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is there any mums of boys 18+ out there??

(29 Posts)
ssd Sun 03-Jul-16 22:26:38

I need advice. Ds is now 18 and he keeps himself to himself so much he hardly talks to us. When he is at home he spends all his time in his room, I mean all his time. He hasnt sat in the living room with us for years, literally. He is doing well, got into uni, did well at school, no issues, nice girlfriend..

But I miss him and when I go into his room and try and talk to him about this I get an eye roll and a what now mum. I just want him to be involved with us a bit more, to see him a bit more. Its like he left home years ago. He never chats to his younger brother, he gets ignored. And I know he feels it.

I dont know what to do to draw him into family life a bit more. I know hes now an adult and I dont expect him to sit and chat, but God it would be nice. He chats away to his friends online and sometimes we turn down the tv just to hear him!!

I feel hes being rude and a bit arrogant but I think hes just so wrapped up in his life he doesnt see it as bad that he basically cuts us off. He doesnt eat downstairs and we never eat round the table, thats all fell away. Please dont tell me to start it up again, we all seem to eat at different times a lot of the week.

I would just love him to come in and walk into the living room and talk about his day for 5 minutes, thats all. I've tried to tell him this but he so doesnt get it.

If anyone has experience of this, please can you give me any advice. If you havent, please dont come on and tell me what you would do without any knowledge of what its like, believe me I've tried and tried and I just need someone with a son like this to tell me how it got better. He does always ask me how was work mum, when I come home, and thats usually it. He hardly speaks to his dad, unless its an answer for something, like a football related thing.

He never shut up when he was small!!!

help, please

ssd Sun 03-Jul-16 22:45:41

just to add, he goes out with friends and his girlfriend, he doesn't just stay in and game, he has lots of friends. he keeps himself clean and smart and his room is never really messy.

thinking about it, I kept things to myself a lot as a teen but I think, being a girl, I probably did things with my mum like shop and stuff that he doesnt really want to do with me.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 04-Jul-16 02:03:48

Our ds2 who has just turned 18 is like this. He never voluntarily comes and sits/chats with us, but will chat away to his friends online all evening, and also goes out with his mates 2 or 3 times per week. He's (hopefully ) off to uni in September and I suspect will rarely ring home.

Ds1 used to be like this but in the last year has become more chatty with us, often comes and chats to me whilst I'm cooking. I'm hoping ds2 will be the same in another year or so. I think at 18 their mates are so much more important to them than their family.

One thing which we have always done and still do, is eat dinner together as a family.
So ds2 does spend 30 minutes each evening with us when we discuss a variety of topics (the referendum has been the main one recently! ). We have a "No screens during dinner" rule as well. According to ds2 we are the only family in the whole world who eats together confused, but he puts up with having to socialise with his parents and brother each evening because he likes his food grin

Hidingtonothing Mon 04-Jul-16 02:33:50

I think there's a phase as a teenager/young adult where spending any time with your family is deeply uncool/uninteresting. Most come out the other side and come to appreciate parents/siblings again, assuming there aren't deeper problems in the family, so there is light at the end of the tunnel. I think unless it's possible practically to keep to a routine of eating together, which can be really difficult around everyone's work/study and social lives, it's difficult to engineer time together when they're this age and busy finding their feet as young adults. Short of insisting on family time, whether that's an outing/activity once a week or a short period every day just to touch base, I suspect it's just something you have to resign yourself to waiting out until they grow up enough to realise family is important and 'come back' to you a little. It's hard to do as a parent but probably part of the letting go process that comes with them growing up, if you've always been close, upsetting though it is at the time, the chances are he will hit a point where he wants to spend time with you again. I haven't been through this as a parent yet, DD is only 7, but I do remember going through this phase myself and can see that it must have been hurtful to my DM at the time but I came out the other side fairly quickly and we've been closer than ever through my twenties and still are now.

Out2pasture Mon 04-Jul-16 02:41:15

it will be better by 25.

