Holding on to the end of the rope; life in the bunker with the Po Ts, where parenting a teen is having an adverse effect on our mental health(998 Posts)
With thanks to Billybagpuss for inspiration for the title and to Ticklingcheese and many other parents of teens who are emerging from the worst, or currently going through it, this is a support thread for parents who are being driven to despair by their teens. It is a continuation of this previous thread where many of us clubbed together to exchange experiences, possible strategies and understanding of what can be a very draining, isolating and distressing time for all!
Tin hats on everybody for round two!
Thanks @pegs for starting new thread hope we can all continue to post
Good luck to all students and parents starting exams.
Shiny new grumbles! Good luck examinees. I am finding sleeping really hard after yet another evening with horrible insults- it sets my heart racing and I can ‘t settle down. I’m doing a good job of staying calm in the moment though.
Morning all, nearly have one school refuser in school. Just need to work on the other one.
Thanks Peg for thread
Waves to McMen71
Oh and I forgot to thank TheGodmother for our group name, the PO Ts
I should probably also explain that the "holding on to the end of the rope" reference comes from Billybagpuss's post at 01/04/2019 15:09 in the previous thread linked above which quotes a letter from "a" teenager who entreats us parents to stay solid and strong and hang in there while they thrash about and fight the line as they make the difficult transition to adulthood.
Several other helpful things emerged from the previous thread. First, so many of us are experiencing the same challenges or extraordinarily similar behaviour from our teens, in all sorts of different households and circumstances, that it can't all be down to poor parenting, despite what a tiny fraction of posters tried to tell us! So, whilst acknowledging our own mistakes and less than perfect parenting, and trying to find solutions and expert guidance, we also need to try and ditch the guilt and feelings of failure.
Second, we feel isolated because there is a tendency for parents of teens not to share the difficulties they are going through in rl, as openly as they would about a toddler or baby.
Third , it is evident there isn't as much state help available for teens as required, CAMHS for example is very over-stretched and under-resourced.
Also, it was suggested by some posters distancing ourselves from the very personal remarks and being slightly less "available" can be helpful and Tarragonsauce (25/03/2019 17:04 ) said that picking our battles, addressing our own symptoms, keeping in mind (with reference to school non-attendance, exam failure, bf issues) that there is more than one way to skin a cat, and remembering that "this too shall pass" can be helpful strategies.
Daintytoes explained an extremely helpful model of parent-child interaction at 07/04/2019 23:O6
And Corona posted a helpful guardian article at 05/04/2019. 09: 19
And last but definitely not least, thank you to each and every contributor to the first thread. I don't think I have ever read a Mumsnet thread that was so heartfelt and where each
poster was so helpful, all at the same time! Most of all, it's just so great to feel we are not alone
X post waves to Xerox Billy Whattodfgs (great news!)
Thanks for new thread pegs.
Wishing you all good luck with exams and hopefully a peaceful week 😀.
Just had a mother's day from heaven yesterday, wish I could send you some of that good karma. There is hope 🥰.
NB I realise I haven't addressed the very real and distressing issues of alcohol, drugs, self-harm and serious mh problems in thread "summary" below, partly because I didn't want to mention any particular poster and partly because my e-mail has been down recently and I haven't checked to see if there has been a reply to our request to Mumsnet HQ for a web chat with experts in these fields. Going to get that sorted this morning.
Aw that's great to hear Tickling!
<wafts good karma around thread>
Argh, sorry, don't know how I have forgotten this (menopausal fog really kicking in today), what I meant to say in last point of "summary" below, very importantly, was to thank all the posters like Tickling and Billy and so many others who have "come through the other side" and taken the time to come on here and give us hope that things will be ok in the end Thank you!
And the point about the guardian article referenced below that it contained a very useful nugget about "listen to the emotional content" behind the words, which I personally have found very helpful.
Wish all of that had been contained in one more cogent post, but never mind
Right you lot, I'm leaving you to it and and am off to sort my tech issues! Hope the week is as stress-free as possible, given that exams are afoot!
At this rate, you will get to thread 3 in no time.
Have a lovely day.
Hello all, a lurker and a reader with a 13 year old boy who has turned very hard work in the last 6 months (I hate you, worst parents in the world etc etc).
How old are all your teen's? Reading other thread I fear I have years of this ahead of me and not sure I can cope :-(. All friends don't seem to have any trouble, all have the perfect 13 year old boys.
Tickling don't worry I'm going to give the bird brain a rest now and back away now and
drink gin leave everyone to it!
Have cranked up the old main frame and kicked it in to shape. *No e-mail from Mumsnet HQ as yet about *Xerox's idea of a webchat though. Here's hoping!
But, while I am here welcome MrsBlondie! It varies so much, that the best advice is to take it day by day I think and try not to worry too much about the future! And as mentioned previously, other parents will be starting to experience problems, you are not alone, they just aren't talking about it
Pegs Young Minds might be a good organisation to tap up for a webchat. Another poster on MN recommended them to me, and I had a 1-2-1 with a consultant which helped a bit.
Blondie I suspect very few families are perfect!
I've only been dipping in and out, as my DD1's issues seem a bit different from others, and I don't really have anything useful to add.
But this thread is definitely helping me feel less alone.
Also, DD1 (19), having been off work with back problems for 8 months, has started a new job today. Fingers crossed.
This is the letter that I wish I could write.
This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.
I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.
I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labeled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teenager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back--I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.
