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Old 12-27-2007, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,144,067 times
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My son is turning 19 in Feb. We went through the "grunts and shrugs" stage with him. He will still, on occasion, get very quiet. When he was 15 he would hardly speak to us for days, but then he would have moments where we could not get a word in. When he is ready to talk, we talk. We were very lucky to have this boy in our lives. He was a late baby and my husband still referes to him as our "mid life crisis."
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:24 PM
 
Location: In the sunshine on a ship with a plank
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I'm trying to keep in mind that if I keep him too close he'll push that much harder to get away from me. He doesn't hesitate to tell people that I'm one of his best friends- or at least he didn't in the past. He talks to me and I believe he trusts and respects my input and opinions. He seems inclined to avoid the pitfalls some of his classmates have hit (trying drinking and drugs, mischief- he thinks all that is dumb) and I count my blessings every day.
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Papillion
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We too went through that from about age 14 to 18. Then all of a sudden some magical switch flipped and he overnight was a decent human being that we actually enjoyed being around.

Like the others said.. keep the lines of communication open for that one little moment when they might actually want to talk. Even if the discussion is something small and insignifcant it will mean a lot and keep the hope. I also had to remember to determine what to go to the wall for from a discipline perspective and what to pass on - I think this helped in not exasperating the situation.

As long as the behavior is not immoral, distructive, or illegal you'll be ok. If it shows signs of actual depression or self-harm then jump on it - other than that, go with the flow, one day he'll be a normal human being.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:32 PM
 
7,788 posts, read 10,451,387 times
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Default Holding on and letting go...

Quote:
Originally Posted by puffle View Post

Do you know what I mean at all or am I just nuts?
I know what you mean. And I think you are absolutely, positively correct that it is a type of grief reaction that we undergo. A part of me can't help but think that often times many mothers don't feel that sort of angst and mourning, as they are contending with overt teenage angst vis-a-vis ongoing turmoil and teenage acting out. But for those who still see that little boy that they brought home from the hospital with those newborn eyes in their now almost grown son? -Yup, it's a grieving process alright!

I'm sure you know that the teenage years are simply a more "advanced form" of the terrible two's, in that it's the same dynamic: separation. Individuation, autonomy and (hopefully down the line) independence. I think it's a basic reaction within us that any time our child wishes to move away from us, (be it developmentally as a teenager, or physically in moving away from home) that we would want to resist. We resist letting go of wanting them to continue to be dependent on us. It is so tied up in our own very self identity as mothers. They are more than anxious to "grow up" and to change; they welcome that! We, on the other hand, resist it with every emotional fiber of our being as it is too heart wrenching to feel as though we are saying goodbye both to that child, as well as to a part of our selves...

Trust me: It's grief, but it's also temporary. As Robert Frost said: "The only way out is through." --And you'll get through. The tears are okay because they are necessary, and bespeak what defines your own sense of separation. Do I still at times continue to mourn my son, the little boy? Certainly. But in a way I suppose I would like to think that every tear I shed somehow helped me to separate, to let go, and to diminish the longing that felt so empty. It passes; I promise you it does. --And when it does, you will be able to welcome a whole new relationship with him. He'll change, "grow up" and be an adult. But you, in his mind, and in his heart, will always be his mom...And even as they grow up, they continue to need and want to be "emotionally held" in those ways that they inherently know that only their mothers can provide.

We never really let go, I don't think. Because even after they may have temporarily let go of us, we are still there, hand out stretched, and they know that it's there, and when and how to find it. It's just that the hand holding yours is a bit bigger now...

Take gentle care.
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Old 12-27-2007, 06:47 PM
 
Location: in a house
5,835 posts, read 3,888,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by june 7th View Post
I know what you mean. And I think you are absolutely, positively correct that it is a type of grief reaction that we undergo. A part of me can't help but think that often times many mothers don't feel that sort of angst and mourning, as they are contending with overt teenage angst vis-a-vis ongoing turmoil and teenage acting out. But for those who still see that little boy that they brought home from the hospital with those newborn eyes in their now almost grown son? -Yup, it's a grieving process alright!

I'm sure you know that the teenage years are simply a more "advanced form" of the terrible two's, in that it's the same dynamic: separation. Individuation, autonomy and (hopefully down the line) independence. I think it's a basic reaction within us that any time our child wishes to move away from us, (be it developmentally as a teenager, or physically in moving away from home) that we would want to resist. We resist letting go of wanting them to continue to be dependent on us. It is so tied up in our own very self identity as mothers. They are more than anxious to "grow up" and to change; they welcome that! We, on the other hand, resist it with every emotional fiber of our being as it is too heart wrenching to feel as though we are saying goodbye both to that child, as well as to a part of our selves...

Trust me: It's grief, but it's also temporary. As Robert Frost said: "The only way out is through." --And you'll get through. The tears are okay because they are necessary, and bespeak what defines your own sense of separation. Do I still at times continue to mourn my son, the little boy? Certainly. But in a way I suppose I would like to think that every tear I shed somehow helped me to separate, to let go, and to diminish the longing that felt so empty. It passes; I promise you it does. --And when it does, you will be able to welcome a whole new relationship with him. He'll change, "grow up" and be an adult. But you, in his mind, and in his heart, will always be his mom...And even as they grow up, they continue to need and want to be "emotionally held" in those ways that they inherently know that only their mothers can provide.

We never really let go, I don't think. Because even after they may have temporarily let go of us, we are still there, hand out stretched, and they know that it's there, and when and how to find it. It's just that the hand holding yours is a bit bigger now...

