How do I get my son to open up to me

Dianne - posted on 09/12/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My son will be turning 13 on the 22nd of this month. He lives with his father and I have him every other weekend and all summer long. Since his father and I got divorced over 4 years ago he doesn't talk to me much about what he is feeling and dealing with. He keeps everything inside like I do. I know that there are things that are bothering him and has questions but have no clue how to get him to talk to me. He doesn't talk to his father about things either. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

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Dianne - posted on 09/16/2012

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thanks ... alot of it is because of the divorce. his father and sister are constantly bad mouthing me and telling him that i didn't love him enough to fight for him. which is far from the truth. i know things go on there where verbal and mental abuse is going on but he won't open up about it or tell the truth about it so there is nothing that I can do except to let him know that i am here and that I love him and i can only protect him with he tells me what is going on.

Francine956 - posted on 09/14/2012

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I agree with Rhonda. However, I can also say from experience with two teenage boys, this is also an age when they just don't want to talk to their mom! My one son used to give one word answers and not even acknowledge me if either of us came into the room. I was devasted, but my husband made a valid point~ our son is trying to discover how to become a man in the world. He is discovering himself and the world around him. Here doesn't want his mommy helping him with this. We had a few rough years, but for the last 8 months, ( he is now 16 1/2) he has completely changed! I am amazed everyday by him. He talks t me, I get random hugs and kisses, and my favorite ...he tells me he loves me! So the bottom line is even though you know something is bothering him, he may not open up, so be supportive and provide a safe place for him to feel comfortable so when he is ready to talk you will be there.

On the flip side, if you think he is not talking to you because of the divorce then I would suggest gradually bringing it up and letting him know you want him to understand what happened and if he has any questions he can talk to you. You also want to make sure he knows it wasn't his fault, because this could be how he feels. When you spend time with him on the weekends ask him what he wants to do. Make him feel as though when you are together your focus is him. It will probably take time because you only have him on the weekends, but never give up because that first hug and kiss and the words I love you when they are unexpected will melt your heart!

Rhonda - posted on 09/12/2012

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Gaining a teenager's trust is a very difficult task. He has to feel comfortable with being honest with you. That means you have to create an "environment for truth". Think about in the past, how you reacted when the truth came out in other situations, what was your reaction? Did your son see that reaction? That's how HE thinks you will react if he were to be honest with you. He has to see and understand that you are willing to be a comfortable place to opening up and talk. That also means you have to LISTEN more than talk. That environment cannot consist of blame or judgement; just compassion and empathy. It takes time to make such a place for your kids, but it is NEVER too late. Good luck.

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