My son age 12 soon to be 13 in Feb, decided that he doesn't want to come and visit me every other week anymore let alone visit me at all. He says its because of my husband, my husband hasn't done anything to him, but try to talk to him when disobeys me. My son screams in my face calls my husband names, lies continuously, he decided that he didn't want to see me on Christmas either, this is not the first time he has done this. He stays at his dads, which is not even a mile away, I have tried grounding, taking things away, sympathy, empathy, etc. I don't know what to do anymore, I am thinking of giving full custody to dad. He has a younger sister that loves her stepdad and mommy, she looks forward to her week with us, but my sons bad behavior is affecting her as well as the whole family.

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Lakota - posted on 12/28/2012

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I don't think you are a bad mother at all. I have two boys - one is 16 and the other is 13. They are both bigger than I am and they sometimes think they rule the roost. Don't give up. Their father is a jerk and could care less about their schooling or anything else. I also understand how this could cause stress in your marriage. I have been there too. Please don't give his father full custody of your son. You sound like you are the only steady person in his life that wants him to succeed.

Dove - posted on 12/27/2012

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If he is missing school when he is with his dad... that may be reason enough to go to court and get his time with his father shortened. GET him the help that he needs.... whether you have to involve the school authorities, counseling, even police if necessary. If you've been dealing with this for 4 years.... obviously SOMETHING needs to change and fast.

Sure, you could give up custody.... but I really don't think that would help your son at all.

Babette - posted on 12/27/2012

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I'm not by any means giving up on him, my door will always and has always been open to him, my son has a problem with authority period, I guess you may think that I am a bad mother, but my son has put me through so much emotionally, he has physically, and verbally abused me, I am 110 pounds my son is bigger than I am. His father does not agree with me on anything when it comes to the best interest of our son, and by the way my ex and I both have primary custody, when he is with dad he misses school, when he is with me he is made to go to school, my son has gotten in the principals face screaming at him, it's unacceptable, my husband and I have tried, and tried, and I have cried and cried, I've talked and talked this has been going on for over 4 years.

Ariana - posted on 12/27/2012

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You should try to talk to him and ask him to speak with a family councellor with you (or all of you). Tell him you realize he's having problems and you want to know how to make him feel more welcome in your home.

Your son is hitting puberty and probably has a ton of hormones going on, as well as his own perspective of the situation.

Giving up custody is not the answer.

As frustrating as it must be you're his Mom, and although it's fine to discipline him and all of that, your main job is to connect with him. If that means maybe trying to find an activity you can do with him (and his sister) when he comes go do that. Sign yourself up to karate lessons for every other week, try to connect with him away from the struggles that are obviously going on.

Like I said, I would find a family councellor and have you guys all go talk to them. He may be having issues you don't realize, and ignoring it isn't going to help.

Is he allowed to not show up to your visitation? I'm not exactly sure how that works, if he can do that at a certain age or not. I would have him come no matter what if possible. Try to make it a good time for him, go out, even if it's just going for some walks or to the mall, it doesn't have to be full-time excitement or anything but try to make everything as positive as possible. Even when he's acting out remind him that you love him and it's just his behavior that is bothering you, once a punishment has been set or handled let it go.

A family councellor will help you guys figure out how to handle him and may be able to make him feel heard, while also making sure you're opinions are acknowledged as well.

Lakota - posted on 12/27/2012

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Don't give full custody to his dad. Why would you do that just because you are having problems with him? Your son needs his mother. Listen to what your son is telling you about why he doesn't like his stepdad. Maybe he has a good reason not to like him. But, why would he want to visit you when you won't listen to him and are so quick to think about giving him up?

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