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Desperate to help my teen son.

Discussion forum for parents in Australia

Desperate to help my teen son.

Casual scribe

Desperate to help my teen son.

First off, I'm not from Australia, I am in the UK. I literally can not find any forum similar to this and as teenagers are universal I hope I can get some advice here.

I'm sat in his younger sibling's bedroom crying. We have had the most ridiculous argument over his dad picking him and his friend up from cricket practice after school tomorrow. He spoke to his dad with such shocking disrespect that I had to step in. Me and his dad work as a team with our kids. Always have.

I only spoke to him. I didn't shout, I calmly SPOKE to him that this was unacceptable. And it was like a rocket had gone off. Dropping the F-bomb at me, telling me what I said was BS.

After nearly six months of this behaviour at home and at school, I'm afraid to say I dropped the mom bomb on him. I took his xbox away for six days (this was due to the F-bomb repeatedly being used: one day for each F), phone and tablet were taken too as he tried to break his IPhone and sent him to bed like a petulant five year old.

He came and asked for them back, when I refused he said that I don't do anything for him.... Ever. That really pushed my buttons then. Money is really tight for us, I am working nights to make ends meet. Today, I finished work at midnight and went back at 9am to pick up a six hour shift of overtime to pay for his school trip. I told him that I was phoning his head teacher tomorrow to ask him to pass my sons trip money onto another child who was less fortunate and would be grateful for the effort I made to get that money.

After he had sulked himself to sleep, I find a note for me from him saying how he feels so ill. That he thinks both myself, his dad and younger sibling hate him. That I am never proud of him because he doesn't do anything to for me to be proud of at school. That I am always sad when I look at him. All this is like a knife through the heart.

He is such an amazing young man, he has battled and overcome dyslexia, he was bullied non stop through Primary school and made the brave choice to go to a completely different secondary school with no one he would know there. He represents his school in Rugby and Cricket. He is the most amazing big brother to his sibling who adores him. We praise him for all of these things. But he seems to feel like an outsider.

I make time for just him and me, so does his dad. When his sibling has school term start or end earlier, I arrange days out for us two. If his sibling has play dates I make the effort to do something, even if its football at the local park. His dad takes him to golf and to see their team play football when he has days off. We do things as a family too. It's breaking my heart that he feels this way. I just don't know what to do or say to make him understand and acknowledge that I would die for both him and his sibling equally.

He bears no jealousy towards his sibling,he adores them. He wanted to be a big brother for years, and it was love at first sight. He will do anything for them, I can not fault him on that. I almost wish he'd been my big brother.

Any suggestions?

Active scribe

Re: Desperate to help my teen son.

Hi @Violet79, and welcome :-)  You are of course right when you say that teenagers are universal, and we're really happy to have you here in the community regardless of where you are from.  Just do be aware that as we're an Australian service, we can't help you with referrals in the way we can help our Australian users.


It sounds like you're doing an amazing job with your son and he sounds like a great kid.  You mention working nights and money being tight.  These are huge stressors.  Are you getting to do anything for *you*?  Time out to relax, do something that *you* enjoy?



Casual scribe

Re: Desperate to help my teen son.

Hi @Lola-RO,

Thank you for your reply. At the moment, honestly no I don't get much time to myself. Everything seems to come down to money (can I justify spending money on just a coffee and cake somewhere on myself when things are tight?) or mom guilt - there's 1001 chores that need doing while I spend time on myself.

I admit I feel hugely guilty if I spend any time for myself. Especially while my boy is struggling so much. There doesn't seem to be enough of me to go around at the moment.
Star contributor

Re: Desperate to help my teen son.

Hey there @Violet79 this is a hard one, feeling for you. Sounds like you are being pulled every which way. The fact that you felt pained reading the letter shows the high level of care and empathy for your son which is wonderful. I wonder if he is perhaps projecting his own low self esteem onto you? Displacing it in a way, and perceiving that you dislike him. If he has overcome dyslexia and the likes he may have some inner wounds. Have you considered family therapy with you and your boy? Sometimes a third party is incredibly helpful, and it doesn't have to be long term. Sometimes it may only be a few sessions. Keen to hear your thoughts on this. We are definitely always here to listen Heart

Prolific scribe

Re: Desperate to help my teen son.

Hey Violet, I am sorry to hear that your son is giving you grief at the moment. It seems like hes at a point where he wants to be at the next level but cant quite leave his current less mature level and somhes all over the place with how to act and exert his independence. Believe me, you are doing everything right. He NEEDS boundaries and needs consequences. And he will react negatively because he thinks he wants to be all grown up but really hes still not mature enough. Dont stop talking to him, always be honest. One thing I have had to practice with my teen sons is compromising....trying to reach a happy deal between us where I might have to let go a bit or trust a bit and he has to do something that I request...if not, he should be warned and given fair warning of the consequences...and remember to follow through regardless of how much he tells you he hates you for it...(he doesnt hate you).. always tell him you love him no matter **bleep** exhausted you are. Teens can be soooo egocentric and tiresome but you are doing so day, he will thank you.