My feed

to access all these features

Parenting a preteen can be a minefield. Find support here.


Is this normal and how do I deal with it as I am pretty upset?

242 replies

JustFabulous · 21/01/2013 08:05

DS1's school is open. He usually gets the bus and has too today as we can't drive after 8 hours of continuous snow. I wanted to walk to the bus stop with him in case he fell over and the bus didn't come. He did not want me too. He later snapped he'd be teased for being a mummy's boy. He went alone. I may have acted like a two year old as I didn't say bye. Normally he texts to say he is on the bus okay. He has texted DH instead so another one having a strop. DH said I should pick my battles and is fed up of the arguments, with DS1 and I, I suspect he means.

DS1 just texted me, he is at school okay.

I love this child so much. My first born, my heart, and it breaks my heart he treats me like I am nothing some times. We used to be so close and now it feels like he isn't bothered about me and doesn't need me anymore (unless he wants a lift).

I have felt like this for a while, not just over this morning.

OP posts:
lurcherlover · 21/01/2013 09:35

Justfab, make sure school know that your mother is not to be allowed to see your children, and that she never has permission to pick them up. Schools are very vigilant about child protection issues, and if they know there is a potential abduction risk they will be proactive about making sure it can't happen.

pictish · 21/01/2013 09:39

OP - with all the best will in the world, even your posts on here sound a bit passive aggressive and emotionally manipulative. You detail some very sad incidents from your childhood, then tell us that we probably think you're an idiot anyway.

No one said you were an idiot, or anything approaching it. People here are rightly pointing out that you are over protective, with a good few telling you they understand why.

If this is how you are in general, then you will find the fall outs will escalate. Your son should not be held to ransom over your childhood. None of it was of his doing.

Startail · 21/01/2013 09:39

I've torn DH off a strip this morning and got him to text DD for not waiting to see if the bus turned up.

He could have hovered out of sight. DD2 is your DS age and thinks parents should be hugged in private and keep a very low profile in public.

DD1 doesn't do embarrassed, she like me, just likes her own company and freedom to do things her way.

Letting her have freedom is fairly easy, she was born with common sense, doesn't panic and wouldn't be afraid to ask someone suitable for help.

DD2 is far far more sociable and far less comfortable having to sort things out herself. I do worry she'll get in a pickle or let friends help her into one.

Still I have to let go and bite my nails until she gets back.

It isn't always easy.

Kiriwawa · 21/01/2013 09:40

Your DS feels confident enough in your love to push you away. That's a good thing, not a bad thing! :)

But please don't try to make him feel guilty and bad for doing that or you do risk pushing him away.

LizzieVereker · 21/01/2013 09:42

JustFab, you sound like you are trying to cope with an awful lot of worry. I am so sorry that you did not have the love and care you deserved as a child, and can understand why this might make you worry more. You sound like your priority is your children, and that's all anyone can ask. We (parents) all make mistakes, or don't always know what to do for the best. I get myself in a tizzy all the time, but it all works out OK.

Your DS sounds absolutely normal, and sensible, so you are doing a good job! If you let him have a little independence now, you are not being uncaring but helping him to develop the skills he needs to be a young man. perhaps agree to give him a little more freedom after talking through some "What ifs?" with him, I.e. "what would you do if the bus is cancelled/ you twist your ankle on the way to school?"

Have you told his school about your concerns re your Mother? You could arrange for them to contact you immediately if he is not in school by a certain time, rather than making him text you? As a previous poster said, I expect the school would do this anyway, but they need to know that you have this concern.

I am sorry you are feeling so anxious, I'm squeezing your hand!

JustFabulous · 21/01/2013 09:44

Actually last week I asked hi if he wanted to stop texting and he said he didn't mind doing it so we decided one would do once he was at school.

OP posts:
ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 21/01/2013 09:44

My DS1 (12) has to get the bus to school. He's my pfb and there are times where I watch him go down the road from my window and I want to run after him. But I honestly think that part of loving them, and part of raising them well, is trusting them to cope with simple things. Like getting to school, and knowing what to do if the bus doesn't come. It did happen once, btw, and DS came home. He was upset, because he wasn't sure how he was going to get to school and hates being late, but his first response was 'I'll go home to mum. She'll know what to do.' They don't stop needing you, but they stretch their wings a bit. This is a good thing, because eventually you want them to be able to cope without you, right? So when that panicky feeling starts, and you get the urge to wrap them up in cotton wool, it's your job to swallow it down and make out that this is cool, no problem. No coat? Fine. You don't want to wear wellies? Ok then. You want to walk by yourself? Sure. Have a nice day. Then when they've gone you can take some deep breaths and possibly follow them to school at a distance, not that I've ever done that. Oh no

pictish · 21/01/2013 09:44

Have you considered counselling in order to face up to, and deal with your awful childhood?
I can see that what you went through has made you very sad and anxious. I really do sympathise with all sounds perfectly bloody awful. What's up with your mother that she threatens to take your kids??! That's dreadful!!!

I urge you to seek some support for your experiences. I think you need and deserve to be heard. xx

ThreeBeeOneGee · 21/01/2013 09:44

We all find it difficult at times to get the balance right. OP, you sound like a very caring mum, but as your eldest gets bigger, there will be times when taking a step back is the right thing to do. First time is always hardest, then as you see that you have brought him up to be a capable, independent young msn, it will give you the confidence to let him fly a bit further the next time.

ChickensHaveNoEyebrows · 21/01/2013 09:46

My DS does text me sometimes, btw. He started out texting daily, but that has gone by the by. The important point is, he has his phone and can contact me if he needs to, and I can contact him. Try to consciously back off. It's hard, but raising children is a series of letting gos.

Branleuse · 21/01/2013 09:47

for goodness sake. Hes not just your baby, hes his own person.
Just because he wants to walk to the bus stop on his own doesnt mean he doesnt need you. Youre being totally ridiculous.

JustFabulous · 21/01/2013 09:47

pictish - I shared really difficult things in the hope posters would explain why I am the way I am. Certainly NOT to be "passive aggressive and emotionally manipulative." That really hurts. I don't tell people in RL stuff, I use MN. It could easily be time for another break as I constantly get this when I ask for help.

OP posts:
RandallPinkFloyd · 21/01/2013 09:50

Agree with pictish.

It's obvious you had a traumatic childhood, no one is being unsympathetic towards that. However, as an adult you mustn't project that onto your children.

My mother sounds very similar to you (although she has no excuse whatsoever) and it did, and still does, have a massive affect on my life.

Please take the well-meaning advice on board, for you son's sake.

permaquandry · 21/01/2013 09:52

Hi JUST, don't be upset.

First, have some of these Thanks.

Second, I totally get where you're coming from.

You sound like a wonderful mum, your children are lucky to have you. It's so very hard when one minute you are their world and you make all the decisions, no questions asked, to having to let them go and make their own mistakes when they are still a child.

It can be a worrying world out there but he will never be equipped for it if he doesn't get enough independence. Remember also that kids tease each others mercilessly, even tho you'll find the ones doing the worse teasing probably are very different indoors.

Teenagers aren't always reasonable and have their Kevin and perry moments. I think you need to let him have the independence that is correct for his age and carry on looking out for him as you have been but little bit more quietly.

Try not to get into any arguments with him, you are the adult and you are in charge, if you keep your cool and just state the facts, I think the situation(s) will diffuse quicker.

If you are unsure of what is age appropriate for him, check with his friends mums or ask on here.

I hope I'm not overstepping here but I wonder if you might be suffering from a little anxiety? It may be worth talking to your docs if it gets a bit too much. Again, please ignore me if this is not the case.

ShotgunNotDoingThePans · 21/01/2013 09:55

What you constantly get is people answering your op, making suggestions as to what they would see as 'normal,' which understandably seems to be one of your main concerns.
Sometimes the language is terse and to-the-point, but you also get a lot of stroking.
MN is not a place to go to deal with all that ails you (that goes for everyone) - that's not a reason to withdraw, but it is a reason to eep your shields up - or develop a shield of some sort.
There are professionals to deal with your problems, which I sympathise with, but MN is not the place to expect to work through them I'm afraid.

JustFabulous · 21/01/2013 09:56

SO many of you have said this is what parenting is about. I don't even know that.BlushHmmat me.PArt of it is letting them go. SO obvious when someone tells you.

OP posts:
RandallPinkFloyd · 21/01/2013 09:59

Asking him if he wanted to stop texting was manipulative. You may not have realised it at the time but it was.

There's no way he would have said no because he knew he risked upsetting you.

If you were happy for him to stop texting you then you should have said just that. "DS, you don't need to text me every morning anymore, just let me know if you need me."

I'm sure it sounds like I'm being harsh but I'm trying to explain things from your son's perspective.

PacificDogwood · 21/01/2013 10:03

Aw, Just, he is just being a pre-teen and no matter how you don't find your behaviour suffocating, he does. If he'd've fallen, he'd've stood up again. If the bus had not arraived, he'd've come home again, presumably? You need to find a way to let him find his own way without driving yourself mad in the process.

Our job as parents is to give them roots and wings.

