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I don't even know my own DS

(10 Posts)
Middleagedandsexy Sat 13-Feb-16 08:42:43

Since splitting from EA EXDH when DS was 4 it has been just me and him. He's a very very quiet 18 y.o has always been like this. I thought he might come out of himself by now but he hasn't at least so I thought. He resents some of the extended family who he thinks look down on us so isn't exactly communicative when they come around. He has a few friends from school and hangs around with them. Never been in any trouble and works hard at his studies and part time job but often seems withdrawn and resentful. I met a friend recently whose daughter does shifts in the same cafe he works at for pocket money and she said her DD told her he is completely different when there, everyone loves him, flirting in a nice way with the female staff/customers, etc. So now instead of proud I just feel sad I don't even know my own son sad

kittybiscuits Sat 13-Feb-16 09:09:26

I think I would be really happy to hear that my DS was more friendly and outgoing in another setting. People get stuck in roles and relationships within families. It doesn't mean you don't know him. You just haven't seen this other side to him and I imagine you're shocked. Does he blame you or other family members for something?

Denton89 Sat 13-Feb-16 09:14:14

Its rather like this for me, although has got better recently because I've changed my behaviour towards DS which I didn't even know I was doing.

DS was from the age of about 10 quiet / withdrawn / disinterested in me but was chatty and happy with friends. Recently I've gone back to basics although he''s 20 now.

Anything I say to him now is positive; I thank him if he does something like taking his plates into the kitchen etc; I ask about his day even if it just provokes a couple of words from him; I acknowledge him when he walks in the room; always leave a note if I'm going out and maybe he's still in bed. Sounds a bit pathetic when written down but its really helping the quality of my life with my son.

About the extended family - if people are coming into DS's home and not making him feel good maybe you need to look at why that is. Are they putting him down? Has everyone got into the habit of not including him or making silly 'jokes' or comments about him? If so you need to challenge them and be on his side.Do you let him hear you talking positively to them about him?

Be happy for him and proud of him.

Pidapie Sat 13-Feb-16 09:26:30

Many people are different in different situations, I think you know a separate side of him - maybe his "guards down" side. I don't think this is so unusual for an 18 year old. You still know him, just in a different way flowers

goddessofsmallthings Sat 13-Feb-16 09:42:46

Is it time to shift the balance of your relationship with your ds from parent/child to a more adult/adult footing?

If you were to pop into the cafe for a quick coffee/snack sometime when he's working you may be subsequently be able to remark on how proud you are of what a charming and capable young man he's become, and how he's become an adult without you realising (a little bit of fond reminiscing won't go amiss here as it will enable you to highlight the contrast between how he was as a child and how he is now).

If your interaction with him in general remain that of the parent/child dynamic, you can make subtle alterations by soliciting his opinion and deferring to it on occasion and treating him more as if was a very good friend rather than 'your' ds.

flowers Be very proud of yourself - you've excelled at being a single parent!

blindsider Sat 13-Feb-16 09:46:14

They are all like that, the surly, stroppy, selfish argumentative child you get at home is 'apparently' a joy to be with, as they are so chatty, helpful , smiley at other people's houses :-(

Middleagedandsexy Sat 13-Feb-16 10:08:12

Well everything that could go wrong did from age 4 till about 16 (him not me) EA, hassle from ex, financial worries, GP dying, illness in the family. It is like he associates the house with sadness and can only be himself when he is elsewhere. I just wish just once I could disguise myself or something and watch him be free amd happy with others the way she said he is. He bitterly resents his DF with good reason and will only speak to 1 person (my DS) in the extended family as he feels the rest of them ignored us when times were really hard. He didn't enjoy his school years either (he's doing A Levels now) and is just really really quiet and withdrawn most of the time

goddessofsmallthings Sat 13-Feb-16 10:13:14

The Perry and Kevin syndrome grin

goddessofsmallthings Sat 13-Feb-16 10:26:39

It seems there's a pattern that needs to broken.

Do you go out with your ds, OP? Perhaps to the cinema, restaurant, or down the pub? And, if so, do you find he interacts differently with you when you're not in the house?

Can you go past or peer in the window of the cafe he works in for a glimpse of his 'other self'?

I'm tempted to suggest that you consider smudging with sage sticks to lighten the atmosphere in your home paying particular attention to his room and the living areas you share, or use feng shui to influence the 'chi'.

Middleagedandsexy Sat 13-Feb-16 11:54:17

If I knew one day I would get to know him properly I would be ok with all this. As things are I kind of feel left out and sad

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