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my teen is ignoring me - for no apparent reason. How to deal with being blanked

(96 Posts)
ErnesttheBavarian Mon 19-Jan-15 07:34:18

ok, my ds is 15. He has been ignoring me since Saturday. I don't know why. He will not speak to me or make eye contact with me. If I speak directly to him he will answer either with a grunt or 1 word, while looking studiously at the wall behind me.

I have asked his wtf is going on. "Don't know what you're talking about"

I rage at dh in frustration. He tells him off. Not acceptable behavior etc etc. Tells him to apologize. All I get is (while looking at the effing wall) "I'm sorry you're upset" which is a deliberate and total "fuck off".

I am fucking livid about it tbh.

It's the 3rd or 4th time that he's got the hump about something and decided I'm total scum. I really want an effective way to deal with it, ideally as soon as it begins. It makes me feel so angry and powerless. I bet he doesn't even know now wtf triggered it. I sure as hell don't

Bit of background. My sister has form for this. She ignores people when she is pissed off with them. She ignored me literally for about 8 years because she got the hump about who knows what at our granddad's funeral. She did not recognize the birth of any of my 4 dc and only got back in touch after one of my many attempts (letters and phone calls, which I did because it was breaking my mum's heart and was such a strain for her). Why do I always have to do the running to fix this mad fucking behavior?? She also ignored my mum for many years too. My mum wrote her a letter every single week for all those years till she finally deigned to get in touch. Honestly if my sister started blanking me again now iI think I'd just leave her to it. My mum treads on egg shells every fucking time she talks to my sister for fear of upsetting her.

And now my ds is behaving like it. My head is exploding. wtf do I do?

PenelopePitstops Mon 19-Jan-15 07:37:48

Firstly he isn't to blame for your sister. Don't lump your frustration about her on to him.

Just ignore the fucker back! No lunch, no tea, no lifts etc until he asks politely.

3littlefrogs Mon 19-Jan-15 07:38:11

I would write him a letter explaining how rude and hurtful his behaviour is.
I would also inform him that the consequences would be that there would be no lifts anywhere, no phone credit, no meals cooked - indeed no contribution from you until he grows up a bit and finds some manners.

I would also get in touch with his teacher and find out what, if anything, is happening at school, and what his behaviour is like there.

SoupDragon Mon 19-Jan-15 07:39:09

Stop feeding him.

QOD Mon 19-Jan-15 07:41:04

Ugh. My Dd does this to her dad. He's a grumpy curmudgeon and if he goes off on a moan to me or at me, she gets enraged (I don't as i just tell him to wind it in, it's just his glass smashed on the floor kinda outlook on life)
Have you and dh had any rows?
I'm glad you're bothered as my dh is as sulky with her as with him.
It's like Having 2 jealous teenagers

She did it to me when.abou 13/14 and I just ploughed thru it getting cross and forcing her to acknowledge me before I'd do anything for her

LoveVintage Mon 19-Jan-15 07:44:23

It might be worth checkingg with the school that all is ok so far as they know.

But he is a 15 year old hormonal teenager, there is often no rhyme or reason for their behaviour. Best thing to do is carry on as normal, be bright and breezy, don't take it personally if he ignores you. Keep lines of communication open, tell him his much you love him and that he can talk to you about anything at any time.

You might want to read this

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Mon 19-Jan-15 07:44:36

He doesn't need to speak to you to be told in no uncertain terms that his behaviour is unacceptable and he either snaps out of it or he loses internet/phone/pocket money/whatever.

He needs to learn right NOW that sulking is a manipulative attempt to control and you will not tolerate it.

Do not beg, plead or bargain. And for the love of god do not go down the eggshells route! That's the absolute worst thing you can do with a sulker. He must not learn that he gains power through sulking. He needs to learn that he loses by it and that clear communication and negotiation is key to getting his needs met.

If he is simply in a teenage fog of hormones and genuinely doesn't know why he's being so dreadful, (I remember those days! Genuinely furious and upset but totally unable to say why or even understand your overwhelming emotions) then tbh, I'd just tell him you love him and then let him get on with it.

DeladionInch Mon 19-Jan-15 07:47:31

change the WiFi password - he has to talk to you to get the new one

glenthebattleostrich Mon 19-Jan-15 07:48:02

Change the WiFi password, no laundry, cooking, lifts etc.

If he doesn't want to at least be civil in your house then he looses all the things which make him comfortable there.

And yes, check with school / on his Facebook etc to see if there's anything going on there

ErnesttheBavarian Mon 19-Jan-15 07:49:25

My concern is if I don't find an effective way to deal with this behavior it will continue any get worse like my sister and I will be like my mum always terrified of upsetting him for fear of getting blanked for another week.

I can't decide whether to ignore the fact that he's ignoring me and just cheerily say good morning etc.

