Worried about my teen son - aged 13
a month ago
Sorry long post. My son is 13. He started High School this year. He has been in trouble numerous times (5-6) with the school in recent months with warnings and suspension and in trouble once again yesterday. I believe him by what he says, the school has said and others have said that he does not start but he cannot control his emotions so he has been in trouble for grabbing someone's arm, tripping someone over, etc. I won't say he is perfect. I know he is not going out of his way to start these issues. 1 particular boy has bullied him since year 3 but he has been able to handle it with his words. This year I believe he's been pushed to his limits. He feels like no one at school has his back. He feels the teachers hate him. I got a phone call from the bully's mum over the weekend as my son and his friend have rode past calling names out to the bully. My son knocked on their door and ask to speak to the bully as he had called his friend a name (as he didn't care what he got called). He got into a texting war with someone else which started before holidays and continued on Monday getting him a loss of phone at school (not a bad thing) and disconnection of internet at school. He lashes out at me as no matter how I bring these phone calls from the school up with him he says you don't believe a word I say. He has been calling me names. Being disrespectful. He has changed dramatically and very suddenly. He is acting tough. He's got attitude. He is angry. He is emotional at times. He talks about suicide mostly when things have blown up. I'm a single mum. I'm struggling with this behaviour. His dad has threatened to move him in with him which he would not want and either would I. We've had numerous talks with him but the next day if something happens it goes out the window. I feel anxious of him going to school because I'm just waiting for the next phone call. I get worried that if he gets pushed too far with all of this will he do something to harm himself. He is al about his friends and spending time with them and not me. I don't feel comfortable with the new group he is getting around with. I work full time so I can't control until I get home around 5pm each day. He is addicted to his electronics. I have been getting the support of my partner and his dad. I am at my wits end. I'm just hoping once again that he doesn't make another stupid mistake. We've instructed him to call us should anything happen so we can guide him rather than he handle the situation. I am looking for help or guidance or someone who can relate. He's never been a bad boy. He just is not thinking. He is just reacting which is getting himself into a lot of trouble. Thank you for any help you can give.
Re: Worried about my teen son - aged 13
a month ago
Thanks so much for sharing you story .
It's interesting that your son has changed all of a sudden. He's 13, so I'm wondering whether it might be the start of puberty? Perhaps it's the hormonal changes contributing to his angry/emotional behaviour?
You mentioned that he talks about suicide when things blow up. Does he actually say that he wants to suicide? When he says these things, do you usually get the impression that he doesn't mean it and that it's just out of frustration, or do you think he actually means it? There is a very big difference between someone saying "Ah I wish I could just disappear" to "I want to suicide"...if you know what I mean? If you think he means it then that is quite concerning. I'm wondering if he's seeing a school counselor or anything at the moment?
I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I imagine it would be especially hard as a single mum. Parenting, working, and managing a household is hard enough in itself. So this added pressure must be, understandably, getting to you. I'm unsure if you've head of ParentLine? ParentLine is a confidential telephone helpline that offers information and counselling about parenting issues. It might be worth giving them a call as they may be able to help you navigate this tricky issue with your son. Their number varies depending on the state you're calling from. A list of the numbers per state can be found here.