EttaJ Mon 04-Jul-16 03:20:10

Sounds just like my DSs were at that age. Parents are just NOT cool and their friends /gf are. It won't last forever but I totally know what you mean, about missing him and the eye rolling. You're so right, they really are just so wrapped up in themselves at that age. At least his room is tidy lol. It will get better the older he gets. Promise 💐

stareatthetvscreen Mon 04-Jul-16 03:40:49

sorry op no advice but in the same boat here ds is 22

glad to hear it gets better at 25 though smile

fairywoods Mon 04-Jul-16 09:41:08

My DS is 18 and similar in the non communication way. The only way I can get him to chat is by cooking something that he really likes and then he will join us for an evening meal. Or inviting family friends round who have teenagers and then all of us sitting down for a meal. I would in many ways say you are blessed - your son is doing well with school, uni offers, girlfriend and a mostly tidy room!! We have had a few issues (not major ones) but I would count myself blessed if we could tick off that list of positives and the fact he asks after your day at work shows some interest in your life! I hear from friends that they turn around and become more appreciative/sociable but not until about 25. Hang on in there and favorite meals a couple of times a week is my top tip to get them to utter a few sentences! Be happy he's doing well, it could be far, far worse. Also you will hear from him when he's at uni (but possibly only when he has a problem/run out of money! grin).

ssd Mon 04-Jul-16 11:00:18

thank you, I know you are all right!

It doesnt help that friends with teen girls the same age tell me stuff that their dd's have told them then look at me like shock when I say ds didnt tell me that, he tells me nothing.....dd's seem to spend all day chatting to their mums sad

I lost my mum a few years ago and I dont have any other family apart from dh and the dc's and ds being so distant to me makes me feel even more isolated...

I guess I need a hobby or something to make my life full and interesting again though it never was!

I guess the message is hang on in there and try to do some meals together as a family

AgentProvocateur Mon 04-Jul-16 11:23:55

I have two sons - 20 and 21. The older one overshares, and tells me every detail of his and everyone else's life. The younger one tells me nothing. I'd like a compromise! What works for us is going out for dinner once a week as a family - not necessarily anywhere expensive - and also meeting the younger one for coffee when I'm at work in the same city he's at uni in.
I also have a family whatsapp group, and we all (2 DSs, DH and me) use this to make arrangements or post funnies to. Eg, I'll ask how everyone's day has been, and they'll both answer. HTH.

RhodaBull Mon 04-Jul-16 11:31:16

ssd - I have the opposite. Ds tells me everything, likes to hang out etc, but dd is a closed book, preferring to fester in her room than join in with family activities. Other people's dcs all seem to be doing the Little Women/Little House on the Prairie thing all fawning over Marmie/Ma sad

I understand re the lack of family. I worry I am over-invested in dcs because I have no one else. I am super-over-invested in the dog!!

ssd Mon 04-Jul-16 11:40:18

over invested sums it up perfectly! I didnt mean it to end up like this, but after years of caring for my mum then losing her, its just the way its gone...

maybe I need to get a dog to keep me busy!

RhodaBull Mon 04-Jul-16 11:46:28

I tell you what, ssd, a dog always wants to hang out! You want devotion and companionship - it's a hairy friend all the way!

oldestmumaintheworld Mon 04-Jul-16 12:07:50

I can understand how you feel and also empathise with your son's need for privacy and time on his own. However, there needs to be a happy medium. When you are a family that lives together then you all need to behave like a family and each member of that family needs to pull their weight. And that means (for adult children) that you have to be thoughtful to those whom you live with by contributing not only money and doing your own washing and keeping your room tidy and clean, but also contributing as a person. You value having your son at home, but he doesn't seem to have made the transition from child to adult in his relationship with you, so I would suggest that you talk to him about what your expectations are of him now that he has grown up.

I insist that if you are home at meal time - 7.30 - then you eat with everyone else. That is non-negotiable. I also insist that everyone takes it in turn to cook, wash-up and tidy-up after dinner. In that way you all get a chance to chat informally about the day and what's on your mind. My oldest is living away from home so we all get together for brunch on Sunday once a fortnight. This works really well. We all go to a different restaurant every time and each of us takes it in turn to choose where we go. The kids know when we are going and it has become such a routine that we all look forward to it. Brunch is good for teenagers because they don't have to get up early and doesn't take up all of their day.

I also text my kids two or three times a week, just to say Hi and thinking of you. That way I keep communication channels open if they need to talk. A friend of mine with similar aged children - 19, 22 and 25 - hosts Sunday lunch once a month. The kids come, her parents come and boyfriends/girl friends, mates can come too. That seems to work because its a regular date in the diary and the children remind each other.

As we get older and our children move on we have time to rediscover who we are as people. I do more now than I have ever done so a new group, or hobby, or a dog! might be a good idea. What about you and your husband doing a new activity together.

Hope things get better

lazymum99 Mon 04-Jul-16 12:50:26

I have a 24 year old who shares rather too much and a 21 year old who is quite secretive. However, we do eat together and do go out for occasional meals. I am the one who gets in trouble for taking a call during meal times or answering texts!

The 21 year old did change after he went away to university. When he came back he was far more open. Also when he is away as long as I don't phone too frequently (once a week works well) he does seem to enjoy telling me whats been happening.

Maybe you will notice a change next year when he starts university.

fairywoods Mon 04-Jul-16 12:52:19

I would say a hobby or dog is a really good idea! I think the empty (or approaching empty) nest is a really, really tough time for some parents and something people don't tend to talk about. I think the style of parenting in the last 20/25 years has meant we have invested a lot more time into our DCs and when they fly the nest it can be awful, often coinciding with menopause, elderly parents, illness and bereavment. The only way to get through is to invest in yourself a bit more and your DH. I do think it sounds like your son is doing great with his life and you should pat yourself on the back for that and remember young people can be very self centred. I read a book The Empty Nest Syndrome and it was helpful, had some good ideas and at least it made me realise I was far from alone.

vikingorigins Mon 04-Jul-16 12:58:27

I have 3 adult sons. At 18, 2 of them were like yours. Now they are in their 20s they like nothing better than a whole family get together to play board games grin.

RepentAtLeisure Mon 04-Jul-16 14:53:27

This is the age where they would be flying the nest, back in the days when that was financially possible. I think they are programmed to want to be away from us as it helps them become independent adults. I can remember in my teens I felt irrationally irritable every time I had to be around my parents. I'm sure it's hormonal. Let him do his thing for the next few years and he'll start to come back!

Peebles1 Mon 04-Jul-16 17:54:50

Two DSs over 18 here. Having a curry and a good film on TV works for us. Not much chat as you're watching TV, but bits before and after the film and at least we're doing something together.
Also yes to finding time and stuff for yourself. And a little glimmer of hope that he asks you how your day was - that's very sweet. He'll come back flowers

ssd Mon 04-Jul-16 17:58:17

thanks again

yes, I left home at 18 and went travelling for over a year, they couldn't do that now

its a different world indeed and I need to realize ds is the age he is

squidgyapple Mon 04-Jul-16 20:29:01

When I was 18 I couldn't wait to leave home to go to uni - but that was due to years of family discord, parents split up soon after I left.

At uni my closest friends - both female and male - felt exactly the same as me.. fed up with their parents, for various reasons.

RipeningApples Mon 04-Jul-16 20:47:25

We've always had one non negotiable. Sunday roast, 7pm.

DS is 21 now. He was quite horrid in many ways until he left school. Had a gap year and now, two years at uni there is quite a lot of my irrepressible 9/10 year old back. He also seems to appreciate us more, the more independent he becomes.

It's very very hard but it gets better. I thought my dd was my easy one ...and then she hit 16 sad. All sorts of low mood, anxiety and self harm. Fucking awful actually.

Dreamfrog Mon 04-Jul-16 22:52:44

He doesn't think his friends / gf are more important. Mine was like this and it hurt. I found out that a teens brain makes them feel hatred, embarrassment and loathing towards their parents. It's the way the brain makes the child become independent. They all go through it to different degrees. The way a boy reacts is to withdraw. It's not him doing this it's the hormones in his brain. The book also said the real person is how they are away from their parents. Boys start later with this and finish later. They do come back but the child is gone and they come back a lovely adult son - promise.

ssd Mon 04-Jul-16 23:32:33

dreamfog, what was the book ?

triplets Tue 05-Jul-16 07:33:09

I have 18 yr old triplets, girl and two boys! One boy away now in the Army, but home on leave atm. They have all spent the last 4 years in their rooms, the only time we are all together is for supper, which lasts no more than 15 mins! It is the way they are, I hear it all the time from their friends mums. Take heart you are not alone. I don't think they mean any harm, and am sure one day we will return to normal!! xx

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