Or do I ignore him? But then when I cook the family meal and just not serve him up it's going to look confrontational and petty isn't it? And give him real grounds for being pissed off.

Really, I cannot think what it is. We went for a walk then to a cafe for hot chocolate. Not a cross word was spoken.

I really am stumped.

His phone is on a contract probably with a year and a half to run and I don't give him lifts anywhere. I've already refused to do his laundry for a long time as I'm sick of just finding it all dumped on the floor, freshly washed and ironed all scrupled up with dirty stuff. So apart from cooking I don't do anything for him directly as such.

I hate this shit. He is so rude to me and never like this with dh, ever.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 19-Jan-15 07:55:15

You don't have to do the running and you didn't with your sister, manipulation only works if you let yourself be manipulated.

He's a kid and by nature at that age he's a fuckwit, he's doing it deliberately and very obviously to wind you up - so ignore it.

And agree with your Dh that before he does anything for him (because obviously you're not) that he just asks you 'rude or not' - to which you respond rude if he's being rude to you.

The second he starts doing it stop doing anything for him - if he's on the computer turn the wifi off, if he's playing an electronic game turn the electricity off (I've done this, took the switch and went out for a few hoursgrin), don't cook him dinner/give money or lifts.

But you need to ignore it and not do anything for him, not beg or plead or rage as it just gives him power.

I had one teenager who deliberately came into a room to give me the silent treatment or be huffy so I went up to bed for the evening and watched tv there.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Mon 19-Jan-15 08:09:48

The only reason your sister's behaviour got worse is that you all pandered to her and consistently taught her that that behaviour got her what she wanted.

That's how it happened.

So don't make the same mistake with your son.

Don't teach him that sulking gets him a 'win'. Teach him that he loses through it and gains through assertive yet polite conversation.

It's really in your hands. You have the ability to either teach him that sulking works or that it doesn't.

VegasIsBest Mon 19-Jan-15 08:10:04

Have you tried taking him out some err neutral (macdonalds) and just having a conversation about how he's feeling? Or go for a drive together? I find my kids often chat more when they're in the car as it flows more naturally. 15 is a difficult time physically and emotionally plus lots of pressure from the lead up to GCSEs. So your son could just be finding things a bit overwhelming hence grumpy behaviour.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Mon 19-Jan-15 08:10:53

oh, that's a good one - he's like this with you but not with his dad.

Look at why that is.

What does his dad do that you don't / not do that you do.

What's the difference? Examine that.

ErnesttheBavarian Mon 19-Jan-15 08:11:37

Dh won't do the wifi. We tried that once, and as our tv as well as loads of stuff needs the wifi it ended up causing us loads of hassle. Might look to see if his room has it's own fuse though smile

I 'm considering going in and confiscating his laptop, or do I give him warning first?

He gets his pocket money on the 1st of the month, so I can't even threaten him with that, but as a result of this I am going to switch to weekly money so I can have a more immediate impact.

btw at 15 how much pocket money pw/pm is reasonable and do people give a clothing allowance. ds2 friend gets 200 a month and that's supposed to be him buying everything for himself but omg 200 a month? No way. What is reasonable?

BreeVDKamp Mon 19-Jan-15 08:16:29

If he's nice to DH, can't DH have a word, tell him how unacceptable it is to blank you etc?

It sounds horrible, poor you! I was the same with my mum, she couldn't do anything without making me absolutely unexplainably livid. No idea why. Poor woman! I fully accept I've probably got that coming to me when my kids are teenagers ha.

HowCanIMissYouIfYouWontGoAway Mon 19-Jan-15 08:16:48

What you can afford is reasonable.

My eldest is 15 and he gets £6 a week to spend on whatever, or save up for stuff. He doesn't have to buy his clothes out of that, or toiletries or anything like that. It's just spends. My youngest is 14 and he gets £5 a week.

ErnesttheBavarian Mon 19-Jan-15 08:23:02

I'd say his dad is a lot more volatile and impatient and shout with his. He's also a lot more absent. But in our last charming little show down he told me he was annoyed with me cos I shouted at him. (And then went on to say he's noticed I get really volatile say once or twice every 4 weeks or so) Obviously he was suggesting that I lost my temper because of PMT. I was so fucking mad. It isn't true. I was angry with him at Christmas cos he was being badly behaved and nothing to do with my cycle. I was and still am totally outraged at his daring to even insinuate that to me. I asked him directly if he was insinuating and he denied it. He really knows how to press my buttons.

Dh shouts at him much more than I do. I rarely shout at a kid directly.

On paper, dh does all the terrible things that ds has complained about like shouting and losing temper. But he is never rude to him and never ignores him. I guess the main difference is that dh doesn't take it personally nd is more forthright. and businesslike when dealing with him, when he's not shouting.

