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DS won't talk.

(13 Posts)
iamdisappointedinyou Fri 31-Oct-08 09:01:00

How do I get my DS(14) to speak to me? I sometimes try to start a conversation and he totally blanks me. I have told him many times that if someone speaks to you then the normal social response is to make some acknowledgement in return. Hopefully you start a conversation but even a grunt or a 'uh-huh' would do. If I point this out he just stares at me with insolent eyes and continues to pointedly blank me.
Thinking about it, he only speaks to me when he wants something. He and his dad bond over sport. He will chat about fashion, music etc with his sister. But I seem to have no purpose in his life apart from being a taxi-service and food provider.
We had such an occasion yesterday morning *. I have done my usual thing - risen to the bait, got cross and given him a taste of his own medicine i.e. I am now blanking him. We are both stubborn people and neither will give in (it's only 24 hours so far). I know that the situation will only be resolved when DH intervenes when he gets fed up with what he sees as sulking.

How do I stop DS from blanking me? The standard MN advice for any problem is 'talk with him' but how do you talk to someone who refuses to communicate?

* My opening sentence was something neutral along the lines of "what do you think of this Jonathan Ross business?"

Grammaticus Fri 31-Oct-08 09:04:09

It sound really hard, I guess I would back off a bit and see if this (too) is a phase that shall pass. Not that it would be easy to do, but I would try to do it. But you shouldn't blank him I don't think - you're an adult and you're HIS MUM!

fartmeistergeneral Fri 31-Oct-08 09:07:53

Yes, I agee with grammaticus. I have a 10 year old ds and I can SEE that this is going to happen to us in the future. Carry on as normal, although it's very hard. It sounds like classic 14 year old behaviour, but you have to grit your teeth and carry on. He WILL come out of this phase. My DH's brother was a nightmare from birth to late teens. Same kind of behaviour. Now he's a decent, respectable, friendly adult who visits his mum on a regular basis!! It took a while tho - my MIL admitted that he was very hard to love sometimes, but they got through it and have a good relationship.

mrsmaidamess Fri 31-Oct-08 09:10:57

Can you MSN him? Email him? Or be really old fashioned and send him a note? it could be along the lines of 'I know sometimes we find it hard to communicate but i'm hear if you need an ear to bend' or something along those lines.

But I can see how it frustrates you..the way my 13 year old dd talks to me sometimes has steam coming out of my ears. But I think you have to be the grown up here...hopefully its a phase he's going through.

juuule Fri 31-Oct-08 09:11:46

Agree with the advice for you to carry on as normal. It will pass. But it will get worse if you start sulking and tantrummingwink
If he doesn't want to talk, leave him be. I would still remind him now and then though that you are there if he needs to talk about anything and that you love him.

fartmeistergeneral Fri 31-Oct-08 09:13:50

yes, agree. I would definitely tell him sth along the lines of I know sometimes we find it hard to communicate byt still love you/am here for you (as mrsmaidamess said). He will visibly cringe, but you know that deep down he'll be chuffed and remember it. If you don't, and give up on communicating with him, it'll take longer for this phase to pass.

iamdisappointedinyou Fri 31-Oct-08 09:16:08

Yes I am his mum so I should be trying to parent him. I should be trying to tell him what is acceptable behaviour and what isn't. He has always been a bit of a jack-the-lad and when he was younger it was merely boyish fun but he is now getting to the stage where he is getting into trouble at school because he cannot see where to draw the line (hence the attempted JR conversation).

If I ignore his behaviour, aren't I just condoning it?

juuule Fri 31-Oct-08 09:24:18

You can still tell him that you consider his behaviour is rude. Just don't get worked up about it. Just mention it. If possible try to think of him as someone else's child that you are just passing a bit of advice to. It's unlikely that if it was someone else's child you would go on in the same way that we get tempted to with our own. Pass comment on nice things he does as well a things that annoy you. In fact, try to bite your tongue most times when he does something that irritates.
Staying calm is the key. Not always possible but a good thing to aim for.

Most of the time the behaviour probably isn't intentional. Then when they are pulled for it, they look at you seemingly insolent and sometimes it's just that they don't know what's going on and why you should be upset. At least that's been my experience with some of mine.

iamdisappointedinyou Fri 31-Oct-08 09:35:39

The behaviour is intentional. He's a bright lad and he knows what he is doing.angry

As you say, I need to stay calm. And take the P out of him. Men hate to be laughed at.wink

Grammaticus Fri 31-Oct-08 10:04:08

I wouldn't take the p too much. I think teenagers can be pretty oversensitive.

About condoning it - no I don't think you would be. You can't force him to talk, so I think it is a bit like when a toddler doesn't wee in the loo - it is outside your control so you have to adapt your strategies accordingly.

Tiggiwinkle Fri 31-Oct-08 10:22:55

My DS4 is 15 so I have one of these myself (plus 3 older ones!)
I would try withdrawing some of the things you do for him; point out that you do not have to do these things for someone who will not even speak to you! Just do the basics and make him appreciate the things you do for him normally.
My 19 year old DS3 finds it easier to communicate by text and email, but he has Asperger's Syndrome so perhaps that is a bit extreme!

Grammaticus Fri 31-Oct-08 10:30:45

Yes, quietly withdrawing your cooperation from him would be one good strategy - changing your behaviour, since huffing and puffing at him can't change his.

mumeeee Fri 31-Oct-08 22:03:46

Normal 14 year old behavior.Just be ready to listen when he wants to talk. DD2 18 was very much like this from the age of 15not talking much.But she did answer when she was spoken to. She is now 18 and has recently started talking to us a lot more.

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