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At wits end over 16 year old son

206 replies

OverTheHammer · 15/07/2017 10:17

I have previously posted about a fight which broke out between violent son and DH. Most of you told me to call the police on him.

It was quiet for a few weeks following that as they just didn't speak to each other. Then Thursday night he went to cinema, didn't home home until gone midnight despite knowing the rules on being home before 11. I repeatedly text him as the clock crept towards 00:00 and just got excuses back. DH refused to go to bed before he got home despite being at work next day. He finally rolled in at 00:10 and instead of going straight to bed, decided he needed a drink and multiple trips to the toilet throughout the night, repeatedly waking DH up. Still he said nothing to him.

Then last night he came home at gone 11pm. At midnight he decided he needed to go outside for a cigerette. Rules are no smoking outside after 11pm so DH said he couldn't go out. DS launched into argument mode and said the rule was bullshit as he'd seen DH and myself out smoking after 11pm. We don't even smoke! So DH explained this only for DS to continue arguing that DH was full of shit etc etc. I woke up, shouted at DS to get to bed and stop being cheeky. DS launched back at me saying that DH is an argumentative wanker who hadn't spoken to him for two weeks and now wanted to "go" with him. To cut a long story short the row continues well past midnight ending in DS storming downstairs and getting in DHs face shouting "you want to go again?" Referring to previous fight night. He also accused DH of "assaulting" him last time which is untrue.

DH walked over to him, told him to get to bed only for DS to shove him into the wall. I lost my shit and stormed over to him, shoved him back and shouted at him to get to bed. DS started squaring up to me before saying "fuck this, I'm off" and stormed out (remember it's past midnight). I text his dad to say he had to go there just for his dad to say "I'm at work" and nothing more.

He came back half hour later and went to bed.

I'm at my wits end. I don't want him living here anymore but he has nowhere to go. What the fuck do I do.

OP posts:
Dentistlakes · 15/07/2017 11:01

It sounds as if he's seeing how far he can push OP before she finally snaps and kicks him out. His makes me think he feels unwanted and unloved by his parents with neither putting him first (his father is just as responsible). OP's DH is laying down the law and giving him no leeway and in response he's constantly testing his mother.

He may be 16 but he's still a child really. His parents need to show him he comes first.

endofthelinefinally · 15/07/2017 11:01

"Where do you think DS is going to go if you ask him to leave? You don't want him and his dad doesn't want him either. I can't imagine that's a great feeling for a kid. He probably feels that as you don't like him anyway, he might as well be as bad as your DH thinks he is."

I would like to know how long this situation has existed because I think it could explain the anger issues.

Katiekatie37 · 15/07/2017 11:01

Also if you have had a "quiet few weeks" he's not actually that bad it's not constant.

ghostyslovesheets · 15/07/2017 11:05

this lad needs to learn how to de-escalate things, and that is something he can only learn from you

this - with bells on - he's still learning - help him

TheWitchAndTrevor · 15/07/2017 11:05

Oh lovely, so an adult man square up to a 16 yo, to teach him what?

How to be threatening?

How to intimatedate?

How to bully someone into doing what you want?

How to get your own way?

Gosh, which lesson did do you think the 16yo took?

NotYoda · 15/07/2017 11:06

I agree with cory

Your DH seems to escalate the situation

Buckinghambae · 15/07/2017 11:08

DS2 was just like this and worse.. call the police when he gets violent and be consistent. I would re-assess house rules and check they are all about safety and respect, if not then sit down and agree bare minimum.

DS got arrested one too many times aafter wrecking our house and they refused to bail him home. It was the turnaround point that fixed our family, he realised that if he didn't get his shit together and treat his parents (same situation -DH isn't his dad) & our home with respect then he was going to go into care. He's a freaking angel now who is amazing to be around and the joy in our home.

And we are a perfectly middle class family, this wasn't some sort of dysfunctional family, he had just gone badly off the rails. You MUST call the police if he's violent, or you let it risk getting out of control.

