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(24 Posts)
xxDebstarxx Tue 27-Sep-11 08:21:59

My 14 year old son has asked if he can go and stay with his dad. I feel like I've failed him. After a tear filled conversation last night and no sleep I really don't know what to do or think. I'm numb. We have had a lot of problems lately - school refusal/phobia being the main one.

Anyhow just needed to get it out.

nametapes Tue 27-Sep-11 10:12:46

You have not failed. You have done your utmost best in a single parent situation. I can totally relate to your plight. I have 2 grown up kids and an 11 yr old who ofen says he wants to be at his Dads. At the moment his dad is in New Zealand for 8 weeks, which i think is bloody rotten for DS.
Does your DS want to live with dad or just go and stay for a little while. ?
Perhaps Ds will see that being at dads for several weeks isnt all wonderful and that you are not so bad a parent afterall.
Support your DS with his school attendence (as I am sure you do) , even if he is being difficult and resisting all your help emotionally , he needs to feel you are there for him. When things are calm , and DS is in a good mood, quietly tell him how much you care about him, and you want him to be happy. Tell him you are proud of him and that you are there for him, if ever he needs to chat. Teenagers push us away, and make us feel like shite. But just keep plugging at it to give him the boundaries and security that he so needs.
Boys seem to need their dads around them more as they grow up. It is no reflection on you. Infact boys always love their mums (unless the mother has been particularly abusive and not there for their sons)
My oldest boy is 23 yrs and always now asking how i am etc. He was a very grumpy unfriendly rude teenager.
Try to see that teenagers will test any boundaries possible, and try to respect the fact that 14 yr olds are at an age when they can make some decisions. The more you put your foot down the more they will fight it. So stay cool, dont get into arguments, keep it 'zipped', be tactful and remember
You are the adult , and they are the child. Maturity is wisdom!
good luck.
I hope your son stays with you, but can also (for his sake) see his dad regularly. You will be glad he leans on his dad, especially when they demand money, lifts, and are a pain in the neck.. Let dad take the strain.!!

xxDebstarxx Tue 27-Sep-11 16:18:13

At the moment he wants to go to stay with his dad for a couple of weeks. I have rung his dad who says if he can get money for petrol he will come on the weekend.

I just feel numb and then comes in waves. He knows I love him and will do anything to make him happy, I just wish he would show me the same respect.

I have tried my best.

hairylights Tue 27-Sep-11 18:31:07

I see that you are feeling very emotional.

Is it a rejection issue? Does it follow a row?

What is it that's actually wrong with him wanting to stay with his other parent?

nametapes Tue 27-Sep-11 20:21:51

As hurtful as it it, you may just hav to let DS stay with his dad . Your Ds will see that life with dads place isnt all sunny/rosey and wonderful. If he does go try to make the most of the time whilst DS is aaway and indulge yourself, and do things that you cant normally do with Ds around. go to the cinema, shopping, night out etc. , or trip away to see friends etc. You deserve a break so make the best of it and treat yourself.
Thats what i do when my Ds goes to his dads (dont like him going but he loves to go) I treat myself and get out and about.
I imagine if your not used to Ds going to hid dads it really is a big thing and is upsetting, especially if the Ex has been a total shit to tou , like my Ex was,.. . .

galleywench100 Tue 27-Sep-11 21:43:57

I totally feel for you. My son is 5 and I'm sure one day in the future that will be said to me. I think it is inevitable, they generally have better time with the other parent who only has them for short periods. Mums just do the routine every day stuff where as dad can give absolute attention for that short time and they are then gods gift.

zookeeper Wed 28-Sep-11 11:18:30

I have two ds aged 10 and 8 and sometimes they say this to me and it cuts like a knife. I'm sure when they get older they will say it too and I've no idea what I'd do when they're big enough to walk out of the door whether I like it or not.

so no advice but sympathy and a hug - I think it's inevitable . my hope would be that they discover life at their dad's is not perfect either.

xxDebstarxx Wed 28-Sep-11 15:41:19

Hairylights....nothing is wrong with him wanting to stay with his dad. It is a relationship that I have tried to encourage but his dad just doesn't seem interested. The upset is because my son doesn't want to be with me. Everything I do is for him and his brother and it makes me feel redundant. I know that says more about me than him but his happiness comes first so I need to get used to this feeling. I just hope he comes home.

Teenagers are a breed of their own. They are selfish and unthinking. I love my sons with all my heart but I do not like some of their behaviour.

Thanks for the kind words everyone I really appreciate it.

balia Wed 28-Sep-11 15:49:05

Ok, I feel your pain and have every sympathy...