Or as a colleague of mine is fond of saying: "Your job as a parent is to make your job redundant".

May I recommend this book about the teen/pre-teen brain and its development?

My DS1 is only 9.10 and poured over it. I read it too (it's aimed at kids) and found if v interesting. It explained a lot every about 'normal' stroppy behaviour in younger children.

TheFallenMadonna · 21/01/2013 10:04

Oh Lord. My DS is 11 too, and has just escaped round to a friend's house. His coat is at school (shut) and he will not wear more than a cycling kagoule thing. No hat. Gloves only if throwing snowballs. It's hard when they're your first! DD still goes off to school kitted up for a trek to the South Pole.

Mind you, a sixth former at the school I teach in wore shorts all last week. And no coat. I wonder what his mum thinks in the morning!!

JustFabulous · 21/01/2013 10:05

FGS it was not manipuliative. I made it clear it was up to him and I was happy either way as he has been getting himself to school since September with no problems. I told him I didn't mind what he wanted to do. I think if I had said what you think he would think I wasn't bothered and I know you will think I am wrong there as well but that is how I would feel.

OP posts:
gail734 · 21/01/2013 10:06

OP, this thread is making me well up! I was my mum's PFB and she was a real worrier! I spent my preteens and teens phoning her, reassuring her, apologising for worrying her... One time I went to the pub with my friends (over 18!) and because she couldn't get me, she called one of my friends on her mobile! I didn't really mind, just rolled my eyes. She's no longer with us and now I really wish she was still here, checking up on me. You don't know about this part of parenting because you weren't on the receiving end of it yourself. You sound like the best kind of mum there is. Your ds is going through a normail phase and he will come through it and count himself lucky to have you.

mummytime · 21/01/2013 10:06

I would agree some counselling would be good for you. I would also strongly recommend try into find a parenting teenagers course, it needs very different skills to parenting babies or toddlers.

The key things I learnt form a parenting course I did are: remember the end goal is to produce, confident, capable, independent adults; and that teens need to learn to take risks, it is a crucial developmental stage.

On the other hand as he grows up you need to have less fears about you mother being able to abduct him. My teens wouldn't go with anyone without a lot of fuss (screaming etc.), and also tend to travel with friends and not go into unsafe areas.


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

lurcherlover · 21/01/2013 10:06

JustFabulous, think of it another way. Imagine twenty years from now, when your son will be almost 32. What would you want his life to look like?

I'm guessing you would want him to be living independently, not with you, in a nice house somewhere. You might want him to have a wife/girlfriend (or boyfriend!). You might want him to have children of his own. You'll want him to have found a career he enjoys and that brings him satisfaction, I'm sure. You'll want him to know that as his mum you are always there for him and love him, but you'll also want him to be enjoying his own life and living it independently. This is all true, yes?

Now think about what needs to happen in order for him to get that life. He has to learn to be independent, bit by bit. By the time he's an adult, he'll need to know how to manage money, how to cook and clean, how to get on with other people (including strangers, and people in authority, and people with very different views to him...). He'll need to know how to be a good boyfriend, how to drink responsibly, and eventually how to parent.

It's a daunting list of skills, but he needs - very gradually - to start learning them now. When people tell you you need to "let go", what they mean is that you don't need to try to love him any less (impossible) but you need to try to start letting him learn these skills, by gradually becoming more independent. Otherwise, at what point will he learn them? No-one wants their adult child to be still living at home, scared to do anything without asking Mum for help, unable to function in social situations - so a vital part of our role as parents is helping children to gradually live their own, independent lives. That also means that ultimately we have to accept that there will be people more important than us in our children's lives - once they are married/in long-term partnerships or have children of their own, we have to accept that we take second/third place in their priority list. This is as it should be, but it can be hard (and it's certainly something my MIL has struggled with).

pictish · 21/01/2013 10:07

OP - don't take the huff. In a sense you are doing it again. You are saying that if someone says something you don't want to hear, then they are hurting you and making you withdraw. I am responding to what you write, as I see it. I haven't been rude or uncaring in my posts to you.

You don't have to make a point of leaving mumsnet because some random tells you something you don't like. In doing so, you are being passive aggressive and yes, emotionally manipulative. It's not fair to make me responsible for your feelings, or to punish me for daring to question your motives, by threatening to leave! If I'm wrong about you, then tell me I'm wrong! Don't use it as an excuse to feel hard done by!

OP - if this is how you operate, you are going to end up pushing that lad away. And I say that with the best of intentions.

TantrumsAndBalloons · 21/01/2013 10:08

I think thats the issue fabulous, thats how you would feel.

But this is about your DS, not you. It is about he would feel.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.