I wouldn't say I pandered to my sister's behavior. I 'let' her ignore me for a wonderful many years and only extended the olive branch (albeit a few times) after my mum asked me to because it was such a strain for her. But yes, I do not want my ds to get used to this type of behavior, hence asking for help and suggestions now.

If my sister blanked me now, I would leave her to it without a second thought. But my ds is 15, and living under my roof and I need to teach him still clearly. I am fucking livid about it this morning.

merlehaggard Mon 19-Jan-15 08:25:38

I don't give a clothing allowance. I buy my 12 year old DD clothes, as and when she needs them. She also gets £10 per week pocket money from my dad, which goes in to an account to spend on any little bits and pieces she wants and friends presents. I buy anything she needs and all drinks, sweets etc when we're out and about.

In your circumstances, I would give a small amount of pocket money (which would need to be earned) and just buy his clothes. I would want to see a lot better behaviour before I started handing over large sums of money. I'm not sure on what is a good sum for pocket money though because I didn't set her sum, my dad did, and it does largely get saved anyway because she isn't much of a spender.

Inkspellme Mon 19-Jan-15 08:27:18

you are coming across as being far too hesitant about upsetting him. He is manipulating you. He may not have intended too at the start but he now realises your vulnerable bit - ignore you and you will nearly beg for attention. You need to assert control. you are not asking him to hand up his laptop - you are telling him it is being confiscated for the next however long you decide on fir continious rude and unacceptable behaviour. and then you take it. he gets it back by dropping the unacceptable behaviour. if he continues with sulking you extend the length of time his laptop is gone or you start confiscating other benefits including fining him by reducing next months pocket money.

In short you take control - be assertive and firm.

If you and your mom had ignored your sisters sulking she wouldn't have gotten so much out of it. Writing to her for years when she was behaving like that? You let yourselves be manipulated by her and she is still in complete control now. Don't do the same with your son.

payuktaxrichardbranson Mon 19-Jan-15 08:36:05

He's hardly going to make peace with you if you're attitude in real life is the same as on here. Your swearing and basically saying he's awful. If you were my dm with that attitude I wouldn't be talking to you either. I'd be keeping a low profile.
Calm down be nice, you're the adult. Model good behaviour.if you withhold basic necessities such as food, clean clothes etc as pp have recommended, that's worse than him not speaking y to you, and withholding those things could be seen as abusive.
So calm down, model good behaviour, provide basic necessities give him time.
Contact the school to find out what's happening if some compassion.he's your child not your sister or you're partner.

ErnesttheBavarian Mon 19-Jan-15 08:52:57

The replies are totally poles apart then.

I carry on being nice and polite, feed him and model good behaviour, otherwise I'm bordering on abusive.

(Obviously I am not being swearing and saying he's awful to him. Obviously not. I'm venting on here because that's what this behaviour is making me feel like) He came up for breakfast this morning and I thought maybe he'll have got over it in the night, whatever "it" is. I said good morning in a cheerful voice, he ignored me. I asked him what he wanted for breakfast, and pointed him in the direction of bread, he ignored me. He left for school without saying goodbye. etc etc etc. So I'm angry and venting. Am I not allowed to feel angry and frustrated? Not surprising he won't make peace with me? OK, Then there's no hope for me then. Thanks a lot.

Or no, I'm being far too soft and no wonder he's being bad cos I'm not being firm enough. Don't make him food. Don't give him pocket money. Don't give him lifts.


constantlyconfused Mon 19-Jan-15 08:53:11

Teenagers are pretty manipulative he probably saw how much your sisters actions bugged you so is giving it a go.
I'd suggest ignoring him back but he sounds pretty stubborn so that might mean months! I always find confiscating phone helps if all else fails .You pay for it so he should at least be polite to earn the fact you pay for it.Saying that my DD can be hideous its no miracle worker but short sharp shock.She apolgises the second it goes this is the only time she ever says sorry its not genuine its just for the phone but if it restores a tiny bit of harmony i can deal with that ;-)

ErnesttheBavarian Mon 19-Jan-15 08:58:49

My sister ignored me for several years from 1998 (before he was born) till about 2005, wow 12 years, so I doubt ds was aware of it, born 1999.

I reckon he would go on forever if I just ignored him, you're right.

FatherHenderson Mon 19-Jan-15 09:10:11

I think you need to toughen up. Get into his bedroom, confiscate his laptop and phone, and frankly anything else that takes your eye. I presume you bought them?
You need to tell him that you spent your hard earned cash on someone who won't talk to you and that's unacceptable.

But you also need to help him find a way back to talking to you. Say, let's start again tomorrow. You can sulk like a toddler all day today, but we can forget lots of this and start from scratch in Tuesday morning.

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