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how to raise a 14 year old boy???

(17 Posts)
CMcN Mon 11-Jul-11 00:36:47

My son is 14 and a half and we have really come to a cross roads in our relationship. I am wondering what other people's experiences are with their teenagers and looking for any advice on how to raise them as best we can.
We have always been very close, and still are to an extent, as i raised him as a single parent for the first 8 years of his life. Now I am married and have 2 more children to my husband, giving my son 2 siblings. In general, we have a good happy family life. However, in recent months me and my son have had some aggressive arguments ( he said fuck you and piss off which really hurt and i wanted to slap him, but didn't obv) and there have been some periods of little communication where he hibernates in his room and wont talk to me about anything worthwhile. Anyway, it's now the summer holidays and ive been making a huge effort to entertain him and not just let him stay in his room all day on the xbox and COD. So far so good although here is the real reason im writing this. We were all out today/tonight at family BBQ and had a great time but got into a conversation that has left me really wondering what to do. We were talking about me letting go more- at my sons request- and some family members backed him up, which i don't mind but i don't know if i agree with their opinions: like allowing him to bring a friend to a caravaning holiday in a few weeks (cause he gets bored with us), like allowing him to try a beer next year under my supervision etc. On the one hand it was really nice my son was opening up but on the other hand i really think 15 is too young to try alcohol and i dont really want one of his friends coming on our family holiday, i would be worried about anything going wrong when i'm in charge of someone else's kid.
Also, im terrified he makes the same mistakes as me- getting into drink etc too early which resulted in me having him at 18, but that's a whole other thread.
I'm going on a bit but hopefully you get the jist.
Any other mums out there to teenaged boys going through similar stuff?
(ps if it helps any he does see his biological dad once a week and that's been the case forever and i'm just hoping he's not being a bad influence as he is a far rougher character than me)

Monty27 Mon 11-Jul-11 00:42:19

Hi, they're hard work, mine is 15, yours sounds like an angel compared.

Yy I don't see why saying he can have a beer (supervised) at 15 is harmful, he might not even like it but saying he can't won't help.

Cut him a wee bit of slack, they need it.

It's late and its your thread not mine, but I wish mine was like yours. mine is hard work

Enjoy him. He sounds ok.

Monty27 Mon 11-Jul-11 00:43:28

As for bringing the friend on holiday, if you don't want to do it, don't. It's not just his holiday.

mrsm123 Mon 11-Jul-11 00:47:59

thanks monty. i like your chilled response.

he is a good kid but hell need to curb the f yous etc or ill really loose it.

thanks,well figure it out.

mrsm123 Mon 11-Jul-11 00:48:48

oops,i just changed my nickname incase youre wondering who th hell this is.

ilovewaldorfandstatler Mon 11-Jul-11 01:09:54

Mine is going to be 14 next week. He's a great kid but is just like I was when I was a kid, head in the clouds, which can be frustrating. They need the space to make their own choices and I would rather that felt that he could make those choices without fear. That's not to say that he will make choices that I approve of but all we can do is provide them with the tools to do so.

With regards to the holiday, I would let him take one friend on the understanding that bad behaviour won't be tolerated. I remember family hols at that age and I resented having to spend all my time with my family (much as I love them grin). We have had a pretty much open house policy with DC's friends and found that we spend more time with him as a result.

ilovewaldorfandstatler Mon 11-Jul-11 01:24:07

oh and the bad language... having been through it with DSD1&2 (19 &16) best tactic we found was to treat it as though they were toddlers going through the same phase ie inform them that all requests, conversations etc will be ignored until the cursing stopped. having to repeat the same sentence over and over got very boring very quickly wink (although they do tend to turn the air blue when with their friendshmm)

at least they can hold a normal conversation without cursing all the time

gotolder Mon 11-Jul-11 13:31:32

We always took a friend of my son's on holiday with us from the age of 10 as we went with a divorced friend and his DDs and we had 2DDs of our own. It felt wrong that he should be outnumbered by young femalesgrin.

As for the rest of the problems, I think these are fairly recognisable to most parents of teenage boys (and many girls). The only thing that saved our relationship through some extremely difficult times was my knowledge of my DS's real character and the hope that my real son would reappear one day: we went on loving him and kept on telling him that he was loved and eventually my DS came back from the dark place he inhabited for several years.

He is now the devoted father of 2 teenage DCwink.

inthesticks Mon 11-Jul-11 14:59:51

I had to make a real effort to let go a bit when DS1 was 14, he hadn't had much freedom before then.
He was allowed 1 small beer on holiday, which I don't think he liked very much!
I have two boys close in age and so they have each other on holiday. If I had an only or his siblings were much younger I would definitely let him invite a friend. In fact I have booked a long weekend later this year and told them they can each bring a friend. The friends they have chosen are nice boys and I know their families. I will let them do their own thing most of the time but they will eat (out) with us all together in the evenings.

Holidays not started yet here but I know they will want to fester on the xbox........

FiniteIncantatem Mon 11-Jul-11 15:24:23

My DS is also 14 and a half, he does a lot more with his mates now, goes off into the city with them and to the cinema (we live right on the outskirts of the city)
He is mostly home by 7 although sometimes phones me to say he'll be later. He's a sensible kid and I would far rather he was out and about with them, than sittting on the xbox.
He goes on the xbox some evenings, as he can chat online with his mates while playing.

