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Teenage nightmares

(6 Posts)
lonelyandtired Fri 07-Nov-14 09:40:10

New to this forum and have been reading through some of the threads about dealing with teenagers. Really struggling with mine and would appreciate some advice from similar sufferers. Don't have a lot of support from extended family and not lived long enough in one place to have built up a strong friends base.

I feel my 17 year old son is destroying me. Honestly, he has always been somewhat of a challenge and has had pretty fixed boundaries over the years with related consequences when things have gone belly up, but in the last couple of years he has changed beyond recognition. He is unbelievably lazy, rude and chronically selfish, but when it comes to his friends ........ oh yes, he has plenty of time for them. He won't do anything to help at home or for anyone else in the home and he is expected to take responsibility for his room, getting up for college and making sure he has everything he needs etc.

I get nothing but positive reports from friends and friends parents, but at home, the only time I really see him is at the meal table, if I'm lucky. The rest of the time, where he's home, is spent in his room, only emerging to discuss the latest party, a lift to somewhere (and no, I do not take him everywhere, he is expected to go by bus, bike or walk). It seems everything else in his life is a priority, except his family - myself, my husband and younger brother (14). But when it's time for a treat ie meal out, theatre trip, day out, he'll tag along and get what he can from it.

I have explained to him that his behaviour is unacceptable on many occasions, but it's just not working and in the last few months, things have gone from bad to worse. He seems to have no loyalty towards us, as a family, and it really hurts. I accept he is growing up and he has his freedom, but all this feels like a real kick in the teeth towards those that have loved and supported him over the years.

He has also become extremely friendly with another family (they wouldn't be my choice to spend time with, but I have not influenced him by demanding he doesn't spend time with them as I know where that would lead ....), but they are encouraging him to spend more time with them and less time with his family, picking him up to go somewhere, lots of hugs, playful chats via Facebook from the mother (yes, strange). My husband is a 'friend' on my son's FB so sees these things - we say nothing to our son. They are almost at the point of 'interfering' and my husband and I have had a chat with them - keeping it friendly, informal, but stressing how we felt .......... It's just carrying on though.

I'd be interested to know if any other parents had any coping strategies with the rude and selfish behaviour. I am particularly interested in things I could say when he just gets too much and how I could behave in myself (and my husband) to calm situations down and deal with it better. Also, if anyone has any advice to cope with other 'interferences' , then I'd be grateful.

secretsquirrels Fri 07-Nov-14 14:48:03

Honestly?
He comes and sits at the table with you, he is happy to go on family outings, sorts his room and organises himself, you get nothing but positive reports from others about him, and this is destroying you?
This isn't bad for a 17 year old boy, maybe not what you want but nothing unusual.
The issue here doesn't seem to be his behaviour but your dislike of his friendship with another family, is he friends with their DC? If so I cannot see the problem.If they don't have DC then I agree it's a bit odd.

lonelyandtired Fri 07-Nov-14 15:54:13

Yes, I agree there are some positives and I'm thankful for them. However, his rudeness and selfishness are what I really have an issue with. Is it normal to spend considerable money and time choosing presents for friends and get someone else (me or my husband) to buy mine or my husband's present? Or not do anything at all? He seems to have such contempt for us.

He is friends with this family's daughter, just friends though and I believe mum would like it to be more hence the encouragement. My son used to be so focused about his future ie studies, career choice, but they seem hellbent on steering him in a different direction. It's very worrying ...

3catsandcounting Fri 07-Nov-14 17:43:47

I'm in a similar position with DD17, especially her "at home" attitude, which rarely gets seen anywhere else!
Punishments/sanctions/ reasoning don't seem to work, but what's helping me at the moment is a book called 'Get out of my life, but first take me and Alex into town.'
It explains why they act the way they do, especially towards their parents; it's even brought up a few things about my DS15, who is an angel in comparison, but has recently been hibernating in his room!
I'm sure others with more experience will come along soon with advice, but do try and read the book, it's opened my eyes a bit!

lonelyandtired Fri 07-Nov-14 18:17:21

Thank you. I did actually order this book today and have high hopes. It's good to not feel so alone...

3catsandcounting Fri 07-Nov-14 19:53:09

Oh, believe me, you're not alone!! (but it feels like it when you're in the middle of a battle zone!)

That sounds like a line from a song; now there's an idea?!!wink

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