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Where have I gone wrong?

(31 Posts)
rainbowstardrops Tue 10-Nov-15 18:37:28

I'm at my wit's end. DS is 15. He is just so utterly rude, grumpy, disrespectful and nasty!
I ask him 'nicely' so many times to do something/please don't do something and he just ignores everything.
After the zillionth request i suggested we need a family meeting to agree some ground rules .............. HE WENT BALLISTIC!!!
I'm the only mum that moans blah blah blah.
I usually try to let it wash over me but he's just so nasty towards me. everything is my doing. Naturally.
We try to support him in EVERYTHING that he wants. We even funded a school trip to New York that we really couldn't easily afford. His attitude didn't even improve then!
I've just asked him why he's so angry towards me bearing in mind his dad is rarely here (always for the good bits) so of course it's me here 24/7 but I do everything for him and the nastiness that came from him was horrible.
I try so hard not to tear up in front of him because he throws that at me too, so I took his phone and when more nastiness came out, I snatched his dinner (that I'd cooked after being on the go all day) and threw it in the bin blush
We don't have money but I've always tried to teach my kids that manners, respect ect cost nothing.
I don't even know why I'm posting. Just want someone to rant to I suppose sad

Gracell4545 Tue 10-Nov-15 19:33:38

It's good to have a rant grin
DD is pretty similar she has days where she can be quite lovely but at times I feel even my breathing upsets her!! It's hard to stay patient but try not to take it personally I'm sure he'll snap out of it. I was pretty vile from 14-18 and cringe about it now. Maybe snatching and throwing dinner is a bit OTT.
What pee's me off is DD is all sweetness and light when her boyfriend pops over she hugs me, offers me tea, offers help with dinner and speaks to me nicely it's very fake as the second he goes I'm back to being ignored unless money is required.

MuddhaOfSuburbia Tue 10-Nov-15 19:40:58

it's so HARD op

I'd hazard a guess it's not you who's gone wrong

grit your teeth and hang on and try to believe it'll get better

and don't beat yourself up about chucking his dinner. Yesterday my dd was ghastly. I ended up chucking my own dinner in the bin grin

Andie92 Tue 10-Nov-15 19:56:52

I can't advise you as a parent as I'm only pregnant with my first, but I can offer some insight from the teen side of things because how my parents refrained from choking me as a teen I will never know.
Look into any new friends, any problems at school (My main issue at school was I was treated like I was stupid because I had Dyslexia so I wasn't academically challenged, which led to me having a school behaviour record like a rap sheet), is he making any big choices at the moment and other things like that.

The most effective thing my parents did was treating me with the same level of respect I treated them and it drove home the lesson that respect was easy to lose and hard to earn.
Things like:
-Being rude to me when I was rude to them and being polite to me when I was polite to them (but still making opportunities for me to talk about problems without pushing).
-If I was rude at or didn't turn up to meal times they stopped making my meals (Which, of course didn't break any law because they provided food at 14/15 I was old enough to use the cooker or microwave)
-If I wouldn't clean up after myself they stopped doing my laundry.
-If they got bad reports from school they refused to sign permission slips and pay for trips and if the behaviour continued they would stop giving me school money and just a pre-paid bus pass and I got free school meals.
-If they grounded me and I snuck out they would lock me out until I was shouting and banging on the door.
- And finally when they caught me smoking (knowing that the making the kid smoke until their sick thing didn't work) they would take the cigarettes and smoke them in front of me while reminding me that everything I had came from their money and they could take any of it away just like the cigarettes that I bought behind their backs with their money.

You may not agree with their methods but they were really running out of patience with me and had military school been a thing in this country they would have sent me but this worked for me as I was genuinely
shocked when they took the whole 'no more Mr nice guy' thing seriously.

Another thing that really helped me was going into the air cadets because I made new friends, it taught me discipline, feeling apart of something and it got me into sports. I got to do these really cool things that other kids at school didn't like learning to fly, camping on RAF bases, entering shooting competitions, doing exercises with RAF personnel and meeting people for all over the country. Maybe something you could look into.

