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17 year DS doesn't speak at home

(24 Posts)
Claybury Thu 14-May-15 17:39:20

I know teenage boys often don't speak, but I think we have an extreme case of a grunting teen.
dh and I probably exchange 5 sentences a week with DS. He almost never initiates conversation unless it is to criticise his sister. Does anyone else have a teen boy who is this bad ?

lincolnshirelassy Thu 14-May-15 17:58:49

I don't know if teen boys have changed much over time but my brother never spoke for about 4 years during his teens. In fact I don't think he left his bedroom for about 4 years.

He's a chatty well balanced 40 year old now smile

ProbablyMe Thu 14-May-15 18:03:03

My nearly 18 yo DS1 is the same. Last time we actually had an actual conversation I text my DP and my mum in shock!

Madlizzy Thu 14-May-15 18:07:14

I think it's bloody rude! I've got a 22 year old son and 16 year old triplet boys (and one girl). I've not allowed grunts and have insisted that they actually speak to me if they want to get anywhere. Don't get me wrong, they are still bedroom dwellers and proper geeks, but they speak.

Claybury Thu 14-May-15 18:08:44

I fear my brother was the same. Until he reached his twenties. But being a much younger sister I never realised how crap it must have been for our parents.
Thing is I just feel sorry for DS. The rest of the household is lively, full of banter, and he is just not part of it. He seems depressed. I mean how can you tell how someone is if they just don't talk? If I say 'what do you want for lunch ?' he will either totally ignore me or mumble so quietly we just can't hear him.

Madlizzy Thu 14-May-15 18:13:35

You go into his room and say to him "you seem a bit down at the moment, anything I can do to help?" Even if he says no, you've opened up the dialogue.

Claybury Thu 14-May-15 18:15:47

Tried that ! He'll be lying on his bed, he barely turns his head to look at me. If I persist he asks why am I hassling him.

Madlizzy Thu 14-May-15 19:07:13

That's really rude and dismissive. Does he get out and about with his mates or is he a full time bedroom dweller?

ArseForElbow Thu 14-May-15 19:09:18

Yes my DS of 15 was the same for a while there, he responds to texts better but come in to see me when he comes in at night sometimes and has a brief chat. He is also a bedroom dweller, but I just talk and talk to him. grin

Madlizzy Thu 14-May-15 19:14:36

Clay, my eldest son suffered from depression, but he still wasn't allowed to be so dismissive. Might be worth pulling him up on it, for instance the asking him what he wants for lunch thing, if he ignores you, tell him that if he won't open his mouth and reply, he can bloody well starve then.

Claybury Thu 14-May-15 19:33:49

Thing is Madlizzy he'll fix his own lunch, so he won't starve. I might ask him what he wants when I see him peering in the fridge, but I'm just trying to chat.
I can't make him converse can I ?

Claybury Thu 14-May-15 19:35:52

He is currently a bedroom dweller ( exams ) but when not doing exams he'll be out every day with mates.

squidgyapple Thu 14-May-15 22:48:27

maybe he's stressed and focussing on exams and will improve thereafter?? You can hope...

swimmer4 Thu 14-May-15 22:56:37

Apologies Claybury, I've just posted a similar post.
I found a book called 'How to talk so Teens will listen and how to listen so Teens will talk' - it was an easy read and a little cheesy however there were some great suggestions and said it was 'never too late to start.
However I have yet to persuade DH to read it - so I'm going to struggle to try the strategies alone :-(

Madlizzy Thu 14-May-15 23:34:59

Claybury, talking face to face would be so much easier! I'm not explaining myself well at all. I do still think he's being rude though.

thepurplehen Fri 15-May-15 06:16:49

This sounds familiar. Just enough response to answer questions but rarely any real conversation. Borderline rude but not quite enough to initiate me giving him a lecture on manners.

