When will my 13 year old start talking to me again?

Angie - posted on 08/21/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )




In one year, I went from being able to talk to him about anything to only be there to provide food, clothing and a ride. He says I no longer understand anything he is gong through. And he balks at all my rules, even though they have not changed much. He is determined that I am trying to ruin his life. How long is this going to last. Some have told me it is going to last until he gets out of school and has a family of his own and some have told me that it will only last thru his teen years.


JuLeah - posted on 08/30/2011




Each kid is different. He is going through a lot that you don't understand. You are and have gone through a lot he doesn't and never will understand.

Not your job or his to understand - listen, support, be there, yes, but fully understand, no

In this country (USA) we have come to expect, assume, and even encourage 'Teen' behavior. We have told ourselves it is 'hormones' and there is nothing we can do about it


This teen behavior we all talk about, slamming doors, tantrums, self centered, demanding, insulting, lazy, disrespectful, no accountability .... That is NOT teen behavior.

It is simply how we allow our teens to behave here in this nation

Across the globe, teens do not act like this -- historically, in this nation, teens never acted like this

Disney invented the concept of teen, remember, in the 50's as a marketing money maker - and the Mickey Mouse Club was born

Anyway, we don't hold kids responsible or accountable then get mad at them for their lack of responsibility and accountability

We allow them hours a day on the sofa with their games and sugar snacks, and then call them lazy

We buy buy buy - iPods, laptops, new shoes, new clothes, cars, events .... then complain when they act entitled

We never ask them to earn anything - we simply give - then act concerned about their lack of pride

We make life so very easy for them - we never want them to struggle, be sad, be upset, be worried, be overly challenged - then we question their apparent lack of self esteem

We ship them off to camp, to school, to a friends ... leave them with their games .... never ask them to help with dinner, help to keep the house running, help with family issues, help with food or rent, help with home repair .... Then we wonder to ourselves about their lack of self worth

Your son’s teen years don’t have to be everything you have been told.

My BFF has twin 16yr olds, for example. She has never ever allowed ‘teen’ behavior in her home. They have never ever acted like typical teens. They are well adjusted, happy, thoughtful, productive, community minded, future thinking people who are and have always been a joy.

It can be done, but it is not easy in a society that markets teen behavior as the norm. My friend struggled against ‘Yah, but all the other kids get to …” for many years.

And, these years are hard, more so in a society where people of this age have no value - contribute nothing.

A life without purpose is a sad life

[deleted account]

A really good teen book helped me a lot: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Teenagers by Nigel Latta

Taya - posted on 09/08/2011




hi, im a 13 yr old girl and I found this website, when my mom was bugging me to practice my music, and (after id done that) put my self in her shoes: How to make my daughter practice when she tells me she knows that but wont do it herself... and ive decided that my mom should tell me to(even though i hate when she does...) but we my act like three yr olds but we dont mean to be disrespectful or rude.ohhh. i was reading some of these and some of them sound like conversations that me and my friends have only opposite... LOL good luck moms!! ;) ur all amazing

Jane - posted on 08/21/2011




It depends - there is no one size fits all. My daughter never went through this much, but my son is a master at it. And my step son vanished from our lives for a good 15 years, only popping back into my life this week. Too bad he couldn't have shown up before my husband died. And too bad he still can't take any responsibility for the situation.

Most kids spend a few years in middle school realizing they are individuals, their parents aren't perfect, and that hormones can really screw with both your head and body. A lot of these kids mature enough to start talking to their parents again in high school. Sometimes it has to wait until they get a job, graduate from high school, or simply grow up.

My husband said that for him it was a very specific day. He discovered that all of a sudden, on his own second day of boot camp he realized his father suddenly got smarter. In other words, reality can bring clarity, not to mention maturity.

Good luck! I hope your son matures sooner rather than later.


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Carol Ann - posted on 10/28/2013




Don't fret my son at 13 was the same way. Just keep the lines of communication open tell him you love him and he will come around in a few years. 13 is a tough age

Heather - posted on 09/06/2011




There is no cookie cutter answer. All kids are different but I can tell you this. NEVER BACK DOWN! You are the parent and kids will be STUPID, let them. Eventually they will regret their STUPIDITY. But never back down. I told my oldest when we went through this (he is now 20 and a Marine) that I didn't give a rats a$$ and he was going to follow my rules and if he couldn't show me respect he was grounded. The more he acted like a creep the more rules appeared on the list. I won.

His other option was to find somewhere else to live where he thought he might have a better life. He had a rude awakening and realized quickly he had it good.

You need to dig your heels in and stay in control. He is testing you to see what he can get away with! STAY STRONG! You can do it!!!

Teresa - posted on 09/06/2011




Hi Angie, Firstly dont take this on board as something you have done or your husband. You sound like a terrific mom who is doing a great job and is trying very hard to understand what is going on for your young adult son.

Your son is at a stage in his life when he is trying to discover his own idependance, and who he is as an adult. Both can be difficult as he will of course make mistakes, and feel angry and confused about what is happening to him.

At this stage young adults rely on their peers for asurance, unfortunatly parents drop down the list as their priority, and of course communication between you will change.

However that does not mean he has stoped talking to you he may be communicating in other ways unfortunatly again this may show in anger and frustration on his part, this is when your patience and parenting will be pushed to there limits.

None of this of course means that he has stoped loving you as parents, it means he is showing you he is struggling to be independant, and move on to the next stage of his life, for you it may mean acknowledging this in communicating diffrently.

