02-09-2020 01:45 AM - last edited on 02-10-2020 04:40 PM by Jess1-RO
Hi. Just looking for anyone who is in a similar situation and has "been there".... I have two teenage sons 14 and 15. Presently the younger one spends his time 50/50 with myself and my ex and his fiancé and her 18yr old son. My older son is being treated for severe anxiety (has left school) and is living with them full time as this he has found this less stressful. We separated/divorced 2 yrs ago. The boys have always had a very strong relationship with me and although I feel this hasn't fundamentally changed they seem to want to spend more time at their fathers. Is this a normal thing teenage boys do? As heartbreaking as it is I am trying to do what is ultimately right for them. I just feel like they are 'slipping away' as they don't seem to 'need' to communicate with me much anymore (they can seem to happily go a week with no contact). Thanks for any thoughts
02-09-2020 02:48 PM
Thanks for sharing and welcome to the forums!
I can't say that I've been in your situation but I definitely understand your concerns. I think a lot of parents worry about their children slipping away when they reach adolescence and become a bit more independent. I can only imagine that feeling would be magnified in shared-custody situations, especially if the children demonstrate more interest in staying with the other parent. So I do really feel for you and understand and would be equally upset. I'm unsure whether this is a regular occurrence, but it does make sense that boys might want to spend more time with their dad, especially if they share similar interests... but I'm not too sure. This could also be happening because the younger brother wants to be with the older brother.
You mention having a strong relationship with your sons, so i'd just trust in that and I'm sure that in time, they will come around and start looking for you more. Generally speaking, children do notice when their parents care/love them, and so if you continue to provide them with love and care then chances are they'll appreciate that - maybe not so much during adolescence - but perhaps more-so as they get older.
You also have to remember that they are young so I guess to some extent you will have to "model" the sort of relationship you would like to have with them. So if that means speaking to them daily, then I'd encourage you to ring them daily. My mum calls me daily, and she has initiated that my whole life... sometimes I call her first but it is often her.
Again, thanks for sharing. I think many parents would benefit from this topic.
I thought I'd tag some parents here who may be able to relate to you or offer you some support.
02-20-2020 11:17 PM
02-21-2020 08:40 PM
I'm so sorry your son has been speaking to you this way, it sounds very disrespectful. I think it is completely reasonable that your son contributes to household work, including cooking, and there is nothing wrong with you expecting this. Moreover, it may teach him good skills and values when it comes to co-habiting with housemates or partners in the future. Does he face consequences for not contributing to housework or speaking to you that way? If you want to talk it over on the phone the Parentline for your state might be a good resource (just google the words Parentline with the state you live in).