struggling with 13 year old son

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply
Prolific scribe

struggling with 13 year old son

After some advise. Have been seperated for 3 years now and son has had a lot of issues regarding the separation. He has seen counselors and psychologists all of which helped at the time. Although dad and I are amicable and still friends and supportive of the kids happiness things are getting very difficult. He has recently turned into a much angrier, rude and disrespectful boy. Even though he was angry before he was never really rude or disrespectful to me or his 17 year old sister. What I’m really struggling with is dad seems to think life is easier if he just lets him do what makes him happy and gives him freedom that we don’t even give our 17 year old daughter. He then comes home to me and it’s like a war zone cause I have strict boundaries. He now hates it here and tells me all the time. He wants to live with dad which is impossible but we have shared care so he sees him every week not just every second weekend. My kids are my world and this distresses me very much. How do I deal with this withought destroying our relationship all together. Any advise from other seperated parents would be good
Mod

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

Hi @lizard0812 thanks for reaching out to us. I'm sorry to hear that your son has been struggling with the separation and that his behaviour has become rude and disrespectful. It's good that he was able to see counsellors and psychologists for some support previously and he found it helpful. I'm wondering if this is something he is still able/willing to access? Another option could be web-based or phone counselling through eHeadspace or KHS. It's really hard setting boundaries particularly with co-parenting and like you said, can turn into a war zone when one is stricter than the other, on top of complexities of teenage years. I can see that you are a really loving and caring mum wanting what's best for your kids, they are lucky to have you. I'm going to tag some of our members for some further support and advice @sunflowermom @taokat @tenacious_dad @momof1teen. How are you looking after yourself during this time? Heart

Casual scribe

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

Hi there Lizard0812, what you are going through is very tough and causes you to question everything you are doing ... Your son is pushing hard just because you are putting the place the boundaries and limits that on one level he will be craving. it is deeply painful and distressing when your beloved son is hurling the worst verbal abuse and name-calling that he can dredge up... I am sure like me you never imagined when they were oh so so sweet and affectionate young boys who adored you that you would find yourself in this very hard place.

 

Take heart from knowing you are not alone. I am in a very similar situation with two boys 15 and 13 newly separated from a marriage where their father wanted to be their friend and not their parent or else just did not have the metal to stand up to them. Now I am solo parent and bad cop because I am putting up the walls and setting expectations about what is not right and what is not acceptable. Some days are overwhelmingly hard - yesterday I just cried in the wardrobe at the latest verbal abuse hurled down the stairs. All we can do is know that ultimately they will look back on these years and know we were there for them and wanting them to be safe and well and decent humans (and not just "happy" which is the easy way out). The main things i draw strength from are walking in nature with my dogs and seeing their joy, trying to be mindful and focus on tiny wins like when the 15 year old texts me back that he loves me when I say goodnight. 

 

Your son does love you very much but you are inevitably the focus of his anger and the normal hormonal turmoil of adolescence because you are being appropriately firm. Keep letting him you know you love him (no matter how horrible his behaviour might be) and keep reinforcing your expectations about him being a decent and respectful human. That will be what endures. Hang in there and check out a mindfulness app like Smiling Mind or Headspace.

Prolific scribe

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

Hi Lan-RO previously it was difficult to get him to psychologists but he did go and got some benefit. At the moment he believes it is me that is the problem. I have mentioned some more counseling even family counseling but he has said he will talk to nobody cause he doesn’t have the problem. He is such a beautiful caring boy even what we have been through the last few years he was still always very remorseful for things he did and said not so much now.

I’m very distressed I hate seeing my kids suffering. I work full time to be able to provide well for the kids and I’m exhausted mentally and physically.

Thanks for listening it means so much
Prolific scribe

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

Thanks serenity it’s nice to hear I’m not alone. It is very tough horrible situation somewhere I never wanted to be or situation I wanted my kids to be in. As your he is such a caring beautiful boy even with the last few years he was always genuinely remorseful and sorry but it doesn’t seem the case now. What upsets me is I am definitely the focus of his anger he blames me for everything but what we have always kept from him is the affair that his dad had that broke up his family. I Dont want to make him any more hurt than he already is. I really really worry with him cause he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and that is controlled to some extent with medication another thing I never wanted for my child but we had no choice.

I know kids lash out and say some horrible things they don’t always mean but I said to him yesterday mate I am human and it is really starting to hurt my feelings and making me feel sad he gets upset with himself but I can’t always hold It in.

Thanks so much for listening and the reply it really helps knowing your not alone 😟
Community Manager

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

Hi @lizard0812,

I'm really sorry to hear what you are going through with your son Heart I can imagine it would be so hard to be the person where all that anger is channeled at the moment. As @Serenity has shown in their reply, you certainly are not alone and we want to do everything we can to support you.

 

I'm wondering if you have tried the one-on-one parent support through the ReachOut Parents Coaching service before? We offer a service that provides support to parents to work through concerns they are experiencing with their children and come to some actionable steps you can implement. If you are based in Australia, this service is free.

 

I can imagine that the sorts of behaviour you are you managing with your son at the moment could be having a big impact on your health too. Is this correct? Do you have a support network in place that you can lean on at the moment? Your wellbeing is super important! Make sure you are doing some self care and take me-time when you need it Smiley Happy We are here for you!

Prolific scribe

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

Thanks for your replies and support it’s a really tough time that has now become worse. Phone call from school he left school grounds and when he returned he smelt very strongly of smoke he was with a boy 2 years older than him. We buried my father 3 years ago after fighting lung cancer due to smoking history He was very close to his grandfather and hated cancer and smoking for what it did to his grandfather. I cannot believe this last stunt. Got a phone call also three nights ago from a parent of a friend of his to ask if he was ok cause he had said so he disturbing things to his friend she thought he wanted to put an end to his life. I have no idea where to turn. Ex is really stepping up and taking control which is good cause I honestly don’t know if I am strong enough to fight anymore. Anybody with any advise would be appreciated
Highlighted
Mod

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

Hey @lizard0812 this is very painful, you must be at your emotional threshold so please know we are all here to listen and support. It's really positive that a friend's parent did phone you, it must be comforting to know other parent's are tuned in; also positive that the ex is stepping up. Have you been able to speak to him about the smoking, about his Grandfather and the realities around this? I am going to tag some members, it's important you know you're not alone. I myself was an intensely turbulent adolescent, a lot of this behaviour is familiar to me, the developing brain and hormones definitely do not help the case.

 

@taokat @pru696 @Dakotah @sunflowermom what are your thoughts?

Prolific scribe

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

Thanks breez-Ro it just rips my heart out to be honest. It just seems he is doing everything that he knows will upset us although he has told his dad he doesn’t want me to know cause he feels bad but he denies the smoking part “of course he does”. I have a daughter going through year 11 exams at the moment so I don’t want this to upset this house so he doesn’t realize I know yet. I was very appreciative of his friend and the mother and I told them both how thoughtful and caring they were and how good it is that his friends look out for each other. I was not the best teenager either but I never remembered doing it at such a young age. It just really really worries me that he is going to continue on a path of destruction. Thanks again for your support
Mod

Re: struggling with 13 year old son

I hear you @lizard0812, it's difficult he is denying smoking. I have a brother the same age, they're definitely evolving a lot quicker this generation. Earlier risk taking and to be honest, a high level of intelligence. My brother is interested in things that would not have even crossed my mind at thirteen, I guess the internet is at their fingertips. Does your Daughter seem affected at all so far or is she traveling alright?