I'm hoping he'll change if he goes to university, he can't just grunt at everyone there, can he?! shock

Heyho111 Fri 15-May-15 06:33:11

This is normal development. The brain is making him become an adult and independent, not needing their parents. The way it does it is by making the teens feel hatred, embarrassment and anger towards their family. Girls reaction is very verbal. Boys reaction is to remove themselves from the family and become introvert around them. They all do it but like everything it effects them in different amounts. You have an extreme case. My d was at the extreme end. Being verbal you can just imagine what the 4 years was like. I feel sorry for them. They have an uncontrollable feeling of anger or miserable feeling constantly that must must be horrid. To feel angry all the time. Yuck. Don't take it personally. Let him be. In a few years you'll get a well balanced son back who has become a man. grin

Claybury Fri 15-May-15 08:46:23

Thanks heyho I get what you're saying.
Four years of no talking, coupled with no hobbies and no apparent interest in anything-it just seems like there's no joy in his life. Although on the v rare occasion I see him with mates he does seem different, which is good. ( although also serves to remind me what a different persona he presents to his family, which I find desperately sad). Honestly at almost 18 I'm starting to expect a bit more.
I want to organise some work experience for him but I'm too embarrassed to put him in touch with any of my contacts.
I feel sorry for them too. It seems so unnecessary. DD is the same age, and she's totally human !!

Whathaveilost Fri 15-May-15 15:22:19

To be honest in it recognising what you and others are saying as typical behaviour of teens, especially males.
From a personal point of view I have one of 18 and one of 15. The eldest one is always talking what. His plans are, what he is up to in his job, shooing us funny tuff on YouTube andFB etc. we socialise together and go to gig and the cinema together while the youngest never flippin stops talking and always instigating thought provoking debate.

On. Professional level up until a few months ago when I switched jobs I was a youth worker working with teenagers. Again, chatty, engaging and fun.

OP, what stuff do you together as a family. Do you spend time doing 'fun' stuff whether its watching a favourite team play, eat out together whatever you all like.

A few yers ago I knew the eldest one ws struggling with something but wouldn't chat. I spent time with just me nd him and just us so would have te out or drive somewhere. I didn't push much conversation or ask questions. Jordan would eventually tell me little bits of things. Turne out he was bothered about exams.

Could you try 1:1 do you think?

thepurplehen Fri 15-May-15 15:29:55

I do much of what you describe, chatting to him when he does appear, sharing funny things on fb etc with him and he'll laugh and be ok and then slink off to his room for another eternity. hmm

We always eat together but he's so hard to engage in conversation.

I try and persuade him to do all sorts of things with me. It's so hard to find something to get his attention - eating out, shows, sport.... Mostly he just wants to stay in his room and talk to his friends on Skype about school work or gaming.

ancientbuchanan Fri 15-May-15 15:34:56

Quite normal but bloody infuriating.

On the one hand, thank God he has somewhere safe and loving to be grumpy. On the other, have a wine' flowers.

I find doing something long and no eye contact is the way yo get them to talk. I : dog walk, insist on help with washing up, or drive a long way somewhere eg 3 hours. I natter on about something in the media that might be relevant, eg scientific findings on brains, govt proposals on youf, washing up now better as can't be on iPad St same time.

It sometimes takes 2 hours before the ice cracks, but it usually does. A bit.

Good luck. And empathy. Hth

PattiODoors Tue 19-May-15 18:48:40

Big fat yes to not eye to eye, but alongside. Iyswim.

Georgethesecond Tue 19-May-15 18:58:06

I remember a poster on here saying that she used to try to talk to her grunter and when it failed say brightly "I'm glad we had this little chat" which lightened the mood a bit. Miraculously mine talk to me, but I have used that line on the rare occasions that they haven't.

Keep trying, it shows you care. Even if you just show him something funny online. Even if he doesn't speak back. As long as he knows you care he'll come out of it in the end.

Whathaveilost Wed 20-May-15 07:17:00

My lads never stop talking .....ever!

My poor ears!

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