Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

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Re: Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

Lots of great ideas here Smiley Happy the suggestion of him leaving his phone out of his room was met with a look of utter shock, as though I'd asked him to chop off a limb!
He has muted it and faced it downwards when he doesn't want to be bothered. Hopefully that will make a difference!
He told me today, that with hindsight, he wishes he'd changed schools at the end of year 10, too late now , that makes me sad.
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Re: Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

That is a hard time for both your son and you.

 

I personally think it's a bit too early to have serious relationships at such a young age. I wish I won't have to deal with it as my daughter is turning 16 soon. I hope she is too busy for a boy friend until she finishes HSC.

 

Some of the replies above sound very reasonable. While I don't have experiences myself, I would think going out with friends and doing physical activities and allocate certain time for girl friend and texting might be good to your son.


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Re: Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

Hey @ziggystarmum - getting through the HSC is tough at the best of times.  We've just done two years in a row with our girls, and there was a lot of stress!!  But we got there.  And then there's a strange combined feeling of relief and loss at your kids becoming full blown adults.

 

I really hope he re-considers some counselling.  I'm sure there are some great techniques he can learn to help him cope.

 

Good luck!



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Re: Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

Thank you everyone for your advice and support, he's still not keen to have counsellimg but I'm working on it! He and his GF are having a 'break' which hopefully will help, yes 17 is too young for such a serious relationship, I'm hoping that our next oldest will wait a bit longer!

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Re: Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

Thanks for the update @ziggystarmum, it can take time to address the aversion people have towards getting help. But I've seen peoples attitude towards help change dramatically over time by addressing misconceptions and keeping the lines of communication open without judgement.

I wonder what specifically he doesn't like about the idea of counselling? Has he been able to say?
You might want to use this factsheet from our youth site to either show him - or use it yourself to address what his specific concerns are...
http://au.reachout.com/7-myths-about-seeing-a-professional
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Re: Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

I will definitely show him the link, that's really good! Smiley Happy
He doesn't feel that a counsellor will be able to help him, I don't think he really knows exactly what is troubling him, so probably feels as though people will think he's stupid.
It's very hard, he has SO much going for him, it makes me very sad that he is in such a bad way.

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Re: Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

Hi @ziggystarmum Smiley Happy

 

I find with my 16 year old when he is feeling bad that that is exactly the wrong time to try and help him. It's a bit of a Catch-22! I try and and help him when he has a little win and build on a positive rather highlight a negative. It's so tricky but.

 

It sounds like your son has a lot of positives that you could maybe use to help turn things around? Is it possibly self esteem issues? You did mention that he "probably feels as though people will think he's stupid".  The teen site has a good fact sheet on self esteem that might be helpful.

 

I can really empathise with that helpless, sad feeling of wanting to help your teen who's obviously struggling. I hope it's not bringing you down too much and please keep the conversation going if it helps even a little. Smiley Happy

Contributor

Re: Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship

Hey @ziggystarmum - those feelings that you described about getting help are so common in young people - he's definitely not alone there. It's really common for people to worry that either a counsellor won't help, or because he can't describe exactly whats going on, people will judge/belittle that.

The good news is that these things can be addressed over time - especially with a supportive, empathetic Mum like you.

I thought of one more thing on the youth website. Obviously we don't want to bombard him but if you ever think it feels right to show him, we did a podcast that shows what happens in a counselling appointment: