Lack of communication

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Active scribe

Lack of communication

Hello, hoping a fellow reader can see my post in a different light, as I am far too emotional to find my way around my teenage boy, lately.

So every couple of weeks, my 15 year old son will come home from school, and climb straight into bed and sleep until morning. At first, thinking back, I would hassle him to the point of an argument (he starts to hyperventilate) in my efforts to find out what was wrong (the protective warrior Mumma would rear it's ugly head) but he steadfastly refuses to open up. Now, when this happens, I have since learnt to just go in, give him a cuddle and let him know that his father and I are there for him when he needs to talk...not that he ever has. Now, as recent as this week, he claims that his appetite has gone, and he is eating very little at all, and this morning he had the shakes, in his hands. I think I heard him weighing himself too, so now I am thinking he is dangerously close to body issues.

A little background...my son is an extremely intelligent kid who does well at school, although is enjoying it less and less, talking of dropping out at the end of year 10. He is a gifted and talented drama student with awesome acting skills. I often wonder if it is his acting skills trying to gain attention, and the fact that depression and suicide seem to be so popular to talk about on social media for teens these days, however I feel that I cannot ignore his actions as they could very well be real. 

Any advice for this Mumma would be greatly appreciated as I feel like I am rapidly losing control :-(

Parent Community Champion

Re: Lack of communication

Hey @lost1971 ,

 

You and your husband clearly love for your son, and it must be a nightmare to feel so helpless.

 

Well done on being there for him. Just letting him know that you are there to listen is a really important step! And letting him come to you is great.

 

I'm not sure what your solution is. I can hear that you are struggling between "do I keep trusting that he'll come to me when he's ready" or "this needs to be tackled now, before it gets worse". Such a difficult situation. All I can say is to reach out to professionals (this website seems to have great resources!),

 

For my son (who's also 15) I try to find things that he likes and invite him to join me. At the moment we only have two things: Playing golf and playing x-box. Is there anything that comes to mind for you?

Parent Community Champion

Re: Lack of communication

Hi @lost1971 

 

Sounds like things are tough at the moment.  It is hard to know when you children are just going through "normal" teenage angst.  Either way it is really hard to support them as they struggle through adolescence.

I like your strategy of giving him a cuddle and letting him know you are there, it is so important he knows you love him even if he doesn't acknowledge it at the time.

 

One of the hardest things as children go is you go from being in control to being the coach of their lives.

You no longer can control their choices and actions and that is a hard transition to make.

With a lifetime of experience you can see outcomes they can not but they wont listen.

Us parents have to learn and accept that we no longer control our children's lives and that is hard.

We still love them, we still want the best for them, we just now have to offer advice instead of instructions.

The hardest part is when the ignore our advice and make different choices which we need to respect.

 

Eating disorders are less common in boys but they definitely do occur.   If you suspect the issues are getting beyond normal growing pains and are potentially impacting his health you you need to try and raise your concerns with him and possibly engage professional help.  

 

My suggestion would be to pick a time when his is likely to be more responsive, maybe a weekend if he is exhausted by school?

Pick a place without distractions and start by saying you are concerned that he is ok.

Talk about what you are thinking and share your fears.  Ask him how he thinks things are going.

LISTEN to what he has to say rather than trying to tell him what he needs to do differently.

 

It is quite possible you wont get much of a reply, teenages can be very uncommunicative at times Smiley Frustrated

If you are able to do that at least you can share your concerns he will understand you are coming from a place of love and concern.

 

Let us know how it goes

Parent Community Champion

Re: Lack of communication

hi @Dad4good 

 

Snap...  For my son and I it was computer games and sports that kept us spending time together.

Saturday AM was Father/Son sports .. Football when he was younger then on to Golf and tennis as he became a teenager.  

 

Common interests are a great way to keep in touch with the teens as they struggle through teenagehood. 

 

Maybe there is something you can do together with your son @lost1971 ?

You said he loves drama and acting.  Is there anything you can do there with him?

A community drama group maybe?  

Active scribe

Re: Lack of communication

Thanks Dad4good, for your reply. Our son loves music and will often ask for me to take him driving so he can listen to his music really loud, so I guess, even though it means no talking, I can be grateful that he is happy to be in our company.

I will browse through this website for some professionals, thanks for the suggestion.

Active scribe

Re: Lack of communication

Thanks for your advice, PapaBill.

Yes it's really hard to transition from protective  to relaxed but watchful parent.

I am hoping that, in my desperation, I am over-reacting to the lack of appetite, and yes it could be just normal growing pains, but will keep a watchful eye on his progress.

The internet and social media has a lot to answer for these days, in opening our youth up to all sorts of issues that can sometimes sound quite romanticized, but as a parent I feel like we have to take these things seriously, just in case.

 

Active scribe

Re: Lack of communication

Thanks Dad4good, and yes, music seems to be our connection with our son, as he is always keen to just go for a drive in the car with us, so that he can listen to his music loudly. I am grateful that he shares his music and doesn't have his buds in his ears, I guess. I usually try to sing the words wrong and be silly to try to lighten up the mood.

Thanks again for your reply :-)

Parent Community Champion

Re: Lack of communication

Hi  @lost1971 

 

Better to over react and be seen as a loving mother who just doesn't get "IT"  than loose the chance to intervene early if that is what is needed.

 

I guess we are becoming old fuddy duddies togher because I too thing the internet and social media has a lot to answer for.  A lot of information with little context or wisdom !  And that is ignoring the trolls out there.

 

It is a transition for you too so it is important for you to talk about how it effects you as well.  

 

Hope it goes well over the next few weeks.