This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.
And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.
I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.
Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.
Love, Your Teenager
Just thought I'd repost the poem so the title makes sense to any newcomers.
@Mrsblondie, you never know what goes on behind closed doors, I can pretty much guarantee what you are going through with your DS some of his friends are going through too.
One of the biggest issues with handling teens is no one talks about it, it is this massive taboo to admit that your teen is less than perfect, because ultimately if you admit you are struggling with the behaviour of your teen, on some level you are afraid that it is your fault, it is a result of your parenting. The previous thread was derailed for a while by a smug poster saying, 'my teens would never behave like that because I taught them to do their own laundry' this is rubbish the one thing the previous thread taught me is it is not your fault (my fault). My kids are early 20's now and they have always been good kids, but we had a few years where they were struggling and I took the brunt of it. It hurts and this thread has helped me forgive and move on so much.
@teentimestwo hope the new job goes well.
Good luck to all with the exam period.
What a lovely thread and wise words, thank you! Just what I needed 😁 Love the thrashing on the end of a line analogy. My poor DH and I are doing mental gymnastics ATM with a 16 and 17YO. It's bloody knackering. About a week back I blamed myself for DD's woes, but now I don't and am starting to step back a bit and observe the phase!
Thanks for the new thread Pegs <bare-faced placemark!>
Yes, thank you Pegs and all the other regulars who are helping to keep me sane throughout my DD's turbulent teens for the past months!
She has her first GCSE tomorrow...
When she first started self harming a couple of years ago I was very reluctant to talk to anyone about it. As far as I knew, none of of my friends teens had gone through any angst and were all sailing along in calm waters.
Then I remembered many years ago how I'd broken the news about a miscarriage and by talking about it the floodgates opened and suddenly several other people were telling me all about their experiences.
This gave me courage to broach the subject about DD's MH problems and I've been very surprised at how many other seemingly perfect families have stories to tell. Then there are the friends who don't have any experience, but have been very supportive of me.
It has been a very tough time for us, but DD has been taking her AD's regularly and there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Good luck to all other parents - especially those on the exam treadmill
I’ve just skimmed the last thread and so much of it resonates. I have one child at university and a teen at home. She is mostly not hard work at all but has had MH issues (self harming) so that’s been tough. The one at university was v v v hard though and whoever said on the other thread that a bit of them dies every time there’s another drama, that’s how we felt for a long time.
@Parsley65 - when I talked to friends about self harming it seemed very many had some experience. A friend who volunteers for The Samaritans says it is so common that they have a tick box on their firms for it, it’s completely usual rather than unusual 😰
It was nakedscientist on the other thread who said “I feel like the strain of teens make me fall apart a bit each day” - that’s how I felt in 2017 and a bit of last year.
Nakedscientist, personally I’m zero tolerance on NOS. I’m fairly relaxed about weed (while rolling my eyes and worrying about skunk etc) but I’ve told ds nfw will I have NOS in my house. Who knows whether he’s listened but I gave said it. Mind you he admitted to Ket and Coke at uni so...
Thanks for the new thread. My DD threw her brace at me in the midst of a tantrum over the weekend and nearly had my eye out.
Yup, thanks Pegs, count me in for Round 2! 🙋 Waves to all regulars and welcome to new posters MrsBlondie, Tinkobell and Waterandlemonjuice
I açtually don't know what's going on with DD, totally in the dark. Won't tell me a thing. It's like there's a wall there; all the day to day niceties but no substance. I try and ask and get closed down. Really tried to reach out so many times, but no. She's sought help from school / counselling so I'm proud that she's done that. Just wish I knew what 'it' was. This is very lonely. I've actively avoided my own friends since 'it' started as I don't want to discuss it with my Happy-go-lucky jolly lives friends. A very sad time in our lives. My dad has cancer too, so it is shit.
tinkobell sorry to hear about your dad. Iv been through it with my mum feel free to pm me
billybagpuss thanks for reposting your letter on this thread love it.
Well things were going well for me both dds where doing a bit of study
Dd1 goes to 2 activities on a monday meets bf at break. I checked with her to see if she went to 2nd one and she said yes I screenshot her location and said i hope you not lying cause if i find out you are you not going anymore to which she replied im so sorry it was so nice I just wanted to be outside with bf . She normally wouldnt skip actuvity as they are rehearsing to go to euro disney. And she wont get if she not at practice.
Im just annoyed she lied and wouldnt have told the truth if I hadnt checked up on her. Shes not home to after 9 and dont know what to say to her about lying as I have told her so many times about lying. I hate it. It just stresses me out when shes out that I can't trust her.
tinkobell sorry to hear about your dad. Ive been through it with my mum pm me if you want.
billybagpuss thanks for reposting your letter.
My dd lied to me tonight I hate the lying dont know how um going to handle it when she comes home normally i get into a rage and she says she won't lie again but going to try approach it different to see can I stop the lying maybe im to strict.
Thanks all for lovely replies. One day at a time very true.
Also very true that noone talks about it. Seen as failure. Yet we all talk about how hard babies/toddlers can be. This is 1000x harder!
Anyway not sure i can help with advice but another day (nearly) survived!
I think another reason I don’t want to talk to my friends (particularly those with DC’s same age) is because I’m worried it could do full circle and I’d make matters worse. DD is nearly 18 and I have to respect her privacy, you can’t just jabber away like you did when they were small. But equally you’re going through things for the first time and learning by trial and error.
