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.
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i feel so sorry for you having lost your partner and for you being in this world of pain with your teenage daughter. I understand what you mean by not knowing what to do anymore. It is a hard and lonely job raising teenagers on your own. Hardly anybody IRL is honest about how awful it can be and how unrelentingly diabolical teenagers of this age can be. I have recently separated from my husband after 22 years and am now on my own with two teenage boys, a 15 year old and a 13 year old and a full-time career. I left their dad because here was no partnership in our marriage including in the job of raising the boys and taking on the hard task of providing discipline and boundaries. Now I am here dealing with it all myself. It is shocking to me that the 15 year old in particular so angry, so moody, so constantly fixated on his phone. It is so depressing to see my beautiful clever son being such an undisciplined sloth. The other boy is much the same. It sounds harsh but they are lazy, feckless and selfish and do so little to help around the house. Like you, I am trying tough love - letting my older boy be late for school and get a detention if he is not ready to come with me when i leave. I just never thought I would have sons whose last words at night were to tell me to F off or to shut the F up. I keep saying that this is unacceptable and hurtful. This time in our lives will pass and there will be brighter days again and so I work hard to maintain perspective and humour and to find joy in small things like my dogs running across the park and who never tell me to F off! That is all I can recommend to you.
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