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

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Founding member

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

Our 17 year old is a year into his first 'serious' relationship with a lovely young 16 year old, however he is struggling with year 12, HSC and the stress surrounding that and has days when he's really quite depressed. 

His girlfriend is very intense and the constant texting and emotional pressure are taking their toll at times.

Has anyone else had to deal with this kind of scenario and what did you do/say?

My son and I do talk, he's seen the GP but currently is refusing counselling :-/

P.S. I wasn't quite sure where to post this!

Contributor

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

HI @ziggystarmum - this is the right spot! Smiley Happy

Sorry to hear your son is struggling right now, you obviously care about him a lot. There is so much pressure on young people about the HSC - as much as we reassure them there are many options and pathways to get where you want, it doesn't really sink in until you live it. Also, first relationships are tricky as they learn what it means to be in one, what boundaries and most importantly how to communicate.

If he is not agreeing to counselling right now, have you shown him something more light-touch like ReachOut.com the youth site? The Nextstep tool on ReachOut will help him figure out what other options are available separate to counselling, like self-help and online support.

Do you think you could show him:
http://au.reachout.com/#nextstep

What do you think?
Does anyone else have any ideas to share?
Founding member

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

I will definitely show him the link, we went to our GP who took bloods etc to check there wasn't a physical reason for the 'depression' and he referred him to a teen counselling place locally, I think on-line help could be better as it's more annonymous Smiley Happy

I'd love to be able to tell his girlfriend to just give him a bit more space but it's really not my place so I won't!

Frequent scribe

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

Its heartbreaking for us to see them under so much pressure Smiley Sad

You are doing well to pick up whats going on and appreciate what NOT to say.

I always remember a real gem from one of the teachers at the start of year 12 information night - if you have a girl/boyfriend at the begining of year 12, keep them and if you don't, don't get one now! Unfortunately, we don't get to control that, nor the actual girl/boyfriend.

Could you suggest (bravely) to leave the phone in another room for a period of time - it may give your son the excuse he's looking for - he can blame you and tell his girlfriend his parents MAKE him leave the phone. That way it gives him some respite and he can blame you - its not him ignoring his girlfriend?

Another tip I was given about HSC stress in general (not the girlfriend) was to normalise life as much as possible and don't buy into the whole HSC hype. If we underplay it and keep things normal, keep up the sports, the usual routine, general expectaions around household jobs (my son always mowed the lawn for me) and don't build it all up, it does seem to keep the stress levels on a more even keel.

Good luck Smiley Happy

 

Super frequent scribe

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

Hi @ziggystarmum Smiley Happy

I know personally how it feels to see your teen depressed... it can be a little contagious! I hope you're doing ok.

I would be interested to know if your son sees the relationship as a contributing factor to his depression? Does the relationship suffer because of his HSC stress, or vice-versa?

If he feels like he is pressured by the relationship maybe he could discuss with his girlfriend about giving him alone time for his studies?  I know it's so hard with "young love" because boundaries tend drop away, and nothing else seems to matter... until you have to function in the "real world"!  Nothing is more "real" for teens than the HSC!!!

Founding member

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

In regard to the HSC, I saw a great pic on Face book which says "My child's mental health is more important than their grades" which i wholeheartedly agree with. I suspect that was doing the rounds because of the Naplan testing!

He's struggling a lot because of not actually knowing what he wants to do career-wise.

 

Founding member

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

Hi tenacious dad, I'm doing okay, but yes it is a constant worry, none of us like to see our children sad.

I think that the depression is a culmination of all the factors, he's talked to the Gf and is now getting a bit more space, but she's obviously upset by his need for solitude , it's a hard situation.

Mod

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

Hi @ziggystarmum. I can really empathise with your current situation as a similar situation is happening here. My son is not depressed but I can tell that the neediness from the Gf can be draining on him emotionally. My son and I have a good relationship so we talk often and I am starting to build a relationship with his Gf which is enabling her to speak to me about some issues which is taking pressure off my son.
I have directed my son to Reachout and he has prints some of their fact sheets off for his Gf. I am also encouraging him to sign up so that he can 'talk' to others if he needs.
It is hard to see our children going through difficult times and knowing when to offer our advice or to just listen and ensure them we will always be there for them.
Please make sure you look after yourself also and keep,this conversation open for as long as you need.
Active scribe

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

Ziggystarmum

 

Thanks for sharing your story p, from a parent of a year 11 student the pressures of school are so different today as to went I went through the school.

As in your situation on top of school pressure you add a couple of "real life" pressures it becomes a battle to keep everything on track.

Reading the other replies I can see you have received some great advice, please keep us in the loop on how you get on and if there is anything else we can help out with. 

 

Jace

Contributor

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

How are you & your son going @ziggystarmum? Any ideas here that you think you might try?