I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

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Active scribe

I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

He is so nice and respectful to other people, but he treats me like a piece of gum in his shoe! That is until he needs something, then he's nice til he gets it! Anyone else feel this way?
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

Hi @Oreo26, welcome to the forum! In answer to your question - yep! It can feel awful can't it! And frustrating as well, when we love them so much and do so much for them.

 

What has helped me has been to understand that it's actually quite normal teenage behaviour. They know we are going to love them regardless, so they put their efforts into their relationships with friends and others - except when they need something from us. I don't believe they do it consciously, and there's no harm in talking to your son about it and letting him know how it makes you feel. I often remind my daughter if she's getting slack again. 

 

I also ask my daughter if she's okay, has something that's happened, does she need to talk? They can quite often be prickly when that's how they're feeling inside. Sometimes they're needing an outlet and someone to listen. Maybe ask him what's been happening, is there anything that's bothering him at the moment. If my daughter is angry or upset with me, she gets it off her chest and she's able to move on from it. Here is a link to a fact sheet on communicating effectively with teens which provides some great information and tips you might find useful. 

 

You've clearly a great mum, as he does know how to treat others properly. 

 

Let us know how you get on.

 

Oh, and thank you so much for your contribution to the story! Teens - they boggle our minds and we have to laugh! 

Super contributor

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

Welcome to ReachOut Parents @Oreo26 Thank you so much for coming and sharing what's going on for you.

There are a number of parents here who I believe can really relate to what's going on with you and your son at the moment. I know I do.

I remember feeling so heartbroken when my then 13-year-old would be this delightful, polite and respectful teenager with others (the texts from parents saying "she was such a delight to have. she's welcome anytime" were equal parts wonderful and awful) and then she'd come home and treat me like crap.

 

She had the capacity to behave well, I had proof! so I knew it wasn't a social developmental issue or something like that. What I needed to do was let her know that the same reasoning she applied to her behaviour outside the house NOW applied within.  Things like, I wouldn't put up with it anymore. When she would treat me poorly I would just disengage immediately. So if she wanted something, she had to ask properly.  I let her see the impact. I told her how much it hurt my feelings and if she was mean enough to make me cry, I'd let her see it.  She needed to know her actions had consequences. And lastly, I started to identify when it happened - number 1 was coming home from a sleepover, she was always tired and she has less control of herself when she's tired. So I always let her go to her room and chill until she sleeps and gets caught up. What that did was acknowledge that she was human too and just like me, she sometimes can't regulate as well as she can others, so she's learning to not engage during those times.

 

Have you noticed any times he's more likely to behave poorly?

Active scribe

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

Thank you, yes I do know that when he's hungry he has a short fuse with me. I try to not engage then, but lately it's constant, not just when he's hungry.
When he gets disrespectful towards me, I do try to disengage and give him space, but it's like he wants the confrontation and he won't stop until we're in an argument.
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

I can totally relate and I wish I knew how to press that magic button to be on the receiving end of just a *tiny* bit of that lovely side of our teens that seems reserved for others !
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Parent Peer Supporter

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

I can totally relate and I wish I knew how to press that magic button to be on the receiving end of just a *tiny* bit of that lovely side of our teens that seems reserved for others !
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

Hey @Oreo26, my daughter used to push it too once I started dealing with her calmly, and not engaging in arguments with her. It baffled me and to be honest I thought this keeping calm business just didn't work in my family! However, with encouragement, I did persevere, as my caseworker at the time told me she was testing these new boundaries to see how strong they were. If I remained consistent, she would see my boundaries were firm and accept them. And it actually worked!

 

So I'm thinking your son may be doing the same. If we waver and stand firm only some of the time, they learn that, and will push it every time. I had to dig really deep, as it's very trying and can be hard to remain outwardly calm, but I found it so worth the effort. 

 

Having an understanding of this helped me take things less personally and helped me persevere, so I hope I can pass that on to you too. 

 

I still slip up, and sometimes not always calm but I remain strong that I will not accept abuse. I apologise when I yell or shout, and now my daughter will do the same if she has lost it at me.

 

Hang in there!

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

Hey @Oreo26, I just wanted to check in and see how you were and how things were going? Were there any suggestions you've read that you thought you'd give a go?

Prolific scribe

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

I believe we all feel that way. Baffled, worn out, guilty, afraid to admit we have an issue but you are on a winner.

 

He has respect for other people. They enjoy having him around. You achieved that! That he has made it to 15 you helped and guided him this far. Who else could have done that the way he has turned out.

 

I have a SN child she is a total  delight when she comes home she is revolting! The conclusion for SN kids is that they feel safe and secure in their own environment to just let go and treat us like crap. The difference is she has been doing it for 14 yrs already.

 

I haven't fallen short but my patience with her hangs by a thread. But I am still here, still bashing my head against a wall feeling guilty should I so desire at any time. I have the control to allow her to be as normal as she is and speak when she wants and leave it on her terms.

 

It's a battle, but I have found over the past 14 yrs that the battle is more hers than mine. It's harder for her but when she is ready she comes out and starts unloading, eating, whinging tells me she loves me then back to her room. Rude of course, wants things I say no, I inform her that her behaviour is her choice, not mine..

 

Continue on your parenting journey as you have and breathe, breathe and     breathe some more.

Active scribe

Re: I'm afraid I've fallen short in teaching my 15 yo how to treat me!

Thank you Lily, knowing that others face the struggle makes me feel a bit better. May I ask what does SN stand for? I'm puzzled.