There’s a saying “a mother can only be as happy as her saddest child” - well that’s how I feel but also helpless to try and improve the situation too which is hard for me as I’m a natural fixer and dooer.
@mrsblondie mine is 13 too and more extremely foul than his friends. We have a day to day hostility and refusal that floors us. About 2-3 x a week there is a little patch of sun that is toleration and a few words of conversation. Often that follows removing the focus on him (yet still offering massive pampering!). Does that sound familiar? No really major issues here, yet, the arguments are all about screens or food ( nothing in the house is edible but no he can’t think of anything better but is starving) Tell us more about how it is for you ? Are there any good bits?
Good morning Po Ts! (An early one as I have a lot to catch up on today.)
Thank you for all the thanks! All the advice shared has been extremely helpful to me personally too.
I am not going to attempt to answer every post individually as in previous thread, but just wanted to pop in and say every post will be read (please don't think you are being ignored) and welcome all newcomers to the club! Welcome to all the hardened regulars too . Lovely to "see" you!
Oh and here's the Young Minds link as suggested by Notontopofthings. I'll follow that up with Mumsnet HQ wrt the web chat.
Tinkobell very sorry about your dad . Wishing you strength with it all.
Teentimestwo how did the first day of your dd1's new job go?
Oh no Tinselangel not at all funny, esp when you know how much braces cost!
Hope the new approach worked McMen71
I'm tempted to ask, Xerox, have you tried delivering a pkt. of raw sausages, a grill pan, a bag of potatoes and a peeler for supper and telling him to get on with it? Well done for staying calm.
Good luck to Parsley's DD for today and to all other teens with exams!
DD very stressed last night (exams looming) so we had tears rather than tantrums. Not sure which is worse tbh! But things generally fairly calm and ok-ish atm (long may it continue!)
Onwards and upwards everyone! (Or if not upwards, let's keep trudging along horizontally in the face of the incoming storm at least . )
Thanks to everyone who replied to me! Sorry just not had the mental energy to respond yet! I will though.
So much of what people write here resonates with me. Xero, my younger daughter is exactly the same wrt food. Everything I make is vile, ready meals show how lazy I really am but no suggestions of what she would like to eat and I could buy. She became very underweight last year and is still at the lower end of a healthy BMI so it does worry me. She can and does cook for herself though when I'm out if I've guessed what she fancies!
Tink, so sorry to hear about your Dad
Pegs, wow up and posting so early. I put on the BBC news first thing but it was far too early for me to start watching their menopause feature, despite being desperately peri/menopausal!
DS is due to sit his A levels in less than 3 weeks. I cannot gauge what his silence means but I suspect it is that he has given up trying as it all feels overwhelming for him.
He was kicked out of 6th form last autumn when his MH crisis was most acute, and has been tutored at home since January, so there was a big gap in his education then which he feels he can't catch up on. His MH is still not under control, although I think it may be getting there with new meds.
At his age an extra year to get A levels and improve mental health can be a good thing.
Just keep on being there, it's a really tough one. We are just coming out the other side
Can I join in too ? Have 5 DC’s , and my 14 year old DD is just ..... I don’t know where to begin . I moved her out of her first secondary school last year because of issues with bullying , and she was so happy at her new school until about January this year. Then the attitude started . She’s rude . Won’t accept any kind of authority . Got excluded last week for her behaviour and then , after refusing to leave the school , disappeared when told I was coming to get her . Turned her phone off . Ignored all our messages . I spent seven hours looking for her having had to report her missing ( on no sleep because I’d been on night shift the night before ) . She got brought home by police and then took that out on us. Yesterday I had to go to another meeting at the school , and the assistant head really stuck his neck out and allowed her back into lessons rather than isolation , to prove she could do it . She got sent out of two . I try and try to help her yet she seems hell bent on sabotaging it all . She promised me she would do better , yet I’ve just found her school blazer and tie here , and had a text from the school to say she was late . All the time she’s not here , I’m on tenterhooks waiting for another phone call . I’m not sure I can do this .
@plominoagain Yes you can do it as the title says hold onto the rope.
Is she your eldest. Read back through the first thread and it will hopefully help you feel that its not just you and definetly not just your child. hope you have a better day.
Im still trying to think how to handle the lie from last night have tried the hard way shouting taken phone telling her its best to be honest but none of it works. It just makes me wonder what else she is lying about. I seem to be back at square one with my anxiety thinking the worst.
Hope first day of exams went well for those that are started.
Thank you. She’s my 4th child , but the first DD . I expected the teenage mood swings , but this , this is a whole new ballgame , and one I don’t know the rules to. I suspect there are no rules .
@eroxarama OMG thank you so much. yes totally. Arguments about xbox time and food - that's pretty much life with my son!! He always wants more and pushes. So "off xbox at 9pm" "That's so unfair, give me til 9.15pm" etc. Its exhausting.
"I hate all the food in this house, Tesco food is crap. Why don't you buy nice food. Im starving."
Yes, thankfully, at times we see the nice lovely boy he used to be. But he can be so vile 85% of the time its hard to remember.
@mcmen I hated the lying. Years ago dd1 had been spending so much money on sweets we’d had an argument and I’d banned her from the seeet shop. When she was at a music lesson and we were wait for her to finish her bag was bulging so much and a sweet packet was sticking out. So I opened it up and there were 4 large packets in there. We duly had the argument, I confiscated them and said I was going to throw them away. When we got home I hid them in a cupboard. She found them and took one. She then tried so hard to convince me that there were only ever 3.
