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What do you when 14yo DSS refuses to come until...(31 Posts)
He gets a sincere apology off his Dad, because DSS had been disrespectful and rude and DP called him on it and told him to go upstairs away from him for a bit? Apologies if there are no paragraphs the app likes to ignore them once I post.
Collected on Friday, giving his usual "simmer down", "wind your neck in" jibes 'jokingly' to DP who was joking with him about having a roast dinner for tea because we know he doesn't like them. They have a lot of banter together initiated by DSS mostly, then all was well and we got on with the weekend. Few more instances of telling DP to simmer down etc. Saturday he got up, had breakfast, we postponed our plans so he could watch football with DP, then went out, DPs full attention on him the whole time, took them out for dinner, came home and then we started telling each other our corniest jokes taking turns. DP went to go and DSS spoke over him which he allowed and then resumed but stuttered which DSS took the piss out of him for, really obnoxiously. So DP asked him who he thought he was talking to and to get out of his face cue DSS storming upstairs stating he wasn't having this. Left him to calm down, shouted him down and DP asked if he talks to his mum that way... yeah, would you talk to your grandad that way... No he doesn't annoy me. Then he stormed back upstairs screaming at the top of his lungs and slamming doors. DP went up and told him to calm down and talk to him, was told to get out, then DSS squared up to DP aggressively and was told to stop acting a prat and calm himself down .. Well that was it, called his mum who came and collected him. Left the house without saying goodbye, DP went after him and spoke to his mum who said she will talk to him. Left all his uniform and chargers which I had to take home for him yesterday.
Then yesterday, he messaged DP basically telling him that "he handled the situation wrongly, he was out of line and DP cant handle being 'told off' ". Basically chastising DP as if he were his dad. Refusing to accept that he was out of line at all and DP had a go at him for nothing. Then told DP he shouldn't expect to see him until he apologises and means it.
So what the hell do we do here? DP is adamant he won't apologise for disciplining his son when he is out of line and is raging that his son is manipulating him and showing zero respect for him.
Do we leave him? Does DP try and speak to him again despite him refusing to accept any responsibility? We are due to go away for half term and now everything is up in the air. It was just so over the top for the crime you would honestly think DP had come down on him like a ton of bricks but he didn't. It's the same with school, every teacher is in the wrong when he gets sent out of class for throwing water at his mates for example.
Apologies for the length, full disclosure and all that 😁
DP is raging that his son is manipulating him and showing zero respect
That is what teenagers do. It is very difficult, I have a 13 yo myself so I do understand that they can wind you up something terrible, but DP is the adult. At the moment you have two teenagers knocking heads - that won't solve the situation. DP needs to grow up, learn some techniques for managing things, pick his battles and parent his son.
Leave him to stew. It's time he learned he isn't in control. His behaviour in school is also dreadful and it's time he learned he can't behave like that.
Ignore him and get on with your lives. If you give in now it will only get worse.
It sounds like to be honest that both of them can give banter but not take it - and it spirals out of control on both sides because of it.
Its the problem with banter - very few can actually take it
You need to look really at how he interacts with his son
He did this last summer, got shouted at, cried, DP was straight to him giving him a cuddle and comforting him. This time however he was reluctant to because DSS was acting so aggressively and OTT. He is a fantastic dad, he has been his main priority since leaving and he and I absolutely bend over backwards for him. It has honestly floored DP, is this really what teenagers do and are allowed to do? Not able to take discipline and then shout at the parent as if they are the child and refuse to see you until they get the apology? What message is being sent if DP goes grovelling? That next time he is out of line DP will be too scared to say anything incase he refuses to see him again?
Quartz I agree and it has been a bone of contention for a whole, DP has allowed their relationship in the past to become too pally to make sure he enjoys himself when he comes to stay and now we are trying to right that he isn't liking it. DSS mostly initiates it, but absolutely can't take it so DP is now saying it has to stop completely because they both obviously have no idea where the line is.
I do think the way they engage in banter like mates has contributed to this situation.
You can laugh and joke with your kids...but the lack of boundaries causes or can cause confusion for children. They don't know where they stand and whether you're a friend or a parent.
When you tell your child to go away from you... it's like being rejected.
Your DP should have tried calmly telling him it isn't nice to laugh at him like that... preferably away from where you were, so he didn't feel embarrassed at being told off.
As for the apology... well I wouldn't apologise straight away, but if I were your DP, I'd ask to meet up with DSS to have a chat and sort it out on neutral ground.
Thank you Sandy.
