spend 2 hours on the phone pressurising him!

This ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Don't make plans that involve a lot of expensive outlay.

Accept that he is a teenager and therefore an arsehole almost be definition.

Let him know that your DH is there for him always.

That's all you can do.

Ilovebolly Sat 22-Feb-20 07:11:01

I’m reading with interest as I’m on the opposite side of this scenario. My ds is almost 10 and hates going to his dad’s hose every second weekend. It’s getting harder and harder to get him to go and unfortunately xh expects me to be the one to get ds to go, much to ds distress.
Added to this that there is almost no contact between them the rest of the time it’s getting to be an impossible situation.

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