9YR OLD SON WANTS TO LIVE DAD

Nicole - posted on 05/03/2012 ( 7 moms have responded )

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HI I'M NEW TO CIRLCLE OF MOMS:)
I BEEN HAVING ALOT OF PROBLEMS WITH MY 9 YR OLD SON, HE'S DISRESPECTFUL, YELLS, SCREAMS AND SCARES THE BABY, AND HITS HIS SISTER. I HAD HIM IN COUSELING BUT THEN CHOSE TO SEND TO TO A BOARDING SCHOOL, HE COMES HOME WEEKENDS AND HOILDAYS AND WILL BE HOME FOR SUMMER. HE TELLS ME HE DOSENT WANT TO GO TO THE SCHOOL AND WANTS TO LIVE WITH HIS DAD. I FEEL HE RESENTS ME FOR NOT BEING WITH FATHER, I AM NOW HAPPILY MARRIED. I HAVENT BEEN WITH HIS DAD SINCE HE'S BEEN 1 AND MY HUSBAND RAISED HIM. YET HE CANNOT ACCAEPT THE FACT THAT WE ARE NOT TOGATHER . SHOULD I LET HIM LIVE WITH HIS DAD? EVEN THOUGH I FEEL THE SCHOOL IS BETTER? I FEEL HIS DAD WILL NOT DO A GOOD JOB RAISING HIM, HE HAS NO JOB, LIVES WITH HIS MOM, AND HAS NO GOALS. HOW CAN HE BE A GOOD ROLE MODEL. BUT MAYBE MY SON WILL RESENT ME FOR NOT LETTING HIM BE WITH HIM

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Jodi - posted on 05/03/2012

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Well, it's not as if you are raising him at the moment, is it? I mean, you've shipped him off to boarding school because he was too difficult for you. If his dad is happy for it, then at least he has one parent who wants him. I'd say your son resenting you for not going to live with his dad is the least of your worries when you gave up on him and sent him to boarding school. You don't think maybe he resents you for that?

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/03/2012

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Well, first, welcome, Nicole.

Second, I'm pretty outspoken and blunt, so please understand that I mean the best, but sometimes sound like a bitch.

I have some questions at this point...Why did you choose a boarding school over a family counselor that can address issues not only with your son from your first relationship, but also his bonding issues, etc with your current relationship? To a 9 year old, being sent off could be translated as "momma doesn't want me"...which then leads to "maybe dad will want me"...which leads to him telling you that he wants to live with his dad.

How are his weekend/holidays at home? Is it stressful for you/hubby/rest of the family? Do you end up spending more time "dealing" with him than you do having family time? Would he say that he feels like he's in trouble all the time at home? If so...this could be a reason

Does he get visitation with his biological dad? Could it be, perhaps, that he feels that dad and grandma will pay him more attention (you having not only the baby, but also a middle child)?

Or, it could be that he's miserable at that school. He's 9! I don't know about you, but had my parents sent me off at 9 years old and I did not have the option of going home except for on weekends, (and those weekends were stressful because I couldn't get along at home, either)...well, I'd feel hurt, and unloved, and that maybe someone else will love me more.

I don't know that he'd resent you for not allowing him to live with his father, but he may resent you for sending him off...and this may be his 9 year old way of handling the situation.

Again, I don't mean to be hurtful, but I think these are things you need to look at to get a bigger picture.

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Amy - posted on 10/29/2014

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Hi Nicole!
You have a few options, here:

I recommend you grab a cup of tea and sit down, this is going to be long! :)

#1) Give it a try. You can agree to a trial period of your son living there (Use an attorney). Give it at least a few months. You can lay the ground rules for this, and he will have to comply if he wants to try it. You can require they both attend weekly therapy together. If you schedule the therapy under your son's name, it doesn't matter who goes along, your son's insurance will cover it. You can attend as well to voice your concerns, or at least the first few visits. It may be a good idea to include his grandmother as well. You might be surprised! He may be more motivated to find a stable job, or be careful of who he exposes his son to, when he is responsible for him 90% of the time. The therapist should help reinforce what is appropriate for dating when you have a child. One of three outcomes will happen. Either grandma and dad will get sick of his behavior and set some boundaries, or your son will have fewer behavioral problems simply because he is getting the attention he needs from his dad, or he will be too much for them to handle and he will send him back, and at that point you can send him back to boarding school, if that is where he has done the best. He may be better with you once he knows what it’s like being at dad’s…
(Side note: Whatever you do, don’t ever give him the idea that he’s living with dad “because of his behavior”. A relationship with a parent should NEVER be a punishment. If you want to breed resentment, that’s a great way to do it.)

#2) Send him back to school and let your ex try to get custody. There’s no way, with his history, that he will get custody. He’s is just trying to scare you into giving him what he wants. You have evidence that school was working, and that being out of school is detrimental to him. It may be the adjustment period of transitioning to being back at home that is causing the recent anger. As much as he hated school, he unconsciously loved it. He clearly thrives on the structure and discipline they can provide. All boys need that, and ultimately your son is suffering. These are all signs of a child that isn't getting his needs met, and doesn't feel secure.