Read as many books as you can about teenager's some will help you to understand what is going on for him right now.

Mostly its about being patient allowing him to express what he feeling, and of course keeping your boundaries in place even when he refuses to acknowledge them.

I would agree that finding time for him away from home to talk may be a good idea, this will allow him to open up about his concerns if he has any.

Allow him to bring some of his friends home, and this will also give you an opportunity to talk with your son. Eventually he will work it all out in time and you will find he will once agin be sharing his thoughts and feelings with you, in the mean time be patient and carry on doing the amazing job that you already doing in raising a wonderful family. good luck

Joy - posted on 09/05/2011




my son went through a similar situation when he was 13. He seemed to be withdrawn from family activities and very quiet but i soon found out why, he was being bullied at school and it was upsetting him and making him upset over everything i said and everybody else said. He was feeling as though everybody was against him and we weren't. It was very concerning and frustrated at the same time. It lasted for almost a year and i learned that no matter what that you need to keep the lines of communication open where children are concerned and no matter the age...
hang in and talk :)
Joy Laing

Melissa - posted on 09/04/2011




Angie, hold on because your son will find that he does need you now more than ever. Take him out to dinner and you may find that he likes to talk in the car ride and during dinner. My son is 16 and is in the same mode of just mainly needing food, clothing, and a ride...BUT he comes round and talks to me more and more when I discuss his interests with him. Boys have more difficulty in expressing what is going on with them as their transition into becoming a young man. Just hold on tight and don't give up on him. He WILL come back around. He is lashing out at you right now because the hormones are raging, but he will snap out of that. Just keep reaching out and don't give up on communication. Go for a walk, talk in the car...find out when he will talk and make time for that. Good luck and God bless!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/31/2011




Just a side note, NOT ALL PARENTS IN THE US ARE AS JULEAH DESCRIBED. And, I take offense at being lumped in with the wishy washy whiny masses.

Regardless of that, teens WILL BE teens. That does not mean slamming of doors, etc, but that DOES mean that at times they will not want to communicate! And as far as me not understanding what my kids are going through, well, I was a kid too, and I remember that most of hte time it SUCKED to be a kid! We had (so we thought) no freedom, no respect, no anything. We were expected to (gasp) do chores and take care of our homes with our families.

I remember having times when I did not want to have anything to do with my parents either. I also remember growing out of it.

so, please, don't lump all of the parents in the US in the same basket, Juleah. Speak for yourself, and not in such broad generalizations. Because "we" do not buy, buy, buy, "we" do not allow slothfullness and then wonder why "our" kids are lazy. Perhaps SOME parents in the US do, but my husband and myself do not, nor do most of the parents I know.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/29/2011




The feeling that we're always punishing is a common one...I asked my hubby the other night why I always had to be so hard on mine to get them to do their chores!

Your teen will come around. Depending on the teen, like Jane said earlier it could be sooner, or it could be later. Just make sure he knows you love him, and that you're always going to be his mom. I don't think anyone ever said we had to LIKE our kids all the time, and quite frankly, I've let mine know that once or twice (Son, I do love you with all my heart, but I don't LIKE the person you are being). However, my oldest IS talking to me again, and the silence only lasted as long as it took him to realize that we're not Gestapo, we're parents, and we're NOT always trying to piss him off...just want him to follow rules.

There is hope! Hang in there!

Maria - posted on 08/29/2011




i am going through the same thing with my 17yr old daughter and my 14yr old son. i think it is worse with boys. i can not get anything out of him. i think after there teens i think it will get better. hang in there.

Ale - posted on 08/22/2011




Dont worry, that is completly normal. My teenage son was as you said, my best friend. One day he decided he did not want me near him, he stoped going out with me. So I let him. several months later, he started to go out with me again. I´ts just their hormones fooling around. You have to let them know you are there for them no matter what.

Linda - posted on 08/22/2011




Continue your rules. He is testing you. Are you a Christian? If you are, enlist all of the moms of teens to pray with you for your son and stand your ground. He will continue to fight you and you can't give in. Mine never stopped talking to me but they tried to hide in their rooms. No TVs or computers in their rooms. Make sure you eat together. Do not give him a chance to hide in his room for homework and TV. Decrease his TV and increase his responsibility around the house. At 13 he should be helping with hme jobs, emptying the dishwasher, rinsing dishes, taking out the garbage,recycling, one or 2 jobs a day. Keep him invloved in the family and take him to church. A lot of churchec have Sat evening services with contemporary music and Pastors who work with only the youth. Feel free to contact me again if I can help you. Seasidegrandma51@yahoo.com

Jane - posted on 08/22/2011




Yeah, and then there is the financial draining! That increases with age, too. :-)

Angie - posted on 08/22/2011




Thanks for the responses. I don't tolerate the disrespectul behavior, it is dealt with immediately, either by myself or by his father. While we are divorced, we still maintain a very good relationship. We have been divorced since my son was 8. But his father always backs up my punishment. It just seems like he is always being punished. Which is no fun for any of us. But I will not allow him to run over him. I was just hoping there may be better days ahead short of him becoming an adult. But my mother in law told me something early in my son's childhood. She stated that while they are young you are more physically drained, but as they get older, you are more emotionally drained.

Ramona - posted on 08/21/2011




Probably when he needs money or something. Don't tolerate such disrespectful behavior either.

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