She must have been very early teens. She’s 22 now and we were talking about it the other day and she was still trying to bloody well justify it 😡
She wasn’t impressed when I pointed out that what she was doing at the time was trying to gaslight me.
@plomino you can do it 💐
They have no concept of the grand scheme of things do they? Not much advice just to say keep going you are doing the right thing.
It does sound with Dd that there is something else afoot is it worth trying a girly day out to see if she’ll open up to you
I don't have any quick fixes for you, wish I did.
Don't know if this is of any use to you, but i think you need to bear in mind that whatever you do, a teen will dissociate, just to feel 'grown up' -'they no betterish'. The more we fight for a little control the harder it gets... for us. Keep in mind that in the end/if forced they can do 'life' themselves (the more you pamper a lazy teen, the angrier they often get).
I'm not talking about substance abuse, mh but 'normal' teen behavior.
Imo the best we can do is making sure they are SAFE (teens are sure they can tackle any situation eg. Involving nights out - they can't).
Setting a FEW house rules, which should never be broken (set the rules with the teen in a 'nice' chat, one of those rare shiny days, when you get along). (Not your ten thousand rules, that make life good, and everybody dutyful humans).
I regret trying too hard, taking on board all the nastiness, not just walking away more. Regret spending so much time worrying (I worry too much, teens hate that) it was MY worries, if they are safe try let it go (I know easy to say).
Don't know if this of any use to you, but do try to disengage a little, atleast for your own sanity.
Onwards and upwards 😀.
Can I join?? I've lurked on the previous thread and cannot tell you how relieved I am that I am not alone in this!
I've got a 12yr old DS and a nearly 15 yr old DS. My youngest doesn't give me any hassle what so ever (touch wood) but the older one - my goodness! Issues have included being the subject of emotional bullying (snapmap tracking, 68 message from one person in a day, pressure to do things (drinking)) which resulted in school work going down hill (understandable) but the teachers didn't see it that way and have just cast him aside as lazy and I am the one receiving the emails from school about missed homework and attitude in class. He refuses to block the bullies as he says they will know that they have been blocked and will make things worse for him. DS attitude at home isn't great - its like we are the enemy but we are the ones trying to help him! School say they are going to do XYZ but it never comes to anything.
He has had issues with food since he has being weaned (very limited diet, hates eating in front of people) and now this has esculated and he has lost about a stone in 6 weeks. He says he is not hungry, I can;t force him to eat but reading between the lines, he is not eating because that is one thing he can be in control of.
DP (his dad) is quite good with him but they have never had the easiest of relationships and I feel like the piggy in the middle there as well
Well, i've got it off my chest now - I literally have no one (apart from DP) to talk to about this. My family and DP's family don't seem to give two hoots about my children they say it will get better in time. Well, I'd like a time machine and travel to when it will be better because at the moment I have a broken teenager with a stinking attitude towards me and DP - the only two people who seem to care.
@Anotherlover...so sorry to hear of your struggles; that situation sucks for you it really does. Mine are 16 and 18. I'd like to offer some amazing words of wisdom but I'm struggling. The food thing is a bastard it really is. My DD18 is a vegetarian but a crap one (think white refined carbs) and generally gets bored of most things in life within about 3 mins. School rang me and said she looked pale and unfed; great! One thing you could do is a more casual meal approach. Think big pan of pasta Bol left on the hob with a stack of bowls and 'help yourself' type approach. Have stacks of low sugar cereals in. Also sometimes about 8pm we pull out an apple crumble and custard for late evening fill ups. They know they've got you by the short and curlies with food, they really do. Provide it, take compliments and then walk away.
Thank you - I have tears of relief in my eyes!
Food - He was referred to CAHMS when he was around 10 yrs but wouldn't engage (wouldn't go to be honest) and we have tried to help him ourselves with the assistance of the school nurse. It would be easier if I told you what he does eat rather than what he doesn't. His daily food is... marmite on toast for breakfast, marmite and cheese wrap, crisps and wafer for lunch. Then dinner will be something like chicken nuggets - which he cooks because he can't bear the thought of them "steaming" on the plate and going soggy on the bottom. He eats this day in day out. If we don't have any marmite in the house he will simply skip that meal until there is marmite. He will not entertain anything else in a sandwich. He is not able to put his mouth around a fork to take the food off and bites the food off of his fork. Same with drinks. He has a straw as he cannot/will not put his mouth on the glass. I can honestly say we have tried everything to get him to eat different food. I have said that one day he would be on that show Freaky Eaters. He will not eat red meat (or chicken that is not in a safe form ie chicken nuggets), veg, cereal, fruit. He doesn't eat things you would think a child/teen would go for jaffa cake, sponge, nutella etc instead he would rather put some cream crackers in a tortila wrap and eat it. Eating out for us as a family is just a non starter. Well, we did once go to a chain carvery place and had to ask permission for him to have Heinz tomato soup and a roll (which was one of their starters) whilst the rest of us had a roast.
I do try every single day
@anotherlover. Hope you’re ok, it sounds so hard. I think with the eating you need to try the gp again. As you said it’s what he feels he can control and everything else is clearly overwhelming.