Take gentle care.
June7th Thank you for such an inspiring and empathetic post. I almost got through reading the whole thing to my husband without crying, almost. So beautifully written. It's hard for me to put into words how much I loved your post. Are you by any chance a therapist? I am going to make a copy of your post to keep with me when I feel meloncholy again or for any friends that might be going through the same thing. Thank you so much. Puffle
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:59 PM
 
25,084 posts, read 13,920,043 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puffle View Post
I would like to know how other mom's deal with letting their teenage kids go? What I mean by go is..letting go of their little boy that now doesn't want to have anything to do with you, is annoyed when you walk into their room while they are AIMing, grunt instead of speaking, expect, expect, expect. I find myself getting a bit sad and missing the great times I had with my son when he was little and loved me so much. It's almost like mourning a death. My son will be 15 in May and he is my only child.
Oh I am sad to hear of your sorrow, but I can identify with what u r saying. My son is in that age group too and sometimes I feel like he hates me, but I just look for moments to connect with him. It is those moments that remind me that "this too shall pass." I think kids have a lot to deal with. It is not easy going from being mama's baby to being a young man. I think your son is just trying to find his way...how he fits into the world...and trying to figure out just who he is. At least that is what I tell myself about my son. I think it is especially difficult for moms to let go of their sons. It is a process. I just want to encourage u- what u r experiencing is just a stage like the 'terrible twos', but u will get through it and everything will be alright Keep your head up, take a deep breath and smile.
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:00 PM
 
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
34,630 posts, read 42,779,610 times
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This is normal and it's healthy. If your son is growing away from you, it means you are doing a good job. Just give him space and let him know you are there for him. In a few years he will return to you again.
If you are concerned that he is getting into really dangerous or unlawful stuff, that's totally different. In that case, stay on him like white on rice.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:00 AM
 
358 posts, read 1,787,236 times
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I'm early 20s... I was like that when I was a teen. My friends were everything - family sucked.
I think a key might be ... well probably is, communication. A parent can try hard and still it can fail. Depends what the issues are, and how to go about it. If they feel 'boxed in' by the parent, or being bossed around too much, it might be too hard to make much good sincere communication and affection. I don't know anything, so my words might be totally wrong. But maybe humility can really help? The more the child can see the parent 'as a friend' in a sense (which some people will say is a really bad idea, but I don't think so at 15 as long as the parent is strict enough) and if the child can see the parent more as a 'real person', rather than an authority figure, the better things might be.

For all my friends that got along well and close to their mothers through the teenage years - their mothers seemed to show humility and love, showed vulnerability, compassion, stuff like that. They sometimes were strict, but seemed to know when and where to do it - at the same time gave the child a decent degree of freedom - a good authoritative (not authoritarian) balance. They'd often hug and say love you... stuff that was very out of place in my house. The mother usually would be hardworking, working to lower-middle class, and at the same time in the home life understood that family was more important than money.

I don't know, again I'm just rambling and don't necessarily know what I'm talking about.

It's probably best if the child can feel comfortable discussing some personal dilemmas and problems in their life to their parent(s). Most teenagers, perhaps especially teenage males, probably don't have this connection. Their parent(s) in another world in practical terms. Totally out of touch with the reality of their lives.

Keep in mind doing things like walking into his room while IMing is like him interrupting you while you're trying to have an important private conversation. If he's busy talking to friends, then he's busy. If he's doing stuff like online a *lot*, then maybe arrange to chat "15 minutes from now" or something.

Personally I don't think ruining the parent-child relationship is a *good* thing, but that's just me. In what I've witnessed, there is a huge correlation between having a very weak relationship with parents at 14-18, and having a relatively unhappy, lonely, soulless life afterwards. It didn't turn out that way for me, but it did for many others. But it really really depends on the individual. Only the people closely involved can get a good idea of the proper way to go about things, if that is even possible.
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:34 AM
 
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june, your post gave me goose bumps! Beautiful!

Puffle, I'm not there yet because my daughter is only 9, but I find myself missing her sweet little baby and toddler self and being able to pick her up and snuggle her. Those days are short and precious.

Try to remind yourself that you are not losing your son, but that he is doing something essential to his becoming a happy adult. He will return to you as a kind and loving grown man. Also, chances are that you'll have grandchildren someday and you can snuggle and love on them. My mother says that you love your children, but the love you feel for your grandchildren is something else entirely.
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Old 12-28-2007, 09:30 AM
 
Location: Georgia
238 posts, read 548,183 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRed View Post
Just tell yourself that it will get better once he's grown. My son was like that until he was about 19 and then he did a 180 and he's a great son again. Calls me all the time, talks about his problems with me, asks for advice. So, I think it's just a phase. He's trying to sort out all the emotional and physical things that come with being a teenaged boy, and it's easiest to take it out on mom because he knows you'll always be there for him.
I agree. I think they need to feel like they are a distinctly separate person to break free from the role of the "little boy". When my son hit that stage, I just kind of went with it, and changed my tactics, treated him with the respect I would treat an adult and respected his privacy and knocked on the door before entering, and I also allowed him a right to have his preferences. For instance, if I asked him a question and he grunted, I accepted that my tone of voice or the question itself made him feel like I was nagging, so if I REALLY needed to know the answer to the question, I outright told him I'm not trying to nag, but I need to know his answer. (Course it WAS hard to find ways to get him to clean his room...).

But now he's almost 20, in college, and he confides in me, and likes to tell me about his day. I do however tell him all the time, that it doesn't matter HOW old he is, 30, 40 50, he's always my boy and I'm the mom and I will always treat him as such. (Joking, but still effectively saying he always holds that place in my heart.)

I'll never get the little boy back I guess, but I'm totally proud of the adult my little boy is becoming.
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