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Pre-teen relationship help...?

(6 Posts)
WilfSell Sun 05-Mar-17 11:47:43

Son, age 12, has a girlfriend, also 12. This involves the odd chaperoned date, movies together, hugging in the playground and A LOT of Instagram messaging. It has been going on for 4-5 months, so fairly serious for this age groups standards.

Thing is, I check my son's messages. He knows I do this as it was a condition of him having Instagram. And he's been quite stupid on the internet before so I've told him this is a non negotiable until he is 16 or demonstrates some internet maturity, whichever is the sooner!

His messaging from the girlfriend and friends is a stream of nightmarish drama, I think putting far too much pressure on him. I don't really know where to get advice on how to advise him as he isn't really a talker but I know he needs to develop some skills in how to deal with the drama. He isn't very socially astute either so without support from us, I don't think he will learn how to draw boundaries around stuff - eg where the drama blends into bullying...

And I have no clue how much to intervene, to back off etc. He is only 12, and an emotionally young 12 at that so non stop drama seems too much.

An example is the girl constantly accuses him of flirting with or asking our other girls. He denies it (and given he is totally besotted with her, I really doubt he is lying). And so she seems to send her friends, online and in person, to test him out. His 'friends' also get involved, talking to the girlfriend... One boy in particular, a new Y7 friend, seems to be co-opted to test out my son.

I understand that this is what teen life is like, but the constant online nature of it is new to me and I want to help him learn to deal with it.

Are there any good resources for preteens, teens or parents that can help me help him to understand what a healthy relationship looks like at this age, and what a healthy online life is?

WilfSell Sun 05-Mar-17 11:49:24

I should add that all the being tested IS upsetting him, and he has told me, though can't articulate much more, that he doesn't know what to do about it.

TeenAndTween Sun 05-Mar-17 16:25:31

Tell the girl it's all too much for him and break up?

He's stressed and upset, this is not healthy.

Bet he won't though.

WilfSell Sun 05-Mar-17 21:12:29

Yeah, we have suggested to him that things are supposed to be fun, and he is supposed to feel better in a relationship than he would out of it. He told me this afternoon that it was all sorted because he'd apologised but I then had to ask him why he felt the need to apologise for something he didn't do.

I explained that healthy relationships don't involve one person feeling like they deserve to be treated badly etc.

Me and his dad both suggested a break from social media, and that we would "ban" him from his phone if he needed to save face with his friends. To be honest, if it continues I might have to withdraw the phone anyway just to give him a break.

Jeez, it's all so different to when I was that age!!

FreeNiki Mon 06-Mar-17 01:02:28

At that age if a 12 yo boy supposedly his friend was being nasty to him, you'd stop the friendship. This is no different. I'd take his phone away and tell him he's not seeing her anymore. He's 12 he'll get over it.

What you dont want is him thinking this is normal and her to think it is ok to treat him like this. I'd go as far as telling her mother and showing her the messages in fact.

I hope that young lady matures as she ages lest she becomes one of those high maintenance gfs in adulthood.

Bensyster Mon 06-Mar-17 10:52:18

This is an unhealthy relationship at any age, it's important that he is aware of this. I'd be encouraging him to take a break.

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