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Help, teenage son troubles and I need advice.(6 Posts)
I'm in desperate need of advice as I cry daily with this situation.
Background info. I am a mum to 3 teenage boys aged 18, 15 and 14. This post regards my youngest. When my youngest was 7 I split from the childrens father. We moved to a new home and new schools and within a few months happily settled. I was in a new relationship all be it a very unsettled one though I should add. Dad however was nowhere to be seen, very casual in his appearances, with the children sometimes not seeing them for a month at time. Despite my insistance he should make an effort. Meanwhile my youngest son began to change with his behaviour slipping at home and school hugely. Missing his dad desperately. For about a year I struggled on trying to make the most of the situation and trying the best I could with his increasingly bad behaviour and the fact he was outgrowing me fast. He was big and strong for his age. Still is. After an episode at school one day I rang his father and was adamant he needs to interact more and help and love his children. Unbelievably he agreed he could have done more and with me in tears we agreed I would pack a weekend bag and take him to dad. So he could have a quality time and a talk. Great I thought. At last help. The weekend passed and Sunday evening arrived and I called to arrange collection of my son. To which dad says I'm not sure what's up with him but your right he's desperately unhappy and wants to stay with me and I think he should stay longer. I was distraight but given he might just be making the most of being with dad, something he had missed for too long. I agreed he could stay until the next day and insisted we would all sit down together and discuss it. The next day came and dad called me. I don't want you to come and talk, your son doesnt, he wants to be with me now. Long story so far but to cut that short after weeks of battling compromising and losing he went to live with dad. It seemed in the long run it suited him hugely and I saw a a change in him. Instead of missing dad. He lived with dad and came to see mum and his brothers every weekend. He had at last the best of both worlds as I was a much better part time mum to him than dad had been. It destroyed me inside because I felt I'd lost him in a way but I knew it seemed to be what was best for him which was my only concern. His happiness. And it worked. His relationship with me and his brothers blossomed. As years went by he still had issues including being expelled from school and now goes to a school that deals with troubled children and settled there too and all seemed to work. Now years later I have bigger troubles and worries. This is my dilemma. The childrens dad remained happy of the fact my youngest chose to live with him. Treats him differently to the other 2, if it wasn't for me picking up the youngest or dropping the others off to his I don't think he would ask about the others at all. He was a rogue himself when younger always in trouble, smoked, did drugs, and was in and out of jail. Now when he hears about antics of our youngest he declares what can I say he's just doing exactly as I did when I was young when getting into trouble and fights! I've always demanded does he not want better for our children! Now though I've discovered a month ago he lets my children do as they please at his. His philosophy is my house my rules. They can smoke drink and go out at all hours! So as a result I immediately stopped my 15yr old from being allowed over until he agreed to cease supply them with ciggies and alcohol! The 18 yr old no longer goes over anymore anyway hasn't for a year or more realising dad isn't the ideal person to be around of his own conclusion. My 15 year old has made no objections to being stopped. He will continue to smoke with friends behind my back I'm sure but I hope he grows out if it and I've put measures in place to limit the opportunity until this hopefully happens. However my youngest 14 yr old lives with dad. I have no control. It's been 4 weeks now and I have not seen my son. The longest I've ever been without seeing him ever. And not without trying. Dad and dad's family have convinced him I'm the problem. I should respect his choices like they do. I cannot reason with them. I've tried countless contact attempts to resolve this and they either ignore me or virtually laugh at me. The gap I've caused by banning the 15yr old from visiting has enabled them to convince him I'm just a burden to his life. He ignores my calls and texts. With the exception of one which he replied he won't see me till my other son can see dad. I can't give in to blackmail! As dad won't agree to not supplying cigarettes. His reply also told me I don't just smoke fags i smoke weed too and there's nothing any of you can do about it. Indicating even dad must have no control. So again I contact dad to tell him of the latest revelation this week and he assures me he will resolve it. Except he hasn't. I've tried to contact my child and his dad all weekend and I'm told my son's not there he's at friends. So there is no dissapline being applied if he's out at friends the whole weekend. I've been nothing but a devoted mum to all my children and the relationship with my other 2 is as strong as ever. But my youngest within a month has gone from visiting nearly every weekend to nothing not even a call or a text. Just one to tell me I'm a stupid mum cos I don't let them do anything and he wants nothing to do with me until his brother can go back dad's . Yet in this month may i also add dad has not asked about the 15yr old once. Shows no interest at all and to be honest my 15yr old hasn't asked once directly to see dad. Just asked if I've heard from them. And I update him. He rang his dad this month to wish him happy birthday and to arrange to give him a card we brought for him, he was ignored. I should also add we live in a stable home with my partner and his kids we do family activities all the time, he is an excellent step parent and supportive and he has also tried appealing to my son and his dad and they are kinder to him and respond but only negatively about me and my rules. I am just trying to protect my children from harm. From decisions they will regret. All I care about is there welfare. My questions are these? Do I have rights? I have no spare funds for courts? What else should I try? Should I give in? am I being too unrealistic in the expectations of my teens? (Although I think I'm not) any advice would be hugely appreciated every day that passes my heart breaks more as I miss my son. I worry that this soon will affect the 15yr old. I'm not sure at all what to do next? And i apologise if some of this makes no sense from missing vital info I've failed to put or spellings and such I fight back the tears as I write. I only want what's best for the boys and why can't there dad see that? It's like he loves the fact there's this huge wedge between my son and me as he's totally not willing to help to sort this. Sorry for the long essay I'm struggling today
Not really sure what to advise but didn't want to read and run.
I think you just have to let your son(s) know that you live them and are there for them, that they need to consider the choices they make and that you will help them in whatever way you can. At some point they will look back and see that their dad's methods were inappropriate and appreciate you. Between 14-18 everything I did for my oldest was wrong. Now at 25 he says he realises I was right all along. No practical help but show them you love them and you are there for them.
I would contact social services, show them the texts and say how concerned you are for your youngest sons welfare x
Thank you for your response it's much appreciated. Letting him know I love him and being patient is all I feel I can be doing and have been doing. But I also can't help feeling like that's not enough and I'm letting him down by not doing more. But I can't do a lot, when the father seems to be relishing in it rather than helping the situation. Feeling rather helpless and usless. I have an 18 yr old and he had his moments growing up but not like this with no contact for so long. But a mum's love will never fade and I shall always be here for him, when he decides
I thought about social services but I'm rather sure the father and son bond they have and sticking together to cover up will mean they will think my concerns are unjust. Having said that you have a point about the evidence of messages. But will that also drive him further away from me. It's such a tricky one to know what to do for the best
What about getting advice from nspcc