Sunday, June 27, 2010

teens and divorce

My oldest son was 11 when his Dad and I split. He is now almost 16 years old. It seems like he still hasn't adjusted to the changes that life has thrown at him. Or is it all about that he is a teen and it's not so much about the divorce.
My situation is a little different than some. We had two kids and a couple years after the divorce my oldest son went to live with his Dad. My younger son stayed with me. So, basically, no one pays child support and we don't fight in courts over visitation rights. We have had our differences but we don't take them to court.
Every weekend, once of has both kids and one of doesn't have any kids. My son's spend every weekend together. We also don't stick to the hours on the weekend. Sometimes, things might change up a little. An extra day here... ect.
My teenager seems to be the one who just doesn't adjust to coming to my house. It's way better than it used to, but it's a lot of pressure to please him. My son has a routine with his Dad and my household has a routine. We are clashing big time. We try to bend a little and make it work but we can't change our whole way of life because he is home.
My son wants to be entertained the whole weekend. He can't be on his own. We can watch movies, ride bikes, play the wii... goof around on the computer.. go to the ymca... visit with family.. or friends and at 11 pm at night. he is still going strong. He still wants to have someone watch him. If we get lucky and he spends an hour doing something on his own.. he will come up every ten mins to say come look at this or guess what I did. It comes a point at night.. that I want to strip my clothes and curl up with my husband.. or curl up with a good book and I can't get the message through to him.
I could even say tell me good night because I might fall asleep here on the couch. like I said, I don't mind bending the rules some.. but he just pushes for too much.
He also can't seem to accept that he is getting older and can do more on his own. He actually got mad that he had to fend for himself for his breakfast. I don't make a big deal out of breakfast. My ten year old son is learning to pour his own cereal or make his own toast. It's not that I am lazy. I just feel that he is old enough to take on some of his own responsibilities.
I was married to his Dad. I know that his Dad isn't fixing his breakfast. I just don't get it. Today, I got really mad. I did the when I was your age story.. I had to walk to get the food and make it myself..
I know that he hasn't had it easy but I had it much worse. Anyone have any teens? Is this a teen thing or more of not adjusting to divorce and remarriage. I just don't think it's normal for a teen to want to be at his Mom's hip.. Today, he actually told me that we should get up at 8 am like a normal family and have breakfast by 8 am and lunch at a normal time.. My husband has a rule.. no kids out of the bedroom until 10 am if they isn't any school. He likes the quiet time when he wakes up to get ready for work... We been letting my younger son stay up later than normal, because it's summer. One, I can't be kept up till midnight or later and be up at 8 am. Two, if I am not working and they are not in school.. why would we want to keep a schedule so we can have meals at the right time.
My son is really happy go lucky as long as it's all his way. His radio station.. his way when it comes to watching a movie.. his way..... I need my son to understand that life isn't always going to be his way and sometimes it just sucks.. I need him to know how to feed himself. I don't want him 18 or 19 and living on his own and not knowing how to cook a simple meal. I don't want my son to be afraid to be alone.. Sometimes, you have to be alone..
I know some birthmom's, ones especially haven't went on to have more kids and raise them.. might think that they would treasure every moment. It's not that I don't treasure my time with my sons. I need them to grow up and be able to take care of themselves. I need them to be able to be social and have friends. My son won't even try to locate friends in my neighborhood. I own my house. It's not that I am moving every six months. Sorry... this has been a lot of bitching but I needed to vent.


Campbell said...

I think you may have a combo of teen guy stuff and your son dealing with a situation you and his dad created.

A couple of questions.

Did your son choose to live with his dad?

Does your husband affect your feelings about how your son behaves? Would some of these things be less of a big deal if you were a single mom? I know that in our home my husband affects me as a parent as I affected him when his sons were both living with us. It's not always easy to navigate.

I believe that husbands and fathers and sons get jealous of each other. Screw that, I KNOW they do. I wonder if some of his need to have your attention is due to that and the fact he doesn't live with you. Or maybe to him he feels like he is "visiting" or on a mini holiday when he comes to your place.

Maybe a compromise could work. Maybe one of the 2 days he spends with you every 2 weeks is dedicated attention from you to him, something he can expect and count on, and the other is more geared toward teaching him how to do a few things for himself, be with just himself, to blend in with your house and rules.

Almost 16 is almost gone sometimes, try and remember. Once they have a girlfriend, it's see ya later mom lol

Tracie said...

This post really struck a cord in me and I related to so much of it I felt I had to comment! I too have a son, now 16, who was around 11 when his father and I divorced. (There is also a 13 year daughter from this marriage.) And although the last year has been extremely hard for us dealing with turmoil and heartache that have affected all of us, I still see my son struggle with the outcome of his parents no longer being togther...5 years after the divorce. I think the hormones are part of it too, for both your son and mine. But I definately think that the divorce and what happens to the family AFTER makes these kids take a different route in life. I think it really changes their mindset and images of life, to unfortunately negative aspects that they will have to learn how to overcome as young adults. I don't know what is harder.. staying in a family where the parents are not happy, argue, and don't love each other or being the child of divorced parents who can't get along. Good to know that you guys can at least talk and don't haggle in court. I did all that I could to avoid that bitter, stressful court battle and for 5 years. And during that 5 yrs I was walked on, harrassed, and taken advantage of. But I took it all and kept it from the kids. Now, my kids have been put right in the middle of it, and not by my choice. So I stand strong in my faith, and try to keep my mindset high and do everything I know as a mother to keep them from being hurt, more than they already are. Good luck to you!

birthmothertalks said...

Thanks for the comments. I will try to get to the questions tomorrow.