#3) Keep him with you, but tighten the reigns. What you’re already doing isn’t working. You need to make a HUGE statement. Does he have a favorite toy or prized possession? The next time he’s out of control, it’s gone. Not grounded, gone. Sold. Given to good will. In the trash. However you want to do it. He needs something to think of the next time he wants to explode. You want it to not be worth the risk.
This way is going to be the hardest on you and your family, and I’m not sure it would be worth it. I imagine your relationship with him while he was at the boarding school was much better than when he was at home, and I’ll bet your marriage was more secure and your other kids felt safer and happier. You still have an obligation to make the rest of your family a priority, otherwise everyone else suffers from his actions. You sound like the nurturing type, just like me. If you choose this way, you will be fighting against your nature until he is an adult and moves out.
If you keep him in your home, do not tolerate any threatening or abusive behavior. If your son is scaring you or his siblings – call the police. I’m serious. You call them! You are protecting your family, hopefully scaring some sense into him, and you now have documentation of his behavior. EVERY time he shows criminal behavior and crosses the line - gets violent or destructive, you call 911. His teachers would do that. They don’t tolerate it in school, and you shouldn't tolerate it at home. When you don’t feel like you have authority over him, the police do.

In my scenario, I chose #1. It’s been painful, and terrifying, and completely overwhelming. I swore for the last 9 years that my ex would never have custody, that he was a bad example and I wanted my son to be nothing like him. Ultimately, I had to weigh it out. His dad drives me crazy, and he’s very embarrassing, and frankly I just don’t want my son to be a replica of him. BUT, I would rather my son be just like his dad, and NOT wind up in prison. I would also rather my son go to boarding school and hate me forever, but be a better person because of it.

Nicole - posted on 10/29/2014

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He's been through so many different girlfriends, the 2 oldest are from my ex ,they get attached to these girls & there kids and then no sooner then there attached they split up. Also when he gets a new girlfriend the kids are always put aside , now that his lastest girlfriend split up with him , he wants to be a dad but till the next one comes along they'll be pushed aside, which I know hurts them. Also he lives with his parents , so he cannot discipline my son, grandma (his mom)does whatever my son wants, gives him whatever he wants , theres no rules, which I feel cannot help my son at all, I mean thats opposite of what my son needs & opposite of what Im trying to teach, he believes he shoudnt have to follow anybody's rules.I know his dad loves him but to raise him when he can barely take care of himself. I dont know .. Im confused do I let him go & be in house where he gets everthing wants , where theres no rules???

Amy - posted on 10/29/2014

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Nicole-
I am so sorry to hear that! I have advice for you, but I would first like to ask for additional information. You mentioned your ex struggles to keep a job and that he lives with his parents. What other reasons do you feel make him a poor role model?

Nicole - posted on 10/29/2014

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THANK YOU AMY! And your right no one truly understands till there living your life.Your right sending him away I cried everynight & it hurt me so much I felt like a bad mother .Since that post he spent 3 years there came home on weekends, hoildays , and summer breaks, it being only 45 mins away I was still there to support him at all his bball games. He was doing so well but come this summer his dad threaten to take me to court and get custody to take him out , I agreed for him to come back home , he is now in sixth grade just started school in sept and it has been so hard the talking back, disrespect like you could not imagine, throwing things when hes angry. When we got into a heated argument he just said Im leaving and started walking out the front door from there I grabbed him arm & said your 11 you just cant walk out & from there he lied and said child abuse . His dad called cops it was a mess , I felt betrayed how could he lie & do that to me. Everything was dropped & the cops seen it was just a boy with anger not getting his way. But I spent more money then I could afford in court & on lawyers because of his lies. Now he is in counseling but it hasnt gotten better , & I struggle everyday dealing with him, hes like a bomb ready to explode. I have a 3yr old & 15 year old and they are affected to by this, & my marriage is ready to fall apart because he cannot handle the situation . Sorry for rambling on I just need the support advice..:( I dont know what else to do. Sending him to move with his dad is not an option he lives with his parents & is in & out of work. How can he teach him to be a man when his life is so unstable. Or should I just let him go? Im so confused :( any advice please

Amy - posted on 10/27/2014

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Hi Nicole. I see your post is a little old, but I'm hoping I can still help. I want you to know that I understand. My son is 9 and in counseling right now, which isn't helping. He has the same behavioral problems you discussed, so I can understand what it feels like to be at wits end. It's easy for others to judge when they haven't experienced it themselves. For the record, I think you did the right thing. You know why he hates the school so much? Because he's DISCIPLINED there in a way that a mother is incapable of. He's a boy, and boys speak a different language- one that you do not. I applaud you for putting his needs before his comfort. These behaviors have serious consequences if the pattern doesn't stop. Hitting his sister becomes hitting his girlfriend and before you know it he's incarcerated. I can't imagine how hard it would be to put him in boarding school. I imagine it broke your heart and you dealt with grief and regret. Your son is better off being a respectful and upstanding citizen who resents his mother, than one who loves her from behind bars. You gave him what you couldn't give him yourself. If boarding school was the best option, then you did the right thing. I'm fortunate that my son's dad is capable of handling my son and disciplining him. He's going to be living with him starting in December. It hurts my heart, but I know he needs it. Have you ever met someone who spent time in a boarding or military school? They are the most respectful and descent people you will ever meet. Hang in there!!!

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