I do feel for you both 💐
Can I join please. My soul is almost completely destroyed. My 17 year old is making my life a living hell. He dropped out if college and does nothing but lie in bed all day and smoke weed the rest of the time. He’s caused so much damage in my house I’m paying for things to be fixed every month from my wages. His behaviour is vile and there is absolutely no way of getting through to him. He has no respect for me and I’m pretty sure he is pushing me so that I will kick him out. He’s on self destruct. I feel so alone. It’s just me and him. I do not know what to do. I’m guessing there are no answers but any advice will be gratefully received.
Welcome to the thread Makmaison Plominoagain and
Hi MakMaison have you had any support from agencies such as CAMHS? They are something of a lottery depending on where you live, but can provide some support if you are lucky. Failing that, your GP may be able to refer you somewhere, maybe social services?
@Anotherlover....my goodness what a struggle you've got there. I'm no expert but to me this smacks of a sensorial type thing - hypersensitivity maybe. Is he or has he been picky over stuff like clothing labels, loud noises ( cheering at swimming galas) - anything like that? I ask the question because he's at an age now whereby rather than try and battle with him against this, could he start to try and understand how he is why he is? Maybe by taking that approach he could start to push a few of his own boundaries - if he so desires it. I'm just thinking out loud here.......
@Makmaison.....poor you and actually poor him - he sounds so disillusioned. Is a job out of the question? What about something simple and outdoorsy to start with - a garden centre or something outside. Where's the money coming from for weed? This is not to interrogate you, you sound at your wits end. 💐
Hi @makmaison that does sound so hard and I can’t imagine being in a position that possibly the only option is to evict a dc but if he’s refusing to engage and actually destroying your property you may need to offer an ultimatum.
I’m so sorry I don’t have any better thoughts. You’re also at that annoying point where child services stop and adult services take over and it just doesn’t work it completely breaks down.
@makmaison, that does sound terrible. I sympathise. My DS is 15, he is smoking a lot of weed. It is so destructive but I can’t really persuade him not to. I can’t seem to get any outside help either. No one seems to take it that seriously including Camhs.
Thank you all. I’ve tried all agencies and they’ve been pretty good but he won’t engage. I won’t throw him out. I keep reading over the story someone posted earlier. I think I just need to hold on in there and don’t give up on him. Goodness knows how he’s always got weed. I give him some money but not lots. I think him and his mates chip in. I’m moving away. He’s really upset about it but I’ve got to try. Just in case it makes a difference. He’s hanging out with all the wrong people.
Big hugs to all.
How do you cope/react when vile things being said? If anybody spoke to me the way DS does I would never see them again. Ultimate insult tonight as well as being strict/awful mum we are now poor too. I go to bed in tears yet again.
You are not alone mrsblondie. They don’t mean it. Mine tells me often that nobody loves me and that he can’t wait until I’m dead so he can have his inheritance 😆. I’ve got to laugh. I also regularly cry. I hope you get a good night sleep and tomorrow is a better day.
I just went in and said "love you lots" to him. No answer but he heard.
I think that’s the only way to do it. Mine wanted me dead earlier but tonight I got a hug. They really don’t mean it. They just want to hurt us to express their own difficult emotions. I’m no expert of course. Night mrsblondie. You’re a lovely mum.
Just a message of support for plominoagain - it all sounds very familiar. I have spent the last two years with DS (16) in a constant state of worry about school. Phone calls, meetings, one exclusion, isolations, detentions (often not attended), being on report, school refusal, messages on the dreaded 'Class Charts'..... Just would not accept authority, labelled as defiant. I looked at other schools but he was so far behind it would have meant him going back a year. I honestly thought he was going to be permanently excluded before he got to the end of Y11. This week however he has started his GCSEs and we only have to get to 14th June and it will all be over! He has refused to go into school to revise or accept any extra help, so I really don't know how he will do.
All you can do is hang on in there and tick the days off the calendar. (That's what I'm doing! )
Thank you . She managed to get herself excluded for five days today , for her behaviour again , and then disappeared after school and turned her phone off . So I took the youngest DS to the beach and out for a chip supper , which has now annoyed her . If she’d come home , she could have come with us , but if she persists , then she’s missing out . I’m not going to be treading on eggshells anymore .
Makmaison and Fleetheart so sorry to hear about your DS. Mine also has been using weed - we have found it in his room so are sure. It's very common and freely available which I find really upsetting as it normalises it. I'm convinced it's caused his downward spiral at school, lack of motivation and low moods. He has refused any help, support and won't admit he has a problem. I have spoken to the GP and referred him to a teenage counselling service - they phoned him but he refused to take the call - nothing I could do about it
One thing I found quite helpful was the Talk to Frank helpline. I had a long chat with a counsellor about the situation. She gave me some ideas about how to approach him to talk about it and it helped me just to talk to someone who understood...
Good morning all. So many new posts! And if I may say, very representative of the necessity to "hang on to the rope". Phrases like "Mine wanted me dead earlier but tonight I got a hug" very much resonate! I really feel for you all! It's not easy to keep strong in the face of constant put downs
Sorry to be largely absent from the thread yesterday but I was working and then dd had a bit of an exam meltdown. She seems ok this morning though.
Plominoagain well done for not treading on eggshells and for holding the line
Cccc123 lovely post. Please don't worry, everyone here can definitely relate!
MrsBlondie I hope you got some sleep last night.
Makmaison fwiw I would move away too if it meant removing my child from bad influences. I know someone who moved countries actually and it turned their son's life around completely.