Thoughts are with you, both DH and I were treated for MH issues having to cope with him whilst holding down senior management roles, it's exhausting - take all outside help but for your own sake stay as far from SS as you can.

Mmzz · 15/07/2017 11:08

I feel really sorry for your DS. I didn't read your earlier post, so maybe its not as it sounds, but to me you sound extremely rigid and controlling. He was 70 minutes late, so you texted him multiple times and found it unacceptable that he'd want a drink before bed?

Then from his point of view, you, his mother, side with your husband over him and the husband is pushing him around. You treat 11pm like its the middle of the night, but its not for someone who is young.

TBH I am not surprised he is rebelling, but you will lose him for good if you keep this up (although obviously you'll have your husband for comfort). Actually, your son is the one who is going to be the loser unless you start to mend bridges with him.

Pengggwn · 15/07/2017 11:09

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Littledrummergirl · 15/07/2017 11:09

I have a 16 yr old Ds. My house rules for him- work hard at your studies to achieve your dreams, let me know where you are and when to expect you home, be safe, be kind, respect people's differences and those you live with.
He expects the same from me.
Children push boundaries, they need to know that they can push against you and you will be there for them regardless.

My ds doesn't smoke but at 16, I wouldn't be dictating when he could have one. As long as he respected my need for sleep and kept the no use down then no problem. I would be reminding him gently of the need to sleep to help the brain work properly.
Why did your dh stay up? A text from your Ds saying he was running late and would be home by midnight should have been enough to say all ok.
Why didn't he feel he could contact you? Is it because he felt he would get a hard time.
If I had a text like that I might not have been happy but wouldn't let him know-a thank you for letting me know text in return asking him to keep the noise down and lock up when he got home as I was going to bed would have been my response.
As the adult you have to keep the communication channels open. In my experience violent outbursts happen when communication fails (and teens have a way of engineering communication failures).
Let the small stuff go.

KizzyKat91 · 15/07/2017 11:10

So at 16, I presume he's just finished his GCSEs and has a long summer ahead of him - no school at the moment? So it's not a school night. And his friends will all be celebrating their freedom.

I think your rules are overly strict and whilst his violent behaviour is not justifiable, the overly strict rules will be contributing to his behaviour.

I had a horrible time with my parents when I was 15/16 as they had similar strict rules and yet friends were free to pretty much do what they wanted. It caused me to become very angry and we had screaming rows. Whilst I never did anything terrible, I did often think about rebelling in some way to "show them" and tell them that they'd pushed me to it.

However, once I'd finished my GCSEs, my parents relaxed the rules. Curfew was midnight unless I'd prearranged to stay at a friends or my boyfriends . I could stay out to 1am if I'd asked in advance and my parents knew where I was. I wouldn't be up to anything terrible - the local cinema would have films that went on to just before midnight and we'd sometimes sit in a friends car and chat afterwards.

My dad also explained that he didn't like me coming in too late as it woke him up and he struggled with insomnia. He made sure to make me aware that it wasn't about them not trusting me.

My attitude completely changed and we became a close family. No more screaming rows!

I think you need to compromise - would it really be that much of an issue if curfew was changed to midnight? with the possibility of later nights as long as he kept quiet?

Also same with the smoking - what's the difference between 11pm and 12? As long as he's quiet and away from open windows.

Just tell him you love him and attempt to reach a compromise.

(Obviously if he remains aggressive then you may need to look at him living elsewhere :( )

Pengggwn · 15/07/2017 11:11

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user1493630944 · 15/07/2017 11:13

I think you are picking the wrong battles. It sounds as though you and DH are being deliberately provocative. Your DS is doing typical teen testing boundaries but you seem to be insisting on rules that may well be more strict than many of his friends. Face facts: your DS is never going to accept rules like no going out for a smoke after 11pm. And why is such a rule necessary?

Chestervase1 · 15/07/2017 11:15

Pengggen the streets are full of homeless young adults who found the situation at home intolerable or were thrown out to fend for themselves at 16. Personally I would never put any man over my son.

