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Silent treatment - 14 year old boy

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Silent treatment - 14 year old boy


Silent treatment - 14 year old boy

Looking to get some advice. I’m desperate!

I am a single mom, and my son’s father is simply not in his life.

My son has become quite lazy and more rebellious and disrespectful with age. Doesn’t want to do absolutely anything with his life other than videogames. To top it off, when I ask the bare minimum from him, it doesn’t get done. I get generally ignored.

For example, at 10pm after 10 hours of being in the computer, I asked him repeatedly to turn it off and take a shower. He didn’t .
I had to unplug the wifi, and even then it takes him another 1-2 hours to get in the shower.

The other night I had enough! After several warnings/requests went ignored, I got angry and yelled at him. In the process he turned his monitor off, to hide whatever was on the screen from me. I tried to turn it back on, he forced it down, and we struggled until it broke. After more arguing I proceeded to take his phone AND his computer away from him. He mentioned I won’t be a able to get him to do anything because I took all the leverage away (threat mode).

It’s been 4 days since that episode, and since then he has decided he will give me the silent treatment and now has moved himself to the living room to watch TV all day! I cook once a day and tell him to eat. He does.
But if I ask him any question he just ignores me. And stares into space. Sometimes he gives me dramatic dirty looks. I try to ignore all of that while also not really returning the silent treatment…

Any thoughts in my cutting him off completely from his friends and his electronics? Should I also cut off the TV. It didn’t occur to me because he rarely watches it, but now that he doesn’t have the other electronics…. Also any thoughts on dealing with a kid ignoring you? When does it stop?

I do say a few things to him here and there. The variety of “Don’t forget to take the medicine”, “pick up the bowl and put it in the dishwasher”, etc… simple things, with no emotions attached to them so as to not give him more power in this teen tantrum of his.

For the most part I keep myself in my own room dealing with my own demons, as I have depression, suicidal ideation, BPD, work full time from home, and have not been sleeping well these days… I am trying to survive and I feel my son could care less…

I feel I gave up my entire life (pregnant at 18) for someone to then ironically be killing me slowly! I have tried so hard to give him the best upbringing, and continue to work hard to save for his education.

This is just one of the issues I have with him… there are a few other issues like him stealing my underwear from my drawers in the past. And my suspicion of a porn addiction.

Giving birth at 18 while totally unprepared and with no partner means I made loooots of mistakes. Many rooted in immaturity and others in circumstances at the time. And I’m sure I am paying for some of those now.

But all in all, I have worked hard not only for him to survive with a roof over his head, and nice meals, but for him to thrive and be exposed to opportunities… throughout the years, I have put him in different sports, guitar, violin, languages, tutoring, etc… I believe in leading by example, and I myself play the cello, and I read ~50 books a year.
I try to work out and eat healthy-ish. I have a love for science and geography and have tried to instill that in him… but no. He could not care less and, has failed all of the above, as well as barely passes his classes at school and refuses to join ANY club whatsoever.

The only thing that matters in his world is videogames and (possibly porn?).

To add insult to injury, I have been trying to find mental health for the longest time. For me, for him, for both….

Today one of the places said the wait could be 6-12 months (canada). I don’t think I’ll survive that long, and I don’t want to. Not under these conditions. I have no friends, very little family here. So lately all I have energy for is work, and then I have to deal with this disrespectful and ungrateful human being.
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Re: Silent treatment - 14 year old boy

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Hi @Gia-Bella,

Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry to hear about how hard things are right now. Single parenting can really be challenging, especially when you are facing your own issues as well. Things with your son sound incredibly difficult - I can only imagine how draining this must be over such a long period of time. It is completely reasonable that this is beginning to have an impact on you. As you mentioned, you try really hard to provide the best life for your son which is tough to do.. but it also sounds like you are feeling really undervalued and underappreciated too. Are there any ways that you look after yourself to try to experience some small joys? Please know that you are not alone. We have heard from other parents who are finding it difficult to manage their teenager's use of technology - you can have a read of their tips and stories here.

We are an Australian service, so unfortunately our referrals and resources may not be super relevant to you. If you ever need anyone to chat to, I have found some Canadian crisis services which may be helpful supports for you. You also mentioned that your son is going to school. Do you know whether there are any support services available at school?

Just so you know, I have sent you through an email if you don't mind keeping an eye out for that.

Active scribe

Re: Silent treatment - 14 year old boy

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Hi @Gia-Bella 

Just to further add to Taylor's comments, you may like to check out the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. They have a lot of drop-in support groups that are currently being run virtually, as well as one-on-one short term support with either a counsellor or peer support worker. The Gerstein Centre also has a 24/7 crisis line should you need it. Take care Heart