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Old 11-19-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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This is normal behavior. He's growing into a man and wants his space. Hate to break it to you, but 18-year old guys don't like to be friends with senior citizens -- it makes him appear to be a homeboy or mama's boy or whatever you wanna call it. His friends will look down on him and taunt him mercilessly.

Guys that age are discovering their newfound freedom & independence. They're developing new relationships with people their age. They don't like to interact with people who are 40+ years older. When he reaches his 30's he may resume his relationship with you

Give him some space for now!!
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:26 AM
 
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as a former 18 year old boy/man, i have to say his actions are perfectly normal. he is at the stage where he is by all legal definitions a grown man(except he can't legally drink), yet mentally he still longs for the safety and security of childhood. this is why one moment everything is fine and he tries to spend time with you, and the next you are smothering him. there is NOTHING you can do to help him out, just spend time as he allows and give himn space when he wants it. he will get over this stage in a year or so, though things may never be like they were. accept it, he is growing up. if you absolutely cannot accept this fact, you may actually do more harm than good.

my step brother was babied by his grandmother all his life. she treated him like he was permanently 5 years old and it affected him mentally. the boy became a man physically, but emotionally was a preteen for many years. he only grew out of this after multiple failed suicide attempts and finally finding the love of his life. honestly we believe that if his grandmother had not passed away when he was about 25 he would not have ever grown up. even she would admit she was babying him too much, but she would not stop until her death.

for his mental sake and yours, give him some space and let him grow up. like i said, this does not mean severing ties, only that you must accept HIS boundaries. if he wants to talk, then talk. if he does not, or is uncomfortable with the topic, then don't. also stop all the physical contact, let him initiate any hugs.
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:52 AM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,860,713 times
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I found this on the web and resonate with it, even though I am not the mother:

Lynne Hybels

After reading the replies on this thread, I feel guilty that I have created a situation that makes it difficult for my relative to separate from me . . .I honestly do not know how I "should" have learned this . . . It goes counter to my intuition regarding relationships . . .being rejected hurts, so I don't understand how it is just supposed to be common sense to allow it to happen . . .That is the main sticking point for me . . .the other is the fact that as an adult, you can see where assistance is needed and you can see the mistakes that are being made . . .somehow you are not supposed to care or try to provide assistance . . .also counter-intuitive. I have a strong survival instinct related to my family (not so much for myself) . . .

So in the end, this is a personal problem for me and the way my personality is . . .I was too attached and did not understand that the attachment would not serve my relative . . . It's my concept about "families" and how people are supposed to treat each other in families . . .not sure what I can do to help myself because it is just heart-breaking to me to not have a close relationship with this person.

Some people you care about more than others and he is one that is up there on my list of people I care about most in life.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
Interesting. How/Where are you supposed to learn this? For years you are close as can be, then all of a sudden the closeness is unwanted on their side . . .I wish that there were instructions that came with kids . . . it is so counter-intuitive to me. I am the type of person who likes to bond with people and once I have bonded, I like to nurture those relationships.

I know nothing about the "man code," or the secret society of men. I know some grown men are very amiable and can hold conversations with women and others, not so much. I always thought this was due to different personality styles,. I didn't know that women are seen as "the enemy," and that you have to separate from them to "become a man."

In tribal cultures, boys go off and hunt, fight, explore, wrestle tigers, or whatever they do . . .and the moms are back in the tent weeping . . .it all seems so "uncivilized." I want it to be that you nurture someone, you love them, they love you back and appreciate you and can actually hold a conversation with you without getting all paranoid and defensive . . .if it is "normal" for boys to reject their female relatives, then why does it not feel good to the female relative? It just sucks.

It's just how they are. It's also the same way for many girls when they get that age.

It's normal and just move on, if you ask a 5 or 7 year old about their day, they'll happily tell you everything but people change. As they become adults, they really don't like to have to relate their whole day's events, every place they went, and so on.