Sorry about the essay.

rainbowstardrops Tue 10-Nov-15 20:01:23

Thank you!
I'm not sure if this has posted twice because someone suggested a book for me to read but I can't see that - or my reply now???
Hey - I've messed up again confused
But hey, thank you guys!
I try so hard to not take his venom personally and I try to think it's just hormones but it's just so nasty!

We have a long standing 'rule' that all tec stops at 9pm. At 9.15pm last night I asked for him to put his phone on charge in my room or downstairs. He had a strop.
rightly or wrongly, I looked at his phone (I pay his bill and it's my old phone) and he said to a friend that he had to go because I was being a c**t shock
I just can't believe this is my bright, lovely, well-mannered boy that I bought up :-(

Andie92 Tue 10-Nov-15 20:01:48

Just clarify on the last paragraph with the 'doing exercises with RAF personnel', if was just a fun activity scavenger hunt thing while 'avoiding capture' but if they caught you, you just had to bribe them with haribo.

rainbowstardrops Tue 10-Nov-15 21:24:03

????? hmm

leavemealone2015 Tue 10-Nov-15 23:30:00

I think stopping phone etc at nine is quite early for this age and might cause unnecessary discord ... I would think at 15 more like not allowed overnight but would allow it until bedtime at 10.30 or so

rainbowstardrops Wed 11-Nov-15 06:26:42

I do indeed seem to have posted my thread twice. I have no idea how I managed that confused
Andie92 thank you for your perspective on being a teenager. I generally do most of what you suggested already I think. Well, i say to him if you're rude ect then I won't make your packed lunch/cook your dinner etc and he just shrugs. I've told him I refuse to enter his room now to get his washing because it's such a hovel but again he shrugs and says he doesn't care if his clothes smell. And he really doesn't! But I do!
He's not a 'naughty' boy - yet - and in fact is bright and does well at school and that's why I find it so incredibly hurtful when he speaks to me like he does.
He says I'm disrespectful to him but he couldn't actually tell me how I was!
He accused me of spending more time with younger DD ....... well that's because she actually speaks to me when she comes in from school instead of grunting how tired he is when he walks through the door and then disappears upstairs to message half the world on his phone!

leaveme Mmm I've wondered if 9pm is too early but he's in yr 11 so doing GCSE's and he's ALWAYS saying how tired he is. Plus I don't stay up that late, so he would probably keep his phone in his room all night and that's a no-no for me.
Hey ho. Let's see what today brings smile

CharlotteCollins Wed 11-Nov-15 06:41:01

Saying what you will do is a good start, as long as you follow it up with action, consistently. He may well say he doesn't care; that's not the point. He'll still see that his behaviour has consequences.

Expect that he will be rude and horrible, but don't accept it: consequences again. You are playing the long game and he will not appreciate it till he's older. 15 is often the worst age, though. In a year's time it'll be easier, two years: better again.

Make sure you have support. You can't be a strong parent without someone to rant at! MN is good; rl friends are better.

Wtfmummy Wed 11-Nov-15 06:44:54

Really feel for you OP. I have three boys who are very little and very cute so it would/will be heartbreaking to see them morph into horrible teens... flowers

I was a tricky teen and rebeled against my mother for years. However my mother was a narcissistic controlling sneaky bugger and i felt I had no option but to rebel against her as she was so unreasonable. She would check my phone, go through my bag, listen in on conversations, be rude to my friends, be undermining to me in front of my friends blah blah blah. As a result I moved out at 17 and we don't have a relationship (a lot more has happened but I don't want to take over your thread wink).

My advice would be to try and give him some space, loosen up on some rules, don't check his phone, maybe give him some more responsibility and in turn some more privileges. Treat him more like an adult and you may be positively surprised. Ask him to help you out a bit as his dad is away. Otherwise I am afraid you may push him away. 15 is right on the cusp of adulthood, maybe you should just let him have his phone, no rules attached but in return can he please help with dinner twice a week etc.

Take him out for dinner just the two of you and explain you love him, you're proud of him, you trust him and as such you will let him do xyz in return can he also try to speak to you nicely, give you a bit of a break etc.

