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Why did I even bother?

(37 Posts)
BrowersBlues Fri 12-Dec-14 19:13:41

My DS aged almost 16 was on work placement this week. I arranged for him to attend at my work place in various departments. He went for the 3 days that I picked him up from his fathers and dropped him home. For two days I was working away and the little shit didn't bother going.

I called in a lot of favours and people really put themselves out to organise interesting placements. I am so f*****g furious and so upset that I am almost close to tears.

Honestly, why do I bother? He is a selfish prick who has made the last two years of my life hell at times. I am very upset but as usual have to put a brave face on it. Please tell me to stop caring. He is just going to let me down time and time again.

To make matters worse I am stuck in an airport because of computer problems in UK air traffic control.

If I had known having children was going to be like this I wouldn't have had them. I am so disappointed and so embarrassed.

Suppose I am just going to have to get over it.

Northernparent68 Fri 12-Dec-14 22:26:51

Maybe he's picked up your hostility to him, perhaps it's time he should live with his father.

thatsmyname123 Fri 12-Dec-14 22:32:50

Wow, this is your son? What a way to talk about your child! If he senses your opinion of him, maybe that's why your relationship isn't the best, 16 year olds can be difficult but if you feel he's "made your life hell" for 2 years, what have you done to help the situation, you being the adult in the situation, him being the hormonal teenager who's parents have split up?

DPotter Fri 12-Dec-14 22:52:02

OK so you're really annoyed and you're stuck - just to add insult on to injury. However do you know why he didn't go ? Is he unwell and hasn't told work or you ? or is it really a case of couldn't be arsed ?

If he really just couldn't be bothered then at 16 he's old enough to learn the consequences game. School or college may want to know he didn't show up and he needs to understand that companies have to bend over backwards to host work placements and that he's not only messed things up for himself but the next parent who asks for their child to have a work placement.

And yes I totally understand that teenagers can push you to the limit and here is a place where you can rant and get it out of your system. Of course you care and I'm not going to tell you not to, cause you will anyway. But brave face - no. as I said before 16 yr old should understand consequences and putting on a brave face, smoothing things over and not challenging poor behaviours isn't doing your boy any long term favours. He needs to understand that next time he needs a favour he'll have to work for it. I personally do not see any virtue in not letting people know that you are angry and disappointed in their behaviour - just gives people of all ages carte blanche to walk all over you as they'll think you're a soft touch.

Hope you're home now and feeling a little better

FruitCakey Fri 12-Dec-14 22:57:14

I am mortified. What a disgusting way to speak about your DS. I certainly won't tell you to 'stop' caring about your son... it sounds like you're doing that yourself.

He is a swine for not showing up, but he is a teenager and they are swines! Deal him an appropriate punishment for letting you and your colleagues down, then leave it at that.

Calm down OP. Referring to your son as a 'prick' won't help him or yourself.

DieselSpillages Sat 13-Dec-14 08:03:15

I think people are being Harsh to you Op.

I love my Ds to bits but there were times when he was the age of your Ds that I really suffered because of his crappy attitude and behaviour. I felt like if he was my Dh instead of my Dc I would have definitely divorced him and moved on !! Obviously I couldn't do that as he was my Ds and much as I would have liked to, I couldn't stop caring.

Things have improved massively for us. I think 16 year olds are self centered fucks at time, rarely capable of empathy or seeing beyond their immediate needs. Thankfully they do grow out of it.. My Ds has even acknowleged what an arse he was and said how grateful he is that we stuck by him inspite of it all.

Hassled Sat 13-Dec-14 08:13:29

When you're 16 the world absolutely does revolve around you. It's a well known fact. He'll mature and look back at this and feel mortified, don't worry. They become nice again at 21, IME. In the meantime - don't stop caring, because you caring is what will make him turn out OK in the end.

Dafspunk Sat 13-Dec-14 08:22:49

This is just a small point and maybe something to think about when you're feeling calmer but did you actually ask him if he wanted to do his placement at your work and did he want you to call in lots of favours and other people to put themselves out?

lljkk Sat 13-Dec-14 09:34:24

I completely understand OP.
I could say loads more but you've probably given up on MN by now.
I've had to detach a lot, too. Hang in there. Teenagers are swine.