Midlifemumofteens that's really good to hear about FRANK because a pp poster (on first thread) didn't have such a great experience with them.
Notontopofthings so glad new meds seem to be starting to make a difference for your ds
Food issues are massively, massively worrying for a parent. (I have a little experience in this as dd is borderline underweight; she is exactly like vjg13's dd.) As Tinkobell says "They know they've got you by the short and curlies with food, they really do." Ain't that the truth. But her advice "Provide it, take compliments and then walk away" is pure gold I think.
Speaking of great advice there are some more nuggets from Ticklingcheese there in her post of 14-May-19 12:04.
It's interesting that the same things that often trouble toddlers such as food, sleep and school refusal, trouble teens as well. I wonder if the hormones that govern brain plasticity also make a person feel so out of control that they strive for the opposite? Who knows?
Waves to all Po Ts! Hang in there and keep venting here.
As Billy so rightly said, they really have no concept of the grand scheme of things do they?
Good morning all. Another phone call home last night about DS attitude in class....I may as well record myself saying "he is having problems outside of the classroom which are filtering into his work and attitude inside of the classroom. We are working on this so if you could work with us it would be most appreciated". The last thing I want to sound like is a mum who can see her son do no wrong. His behaviour is not acceptable - but I wish they would understand that sometimes there is a bigger picture.
I do think DS has some sensory issues with food and he definately has some habits which are a form of OCD. I'm not sure if he will go to the gp again as last time we went the gp wanted him to be weighed and measured. Fine. Was asked to go along on specific date and time. Fine. When we got there it turned out to be the baby weigh in clinic so we waited in line with them. When we got out he burst into tears and said never again. I got to agree with him, if I had known they were going to send him there I would never have taken him. This is the appointment that lead onto to the school nurse and her involvement.
I do provide the food (there are never any compliments - he eats as a necessity not a pleasure - he still eats from a sandwich plate not a dinner plate) he has said before if he could take a pill as a substitute for food he would.
I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who posts. Just knowing that there is someone out there who is going through similar or just being there to listen is amazing.
I will be back later - must go to work now
Morning all, and hi to all the newbies. Sorry you are here ❤️
Just to say when ds was depressed, he had no appetite, and we/he love food. When it started to lift eating was normal.
anotherlover both ds and I have ocd traits, it can be debilitating. My ds was helped greatly by cognitive therapy (sorry pegs, your eye story was scary and Hilarious). Sorry about the doctor visit, it was probably the most insensitive thing they could do. But you need help, could you talk to them before hand, ask them to come to you or simply demand/ask for a referral?
Wishing you a peaceful day.
DD1 has survived first 2 days of new job OK. <hurray>
So now DD2 has gone into a bit of 'shutdown' mode, following something taught at school that triggered her (she's adopted). At least I think that's the reason. It is very hard to tell the difference between uncooperative due to grumpy teen, and uncooperative due to emotions too big for her to handle. One needs firm handling and consequences, the other needs time and understanding.
Thanks for the new thread
I can relate to the school stuff. I'm current on tenterhooks as dd is going to get given a 'sanction' today for being rude to the teacher. She has said if she gets another isolation she is going to walk out of school. And I believe her.
The thing is, the reason is because her and a friend went into the toilets together. A teacher followed and questioned them, saying it was weird and they shouldn't be together . It is a 'safe guarding' issue apparently and the teacher was totally right to follow them - so school told me. I genuinely thought teenage girls always go to the loo together! Obviously dd got aggrieved, became surly and, well, you can imagine the rest.
Mountain out of a molehill imo. It's very difficult to support the school when you don't agree with their stance. Yes, she should not have been rude but strip it right back to the beginning...
Tx2- I completely get it. I often struggle to know the difference between normal teen stuff and 'deeper' reasons for the attitude.
I have always tried to see the teens point of view though and don't always agree that adults/school automatically know best. Hence worrying that I'm 'that mum' in situations like my post above.
pasanda how did your dd get on at school did she get a sanction
I think school are sometimes to strict
My dd had bother at school last class today. So ill prob be getting phone call tomorrow. She tried to break up a fight and some girls said it was her that was fighting and was bullying a younger girl. We always like to believe our own. It was the girl who assaulted her in feb and her friend that where accusing my dd so im hoping it just between them and no phone calls.
I went back to doctor today with my own mental health my blood pressure still high even though im on tablet for 2 months. And she doubled my anxiety dose. She said shed speak the next day about hrt does this help with early menopause night sweats an odd hot flush.
Please can I suggest you look at the mnh thread
'We are merging some sections...'
And 'please ask mn not to move us'
About moving teen section.
@Anotherlover.....did he suffer with reflux or choking or oral pain issues as a baby?. I just wonder because to me his behaviour sounds not only OCD but also post traumatic and the pill substitute comment says a lot. He's fearful. Since he's freaked out at the GP, I just wonder if you could go visit a nutritionist on your own and talk his condition through, I'm sure a nutrionist will understand what's going on here and be able to advise a way forward.
One idea I've got is to slowly diversify but using his limited ingredient list. So for example marmite (there's a low salt one now - blue cap, tastes the same) - try tossing roast potatoes in oil and marmite (pre-roasting) - they're delicious. Nigella does a marmite spaghetti - it's pasta with marmite and cheese.
Personally I think with an eater like this keep the food dead honest. Don't try any of this 'hidden' vegetables shit that people do with toddlers, it won't work. So maybe just a plate of veg crudités with marmite as a dip?
