trouble with teenage boys....i feel like my son resents us as parents!

Karen - posted on 03/01/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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my son has been going through anger and depression - not sure how bad it is but it's been to the point of me taking him to a professional. he's been put on meds to help the issues he has in his head but he admitted to me tonight that he thinks i constantly badger him about his absence of religious beliefs. i do occasionally bring it up but trust me, not constantly. my husband does get on him about keeping his room tidy and helping out more around the house - he tends to use a more "lecture" type of reminders but even still, that's the bulk of it. we let him see his friends which thankfully are the gaming types - not into drinking or drugs but what concerns me is that one girl in the group is "disabled" due to her mental instability but yet she has a nice boyfriend, wears nice clothes, has good friends, etc., but can not work due to her diagnosis. i can't help but think that some of this could be her influence? she threatened to call child protective services when we took his cell phone away for using it past bedtime. she completely over-reacts to things and i read the texts so i knew that it wasn't anything he might have falsely told her. i just don't know what to do. my heart is broken and i don't know if some of this behavior is "normal" as the kids want to become more independent at this age? he attends Catholic school and we've raised the kids in the church - not to the degree of Bible study every night but we openly talk about our faith and he says he feels like an "outcast". is that his own interpretation? i hope someone can help with this. thanks!

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Jane - posted on 03/01/2012

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Often teens resent their parents as a way to separate themselves from their role as children. It is a part of growing up. Odds are, a lot of his resentment is really a large part of that, not something you are doing wrong.



Like most teens, he tends to be self-centered. You may not speak to him often about religion, but it is a major concern in his mind so he feels any comment you make much more than expected. He probably thinks he "should" believe, can't understand why he doesn't, and figures that you "hate" him for his inability. At the same time, his non-belief is a way to separate himself from you and begin to be his own adult person. Often, once such kids hit true adulthood (around age 25 for most) they will come back to their roots.



As to the girl, bear in mind she isn't wired like most of us are and so will over-react. Her threat to call CPS is just a threat. She probably would never actually do anything. But even if she did call, no one would fault you for taking your son's cell phone away, especially if you pay the bills for it and he is using it when he should be sleeping.



Many teens feel like outcasts, at least in their own minds. It, too, can be a part of the separation from being a dependent child. It is mostly his own interpretation, but you might be able to help him by having a one-on-one talk with him someplace where he can't get up and stomp off, such as in the car.



Ask him what he thinks you should say about religion to him. Ask him also if he thinks it is fair for you to never speak about something as important to you in front of him, whether he believes or not. Tell him you are open to any discussion, and then be open. Listen to what he has to say and simply say things that let him know you are listening, such as "I see" or repeating a point he is making. And tell him that even when you and he don't agree on something, you will still always love him.



Ask him also if he can think of a better way to get his chores done so that his dad doesn't feel the need to lecture. Instead of "helping around the house" he might do better with specific tasks that are his, such as taking out the garbage or whatever it is you all think he should be doing. Get him to make up a to-do list or a check list that he can complete every week and then. as long as he follows it, leave him be about chores. But be sure to thank him for anything he does that is extra or that he has taken particular pains to do well.



Good luck! As long as you can keep him talking to you the lines of communication are open.

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