Pengggwn · 15/07/2017 11:16

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Notevilstepmother · 15/07/2017 11:16

Whilst I get where the "rules are rules" people are coming from, this isn't a normal situation, it is a potential crisis situation.

The next step will be a 16 year old in homeless accommodation, or arrested for assaulting step father or a marriage breakdown. Possibly all 3. Not a good outcome for anyone.

The situation is beyond "rules are rules". Now is not the time to be strict for the sake of it. That ship has sailed.

I have been a support worker for many young people and families in this situation with a great deal of success. I know what works, and what doesn't. I've seen lads like OPs some go on to have great futures and happy families and reconciliation with the parents. It can happen. It won't happen without compromise.

To be clear I absolutely agree that there shouldn't be violence. To try to prevent this happening again there does need to be some de-escalation.

Focus on the important rules and find the positives in the situation. At present the son is doing one thing that a lot of 16 year olds don't. He is letting his mum know where he is, and that he is safe.

He isn't staying out all night, he is late by an hour or so. Give him that hour and tell him to stick with it. It makes him feel listened to, and potentially more cooperative.

He isn't hiding his smoking. It's not ideal that he smokes, but right now it's not the major concern, put it on a list of things to deal with in 6 months time.

A lot of teenagers smoke because it makes them less stressed. If they are stressed, stopping them have smoke is a guaranteed way to start an argument. It's not sensible.

It's not a great situation to be in, but it could be worse.

Keep DH and DS apart whenever possible, and make time to listen to DS, whilst at the same time making it clear that the one rule that must be followed is the no violence rule.

Good luck OP.

Pengggwn · 15/07/2017 11:17

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happypoobum · 15/07/2017 11:17

I have a DS who has just turned 17.

Is there a reason why he has such an early curfew? If he was at the cinema, what's he supposed to do, walk out before the end of the film?

Your rules sound quite petty and your DH appears to be exacerbating the situation.

Can you talk to DS somewhere neutral and find out what is really going on in his head, really listen to him?

With teenagers you have to pick your battles and not sweat the small stuff.

MoonfaceAndSilky · 15/07/2017 11:18

Well your son seems desperately unhappy and your DH sounds like a control freak (was he watching/waiting at midnight to know that DS was going out for a smoke, ready to pounce on him?)
The fact you take your DH's side is not helping your DS.

I think you both need to chill out, relax the rules a bit, give him a bit of freedom but not too much that he thinks you don't love him. Let the little things slide - it is not worth the hassle.
Have a chat with your DS, when your DH is not there - tell him he is making you unhappy when he is trying wind your DH up. Also speak to your DH and tell him to relax a little.

He is 16 - that is still a child, you cannot throw him out Sad

Notevilstepmother · 15/07/2017 11:18

I'd also stick with the no waking anyone up rule. You want to be an adult and come in later, fine, but do it quietly.

NotYoda · 15/07/2017 11:19

Hear here notevilstepmother

I have a nearly 17 year old

Pengggwn · 15/07/2017 11:19

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MoonfaceAndSilky · 15/07/2017 11:24

I would be pretty disgusted if my neighbours were smoking in the garden on a regular basis in the middle of the night

Really? It is their garden they can do what they like, as long as it's not disturbing anyone. What about shift workers?

NoodleNinja · 15/07/2017 11:27

NotWEvilStepMother has a great post IMO and that's the route I would go down. I would also stress how this is you meeting him half way and that you expect him to meet you half way too and if he can't do that then he will be going to live with his Dad. Which you also need to stress with his Dad, he can't decide not to parent and if you've done the majority of the parenting this past 16 years then it's least Dad could do.

Also, you really need to talk with you DH and explain to him the new set up because it does seem like he will pick on every little thing your son does.

I don't envy your position but your son is still only 16 and needs you whereas your husband is a grown man and needs to try to remember what it's like to be 16!

Pengggwn · 15/07/2017 11:27

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