It's part of leaving the family, they don't just pack up and go, they move out and away little by little. They also think older adults don't really understand anyhow.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
I am definitely having "empty nest" or separation grief over his "growing up," but it is not really his growing up that has me grieving, because I view grown up people as being kind and nice and I view his behavior towards me as being unkind at times. That is what is bothering me more than anything . . .is it necessary for boys to be unkind to grow up? I guess that is part of the question and the other part is do they have to separate from the close females in their life? Is that something they HAVE to do to "become men?" And if so, why? Why is it necessary to reject the loving, nurturing female figures in your life?
If you want to bond with him in any way, try finding out what he likes -- such as video games. A kid that likes video games is easy. Ask him what game he wants but doesn't have, and give it as a gift (you have to get the exactly right version - be careful on that) and say you want to see him play the game. Then it might not matter if you're age 120, they don't mind you showing interest in their games and scores. Ask him about what level he's gotten to in his current favorite game and if he knows any websites with good game cheats.

If you really want to fit in, find out if there are any gaming accessories that would be nice to have and make sure you get it for him.

Or if he loves cars then ask him about what kind of car or truck he wants, and why. For example with a truck, does he prefer diesel or gasoline, does he like Mustangs, or Euros, or does he want you to get him a lift for his truck for his birthday.

Or if he's into sports then follow the same basic steps. Find out which team he likes, what they've been doing, why does he like them, the best players on the team.
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
This is so interesting. So when I saw him today, I wanted to fiddle with stuff in his room (definitely an issue . . .but I have lots of design talent and he is totally unorganized . . . I know this is a boundary thing) . . .but anyway, he wanted me to watch him "lift," and that is the last thing in the world I am interested in . . .

I guess we won't be talking for awhile because he is interested in "lifting," and he also likes me to watch videos online of horrible music I can't stomach . . .but I do it to humor him . . . I guess we have nothing in common!
See that's the problem. You want to have the relationship on your terms, talk about what's interesting to you.

He has his own interests and you don't care about his interests.

He'd include you in on his life a whole lot more if you were a little interested in what's in it -- like the lifts. Find out more about them, ask him about them, enjoy watching them.

Kids that age are actually accepting of anyone who shows an interest in what they're doing, what they care about. Actually they need that. It's up to you if you want to find that common ground, maybe open yourself up to different kinds of music and the videos.

Or just realize that you have nothing in common with him and spend your time with someone you do have something in common with instead.

I loved hanging out with my grandfather because even though he was from a different generation, he was cool and had a different perspective on things than my parents had.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:18 PM
 
Location: earth?
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That's like asking a male relative to take an interest in his female relative's make-up or Barbie Dolls . . .it's just a little too contrived and weird. If there were something I could legitimately take an interest in, that would be another thing, but I don't believe in faking it to that degree for any purpose.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:07 PM
 
16,797 posts, read 14,549,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
After reading the replies on this thread, I feel guilty that I have created a situation that makes it difficult for my relative to separate from me . . .I honestly do not know how I "should" have learned this . . .
Well, it seems obvious that you "should" have learned this by raising your own children, as you indicated you have done earlier in this thread.

The fact that you are still puzzling over this universal separation issue--as someone who has parented before--raises a lot of doubts about the veracity of what you have shared on this board.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:12 PM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,651,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
That's like asking a male relative to take an interest in his female relative's make-up or Barbie Dolls . . .it's just a little too contrived and weird. If there were something I could legitimately take an interest in, that would be another thing, but I don't believe in faking it to that degree for any purpose.
Then really it sounds to me you aren't really all that interested in his life, his dreams, his day and need to move on.

It's not contrived if you really did care what he is about right now. It's fun to watch a 5 year old color or chase a ball, but maybe you really don't prefer the young man he now has become and is right now.

Do you really expect him to talk much about things he has zero interest in?

Parents that stay close to their kids at this age understand that some things have changed, they aren't going to answer question after question about their day, but if the parent cares what the kid thinks, does, then the parent finds some common ground. You could decide that watching him lift weights is interesting enough but stop at watching his music videos with him. But if you don't really care - then just let it go.
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:15 PM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,651,860 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
That's like asking a male relative to take an interest in his female relative's make-up or Barbie Dolls . . .it's just a little too contrived and weird. If there were something I could legitimately take an interest in, that would be another thing, but I don't believe in faking it to that degree for any purpose.
And talking about Barbie dolls might also work for a 5 year old but not an 18 year old girl. Again, to stay close with an 18 year old girl - daughter, niece, etc you would have to know what makes her tick, what she is interested in.

Actually I think that is far easier with boys.
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