I do think it could have been handled better, DP just obviously had enough of having the piss taken and being told to simmer down, shut up etc multiple times from the day before and snapped. He didn't shout at him, actual words were "who do you think you are, do you wanna get out of my face for a minute", and so DSS stormed off shouting "Nahhh I'm not even having this!"
We can be talking to each other me and DP, or him to my kids, and if he doesn't agree with what is being said or thinks you're being embarrassing for having a laugh together then we are told to shut up.
Why is it such a big deal to apologise? I apologise to my son all the time if I shout or lose control of the situation, because a) I shouldn't shout or lose control and b) I want to role model how to fix a situation if things go wrong.
Your DP didn't actually discipline him by the way. He snapped at him. That's not discipline. They both approached the situation on the same level and it went wrong.
DSS wants DP to apologise because he believes he did nothing wrong, because he thinks he can tell DP to shut up and wind his neck in as much as he wants. I agree he didn't discipline him as such and maybe if he did I could understand DSS wouldn't be happy with that, he just let him know he was out of line for speaking for him that way when he shouted him down to him after he initially stormed upstairs. DSS says he wasn't and that DP had a go at him for nothing when he knows what he did/said and DP explained to him again yesterday via text because DSS wouldn't call him. Cue DSS telling DP he can't handle being told off and was out of line and he shouldn't expect to see him til he gets a sincere apology 😳
It's like he is fighting for control, when he already fully has it. Our life, our work, our time when he is with us if dictated by him and what he wants. The problem seems to be with anyone in a position of authority atm. And so does DP enable that or use this as an opportunity to show him that he is misguided or allow his 14 year old to refuse to see him because he was called out on his behaviour after getting away with it for a long time?
And I agree btw I apologise to my kids when I've had a stressful day and lose patience and snap, and all is well. But then they aren't 14, squaring up to me and telling me to wind my neck in.
It's sometimes hard getting the balance between being an easy going parent and also having respect. Especially with teenagers...because they push boundaries.
He is acting like his son's friend. Even the comment "so you want to get out if my face for a minute" is like something you'd say to a friend if they were pissing you off (although I hope I was never in a position to have to say that to a friend!(.
He should not apologise now but he needs to rest some boundaries. I would go to him and say we need to have a talk. Don't apologise but discuss what happened, why it happened (ie blurred boundaries), why it was not acceptable and set some boundaries for how they will interact going forward (ie no more banter). It's not appropriate in an adult/child relationship. He can have banter with his mates. A parent is not a mate.
This is where co parenting with his Mother is going to be important. She will want her free time too so she needs to up the anti at her end as well so if son is disrespectful to Mother then punishment cont at your house and vice versa and you need to look at what he values - x box, phone, clothes/trainers with brands etc. At the moment there is an element of playing one off against another which is not acceptable. You are all still the parents and he is the child and whilst he can have a strop at the end of the day if he is rude and obnoxious he needs to pipe down, apologise and learn to move past it. He is not managing his emotions well at the moment. As others have said this needs to be stood up to and contact time is not negotiable
His mum is of no use in this situation I am afraid, she's a whole other thread. But essentially he knows that coparenting won't happen, and that he can do whatever he wants up there and the consequences won't follow, and vice versa as there is no communication. If anything happens at school she is straight in blaming their split years ago on his behaviour and he gets away with it. Plus he is 14, and we can't force him to come here can we? So he's got DP right over a barrel atm. I'll speak to DP and suggest he asks him to meet him one night before he is next due to come.
But then they aren't 14, squaring up to me and telling me to wind my neck in.
I agree. This is quite rude.
I'm not sure if I would even try to get in touch with him, tbh. SS is desperately trying to maintain control over his dad, but it's not healthy to allow him to have it.
I think a more healthy message to send is that your DP loves him and is eager to see him when his son feels calm and ready to approach the relationship with mutual respect.
Part of the issue here is that he’s a child but with the beginnings of adult thinking and adult language but without the maturity to use it appropriately. And rather than give him the guidance or the boundaries, your DP is playing into his hands by being his mate rather than his parent and giving him the correct guidance when it goes too far.
My DS is sixteen. He can talk to me on my level, he will take the mick gently about things I’ve done or whatever but there’s a limit which he doesn’t cross and if he did he would be told in no uncertain terms that this is a step too far iyswim.
In fact we’ve had conversations about the way he’s reacted to things and I’ve told him that talking to adults isn’t the same as talking to your friends because it’s on a different level, iyswim.
Your dp isn’t his friend he’s his parent. As he grows up the relationship can change more from a parent child one into one where a friendship grows alongside that due to the increase in maturity etc, but that time isn’t here yet.