Inkspellme Sat 13-Dec-14 09:35:57

I understand how angry you are (don't know about the calling him a prick bit...) anyhow, I too agree with him needing to face the consequences. Why didn't he show up? If he was sick it may not have dawned on him that unlike school or college him not showing up did affect others significantly. If he just did not bother the college needs to know this - ideally from the work placement themselves. I would be explaining calmly to him that others put themselves out for him and that he abused that and that consequently you can't ask again for any future favours should he need them.

For you, I would make it my business over the next couple of days to seek out the people he let down, thank them for being available and apologise for the fact that he messed up. I'd be honest with them and say that he is going through a bad patch but that hopefully he will come out the other end. You might be surprised how many people can relate to that statement!

Look at the positives with him. Acknowledge them and keep trying. it will pay off.

BrowersBlues Sat 13-Dec-14 18:31:32

Thanks for replies. I was over the top I realise that now. He wasn't sick he just couldn't be bothered. The last few years have been dreadful with spells in cells overnight, drinking, smoking dope, suspended, almost expelled. I just feel a bit worn out.

He told me he loved being at my work and colleagues really looked after him. That's why I was so pissed off.

I know teenagers brains aren't developed and I try to understand but yesterday everything just got on top of me. I love my DC but rearing teenagers has been much harder than I ever imagined.

I have tried everything and will keep trying. I still think he was a right prick for not bothering to go. I have spoken to him and the excuses were a joke. If this type of behaviour was a one off I would have coped better.

Thanks again for replies both harsh and kind. The harsh ones made me take a look at myself and the kind ones made me feel less alone.

I am so glad to be out of that airport and home on my sofa. Good luck to all dealing with young adults, I think we need a bit of luck.

BrowersBlues Sat 13-Dec-14 18:50:47

Ink, I have been surprised to hear so many similar stories, mainly from other MNs and from a few people in RL. It shames me to admit that hearing their experiences makes me feel less alone and less scared.

I do some voluntary work with a secondary school and with a college and last week I heard both teachers and academic staff, in two completely different contexts, say that they have never seen such challenging behaviour from young adults or so many young adults presenting with mental health issues.

It is obviously a tough time for teenagers and their parents/carers. What is it all about???

summer68 Sun 14-Dec-14 01:47:16

Sorry I missed your frustrated rant browers, I think unless you have had truly challenging teens you really have no idea what the parent gos through- yes all teens are challenging at times but some are in a different league altogether.
Browers you have offered me great support in the past
and I think some mners didn't understand you just needed to vent here. You are a good person and I hope things have settled a bit for you. X

Inkspellme Sun 14-Dec-14 08:09:28

I have been so lucky with my eldest who is 17 but I do wonder about my 12 year old. I think the main reason I worry is because so many people have significant problems with teens. It is very different for teens today than previous generations I think. I do know from a couple of friends how challenging a teen can be. I know that when they talked to others they were amazed at how many parents were having huge problems in behaviour. I'm not surprised that knowing that would make you feel less alone. Your son does have responsibility for his own behaviour - the older he gets the more it is a reflection on him and less on you.

lljkk Sun 14-Dec-14 09:43:35

Maybe lack of gratitude is particularly bad nowadays, that's the only difference I maybe see in modern teens. Because mine have had such a cushy life. Otherwise I think they are just as resilient, selfish, deluded, independent, defiant, early sexualised, early into intoxicating substances, rude, confident etc. now as in previous generations. Big difference is that previous parent generations didn't take it so personally that difficult kids were their own fault. Although I have a letter from my grandfather squarely blaming his wife for going to visit her relatives which is why their 13yo daughter and her mates got drunk with an adult creep (1935, I guess it's a perennial thing, to always blame the mother). My dad had many friends kicked out at 18 without malice (1961), just no further parental support offered. He thought it shocking at the time, & made him grateful he still had family support.

My mother & grans were all teenage mums (usually twins), with absent-at-war/feckless/cheating husbands. My mother resorted to stealing food rather than ask her family for help. Can't see things going like that for my kids.

mrsminiverscharlady Sun 14-Dec-14 09:49:34

What about your ds's dad? Did he know about him not going? What did he do about it?

