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What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

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Casual scribe
Allburntout
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What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

My 16 year old son, more often than not, doesn't respond to messages that we send. I have learnt to cope with that and have found ways around it. What do I do when he has done that to another person, someone who needed a response from him? It's simply rude to ignore a message and then a phone call. It's avoidance at a level that's hurtful to another and I can't seem to understand why he would do this, or what to do to correct this behavior? This person left me a message saying that he no longer wants to have any contact with my son as his treatment of him is unacceptable. I have to say that I agree with him. How do I deal with this? Punishment seems inappropriate, but I can't do nothing. Can I?

I know that teenagers don't see anyone but themselves, but this is basic manners in my opinion. I have tried to talk to him, calmly. I asked him why he did it. His response was typical "I don't know".....


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Active scribe
HippyMum
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Re: What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

Hi 

I'm sorry to hear how upset you are at the situation.  It's so hard, as we often take our kids' weaknesses so personally, particularly when towards third parties...  It doesn't reflect on you, it's just (as someone else said) a symptom of the age (and particularly boys at this age).  I think it's quite likely that he really doesn't know why he did it, and that he definitely didn't think it was a serious problem.  Sometimes, it may be helpful to remind the third party that it was not meant personally, but that your son is very absent-minded at the moment.  Your son should be encouraged to apologise but perhaps don't make too big a deal out of it, just ask him to try to respond in a timely manner to all messages... unless there is a bigger issue and he needs to ask for your advice on it...  

All the best.

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Casual scribe
Allburntout
Solution

Re: What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

You are 100% right. I keep saying to myself 'this isn't about you'. He doesn't seem to know, regardless of me trying to help him figure out why. I think that he's struggling between knowing our expectations of him (which are internal I suppose) and doing what he wants to do, without being able to verbalize it. I have to keep reminding myself that no child wants to be 'bad'. They are just trying to figure themselves out. It's a tough journey for us parents!Thanks for your support and lack of judgement. Means a lot to me.

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Parent/Carer Community Champion
gina-Ro

Re: What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

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@Allburntout welcome to the RO parents forum - so glad that you've found us and shared this with us. 

Communicating with teens (especially around that age of 16...) is something that comes up a lot for parents on the forum. 

Sounds like you've tried a few things to talk to him but it's not been super productive.. we have a few things that might be worth reading through on our website about communicating here. 

 

I think other parents on here will be able to give you more support on this -  @Tulip @seekwisdom @hippychick @HippyMum @Sallyanne

 

Frequent scribe
seekwisdom

Re: What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

Hi, at our house, answering us is a condition to have a phone. Also tracking and calls. So this has never been a problem.

I don’t know the details of the person trying to reach him and how important the response was or how urgent it was. In a normal day to day, sometimes I don’t answer texts right way, I personally don’t like the pressure and the expectation from others of being available. Some kids today want to be heard “right now” and they don’t respect the other person’s time and boundaries.

In my humble opinion, your son is setting his boundary towards this person? Maybe you two can talk and you can help him find a way to set the boundary without appearing uncaring.

Someone else might see it differently and maybe the situation really required a response from him, so I don’t know what to say.



Star contributor
Jess1-RO

Re: What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

Hi @Allburntout,

Just checking in to see how you are going this week? 

Has there been any changes in the phone responding this week?

 

Thinking of you in this tough situation Heart

__________

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Active scribe
HippyMum
Solution

Re: What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

Hi 

I'm sorry to hear how upset you are at the situation.  It's so hard, as we often take our kids' weaknesses so personally, particularly when towards third parties...  It doesn't reflect on you, it's just (as someone else said) a symptom of the age (and particularly boys at this age).  I think it's quite likely that he really doesn't know why he did it, and that he definitely didn't think it was a serious problem.  Sometimes, it may be helpful to remind the third party that it was not meant personally, but that your son is very absent-minded at the moment.  Your son should be encouraged to apologise but perhaps don't make too big a deal out of it, just ask him to try to respond in a timely manner to all messages... unless there is a bigger issue and he needs to ask for your advice on it...  

All the best.

Casual scribe
Allburntout

Re: What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

Hey. It means so much to know that someone out there understands and is checking up on me. I am trying to put it into perspective and as always with parenthood, things pass, a child moves on to a different stage, and what you once thought was so terrible, doesn't seem as extreme. Thank you for your continued support.

Casual scribe
Allburntout
Solution

Re: What do you do when your 16yr old doesn't respond to text messages?

You are 100% right. I keep saying to myself 'this isn't about you'. He doesn't seem to know, regardless of me trying to help him figure out why. I think that he's struggling between knowing our expectations of him (which are internal I suppose) and doing what he wants to do, without being able to verbalize it. I have to keep reminding myself that no child wants to be 'bad'. They are just trying to figure themselves out. It's a tough journey for us parents!Thanks for your support and lack of judgement. Means a lot to me.

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