Thanks Tinkobel - he had terrible wind as a baby and would take ages to burp after a feed. When he went on to solids he literally refused everything bar rice cakes, lentil bake and cheese. i do make the marmite and cheese pasta for him now ! I've never been able to do the hidden food - my child can tell the difference in sweet corn just by smelling it - if it's not jolly green giant he is not eating eat - literally!
It's a good idea about the nutritionist - I'm going to investigate that tomorrow.
He does seem to be in a great mood this evening and even came grocery shopping with me -
Mcmen. No sanctions today, bracing myself for tmrw now!
Every other adult I've spoken to seem to think the teacher following them into the loo in the first place is very strange.
Other stuff happened in the aftermath including dd overhearing her HOY (a family friend no less!) commenting to the teacher who followed that dd was 'difficult to talk to, angry and not very nice'. The other teacher also said 'if you died tomorrow how would you like people to remember you, nice and kind or sullen and surly?' DD replied ' I don't give a shit how you think of me' . Which sounds incredibly rude but in her mind is the truth. She doesn't care about what teachers (who don't even know her ) think of her.
Urgh. It's a total shitstorm over not a lot imo. But of course I have to pick up the pieces!
Thanks Pegs for the new thread. I’m impressed at how you got the new link on to the 1,000th post! 🎉🎉🎉.
A couple of observations about the comments from some PPs about how other families seem to be happy, please believe others pointing out on this thread that no one is living a happy, completely problem free life. And lives with teens most definitely have problems of one sort or another.
I understand that it’s hard to accept that your DCs might need ADs and in our heads, it feels very wrong. But if you found out they had developed, for example, type 1 diabetes and needed insulin injections to stay alive, you wouldn’t think twice. Insulin injections simply replace something their own body can’t produce. It’s the same with the chemicals in ADs - they replace or supplement what their bodies aren’t producing, or aren’t producing enough of.
And to the suggestion of cooking and leaving it for them to graze on - yes, yes, yes. This can really help get them to eat and avoid the food battles. My DSS2 has suddenly found lots of reasons to not be here at meal times. I’ve just started cooking as if he’s going to be here, leaving his portion in the cook pot and have noticed that more often than not it disappears after he comes back. If it’s plated up it gets left, but the fact he’s helping himself from pot as if it’s just leftovers seems to be the way he ‘allows’ himself to eat my food.
Made it by the skin of my teeth Machinebee!
Dashing about this morning! Bbl!
*There’s a saying “a mother can only be as happy as her saddest child” - well that’s how I feel but also helpless to try and improve the situation too which is hard for me as I’m a natural fixer and dooer"
@tinkobell yep I totally hear you on this. I unfortunately seem to live my parenting life by this saying. I have two DDs and they both are open with me, great but also this means I have experienced all their pain and endured knowing I can't really do anything. My youngest is going through friendship dramas, normal but still my heart breaks when she comes home sad about how she feels her friends are treating her.
And I think other parents don't talk about the problems their teens are having for two reasons: they want to keep up appearances and secondly they just don't know and/or don't notice.
Have a lovely day and love to you and all our teens x
@blessthekids.....sorry to hear of your DD's friendship woes, they are always v v painful. I often wonder to myself if the perpetrators of misery had the faintest clue of the wide reaching stress that bullying or group exclusion causes within the broader family, perhaps they'd think twice....or probably just not give a shit!
My 16YO likes to drag you along on the roller coaster of life - all the ups and downs. Whereas the 18YO (akin to a moody Avril Lavigne) says nothing, ever.....tbh, I find that the worst because the pressure just builds and builds; you can't think Of ideas or problem solve, you can't do anything. A few years back on holiday an old (somewhat cheesy) American couple told me to 'squeeze my kids hard' 'keep squeezing 'em" and I do that! Sometimes it's met with a confused 'gerrof' but I still squeeze them just to let them know that I love em, especially when times are very hard.
@Anotherlover.....sorry I'm having an ideas kind of day! Another thought might be to try and get your DS involved in food at a more fundamental level. I'm thinking a growbag with tomatoe plants in it. Or visiting a pick your own fruit farm (teenagers find cherries, strawberries and peas hard to resist). You could say you're going anyway, does he fancy joining you......Seeing new foods at a very basic level might peak his interest, who knows.
I'm sure a nutritionist that deals with young people, food anxieties and teens will give young good advice directly to you. Your challenge needs psychological input.
Good morning all! Sorry to have been awol. Still fighting this flu, virus thing.
Ticklingcheese I missed that about the Teenage section! Will investigate!
Dare I say it, reasonably good going here atm, DD went off fairly happily to exam this morning. (And breathes.)
How about everyone else?
AnotherLover that is shockingly bad about your DS having to queue up in baby weighing clinic. Talk about how not to treat an adolescent with eating issues. . And sorry school are being so intransigent too. It all sounds like such an uphill battle! Hope nutritionist helps! I've also found that cooking with dd has helped her to be less "suspicious" of certain foods. I like Tinkobell's growing idea too!
Same with your DD and the school Pasanda , that does sound like a poor reason for a sanction and the way the HOY spoke was completely unprofessional, especially when your DD could hear! Hope she is not too upset still.
Well done to your dd1 Teentimestwo and hope your dd2 ok!
McMen71 I hope the new dose of meds is helping you and that the incident with your dd's bully at school was resolved ok?