But (donning my flame-proof outfit) is it fair/healthy to make your sons the sole focus of your life? Would you feel better if you made some moves to have some interests/activities in your life so you don't feel redundant? after all, they'd only realistically be at home for a few more years anyway. Boys need to be around men when they are growing up - just because he wants to try that doesn't mean he is being selfish or unthinking.

rubin Wed 28-Sep-11 17:02:15

Feeling for you Debstar - must be very difficult. I would feel exactly the same if my DSs annouced the same. I hope everything works out ok for you.

Balia re your statement 'Boys need to be around men when they are growing up' - where does that come from?? I object to the idea that just because my two boys live with me & only see their father roughly once in three weeks will jeopardise their development ... I do the best I can to ensure my boys get a balanced life & unfortunately can't rely on their father to give them the 'male' side of things - whatever that is.

balia Wed 28-Sep-11 17:58:17

Rubin, it isn't meant to be a criticism and I'm sure the OP doesn't need a thread hijack over whether teenage boys need male role models. If you feel strongly that they don't. perhaps you could start a thread about it? All I was trying to say to the OP was that her DS's desire to spend more time/live with his Dad is not necessarily a rejection of her, but a natural part of her son growing up and feeling a need to learn how to be a man from his Dad.

xxDebstarxx Wed 28-Sep-11 19:42:56

Balia I totally agree with you but it doesn't make it hurt any less unfortunately. I have always been aware that my sons do not have a male role model and know that they need that especially now.

I'm not trying to make them the sole focus of my life but it has turned out like that. Most parents experience empty nest syndrome when their children leave home for university and I was preparing for that but's just too soon.

Thanks Rubin I hope it works out too.

mamas12 Wed 28-Sep-11 20:19:47

Debs I really feel the hurt and rejection It's just not fair is it.
Right so if you focus on practicalities then perhaps he could see that it is a no go at this particular time but maybe half term or something.
School, you say he might not have enough petrol to even come and get him (hmm) so how is he getting to school, I hope he doesn't think that he has a let off because of transport dificulties.
Packing, he has to know what he needs.
Phoning you and seeing you during his time away.

It's horrible when teen boys do this I don't care if we as mothers do the right thing and don't show how we are feeling, but it is bloody painful.
Why shouldn't we let them know?

hairylights Thu 29-Sep-11 10:04:10

Your posts sound like he's asked to live with your ex, not go to stay? Is that the case?

Have you looked into any books on parents and teens? I found reading up on how teenagers brains work (ie they become very self-focussed, which can seem like selfishness but it's actually to do with brain chemistry and hormones) invaluable with my dsd.

xxDebstarxx Thu 29-Sep-11 16:00:57

He wants to go there and doesn't want to be with me. I have compromised and said he can go for two weeks and then we can discuss it further when he comes home. My ex lives in Hull and I live in South West Wales so it is not a case of him just going to another part of the same town or county it's the other side of the UK.

Hairylights do you have any titles or authors of the books you have read?

hairylights Thu 29-Sep-11 18:17:16

I'll look them up for you.

Didn't realise it was so far away and that he's asking to live there.

youllbewaiting Fri 30-Sep-11 06:52:04

I don't really see how you can stop a 14-year-old.

Will his dad ask for the child-benefit and maintenance?

xxDebstarxx Sat 01-Oct-11 09:51:27

youllbewaiting I would never stop my son going to his dad''s his decision but it doesn't stop me being upset about it, his dad will ask for the money because he has always asked me for money on the rare occasions the children stayed with him.

xxDebstarxx Sat 01-Oct-11 09:51:50

thanks hairylights

mamas12 Sat 01-Oct-11 09:52:48

does he have problems at school or something? Is there anything else going on that he wants to just get away from? Because I don't really think he realises what it means to just move away from everything.
Try and find out if school and friends are all ok.
I would try and fight it to be honest at that age it could be a mistake.

Ask his father to visit more often, skype phone etc. and say that if he still feels the same in six months then you'll discuss it again.
You can't be rushed into this.

snailoon Sat 01-Oct-11 09:55:42

What about school?
Is he going to Dad to escape from a bad situation in school/ with friends?

snailoon Sat 01-Oct-11 09:57:15

Sorry mamas12 wrote the same a I did but it hadn't shown up yet.

balia Sat 01-Oct-11 10:05:40

Does he think his Dad won't make him go to school? Or is it likely that he wants a new start in a different school? Thinking about Mamas12's point about not being rushed - what about GCSE's? You have to consider the impact of him still wanting to go in 6 months and all the disruption that would cause.

So - is this a decision he has reached gradually, sensibly - is he likely to stick with it? Or is he playing you off against one another to distract from the school issue?

hairylights Sat 01-Oct-11 10:12:53

Hi. One of the books is "parents teenagers and boundaries". The other I will have to ferrets around to find but when I do I'll post the title here.

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