BrowersBlues Sun 14-Dec-14 12:38:13

Summer, thanks very much. I have sent you a PM.

Lljkk, fascinating post. Apparently Socrates was giving out about teenagers 400 BC.

MrsM, his dad is too busy being cool dad to reprimand him.

I am at home on my own, complete heaven! Let's hope everyone has a decent week ahead. My heart goes out to all parents dealing with troubled teenagers. Christmas can sometimes make it worse. My plan is to keep my head down and hope for the best.

Thanks for the support, as always.

HoneywithLemon Sun 14-Dec-14 21:25:27

I'm trulyshocked at the lack of empathy shown by some of the posters on this thread. There but for the grace of God go you lot, obviously!

OP is obviously at the end of her rope and came here to vent. I have a 13 yo DD and it's tough. It's hard when you do your best and it's not enough. Good luck and all the best OP.

mathanxiety Mon 15-Dec-14 05:41:07

You have your work cut out for you if his dad isn't pulling his weight. The dad is a big part of the problem here, I would be willing to bet.

BrowersBlues Mon 15-Dec-14 10:51:56

Thanks very much Honey. There are times when I am at the end of my tether. MN is a great place to go to where people going through the same thing know exactly what I am going through.

I suppose the people who criticise other parents just don't know what it is like. As Summer said to me if we hadn't experienced it we would probably have thought it was the parents` fault.

I daresay my children's father hasn't helped matters. I left him when DD was 2 and I was pregnant with my DS. I thought it best that they had a relationship with their father. He is a narcissist and everything revolves around him.It would be easy to pin point him as the reason things went so badly but married friends of mine in decent relationships have had the same problems.

I have stopped trying to find out where it went wrong. I just need to get through it and hopefully the DC will come out of it. They are now 18 and almost 16. I have day dreams about them leaving home and maturing into functional adults. Fingers crossed!

mathanxiety Mon 15-Dec-14 14:40:40

Don't give up flowers.

funnyossity Mon 15-Dec-14 14:54:37

Surprised at the saints on here tbh!

I'd be sorely disappointed at his immature behaviour and embarrassed at the time wasting element.

Stick with it OP. Take care of yourself too.

BrowersBlues Mon 15-Dec-14 18:45:19

Math and Funny, thanks a million for flowers and kind words. I read your posts in work earlier (not acceptable behaviour I know) and your words made me hold my head a bit higher, put my shoulders back and believe I am not alone. Thank you.

I actually managed to have a good laugh at work today. I am heading out to dinner with some ex-colleagues shortly. Monday is the only day we could get together before Christmas with one thing and another. They are really nice people and although I have only hinted at the problems I am having (sanitised version) they have been through a few diffs themselves with regard to elderly parents, disabilities, debt and the rest.

Having somewhere to go mental without anyone knowing who I am is amazing. I can't tell my parents too much because I don't want to worry them as they are coming 80. I have only 2 friends in RL who I can tell the full truth to. I am quite sociable and know a lot of people but I am very private and don't want to expose myself or my DC. I live in a relatively small town and gossip is a bit deadly. I know that they have heard about a few incidents but I am never going to explain myself to anyone. Some of the nastier ones love it when my DC get in trouble but maybe that is because it takes the focus off themselves. I am putting a brave face on it and that is the line I am taking. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors.

My GP, who I adore, told me recently that I am cateogrically not alone. She is someone I really trust.

I would not be coping without this online support. Thanks again you mothers who took the time to reply!!

summer68 Mon 15-Dec-14 21:49:25

browsers, I couldn't agree more- I too would have struggled to cope without mums net. I've mentioned this before but I've contacted many different support groups, but I've found the best advice has been from you lovely people!
I hope you enjoyed your meal out x

smileyforest Mon 15-Dec-14 23:33:25

Ummmm...much empathy bowers...called an f......g retard here by my 16.5 DS..as I refused to buy tobacco....(never buy it)...on my knees with tiredness from long difficult shift ...to come home to that rant ....thought my youngest son was going to be the sensible one...obviously not...mentally exhausted.....x

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