I feel like I'm losing my son

Tandia - posted on 02/03/2014 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I have a 16 year old son, my oldest child, and I feel like I am slowly losing him.

I was a teen mom, and my son and I have always had a very close relationship until recently. His father and I divorced a year and a half ago, and my ex kept the house while I moved to the next town over. It was a struggle for me during the period of us deciding who my son should stay with since he was a teen, and ultimately, to keep him from having to choose between his parents, I allowed him to stay with his dad so that he would be near his friends during such a difficult time. My daughter, now 11, stayed with me.
My concern is that over the past 2 years my son has been slowly morphing into his father. I don't say that to be hateful, because I would want nothing more than a positive co-parenting situation, but his father is the type that thinks the world owes him something and that he is never wrong.
My son has been becoming more like his well-to-do family on his father's side, by being more focused on material things, clothes, money, his brand new car, etc. I never raised my son to be like this, and thought until the divorce, that I had done an amazing job at keeping him grounded. I understand that divorce is hard, and now that he lives with his dad, I see him only one night a week and every other weekend, as opposed to handling all of his daily need and having one on one time with him everyday. You see I was the parent who went to practice, handled school, and conferences, etc...and even now I am the one that the schools and doctors communicate with.
This past weekend my son was angry with me for upholding the grounding that was established by his father for poor grades, in which my son was not allowed to drive his car anywhere but school. He thought that he would send me a snyde text message expressing that he was going to a volleyball game and would just deal with the punishment when he got home, because he "promised" someone. Obviously I said no and told him I would communicate with his father that he left without my permission. He got very angry and began to say many hateful things to me, ultimately resulting in him going back to his father's for the remainder of the weekend. Now he won't talk to me.

Not sure what to do.
Sorry so long.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

You have two things against you- an unreasonable ex and a 'teenage brain'. There does come a point when a teenager can have the ability to stand back and see what's what but that time is different for each kid. (See each adult for who they are, and see how money affects them, etc.)
The story of him excusing your son from school for the reason he said is absolutely pathetic and sounds like your ex has no back-bone and I'm sure it would be maddening for you...
Sadly because of your ex, you cannot co-parent at this point. You can only parent when he's with you. Remain consistent as you said and he will respect you for it. Kids are smart and they really do not respect adults that they can manipulate like putty in their hands, even while they are manipulating them. (My teen was the puppeteer of all her teachers. The manipulation was unbelievable and the teacher's were unbelievably dancing to her music.)
My kid never knew her dad's side of the family because of location. She has gotten to know them over the last year. They are wealthier and have far less morals and have had such an extreme effect on my daughter. It is as though their money is in MY house changing MY rules and parenting.
I do not know who my kid is at ALL either- seriously. But as UGLY as it is, and even though it feels forever, it WILL pass.
They really still are just kids, easily influenced by others, can make our life hell (!) and all you can do is stay strong and consistent. These are the teen years, hang on tight.
It DOES ease up and eventually pass. I have to remind myself of this too. You haven't done anything wrong and it sounds like you're doing what God wants you to do.
The 'Godly seed' you planted in your kid will be there FOREVER no matter how or for how long he strays or is influenced.

[deleted account]

Well, I somewhat know what you're going through, just some of it. I was extremely close to my daughters ( and ever her friends were close to me). They are growning up and I am at a loss and missing all my 'jobs', driving to the school, kids coming and going from the house (I only have one child), I too was used to being needed daily (which I dearly miss) and having the long bed-time talks about boys and advice and life.
I am not however going through the exhusband push and pull. (Mine is deceased).
My daughter has just come into some money, and I have noticed this new pompous attitude, like the world 'owes' her, that she is above some others. This attitude sickens me because I never raised her that way either. There is nothing I can do about this, other than the couple comments I've made. I watch this kid that I've worked so hard to instill good values become this kid that I'm not even sure I like sometimes. I'm used to liking her! Hopefully, this attitude will pass.
I hope things become easier with your son and the pushing and pulling between both parents. It's hard but a lot of times these things resolve themselves in time. Also the kids can be good at manipulating, and that's a tough one. I'm not sure that I've been of any help, but good luck.

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Tandia - posted on 02/05/2014

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You see I totally agree, co-parenting is a necessary thing, especially in these difficult teen years. The problem is... and I can say this 100% since I have since attempted to discuss this with his father... it is impossible to co-parent with someone who believes that they are doing it all right. He instead of trying to discuss the situation regarding our son, told me that it is me who has the problem. To put the icing on the cake...he excused my son's delinquency at school on Monday (which I brought to his attention) as a result of the rough weekend my son had because of our disagreement, which has since caused him to fall ill because of the emotional trauma it had on him. Are you kidding me?!?!?!?
He can choose to be manipulated, but I refuse.
I love my son with all my heart.. but I refuse to accept this behavior. Clearly as the only lucid parent, the best thing that it seems I can do is remain consistent with my expectations. I am not going to bend to a selfish 16 year old, but I am upset because I did not raise my son this way, this is not the child I left with his father 2 years ago... but I feel like I did not create this monster who it seems is almost a 100% carbon copy of his father at 16. Except much better looking.
Deep down my son has a great, Godly heart, I just have no idea who this person is.
I wish he would just tell me what I'm doing wrong because I am completely at a loss.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/04/2014

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You and his dad need to get your co-parenting boots on, and approach this in a united manner. The kid is playing both of you because he can.

Dad needs to let the kid know that disrespectful treatment of his parents will result in punishment, and follow through.

You can't force him to speak with you, but you can let him know that you love him, always will, and when he's ready to handle things in a mature manner, you'll be there.

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