Please tell me how to handle my teenager..(10 Posts)
He's not the worse one in the world - he doesn't drink/takes drugs/hang around with a bad crowd.. he doesn't even do the whole street loitering culture but he's being bloody selfish and I just can't get through to him.
He's just finished his GCSEs. We've just moved house and he's got a lovely new bedroom which he won't come out of and just vedges there all day. This may sound fine and normal and yes he's waited for this room for a long time but we are a family and I find I'm not prepared for him to be holed away in his room the whole time while I struggle with too many tasks (including grappling with his very difficult 8 year old disabled brother). I don't expect him to help me ALL the time but I DO expect to not be greeted with negativity and attitide every time I say "DS would you get the washing in for me please?" Yesterday he moaned so much I offered him an alternative.. still moaned.. so another alternative... still moaned and complained. Eventually I said fine don't worry I'll do it on my own..
Later, when we were LATE for a club they all go to on a Tues evening and I forgot half of their stuff, he MOANED about that! I told him it was because I'd had to struggle alone to do all the jobs that needing doing after dinner.. he said I shouldn't be asking him to do "one job after another when he's only just come in..."
I was and ! He had "just come in" from a nice relaxing bbq in his friends' garden after their Leaver's assembly.. that's all he'd done all day! And the "one job after another" was because none of them were acceptable to him so I kept giving him alternatives I hoped WOULD be more acceptable to him.. and he didn't bloody DO any of them!
ALL I expect of him is that he treats me and DH with a bit of civility... and that he helps out a little every day when he isn't busy with other things (Playstation NOT included!)
He in return expects.. money for haircuts and sometimes phone credit (he's voluntarily given up his weekend kitchen job because he "didn't like it" so I am less inclined to shell out really..).. he expects lots of food in the cupboard at all times and moans if we're running low.. he expects/needs a whole new wardrobe of summer clothes for the foreign holiday he's going on with his dad and family in Aug.. he expects all his forms filled in re college, EMA etc etc etc.. they are endless and I've done them all for him and continue to.. he expects to have his friends round to stay over/get fed etc.. he expects an extravagant birthday treat for his sixteenth next months (well it's extravagant to us because we're not well off.. he wants to go paint balling, he asked me nicely months ago and thanked me nicely when I said yes but I have still to book and pay for it and he still EXPECTS this!).. he expects there to be clean/ironed clothes available to him as he needs them, he expects the house to clean and presentable so it doesn't embarrass him in front of his friends.. (we've just moved.. there are still SO many jobs to be done, some of which a teenage boy can do.. he's had no problem weilding a drill in his OWN room, and contructing stuff really well.. I have LOADS of flat packs/shelves still waiting for DH to get to(I'm crap it.. yes that's girly but sorry!).. he wants 2 remote controllers for his PS3 by the time his mates stay over after his birthday treat (DS2 ruined one and I have promised them but yes, it's another things he expects of me).. he expects to be drive to/from places when he hasn't got bus fare/doesn't want to catch bus and/or me to provide bus/train fares since he gave up his job.. he expects his prom suit to hired, paid for collected and returned..
I KNOW many of these things are just things we parents do for our teenagers.. and I am HAPPY to do most of them.. I just want a bit of respect back.. that's not unreasonable surely. And a little bit of help around the house. I am snowed under with overdue coursework and all the normal day to day stuff/housework plus extra stuff re the move.
How can I get through to him??
Sorry you're having to go through all this, and this probably isn't very helpful, but I read this and couldn't help thinking if you fast forward 15 or 20 years, his wife/partner will be on mumsnet complaining that he does nothing around the house, just wants to sit in front of the tv when he gets home from work, expects his clothes to be ironed for him, expects all the tidying to be done so it doesn't embarrass his friends, won't help with the kids etc, etc.
Why do you do all this for him? A 15/16 year old is perfectly capable of tidying, ironing and filling in forms etc. Stop acting like a doormat and maybe he will respect you when he realises exactly how much you do for him.
He's been out for the last hour.. I hadn't realised - I thought he was in his room .. and he's just come in with Milk Tray for both of us (box each) and a bunch of red tulips for me! (He had money stashed away after all.. )
I think maybe he's not a bad lad.
But I do take your point Mable. I'm not really "dooemat material" generally, but I do see what you're saying.
Aawww - that's nice. But don't let the odd box of chocs and flowers cloud your vision (). If he sees his mum running around after him, doing stuff that he is perfectly capable of doing, he'll never learn to do it himself and will probably expect his future partner to do the same. And you shouldn't neglect your coursework because of his ironing!
Apparently while I was banging away angrily on the keyboard to Mumsnet he was "sitting by the duckpond, thinking about stuff"..
There will be some changes.
Your DS sounds fairly normal for his age. Mine are similar - though I have friends whose DS will automatically help with housework/start the evening meal - or even cook it all etc. He will improve in the next couple of years and hopefully will not end up as the sort of man who expects women to do everything for him. My DS2 has said - "Why should I do it when you will (eventually) do it for me?" - so I don't do it sometimes and miraculously he survives the lack of ironed clothes/tidies his room so he can find what he needs etc.
Decide which things he can and should do, tell him they are now his responsibility, and leave them to him. Ironing his clothes is an obvious one.
Also, when you are doing "extra" things for him, like filling out a form, get him to do something in exchange - like the flatpacks if he's handy at that.
And explain, in general terms at least, how your family finances work - he may believe that all these things he wants are easily affordable. Make him understand that they are not - he can have X or Y but you can't afford both.
Slight tangent here, but if he has a PS2 as well as a PS3,you can use a PS2 controller on the PS3 if you buy a converter cable. I got one from Ebay for about a fiver.
Sympathies, btw, my 13 yr old is headed in the same direction. If he helps me for five minutes in the kitchen he expects me to worship him.
Also have a 15 yr ds1 (and 3 other ds) - he does help out quite a bit with younger ones - does the walk to school now and picks up from child minders - luckily just short runs out. He realised a while ago that you can't take and no give - does lots of table tennis and wants taxi service around - a few times in the past this caused some issues - would appreciate some help and if not no taxi service . There are some tasks he just 'does' as part of being a family any extras we usually end up agreeing money. As finished GCSEs and not working yet - we agreed £3 per hour for the jobs around house - this also helps him to prepare for the real world bit of diy / house care. Seems to work for us as we don't directly give him an allowance he can spend (goes into a yearly savings account) but he does have other jobs too. Plus we pay for some gigs and other stuff. TBH he's not that big a spender although ebays a bit. I think the 'secret' is to treat them like adults this means we all HAVE to help out and then the house just runs smoother for all and in the end we get more done and more likely to buy treats etc.
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