Tinkobell aw to the American couple - that's so true that they need "squeezing" the most when they are being the most difficult - and sorry but I had to smile at "moody Avril Lavigne" I have the talkative type - the sort that likes to drag you along for the roller coaster ride! Having two with opposite personalities must keep you on your toes!
Waves to MachineBee Blessthekids Tinkobell and all other PoTs! Wishing you and your teens peaceful weekends!
💮 Btw, I was in touch with Mumsnet HQ again about the web-chat and Notontopofthings idea about inviting someone from Young Minds and they said their press people were considering our request around about about now so fingers and toes crossed everyone!
I’d like to share my morning joy. It might just make others feel better. I’m currently sitting at my desk in tears. I’ve been told repeatedly that I’m hated and no one likes me. All with a mocking smile, laughter and singing. Then he spat in the hallway because he knows I hate spitting. He’s constantly spitting in the bath and sink and just leaving it. He’s now standing out side my office repeatedly saying mum. It’s pure torture. I would love this period to end.
Oh, the brute. How old is he? Any redeeming features? I suppose he must be very desperate to cement his separation- if only it involved something helpful like taking over the cooking! I have resigned myself to ‘no contact ‘ most of the time, unless money is needed.
Oh yes unless money is needed, then its all sweetness and light.
@makmaison, sending you cyber hugs, its horrible.
taking over cooking would be fab. I’m pleased to hear he’s not alone in his sweetness when it comes to needing money. He really is a little sh** right now. All will be well eventually. At least it’s Friday. Hooray!
I cant do this I don't think. I cant be a mum to a child with so much hate for me. "I f###ing hate you" tonight. Why. Because the xbox has gone. Because of bad behaviour like this. I cant do it. I cant cope. Ive no clue what to do. I just make it worse.
Im no help with advice for others sorry. I hope this passes for us all soon.
They don't really mean it Blondie, they just mean "I'm really angry". My daughter has said "I wish you'd kill yourself". It upset me at the time, but with perspective I know she didn't mean it.
Mrsblondie I feel your pain. As hard as it is to accept, they truly do not mean it. It’s nearly impossible in my experience to do it but the key, I think, is to let it go smoothly in one ear and out of the other. My mantra is they do not mean it and it will soon be over. I try to shake it off. It’s bloody hard but it’s the only way. It usually takes me about an hours space from him and we start again. I’m so impressed you’ve taken the Xbox. Well done.
MrsBlondie & Makmaison I started this thread having been subjected to a similar rants at a moment when I was feeling particularly bad about myself. It is so demoralising, especially at a time in our lives when we ourselves may be feeling less than confident.
I was really helped on here by others saying "they really don't mean it", "they take out all their inner turmoil on us because it is "safe" do so so" and "they have very little idea of the hurt they are causing because their frontal lobes haven't fully formed yet!" I didn't believe it at the time because I was in quite a "low" place but it really is true and indeed dd apologised very soon thereafter.
However, you don't have to sit there and listen to it over and over. Calmly shut the door, walk away, go out and buy yourself a coffee, or simply say "I look forward to talking to you when you are being civil" and really mean it. Try and disengage a bit and go and do something else totally different and totally absorbing. Be slightly less "available".
Good luck. It's a really horrible thing to go through. They hone in on our weak spots like excocet missiles.
Hello all sufferers again, what a rollercoaster this is. Ds is trying to buy weed from acquaintances. He’s 13 and thinks it’s all just a laugh. Won’t engage with me, dp, or any more productive activities-today I can probably stop him but not for long if he’s determined. He has a fair amount of freedom, luckily not much money. I keep trying to trust him- and then stuff like this happens! Haven’t confronted him yet
Good luck with the confrontation Xerox stay strong. Easy to say but can he be steered or distracted away from those particular acquaintances?
@Blondie and @Makmaison ....both accept a virtual hug 💐 That's bloody awful and I hope one day they do remember and hang heads in shame. Hormones are indeed incredibly powerful things and we need to remember that. You are being used as punch bags and I guess it's because they know they can use you as punch bags and you'll still be there and you'll still be mum. So much is said in the heat of the moment that isn't meant at all. DD saw a counsellor yesterday about 'it', whatever 'it' might be. Had no feedback or comment, just a bill to pay for £95. Frankly I just feel like we're treading water through A levels then I want her working. End of. She needs to engage with the broader world and earn her own cash, life's claustrophobic here. Wishing people rest and sleep this weekend!
Morning all, Rocky at home last night again. Son is still buying weed, and don't know where the money is coming from, I think he's saving his lunch money all week! So a packed lunch from now on, I'm not funding his habit.
Expecting another row tonight as he gets paid and I expect him to hand it over, so he doesn't spend it all on drugs.
I am very tempted to just let him work away and waste his money but £100 a week for dope is quite alot. But he might need to learn the lesson a different way..I am so confused! I'm exhausted, I just wish sometimes someone would take him
Sorry Xerox, weed is such a pain. My DS is smoking it a lot, as I said earlier I can’t seem to get support as the agencies only seem to want to help someone with a problem. I’m going for the long view, and hoping we can keep talking and his dad also keeps talking. But to be honest it’s driving me mad. There must be someone who can help us with these underage weed smokers
@trishababyblue, I see you are in a similar boat. It seems that they don’t see it as a problem at all; in fact we are the problem! Getting in the way of serious weed smoking!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.