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What's life like with your 16 year old?

(32 Posts)
hippity Wed 29-Jan-14 15:05:35

Our conversations our killing me. He is so full of himself, spouts on about subjects he knows nothing about, lectures me on how I'm bringing up DS (all wrong hmm) almost endlessly, engages me on a subject (i.e. women's rights or terrorism and then attacks along the lines of 'you're just saying that because all you think about is money, or you're middle class so you don't care about ordinary people, etc and other such utter nonsense. I use the 'how to talk to teenagers' technique but to no avail. He just wants to tell me stuff so he can revel in how incredibly clever he is. I don't want to knock him down because for various reasons he is quite insecure and I would not want to dent his confidence.

Is it just us, or is this normal?

yourlittlesecret Wed 29-Jan-14 15:19:45

Isn't it normal for teenagers to have politically opposite views to their parents?
It sounds as though he is interested in the wider world and maybe he would learn from you if you debate the subjects openly.
When DS2 does this (and where he gets his right wing views from I have no idea) I try to explain to him some of the different opinions that people have and why they hold them, try to give him the bigger picture without simply disagreeing with him.

cathyandclaire Wed 29-Jan-14 15:23:45

It's like that Mark Twain quote..When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.

....just five years to go grin

youngatheart1 Wed 29-Jan-14 15:25:32

Hi my DS is coming upto 15 and similar, he is involved with the debating society as school and comes out with all sorts of stuff, unfortunately he is very eloquent and has been this way for as long as he could talk, he is worse in that he believes his view is the right one which is so damn frustrating, I have tried talking to him and his teacher called him a fascist. I have tried everything and I now just ignore him, which is easier said than done or change the subject and have even told him to expect a thump from someone one of these days when he goes too far. I am told it is just a phase and not too dampen his spirit!!!

dontcallmemam Wed 29-Jan-14 15:32:24

I'm laughing here, I've got a pompous 16 year old too. He's currently doing Philosophy AS and is keen to spout share the theories of utilitarianism at every available opportunity.

Claybury Wed 29-Jan-14 15:42:29

Wait - you have conversations with your 16 year old DS? Wow I actually can't imagine that
Seriously if you have one that talks to you then you are fortunate as you can have an idea of how his mind works. I have no idea what goes in my the head of my DS.

hippity Wed 29-Jan-14 16:04:44

He swots up on something like hydrocarbons or whatever then comes into the kitchen where I am a captive audience making dinner and asks me what I know about it. When I say nothing he sighs and relates the whole thing for me. If I ask a question about it he gets really annoyed because he doesn't understand it well enough to answer grin.

mrsjay Wed 29-Jan-14 16:23:17

I have had major barneys debates with my near 16 yr old about scottish independence and the death penalty, OP were you not a know it all at 16 it is what they do dd1 was worse she was very uppity at 16 , let some of it go but do not allow him to be disrespectful or cheeky to you

hippity Wed 29-Jan-14 16:35:53

Mrsjay i rather suspect he uses 'debate' as a front for rudeness, that's the problem really.

mrsjay Wed 29-Jan-14 16:42:40

right well you need to tell him that you are not going to talk to him when he is being rude just dont engage with him and when he goes on about your being money obsessed or middle class say fine then I will stop pocket money or <insert activity> he likes to do, there is them being a bit mouthy and rudeness and contempt dd1 went through the latter it was hard but you can stop it by not engaging with them

mrsjay Wed 29-Jan-14 16:43:30

DO the mumsnet phrase did you mean to be so rude, try it it works

BackforGood Wed 29-Jan-14 16:53:34

What CathyandClaire said. (Great memories from that name, btw grin)
My (now 17 yr old) ds is doing Philosophy and ethics, and has always loved a good argument about anything, and his 15yr old sister loves an argument too, so there is often a good old discussion going on about something. I will ask him what they are talking about at the moment to enjoy a good debate, sometimes. It's good to let them practice putting across their argument / explaining their pov to someone with you.
Slightly different in that his confidence is always sky high so I have no worries about ridiculing his argument wink

hippity Wed 29-Jan-14 17:19:12

I wouldn't have any problem debating something, I would be glad to. That's not what he wants though. It comes from somewhere else - we have only had him three years so I just wondered what it was like for 'mothers' of 16 year old and whether this was actually quite normal.

furrymuff Wed 29-Jan-14 17:28:51

The conversation with mine just now consisted of "god I'm so handsome - why am I so handsome mum?", and "mum, just look at all of these girls numbers in my phone, mum look, mum LOOK!" while I sat reading MN and murmuring "that's nice dear"! grin. I also got treated to a 10 min monologue on how many reps he'd just done at the gym working on his "guns" Is good to know I have raised a child with such a healthy self-esteem, but sometimes it's like living with Ron Burgundy grin

dobedobedo Wed 29-Jan-14 17:37:44

I have a 9 year old ds, and he's not at that know-it-all uppity stage yet, but I was for most of my teenage years.
How annoying I must have been!

hippity Wed 29-Jan-14 18:18:51

furry we have the gym chat too <sigh>

I exercised my powers of annoyance in my day I'm sure grin

moggiek Wed 29-Jan-14 20:39:43

Oh, I remember it well grin. My protagonist is now 35, and calls to ask my advice about bringing up his own DSs!

thecatfromjapan Wed 29-Jan-14 20:45:44

Hippity - I have been told by friends that I am very easy going, and by those less fond of me that I am a doormat. Tonight I just broke and completely ranted at my 16 year old. He sounds extremely similar to yours -- when he can be bothered to speak to me at all.

I really did reach the end of my tether tonight. <sigh>

I really could do with a holiday, far away from all of them (my family).

hippity Thu 30-Jan-14 06:57:24

It's been more difficult really because I gave up alcohol for January - usually I have a glass of one and get my 'ooh, really?" non-committal head on grin

He's no fool though and has worked out how to wind me up, mainly focusing on DS i.e. he has too much screen time or is rough and wild even though not remotely true, it's not exactly what a mother wants to hear!

catfromjapan is that you Ms Valentine!

ivykaty44 Thu 30-Jan-14 07:12:19

Keep asking them questions, but in particular use that very old favourite of there own from when they ere about three year old.….........why? Why? Why? And then ask why?

Agree with them and agree some more, this goes against the principal of being a teenager to have your parents, or people of a certain age (anyone over 30)agree with them

Enjoy the fact they talk to you

ivykaty44 Thu 30-Jan-14 07:14:04

Hippity I would be suggesting that the 16 year old takes over with some child care as he is obviously very capable and take a day out and leave him to it

Takingbackmonday Thu 30-Jan-14 14:12:49


I was like that. Politics A level didn't help.

I went on to work for the Tories grin (not anymore.)

Stricnine Thu 30-Jan-14 14:26:42

We have had this with our (now) 17 year old DD .. she was soooo opinionated at 16 and still is to a degree...but also just wait till you get to "The Job" - it's such hard work, no-one works as hard .. has as awful a boss etc etc .. it's really good value then!!

All part of growing up and finding your place in the world .. I'm just a little jaded by it all smile

claraschu Thu 30-Jan-14 15:26:05

Awww they all sound lovely. Be proud of your clever, pompous, insecure, presumptuous, naive, snobbish, darling overgrown toddlers. I had one, but he is 18 now and much more reasonable. My 15 year old only grunts.

DaffodilShoots Thu 30-Jan-14 15:46:10

It's like living with a teenage Jeremy Paxman. Wearing.

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