We don't take a mate on holiday with us because holidays always involve visiting relatives (grandparents 300 miles away) otherwise I may consider it. What we do do is leave him at his grandparents for a couple of weeks, so that he gets a break from his sister(4) and me and he gets to go paintballing and other fun stuff with his grandad.

He had a glass of fizzy wine at New Year, he's not that bothered by alcohol, mainly because he is allowed the odd half glass of something. I would consider buying some stubby bottles of beer for him to have one on special occasions, but he's just as happy with a glass of coke, mostly (we don't have fizzy drinks as a general rule, so they're a bit of a treat).

I don't know how much of a difference it makes, but I'm a single mum too.

FiniteIncantatem Mon 11-Jul-11 15:28:10

I'm like ilovewaldorfandstatler I have an open house policy with DS's mates and they love coming here. It means I know theyalways have somewhere safe to go.

mrsm123 Mon 11-Jul-11 16:25:57

thanks for all your input. ive slept on it and we chatted this morning and he seemed much happier even knowing i was considering letting him go a bit. he is a good guy and i have to let him live and learn. he has started going into the city during the day on a saturday with his friends, which i love (albeit i drop him at train station at 12 and collect again around 5, tee hee).
hes really excited at the prospect of his friend coming on holiday but ive warned him his friend's parents might not want him coming and so he should be prepared for that and not to be too disappoointed if thats the case. at least im doing my bit now by trying.

gotolder: i cant wait to get the real boy back, miss his cuddles and our cinema trips. thanks for the hope!

Monty27 Tue 12-Jul-11 10:19:46

mrsm- you sound like a great mum smile

As with gotolder that's sort of the attitude I've tried to adopt 'he's in a big dark tunnel and he'll come out the other side one day' in the meantime I've tried my utmost to make him feel loved and to some extent understood. I'm a lone parent too and the df is more of a hindrance than a help, but ds has learned that by himself.

As they say, we'll get there hopefully.

mrsm123 Wed 13-Jul-11 17:23:48

thanks Monty although i make plenty of mistakes as a parent but like us all im doing my best and often trying to improve myself, hence coming on here for some advice.

well the upshot of the situation is this:
1. he's not interested in drinking just now but will let me know when he wants to try it. maybe a beer on christmas day (by then hell be 15 so a bit better than now).

and 2. his friend is coming for the first week of our caravan holiday and his parents will drive through to get him at the end of it. its a friend hes grown up with so i know him etc.

we're all quite happy about this now as he can go off for a few hours each day with his friend and do his own thing while we entertain the wee ones (6 and 3yrs).

so fingers crossed! in return hes to earn his pocket money now (dust house, clear up after dinner, wash cars) and quit the swearing.
i probably shouldve always made him earn his money but i think the lone parent thing (well, used to be) leaves you with alot of guilt and we probably over compensate.

Monty27 Thu 14-Jul-11 15:22:11

<nods at over compensate>

That all sounds good to me mrsm smile

catwalker Tue 19-Jul-11 04:48:25

Be flattered he wants to take a friend on holiday. My 14 year old is so embarrassed by me/his family he wouldn't dream of such a thing!

Not sure what you mean by 'try' alcohol, but I'd have thought that at his age he would have tried at least the odd sip of wine/beer? Mine certainly has. We'll give him a tiny glass of fizz or whatever now and again. Being a parent isn't just about protecting - you can't do that for ever. It's about educating and it's time to start teaching him about alcohol and understanding its effects before he decides to experiment with a bunch of mates. We only do this with our 14 year old because he's very curious about alcohol and I don't think him denying him the odd taste would do any good. Our 16 year old on the other hand hates the taste and just isn't interested!

marvie Mon 25-Jul-11 20:57:09

My DS (14) is very similar - going through the swearing stage - it started a couple of years ago with slipping the occasional 'crap' in, graduated to sh**, now he routinely effs and no amount of admonishment seems to make a difference. He even tried to get the c word past me but soon knew he'd overstepped the mark big-time there. I try not to make a huge issue of it but simply ask him to refrain from that language in front of us and it usually embarrasses him enough to curb it, for a while at least. I too am a lone parent and have had moments when I could cheerfully batter him with the breadboard or whatever implement is to hand! However, I cling to the idea that he will come out of the tunnel and be human again - I DO see occasional flashes of humanity that suggest this is possible. It has helped beginning a new career as a secondary teacher and having whole classes of clones of my son - and realising he is pretty normal - all mouth and no trousers!
I have also had the issue of alcohol which I have approached by allowing my son the occasional WKDs when supervised at family occasions. I agree that teenagers are better off learning the effects of alcohol under supervision than getting wasted at the first party they go to where someone manages to get at the booze!
As far as son's behaviour goes, he is the archetypal selfish, egocentric teenager, solely concerned with his own needs and I do sometimes despair that he will ever display any thought for others but until that day, I'll keep repeating the reminders to him tht he is not the centre of the universe and one day, they may sink in!

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