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Is my 14 yo son a normal teen or do I need to be more concerned.

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Is my 14 yo son a normal teen or do I need to be more concerned.

Casual scribe

Is my 14 yo son a normal teen or do I need to be more concerned.

My son moved to Brisbane about 1 year ago today, from NZ. he was given the love and support from both his father and myself even though we didnt live together. We are not wealthy but he recieved the exspensive material items when he earnt them.My ex and I found it better not to argue in front of our children and settled our arrangements outside of courts so as not to put the children under any great pressure. 3 months prior to my son coming to Brisbane he got involved with the wrong people bad boys a few years older then him who influenced him to do bad things like steal and destroy property's. (At this time i was working fifo and required a residence in Australia for short notice call outs. This was 2 years prior to him living with me full time in Brisbane. My fifo was equal time so i would spend 1 month in oz and 1 month in nz.) At the time of my son going down hill my ex called me and said take your son come and get him. And thats just what I did I flu home packed his things moved him here. He was excited about the change looking forwards to starting again fresh meeting new people. Making new friends. And he was right he has always been academic so hes maintained that level of being in a B+ to A student he excels at math English science i am fully empressed. I have very rearly meet any of his friends although hes meanted to me that young people his age drink smoke take drugs and hes happier staying away from it all. He sits in his room and plays his xbox constantly. I threaten to take it off him and he steals my phone hides my car keys. It takes me days near weeks to get him to mow the lawn. He constantly wants cuddles i understand if we havent seen each other for 9 hours coz Im at work but when he wants 1 ever 5minutes or justs hangs on me and sits there for 1 or 2 hours holding on to me it becomes very smothering. And the arguing the constant battle he has with me. As if he has a right to choose he is so disrespectful to me talks back argues. And when that dosent work he gets up and walks away until night fall making me worry sick about him. He nolonger talks openly about his day to me. Its 1 word sentences. He loved playing basket on Thursday but he just stopped doing anything he basiclly comes home ftom school eats plays his game and sleeps. Thats it. Do i need to be worried.
Star contributor

Re: Is my 14 yo son a normal teen or do I need to be more concerned.

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Hey @Crizzy firstly well done on sharing your story here, I hope you find some good support from the other parents within this community Smiley Happy Sounds like a big change having your son with you, but awesome to hear he's doing well with his academics at least - sounds like he's an intelligent young person.


In terms of feeling smothered that must be hard, I can imagine for both of you it has been a big shift in your lives, I am sorry to hear he is withdrawing a bit; pretty understandable that this is upsetting. Do you think your son would be open to some counselling with both of you? Relationships Aus Queensland has some info on what they could offer both of you [click here]. Sometimes it is pretty amazing to have a third person who can mediate, and help work out the emotional aspects you both might not be picking up on when you're around each other. Have you asked him about why he's been withdrawing a bit?


Look forward to hearing from you. 



Casual scribe

Re: Is my 14 yo son a normal teen or do I need to be more concerned.

Wow thanks for the responce councelling sounds like a good start. I talk to him ever day and I talk about all sorts of subjects like his day school what hes eaten how was so and so from school today what would u like to do on the weekend. What do u want for dinner tonight. We started once a week were he was cooking one night a week. I think the shift was a good thing because he didnt bring the nasty stealing damaging person with him. He came here to make a giant change.
Super contributor

Re: Is my 14 yo son a normal teen or do I need to be more concerned.

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Hey @Crizzy Welcome to ReachOut Parents!


Just to answer your first question - YES your son is normal. And like so many normal 14-year-olds, he's struggling with the transition from child into adult. 

I think the suggestion Tom-RO made is a great one, family counselling can be really helpful when things are difficult. The only addition I would add is that if your 14-year-old is anything like my 14-year-old, he may not agree to go.

But, if you want to try something straight away to start improving things right now, you can have a look at the ReachOut Coaching service. It's completely free, delivered by trained professionals over the phone and at times that work with your schedule.  It's super practical and you have the coach to talk things through if something isn't working or you're not sure about it.

Your son isn't involved but he gets to benefit immediately from the changes you make which might have an effect on his willingness later to attend family counselling at Relationships Australia.

Click here to check it out. And let us know what you think.

Super star contributor

Re: Is my 14 yo son a normal teen or do I need to be more concerned.

Hey @Crizzy, welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing your story. I agree with @Ngaio-RO - yes, your son is normal, and trying to find his way, as teens go through major changes as they mature. Sometimes they get a bit lost, and need some guidance as they navigate their way. 


I would recomment the ReachOut coaching for you, and if your son would see a counsellor that we great for him. The coaching can give you immediate things to try, to help you and your son connect and form a strong bond.


Your son may be coming out of the 'honeymoon period', after coming back to Oz. So you may see some of his poorer behaviours return, but he will be testing his boundaries with you. Stay calm and firm around your boundaries.


It's great that you ask him about his day. It shows him you are interested. One word responses are pretty common amongst teens! Sometimes I just get a grunt or a look, which says it all! I don't mind that sometimes, as I'm like really like getting over like the word like. Lol.


I wouldn't worry too much about him just wanting to play x-box. He's making the better choice, if he's saying the others take drugs etc. I'd let him know how proud you are of him for wanting different to that for himself. It's an easy thing to fall into with peer pressure, so he's made a good choice there.


The back chat and arguing is defintely frustrating. As hard as it is sometimes, it's best to not engage. Remain calm, say what you want to say once, and when he comes back at you, tell him you're not going to argue about it. Then ignore the bites he will give to try and get you re-engaged in the argument. He will stop once he realises he is talking to himself and cannot get you to react. 


Let us know how things are going. 

Prolific scribe

Re: Is my 14 yo son a normal teen or do I need to be more concerned.

Wow! Good on you for reaching out and for the 2 of you parenting without bringing your lad into the break up.


My family has a lot in common with yours.


We moved, didn't argue in front of the kids, were international and interstate parents (mostly Brisbane) - I could have written your post word for word..


Tough gig all the way but guess what - he is a perfectly normal teen with normal behaviours and emotions.


When we lived in different parts of Brisbane we went to Headspace. The file travels to each office so everyone knows what's going on. It is totally about him his thoughts feelings schooling parenting etc. You visit once and then drop off, pick up.

My girl sometimes shared but I didn't want to invade her space and never have asked. They also offer many outside things all for teens only. I think they are also online.


If he is aware these things are available that's half the battle.


As for the insecurity of cuddles etc, I have this 24/7 my other girl tells me she loves me so often it is totally overwhelming I actually find it annoying at times. When they are so insecure they tend to hang on so tightly. Although it isn't exactly normal some kids do it - the behaviour is weird but acceptance valuable.


My 1st girl is so intelligent. anti drugs/alcohol just wants to keep to herself, drawing is her thing and endless reading. Their room is their security blanket!


We just need to remember like us they too, need space. Doing stuff together leads to communication and that may give you greater insight.


Relax, breathe and continue with the great job it will go fast and you will look back and wonder why you even worried..