Am I asking too much?(10 Posts)
I have 3 boys 1 girl. We moved a year ago from my ex who was abusive. We have to move again due to ex knowing where we live. In the past when we have moved house I've done it all. I had to!! But my 12 year old son (eldest) thinks it's ok to still let me do it all an he does nothing (like his dad) I'm asking for him to do his own room and his kicked off about it. Am I asking too much? I don't know what is acceptable for a 12 year old to do. I'm trying my hardest to teach him the right way but his acting like a spoilt brat about it all. I'm no longer superwoman, I'm tired!!
I think he is quite young to do his whole room alone, I'd go with getting all the kids to help sort and pack the toys nad own clothes and then maybe sell him the idea that he does the computer / games alone as that way he can get them out quickly when you arrive.
Maybe similar his own school box (all his books and essentials) and his own basic bedroom essentials box (music/phone charger what ever 12yr olds need day to day).
No it's not too much to ask him to keep his room tidy. He is in secondary school. He will be used to following instructions and requests while there so it's not unreasonable to expect him to keep on top of his room if you ask.
Going off what you have said it sounds like he might be copying his dad's behaviour and probably carrying some anger around too.
You need to talk to him about his role in the house and with his sisters and what's expected of you all. If he still refuses to pull his weight or do his chores then things need to start being taken away but allways talk and talk because It sounds like you all have been through a lot - BUT you still need to maintain a level of 'normal' and it's normal for kids to keep their room tidy - when asked.
You want him to pack up all his things? Of course he does t want to and therefore won't. Sadly you will have to do it all.
Don't compare him to his dad. He's just a child who doesn't want to do something.
Oh I think I've read the op wrong.
Do you want him to pack all his belongings up to move?
If so - I think you may need to help, he may need support op
It must be upsetting for them having to uproot all the time. Is there nothing that can be done that keeps your ex away and means you can stay where you are. And I think it's too much asking him to pack up his room
He's probably got very mixed emotions about having to move, especially if he likes where you are now, or is just starting to feel settled. Does he know why you have to move? I'd imagine that in itself is hard and again mixed emotions. He will remember bits about his dad but it's still his dad and confusing especially at that age.
Packing up all his room seems a lot in one go, especially if he doesn't normally do much around the house.
But this is where you need to get ontop of all the kids. They ALL need to help (unless they are aren't capable of this ie under 2 or physically unable to move objects). I'd get them packing toys, games, clothes into boxes. Even taping boxes or unrolling bubble wrap for you to wrap up breakables. No reason they can't all help. He might feel more inclined if it's a family affair unless he's really resentful about having to move.
Not too young to tidy his room. Very much too young to pack up his room to move house.
The emotions around moving, the feeling of uprooting, of uncertainty and of powerlessness in a huge life event will make packing a massive deal, for you, for him, for all your family.
He needs support. He needs reassurance. Doing it alone in his room would be miserable for him. Doing it together, him and his mum, chatting as you pack, reminiscing over the little stories and memories of playing / laughing/ being silly with his games/ tech / posters/ even his clothes turn it from a symbol of risk and anxiety, to a moment of togetherness and a reminder of old bonds.
Just a word on how you phrased something in your OP:
"But my 12 year old son thinks it's ok to still let me do it all an he does nothing"
That doesn't sound quite right somehow. It feels wrong because it's a slightly wrong power dynamic going on.
He's a child still, yes a bigger kid, almost a teen, but still a child nonetheless. He doesn't 'let' you do anything. It's the other way round. You let him.
The way you're writing is the way you'd wrote about a partner. Projection perhaps? It must be very hard to avoid seeing echoes of the abusive man in your son. But I think it's important that you look for the differences, not similarities. Your DS is 12, and therefore can be 'acting out' for so many many reasons, all perfectly normal (though annoying!) childhood dynamics and developmental stages. It will be far healthier for you and your son, to focus on the normal reasons first, even if you have that fear inside you that it's 'like father like son'.
I find putting the best possible (realistic!) interpretation of a child's behaviour tends to mean they live upwards to that. And vice versa. If he thinks you think he's like his abusive father, that's a massive weight to carry around. If you do really see signs that he can't deal with his anger / violent behaviour / hatred to women / girls/ you etc, then it would be time to get him some help. He would have suffered harm from seeing his fathers behaviour, and might need a helping hand through it all.
But that's very different from a young boy feeling angry and sad and scared that he has to move again.
It could be you're just venting and I've got the wrong impression. But I do think it's hard to separate out all this stuff in your position... proto- teen / normal 'acting out' / reactions to big life events / from the hallmarks of abuse. It's tricky. Especially when you're still under attack from this awful man, and there's so much healing to do yourself, your children and your family as a whole.
(I know this sounds bad but it has crossed my mind to be very glad my DS doesn't look like his abusive father. I don't 'see' his father in him so am not reminded of stbxh's abuse in any way. That's not a great thing to admit I know, but thought it might be useful in some way to you... ).
Thank you all so much. I was venting, he does have a lot of problems and is golden at school and doing really well. It's just his attitude towards me that I need to tackle. We done his room together yesterday but then he spent an hour lecturing me on what a bad mother I am. I know he is hurt. He hates his dad for everything that his done. I've got an injunction against the ex and done what I can. I know I didn't write the post very well, i do apologise.
No I don't think your asking too much.
He is 12 years old and to a large extent needs to learn to take responsibility for himself.
I would have had him pack his own room up. It's not hard to put clothes in a black bag and other items in boxes, especially when your having to assist the other 3 as well. I would have helped with heavy stuff.
I've just moved house with my partner and step kids. Similar issue with the 12 year old. Luckily we had help financially so managed to get a removals firm in as I couldn't get time off work.
Just keep yourself positive, only you know what's fully going on in your home, not those on here who pass judgement on very few facts.
Good luck in your new home
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