Really hope it works out for you.

rainbowstardrops Wed 11-Nov-15 12:33:27

CharlotteCollins thank you. Last night I said he could make his own lunch and iron his trousers as I already go out over an hour before him in the morning and I'm not prepared to get up earlier to do it. Told him on my way out what he needed to do. He looked at me hmm and said ok. He's probably gone to school without lunch and with unironed trousers but hey ho!
I did say 'See you later, love you' and he said 'Love you too' so there's hope for today ........ until he comes home anyway grin

rainbowstardrops Wed 11-Nov-15 12:41:29

wtfmummy it is indeed heartbreaking to see your lovely child turn into this grumpy, hormonal monster! I just tend to take everything personally and wonder where I've gone wrong.
I must say that some days he's relatively mellow and will offer to clear the kitchen after dinner etc but some days the red mist descends and lingers!
I have to put my hands up and admit I'm quite a stickler for order and rules but to ask him to do basic things like put his shoes away, hang his coat up, don't leave wet towels on the bed etc etc isn't unreasonable to ask without a full blown verbal attack on me I don't think?
I'm holding on to the thought that 15 is dire but 16 might be better and 17 better still grin
Then I've got it all to come with DDconfused

rogueantimatter Wed 11-Nov-15 13:54:11

He probably feels you're on his case the whole time and all you care about is having a tidy home. He won't listen. You'll open your mouth with a damp towel in hand and he'll hear 'Blah blah' and/or think your'e being an unreasonable control freak.

IME saying stuff doesn't work. Pick your battles - personally (but everyone has their own 'buttons') I don't go on about mess. Better to let him experience the consequences. Eg you wash things in the laundry basket only - just say once - as matter-of-factly as possible (even though you're fizzing with annoyance) then when he asks where his jeans (or whatever) are you just say 'I don't know - where did you leave them? Have you tried your bedroom floor? (or whatever) calmly. He'll soon learn. And your relationship won't have suffered.

Ignore muttering, eye-rolling etc. And don't take the bad language on his phone personally. If he doesn't say it to you let it go. There's a generation gap (my parents thought it was dreadful to describe anything as 'hellish'!!!)

I agree with letting him have his phone until later.

Compliment him whenever possible and ask his opinions about 'stuff'. I think they sometimes think you're only interested in them if they 'obey your petty rules'.

I've a 16YO (and a 19YO) The 16 YO is pretty good really but I don't ask much of him (he puts his damp towels on his radiator though). The atmosphere in the home is quite good, but start saying 'Have ?...' and he gets annoyed. I just try not to, but it's difficult.

Finally blush they don't do gratitude IME till they're 17 or 18. If you bring up the generous holiday he'll just think 'Why did you let me go if you have a problem with it? How unreasonable' Teenage brain syndrome.

I'm impressed that he sometimes thinks to clear up. And he's doing well to get himself to school. I make mine breakfast and put a bottle of water and snack in his bag every morning.

rainbowstardrops Wed 11-Nov-15 17:01:37

Thanks rogueantimatter. A lot of what you say makes sense. Trust me though, my house isn't tidy by any stretch of the imagination! grin
I'm not constantly nagging or expecting anything unreasonable - just to hang his coat up etc!
I have said to him before that I'm not putting his washing on if it's all on the floor or his bed.
I think yesterday was just a particularly bad day and I need to remember that he's stressed too with college applications/girls/GCSE's ect.
He's not a bad boy at all. Just so bloody stroppy at times!
I must say he surprised me this morning and he did indeed iron his own trousers and he made himself a sandwich smile (I usually make his lunch at the same time as DD's). He just needed to know I wasn't prepared to do them today after the awful way he spoke to me yesterday.
Here's hoping for a peaceful evening wine

rogueantimatter Wed 11-Nov-15 18:39:47

I hope you have a peaceful evening too. smile

I hope you don't think I was criticising. I changed the way I parented when my older one was 15... and things improved. There's such a steep learning curve with the first one. I was so stressed when my older one was 14/15.

PenelopePitstops Wed 11-Nov-15 18:51:11

This might sound harsh but you do sound a bit on his case all the time. Agree with posters who said that he needs to feel the natural consequences of his actions. Being rude = nothing done for him. Stick to it if you threaten him!

