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Son / Father clashes

 
YogiBear
(@yogibear)
New Member Registered

Hello, I'm new here, my first post 😬 

2 years struggling with my son, he is now aged 17 and hates school (thanks to pandemic lockdown), he's angry with the world, angry with me, being generally rude, disrespectful towards me, as I try to parent from England. He lives with his mum back in Dublin. We divorced recently.

I used to travel and see him very regularly, e.g. every 2nd or 3rd weekend. However, since the pandemic that changed, and now i changed my career to so not as easy for me to regularly see him.

Christmas, Easter, and summer holidays we always see one another and special family occasions too.

Lately he hates me, and even took to wanting to square up to me on Boxing Day when I flew over to see him.

Its hurtful and i feel like I'm losing him, he says some very nasty things towards me. Right now I feel stressed out over it all.

Anyone else got shared similar experiences like this craziness going on?

Sorry for such a cheerful first post 🤯

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 27/01/2022 11:58 pm
NellGC
(@NellGC)
Admin

Hello and welcome. I am sure many people here will have similar experiences to share.

For some reading: 10 tips to support your child after break-up | DAD.info and you can sign up for Free to this course: Parenting after Separation - FREE course | DAD.info might give you some insights.

17! tough age.. 

Nell 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/01/2022 11:37 am
Clarinet
(@clarinet)
Estimable Member Registered

Hello Yogibear,

Thabk you for sharing your situation on here. Please don’t worry about it being “down”, that’s what we are here for in good and not so good times.

You face a tricky situation being in a separate country to your son, and the time you have together when you have it I guess can be pretty intense because you want to spend time with him and see how he is doing. 
Would it be possible for you to have a zoom call with your ex wife to discuss your concerns and feelings about why your son is being so angry ? Is there something happening at school/college that you are both unaware of ? Is he sad deep down about you both parting ways ? It could be his strange way of reacting and even missing you. I understand it’s not pleasant when your son is rude to you and aggressive. If this happens again when you next see him I would recommend walking away calmly and doing something else for five minutes. You could say “I will discuss this with you when you are feeling calmer “

There is a great family charity called Fegans who have lots of tips about how to work with teenagers. Here’s a few of their top tips: 

(These could be suggested to Mum too)

1. Let them have some time to decompress after school

2. Be available - perhaps you could arrange a regular zoom time that you suggest and one your son suggests? 
3. Find ways to connect - a shared interest , I relalise that’s harder on line

4. Communicate with kindness and respect - again if you keep modelling this to your son and try to ignore his unwanted behaviour it may help. Also let him know how it makes you feel. “I feel sad when you say that to me” etc. 

5. Ask non judgemental questions that require real answers - eg “Tell me about something that you were frustrated about today” instead of “Why are you always frustrated”

6. Don’t jump in with solutions and advice - perhaps ask “What options do you think you have? “ 

7. Listen

8. Avoid overreacting

9. Talk over differences 

10. If you are greeted with something hurtful - disdain, sarcasm or blankness try not to respond with anger. - Instead show your vulnerability and walk away. 
11. When your teen is struggling with their emotions acknowledge their feelings and remember to look after yourself. 
12. Spend time together- when you can. Difficult for you I appreciate 

13. Talk about subjects important to your teen. - it may not be to us but it is to them. 
14. Show affection - many forms letters, cards, a gift, praise and encouragement 

 

He maybe struggling with the fact that your circumstances have changed and he can’t see you as often. It could be worth checking in with his school/college to see how things are. 
I would encourage you not to give up though - you clearly care about your son and want to stay in his life. Keep encouraging where you can, treats where you can but most of all tell him you love him and that you will always be there for him no matter what. 

Another great charity is Care For The Family that has lots of advice and guidance for divorces families. I’m sure it will pass. Sometimes you have to go back to the events leading up to the behaviour in order to be able to move on. I can certainly testify to that. 

Every best wishes to you and your son,

 

Fegans Parent Support 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 28/01/2022 6:16 pm
YogiBear
(@yogibear)
New Member Registered

Thank you so much for the replies so far, really helpful.

Well, today things got a little more interesting!  I phoned his school for a prearranged catch up call with his year head who I approached before Christmas to explain the challenges my son is experiencing with now hating school.

Long story, cut short... the year head reveals to me today my son was caught smoking cannabis with a bunch of school buddies, whilst on the school grounds 🤯🤬

I was shocked - completely new development. 

So, I'm now flying over to see my son next week to try sit down face to face and (calmly) figure out what on earth is going on, who is he hanging around with, etc.

I've got a call arranged with my ex-wife (my son's mother) to try work together as a team to figure out next steps. She is seriously struggling to cope with him lately.

Part of me feels like shoving him into the army for 2 years, straighten him out, learn how to manage himself, and care for himself, and learn self respect, self development, and respect for others - if only things were that simple!

Stay tuned folks... shaping up to become an epic trilogy 😀🤔🙄

 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 28/01/2022 10:52 pm
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