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My sons are acting so distant.

(16 Posts)
KarsOfficial Wed 11-Dec-19 23:01:55

I will try to keep this brief.

My sons (16 and 18 y/o) seem quite uninterested in spending time with me lately... I understand that I can come off as "strict", but I do it out of their interests. I want to see them grow up big and strong.

I feel like part of the issue is our "lack of solid communication." I do not speak English as a first language and my sons have been educated in English since birth. They are avid Internet users as well so they often use words and phrases I cannot understand... I have tried playing MineCraft and Fort-Nite with them but it is very difficult for me to keep up with youth culture...

What should I do to try and keep our bond strong? My husband is not having the same issues I am but he isn't treating our sons any differently than I am.

Thank you.

OP’s posts: |
BillHadersNewWife Thu 12-Dec-19 00:57:12

I want to see them grow up big and strong.

They already ARE at 16 and 18. They're practically grown men now Kars

Could you watch some TV shows together? That's what I try to do with my 15 year old....it's something we can talk about.

In what way are you strict? I mean...how can you be strict with an 18 year old? That's an adult already!

KarsOfficial Thu 12-Dec-19 06:40:24

I suppose another issue is that I am so attached to them that I'm not ready to see them leave and really grow up. They've been with me for so long, you know...?

Anyway, in my culture simply turning "of age" does not necessarily mean one is an adult. It's a matter of maturity and life experience. My eldest son may be 18 but he's not quite an adult to me yet. Lol.

I'll try and spend more time doing activities with them together... Thank you for the advice. :]

OP’s posts: |
Loveislandaddict Thu 12-Dec-19 06:56:47

Your teens are being teens. At that age they don’t want to spend time with their parents, and are more happy playing on the Xbox, talking to friends, etc. It’s almost write of passage. It’s nothing to do with their language, and everything to do with their stage of life.

To keep the bonds strong, just be there. They’ll come to you when they need to.

However, there are some action you can take, plan meals sitting at the table, watch a film all together etc. However, at this age, you can’t force anything. They’re young men finding their feet and independence, completely normal.

(Mother of two teen sons, similar ages).

Loveislandaddict Thu 12-Dec-19 06:57:08

Rite of passage

smaragda Thu 12-Dec-19 07:22:37

I second finding a show you can watch together and talk about-I have a 15 year old son, and he still tells me to sit so we can snuggle to watch our show.

SnuggyBuggy Thu 12-Dec-19 07:27:15

This is just normal for this age OP. Give them space now and they will hopefully come back to you later.

FishCanFly Thu 12-Dec-19 11:30:59

what you described is quite cringeworthy. Try to play Minecraft and Fortnite with them? confused Eek!

KarsOfficial Thu 12-Dec-19 17:50:24

@FishCanFly
Lol, it is not like I enjoy playing those types of games with them. I am not a "gamer" but my 16 y/o absolutely adores Fort-Nite. He is entering a tournament for it this weekend, so I just want to be able to support him. I do not understand how playing games that my sons enjoy with them would be 'cringe', though they call me that often... hmm

OP’s posts: |
SnuggyBuggy Thu 12-Dec-19 17:58:22

Give them some distance OP

FishCanFly Thu 12-Dec-19 21:17:51

KarsOfficial
Its embarrassing when a parent tries to be "cool" and goes to do something completely out of their depth. Show your support by leaving them to it. Go bake a cake or something.

OrangeHue Thu 12-Dec-19 21:22:40

Back off

JustDanceAddict Fri 13-Dec-19 16:20:45

Sounds normal to me.
I have a 15 yr old DS- we bond over some tv, Joke about, I listen to his funny stories about his friends, help him a bit with revision, etc. I wouldn’t go near his online gaming!
I’m also a bit nostalgic for his younger days but I appreciate its more important for him to cultivate great friendships atm and to grow away from us.

Wolfiefan Fri 13-Dec-19 16:23:53

As children grow up they spend much less time with parents. Their closest relationships are with friends.
It’s normal and healthy. It prepares you and them for when they leave home.
Let them live their lives. Don’t try and muscle in on what they enjoy. Just keep the lines of communication open.

GiveHerHellFromUs Fri 13-Dec-19 16:31:29

You mentioned your culture. Is the fact they have a different relationship with their dad more out of respect than anything else?

corythatwas Sat 14-Dec-19 13:32:21

I suppose another issue is that I am so attached to them that I'm not ready to see them leave and really grow up. They've been with me for so long, you know...?

My advice (as the mother of one 23yo and one 19yo): make it easy for them to grow up. Don't make them feel guilty about it or afraid of hurting you.

Whether you like it or not, they live in a culture where they are supposed to start thinking of themselves are grown-up by the age of 18, and if they are conscientious young men they will want to live up to those expectations. That doesn't mean they won't want your advice or that you won't mean lots to them: it just means that you will have to work with a different dynamic.

Let them see that you are happy and proud to see them growing into independent young men. You want to see them grow up big and strong and part of that strength is gradually learning to make your own decisions. Let them know that you are there in the background, that they can talk to you, and that you will listen and help if they want help (or just listen if they don't), but that their growing ability to make decisions is something you value.

As for family activities, it may help if you accept that they will probably want to spend a fair bit of time with their peers (either face-to-face or via the internet). This is normal in any culture: to a great extent, young men learn to be young men from other young men.

But you can also encourage some family interaction: watching a show together or just eating a meal together.

Best advice (and already given by others): just be there.

Second best advice: let them see that your whole happiness does not depend on them, that you have friends and interests and a whole grown-up life that does not have to revolve around them. The best way to make them NOT want to spend time with you is to make them feel guilty about the fact that they are eventually going to grow up and leave you. Show them there is nothing to be guilty about: you will be fine.

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