Technology off at 9 is quite early, is there any room for renegotiation here?

rainbowstardrops Wed 11-Nov-15 18:57:52

Not at all. (Well maybe initially grin until I re-read it several times)
I have totally taken your advice on board.
DS came home and tried to engage in conversation (bless him). He has been positively lovely so far.
I have made a super effort to not nag or moan and to be attentive to him.
His dad was here and went immediately into nag mode but I discreetly hinted at backing off and this prevented all hell breaking loose grin
He asked to get down from the table to clear the kitchen ...... that was about 45 mins ago. He's still upstairs getting his headphones playing his guitar
I have not nagged!!!
I managed to have a quiet moment with him and told him I love him dearly. He said he loved me too but he's really stressed right now. I said I totally understood but it's not ok to say such hurtful things. He said he knows he shouldn't but sometimes he just can't stop himself.
So calm right now smile

rainbowstardrops Wed 11-Nov-15 19:06:28

Penelope mmm yeah he probably thinks I'm on his case but that's only because I've had the same expectations for the past 11 years he's been at school and so not unreasonable to expect him to produce a lunch box to be washed, a coat to be hung up, balls not being kicked/batted around the house! Just basic 'house rules' really!
I'm still undecided on the phone bit. I hear him when he says all the 'banter' goes on in the evening and he feels pissed that he has to put his phone on charge at 9pm. I get that. BUT I also know that given the opportunity, he'd be on his phone half the night until he physically couldn't any longer!!!!
He's doing GCSE's and he gets up relatively early as I leave for work before 8am. He's always tired now (he's quite sporty too).
I'll think on that one ......

OutToGetYou Wed 11-Nov-15 19:21:12

You're doing well!

I have 14yo dss and can relate to a lot of what you say. Zero gratitude, no help from him, constant reminding to do basic stuff (like, if you scarf a lot of junk food put the bloody wrappers in the bin).
No-one cares if his trousers, or even shirts, are ironed though. I don't do any ironing and dp doesn't iron anything for dss.

My niece was a dreadful teen, really turned on her parents, but she was fine once she was 20ish.

The book might have been Get Out If My Life, But Take Me And Alex Into Town First? I got it for dp and he thought it was good. Sadly he 'lent' it to his ex-w before I got to read it and according to dss she threw it away without reading it.

The problem is, you learn all along to be consistent. But once they are teens everything changes. Almost hourly. So you have to learn to roll with the punches.

I'd let him have his phone at night unless you find evidence that he's not regulating himself well. You could turn the router off when you go to bed.

leavemealone2015 Wed 11-Nov-15 19:39:37

Ds isn't rude but he doesn't always tidy away drinks or plates either. I usually tell him just once that I can see he hasn't tidied his things away yet and ask him to do it when he gets the chance so I can sit down by him and enjoy the evening. I don't allow phones overnight either. I think they take any comment as a negative or annoying and just hate being told what to do! So if you keep it simple and positive it works better.

pasanda Wed 11-Nov-15 21:40:54

Read 'Get our of my life, but first take me and Alex into town' if you haven't done so already.

It really, really helps!

rainbowstardrops Wed 11-Nov-15 22:52:06

That book sounds very interesting and very relevant! I also have another book that's been suggested too. I'm open to any help!!!!!

I have approached things completely differently tonight. I reminded him at 9pm that his phone needed charging.
I appeared again ten minutes later and he started to grumble.
I didn't rant or rave. I calmly said that eons ago we (H, DS and I) sat down and said Ds could have phone until dinner. Then tidy kitchen (possibly) but half an hour of study as he's doing his GCSE's this school year and then phone until 9pm. That's quite a lot of phone time! Ds agreed.
I pointed out tonight that he isn't regularly studying now but if he can think of a compromise where he studies but then earns longer on his phone then I'm open to negotiation. We had a big hug and for today at least, we have made progress.

Phew!!! It's a bloody minefield!!!!

leavemealone2015 Wed 11-Nov-15 23:04:28

He doesn't have to be constantly on his phone but he could keep hold of it until bedtime surely ? there aren't many 15 yr olds who go to bed at nine ( which is when I would charge it )
Also does he actually ask to get down from the table? That sounds like a primary school rule. I don't want to sound critical but he is 15.

leavemealone2015 Wed 11-Nov-15 23:06:09

It seems to be one extreme to the other..phone until 9 pm so he doesn't have it on all night.. Somewhere in the middle would be better. Do you go on I pad or phone in the evening ?

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