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DS not a nice person :((19 Posts)
Just wondering if there is a way to make ds (14) see that he is so unpleasant! He is rude, disobedient, will only engage in conversation if it's about one of his very limited interests. He's mean to his sister and so incredibly rude to me, ungrateful, unhelpful, entitled.
The way he speaks to me is always as if he's mad at me, even if he's not. I just don't want to live with someone so horrible in my own house and want the boy he used to be to come back. He plays with his friends online and I can hear how he has so much fun with them and sounds like a normal person! I never ever get this version of him.
Is there anything I can say to him to make him understand how this makes me feel? He has a few aspergers traits and had a "possible asd" diagnosis, I'm really not sure if this could have something to do with it and maybe he'll never understand how much he can affect another person?
He used to be the funniest, sweetest little boy you can imagine and it just makes me so sad seeing how he is now.
I have son who is 19, sounds just like yours. We walk on eggshells constantly. He was diagnosed with having Autistic spectrum traits way back when he was 4 though he’s high functioning.
The first thing I always have to remember is that he isn’t horrible. His behaviour is horrible. Dig past the ASD, then the layer of raging hormones and your son is there. I promise you he needs and loves you, even though they have a funny way of showing it!
I often have to sit and work out what is ASD and what is teenager attitude and sometimes talking to other mums helps because it turns out a lot of teenage boys are pretty difficult to deal with no matter what other issues they may have.
I know it’s tough and sometimes feels like utter rejection. My sons behaviour makes my heart sink a lot but I know it will change as he grows.
It’s a tough time for mum and son but we will get through it x
try and disengage as much as possible, and don't take it personally.
(even though they really are making it personal!)
My DS is 18 now and improving, but I remember when he was about 16, I went to the local shop and the assistant was saying how DS often comes in to buy a Coke or something and what a nice, polite boy he is! Always got a big smile and knows his please and thankyous
I wondered if we were talking about the same boy - who was sooo rude and surly with me at home.
They are testing boundaries, and I was always very business like with him - but it got me down for sure, at times.
As I said, they will grow out of it in time.
It's the word "disobedient" that always makes me wonder about a relationship.
Obedience suggests some sort of power struggle going on, rather than a re-evaluation of family needs as everyone gets older.
He's hormonal, he's growing up, what have you done as a family to make allowances for that, to support him in these major changes?
Boundaries are good, but as kids get older we are preparing them to live outside of our boundaries - life changes and I think sometimes we are too keen on maintaining some sort of artificial status-quo where they stay kids and do what we want them to.
Thank you all for your replies, they are so reassuring.
Maybe I shouldn't have said disobedient. I meant that I ask him to do things (eg. Bring his dishes to the kitchen after a meal) and he'll just walk away. Or not to eat in his room, and he'll just go ahead and do it knowing that I've asked him not to.
I do try to pick my battles. What affects me more than him not helping around the house though is his tone of voice when he speaks to me.
I'll try to take away any power struggle because I know he hates being told what to do (I did at that age too). But it's hard when I'm just asking him to have a shower, brush his teeth or clean up after himself. I don't like how he thinks I'm here to serve him.
I think I do make allowances for him growing up. Eg. I don't force him to do anything with us (he won't even come bowling, play tennis or out for a meal -all things he used to enjoy).
I'm so grateful to hear your stories, Tanterose, I can definitely relate, I nearly fainted when one of his teachers called him polite!!
Radiorental, that's it. My heart sinks a lot. I feel disappointed by his behaviour. I want to feel proud of him but I just don't.
I do tell him in the good moments how he's smart and funny and how much I love him.
And I know he needs this, he'll sometimes ask me if I'm proud of him if he does something without me asking (like having a shower). I tell him, yes I'm so proud of you, but I'm really wishing he would just do it all the time then I wouldn't have to nag!
I have a 15 year old ds exactly the same. He verbally abuses me constantly to the point i sometimes just go to bed and cry. I try to disengage at all costs but it is really challenging especially when it has been 2 years of behaving like this. For 11 years school have been asking me how I raised such a lovely boy and I wonder who they are referring to because it can’t possibly be the same boy. He can’t even say hello to me without acting like I’ve just mugged him!
Yes! Same with my ds. Why do they do this to us? The ones who love them the most?
Isn’t there anything we can do or say to snap them out of this?
He will "come back"! I wrote a post almost the same as yours when my twin DS were 14. They were horrible people and I was in despair. It especially struck home when I saw them interacting with the parents of their mates, when they were polite, well mannered young men, yet their behaviour towards me and DH was unbelievably rude. They do come around. My 2 are now almost 17, at college and are, (most of the time) fairly nice to be around again, although we still have occasional lapses to "nasty little twat mode" (thats DH's term for the behaviour, and it's the perfect description!)
Hang on in there!
hey OP, have been in similar position!
everybody's situation is slightly different, and its really hard to tell whats going on from a parent's post.
but what I have found - after a couple of years of struggle I must say - is that "positive" disengagement helps.
Its not complete disengagement of course. I bet you would be surprised if you stopped initiating conversation - you would still see your son coming to you for chat or to "offload" about school etc.
But backing off, living your own life, and just expecting the bare bones of decency is the only thing that helps. I still do the occasional bits of chivvying but have really winded it down.
