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Parenting Teens is so hard!

(8 Posts)
Pennifer Sun 31-Jul-16 16:35:10

I have a 17 year old boy, currently in counselling, who doesn't feel comfortable telling me about what's going on with him, he has told his counsellor and i do know it's anxiety based. I know he's sad and teary and its so difficult to watch.
My 14 year old boy suffered with depression last year, due to school pressures and saw a counsellor. I'm struggling from keeping him from going nocturnal through summer hols and also struggling trying to get him to eat some proper food instead of haribos and coke (constant colds and sore throats!). He games all day and seems only interested in his girlfriend.
Reading the Internet, this all seems perfectly normal but it's so hard!
I thought I'd done so well with babies, teething, toilet training, weaning, the two's - this teen stage though, I find it an all consuming worry.

sonlypuppyfat Sun 31-Jul-16 16:46:08

Your story sounds so sad, it's awful for you. I've a 17 yr old DS to.

toffeenose Sun 31-Jul-16 20:10:01

I do understand what it's like to have a teen who isn't happy and isn't talking to you. It's positive that both of them are open to counselling (ours never went although we would have loved him to) as it means they have an outlet.

You say he 'games all day'. This is not good, particularly when there is depression. I know every case is different, but in case it helps, we took away the computer (by removing the cable) which was greeted with some shouting and crying but followed quite rapidly and quite incredibly by a huge improvement in his mood and an interest in real food.

We also dealt with nocturnal living and school refusing. All this, in our case, came right when we took away the computer and gave it back only as a reward for good behaviour, attendance, work, etc. He was 13 when we did this, and I do appreciate that your 17 year old will need a different approach.

I tried to use really positive words and compliments (even when feeling murderous) and also tried to use time in the car, when you don't have to look each other in the eye, to have conversations. I used the technique in how to talk to teenagers so they listen and listen so they talk. It's not complicated, just give non-committal answers, judgement free answer to their comments.

We also offered to pay for anything he wanted to do outside of the house.

Have you thought about having some counselling? I did and found it very useful to talk things through.

How are they doing at school now?

Pennifer Sun 31-Jul-16 22:32:40

Agree about too much gaming = depression, poor sleeping habits and poor eating choices. Summer holidays have become all about finding ways to get out and about, can be quite tough at times at this age but I stick at it.
Yes, I have a holistic counsellor who helps enormously. I think perimenopausal mother + teens + running my own business meant a counsellor was a no brainer.
14 year old has passed through the tough school stage of last year. All seems fine so far, touch wood!

Dayna1 Mon 01-Aug-16 11:50:05

Have you tried organising a family holiday together? I think you could use some time off with them somewhere else that is not home.

Pennifer Mon 01-Aug-16 13:00:54

Yep, been on holiday. Much enjoyed by all.

rogueantimatter Mon 01-Aug-16 13:55:36

I'm sorry this is a very small suggestion. How about requiring each to prepare the evening meal one day a week? Obviously this might not be practical not if he's anything like my 17YO DS They could take on the responsibility of getting in the ingredients etc

Another thought, which might be completely irrelevant, apologies if it is - there's a correlation between children who have aspergers and heavy use of gaming. If you think it would be useful I can link to a young American man with aspergers who has made a series of talks for parents of children/teens who have ASD.

Pennifer Mon 01-Aug-16 15:33:44

We have cooking one meal a week and walking the dogs 3 X a week as part of their pocket money earning.

Pretty sure ASD isn't any issue as they go to a small school with class sizes of less than 10, special needs seem to get picked up quickly and extra help / sessions offered.

Have been chatting to my husband today and he was saying that each generation worries about the state of younger generation, I do think that's true. Having said that though, I do think that the constant connection to the Internet and 24 hr TV is a bad thing for this generation.

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