So your DP needs to talk to him and set some boundaries. He should have nipped the banter in the bud on Friday night before it got to the point where DSS pushed it too far and he became irritated rather than correcting him from the outset.
We all shout sometimes, God knows I shouted this morning about something else, and DS knows that if I shout then he’s gone too far, however, I apologised for shouting but not about what I shouted about because that was still relevant. We will talk it through more rationally later but he left the house with us on speaking terms.... :-) and that’s how it should be when you have DC.
So DP needs to apologise for shouting and getting in DS’ face if he did. But if the things he shouted about are still relevant he still needs to talk them through with DS.
Trying to be mates with your child helps no one. You’re DP is the parent and it’s his job to set boundaries.
I have a tough time with my DS (16) and XH who thinks parents need to be liked by their kids. So DS always comes back to me full of fight and attitude. He needs 24 hours to reset after a visit to his DFs where he can do as he pleases just as long as he’s his dads mate/companion. XH is so scared of not being liked by DS he forgets to parent.
At 14-16 they need to be learning to become emotionally mature adults. That their words/actions impact and affect others. It’s important, to help them become good adults, and it’s our job to be teaching them this.
Our life, our work, our time when he is with us if dictated by him and what he wants.
This is the problem. He is used to ruling the roost and doesn’t respect his dad. Time to redraw the boundaries. It’s evidenced in how he reacts to a telling off by his teachers as well, no respect for authority. He needs to learn differently very quickly
I agree this is not unusual for a teenager, we have it with DSD at the moment. Trying to manipulate us in the house. If she doesn't like something it turns into a massive drama very quickly,a skling her Mum to get her (sadly the mum supports her with this response which doesnt help)
Consequently after the last incident my DP has stepped back and she didnt come on her last conatct weekend. She has now said she wants to this weekend and so he will take her out and discuss how she reacted and calmly tell her that she doesnt get to act out like that. You can not have a scenario where they only come if you drop all your boundaries and let them do what the hell they want in your house or speak to you how they want. It is perfectly normal to have boundaries and expectations for respect etc, and yes these will differ from house to house.
I agree that he needs to stop being his sons friend and quit the banter and be a parent.
It sounds like banter which got out of hand, so isn’t really the kids fault. He takes his queue from adults and cast easily switch out of it.
All he sees is that you all had a laugh and then his Dad started screaming at him.
So I would like others, agree to meet at a mutual place or even his mums, and just apologize to him. Don’t escalate it even more. And both of them need to learn to react in a less angry way, his Dad shouldn’t have followed him upstairs, but let him cool off.
Teens and parents is a fraught relationship. Rows can be awful. Not nice/right but that's how it is.
My DCs are in their 20s now. But I clearly recall the nightmare teen years.
& I was one of those mums who saw other parents go through it and was "oooh that won't happen with us". Well - it did.
Yet now they are the loveliest people ever.
& thinking about it I must've got on my parents last nerve at 14.
Your H may vent to you about it - listen, be sympathetic, offer suggestions but don't judge, or try to own this situation.
My DP has an 18 year old, only a fee weeks ago they argued as he didn't like the way his son spoke to him. DP vented to highheaven, I made sympathetic noises, but that was it. They happily went off together yesterday to watch a match then go for a drink.
Your H will ways be his son's father. I'm not saying his son isn't cheeky/doesn't have a problem with authority. I can see he does
But I don't think it's for you to attempt to resolve, or become over involved.
Your DP is an adult and has been parent to his son for 14 years. It will resolve.
It sounds a bit confusing for DSS to be honest; he’s allowed to take the piss out of his dad but then his dad decided it’s too much and has a go at him. I suspect your DSS was a bit confused and embarrassed as well as just generally annoyed at being told off. I also think to go from joking around to his dad suddenly saying to get out of his face is quite difficult for a teenager to manage.
I’m not saying that your DSS hasn’t done anything wrong as clearly he has and I don’t think he should be able to take control of this situation. I’d suggest your DH trying to meet up with him for a chat but even if he doesn’t then keep messaging him every other day or so (general stuff rather than about this) even if DSS doesn’t reply as it keeps up some form of communication, it’s much harder if quite a bit of time goes by without speaking.
He’s treating him like a friend. And this is a friend falling out. DP has failed to put in boundaries and so DSS has overstepped. It’s actually not DSS’s fault - DP has made his own bed on this one.
Either he puts up with the endless banter as an equal or he puts boundaries in place and explains them. He can’t have it both ways.