It really hacks me off to see teenagers disrespect their parents, and I think far too much leeway is given for the "hormonal" changes (that last 7 years - right!). However, I have tried to see that at this age 13-16 there are alot of pressures and changes, and keeping off their case on the small stuff might be the only way to cope for everyone!! If you have raised him well, and keep your own positive counsel, you have done and are doing all the right things. I try and keep in mind its just a few more years, and even within that time things will change, hopefully for the better!
My advice? Stay strong! Focus on your own happiness as much as possible! This will help keep you positive and strong!
Have you spoken to him about how it makes you feel? Have you told him you miss him?
How does he respond?
I often have to tell my 15 yr old:"stop, wait, if you behave like this it really upsets me!" I sort of have to point it out, literally, what is upsetting.
I do it at the moment it happens.
I show him I get frustrated or sad or annoyed, and why.
I don't know, but it often snaps him out of it?
Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
I actually have told him how it makes me feel but he denies that he’s even being rude. He must know deep down, so I’m hoping that it’s all going in and one day he’ll realise how nasty he’s been and feel sorry for it.
When I’ve told him how sweet he used to be he looks disgusted! How could he have been so lame!
Bubbly, thanks for the encouragement, I can’t wait for the moment when I can laugh at this phase!
Santhem, you’ve hit on something there, I’m starting to realise that the more I back off the more he’ll step up and do things without being asked. Doesn’t stop the rudeness though, so I’ll try backing off even more.
I have hope now so thanks all!!
Pick your battles, don't try to talk to him about stuff if he's in a mood, pick your moments (sometimes you'll have to wait a long time!)
I made my DD watch the scene from Harry Enfield's Kevin the Teenager when he turned 13! But definitely give him space and don't worry if you don't speak for days on end!!
I agree with all the previous posters and our son is still like this sometimes even though he is 17! The one piece of advice i took from a previous mumsnetter was to say I love you to him when I'm saying goodnight. I dont always get an answer but it helped me to feel that it was keeping the relationship going even when he hardly talks to us sometimes. He will change eventually you just have to hang in there. Good luck
Rudeness in people with Asperger's is often associated with anxiety and with poor communication. It may be that you are his "safe person" so he feels he doesn't have to make the huge effort (and it really can be a huge effort for someone with Asperger's) to put on a polite "front" for you. My DS has diagnosed Asperger's and I spent a lot of years trying to respond to the content of what he was saying and to ignore the (sometimes truly godawful) way he was saying it. It was counter-productive for me to make him realise how I felt about his way of talking because he wasn't capable of doing better yet and that made him stress even more and be even more anxious and rude.
A lot of people with ASCs have a processing delay and that combined with anxiety means that their instinctive response to a request or instruction is to say "no" and/or get angry and rude, or as your DS does, to walk away. It is quite common to have to repeat instructions. I think of the first request as preparation, and the second as making the actual request. So if DS doesn't respond I am patient, count to 10 to get past the delay and then ask a second time in a calm friendly voice. (It's important for me to use a non-angry voice because my DS is triggered by my anger!)
Other things that helped were keeping to a routine, and communicating the same thing in the same way. That way DS knew what to expect. So laying the table for dinner was DS's job every day; and every day I came in to ask him to lay the table at the same time using exactly the same words. And I always give DS a bit of time to think and plenty of warning if I want him to do something for me, however small the job. I never told him to do anything straight away if it wasn't part of his routine already. If I needed DS to take stuff out of his room I'd say "I need to get the plates out of your room and into the dishwasher. Can you do that? Will you do it now or in 10 minutes?" He always says "10 minutes" but when I ask after 10 minutes he will do it without a murmur.
DS is nearly 20 now and much more mature and sensible and often pleasant to talk to (except at times of great stress such as clothes-shopping trips ) but the "now or in 10 minutes" trick still works a treat.
Wow, thank you for these replies.
I think I have learnt to pick my battles with ds. One thing that became a battle, and that I was starting not to fight, was brushing teeth at night. Then I decided that I did have to fight this one, so I learnt that he would only do it right on his bedtime, not a second before, and only if I left him to it and not just stood at his door waiting. It was a revelation for me!!
I do also tell him that I love him often and don't usually get anything back but I want him to remember me saying it often.
Kleinzeit, what you've written makes so much sense! Thank you! DS definitely has delayed processing so your method I'm sure will work. I'm going to try the 10 minute trick. I'm glad to hear your son has matured and improved. There's hope!
A couple of days ago I decided to ask ds how his friendships were going, how he was feeling etc and he's admitted that he's really anxious. His friends have been asking him out but he hasn't been able to say yes. So he's crippled right now by his anxiety. I've been to the GP and she's referred him to a paediatric psychiatrist so I should hear from them soon. I got a couple of books out on anxiety as I want to learn more. I knew he had it, but it's never held him back from going out with friends before.
Thanks again for all the useful advice.
I was a cow to my mum at that age. I can't explain why. I found puberty difficult, and I couldn't manage my anger. I think I felt safe taking it out on her. After the age of about 19, it all improved and we have been the best of friends for a long time.
You've described my DD (12). Recently diagnosed with Asperger's. She's so unpleasant most of the time, mainly to me, her little siblings and my DM. Everyone else thinks she's lovely! It's heartbreaking and sooo frustrating to be on the receiving end of such surly behaviour. I'm also struggling with knowing when to 'make allowances' and when to pull her up on it. She doesn't seem to get it at all
Doubletrouble, I know to a certain extent I was too, more that I hated being told what to do, so did everything in my own time.
Sympathies lovelillies. It's tough! I'm just reassured that there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel..