What are we doing next Dad?

(82 Posts)
groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 08:32:13

DSSs (17 and 14) come round every other weekend, as per strict access schedule since they were young. Court order has of course now expired for eldest but rota unchanged in practice.

DSS2 is lovely child to get along with, has his own interets, hobbies etc. DSS1 is a whole different ball game. Every other weekend in life, before he comes round "What are we doing this weekend Dad?". When he's at ours, "What are we doing next Dad". So, so wearing and frustrating from a child/young adult this age.

Half of the problem is that when at his mother's house he does absolutely everything with her. Food shopping, gardening, out walking, looking after the younger children. So he's 100% occupied by her. Doesn't ever see friends outside of school. No hobbies of his own. No part time job. No learning difficulties, does well at school. But socially and emotionally you would draw the conclusion that he's quite under-developed. His mother imo has encouraged this dependence and she is very strictly controlling of him. Actively discouraged friends when he was younger, still not "allowed" to do a very long list of stuff for no valid reasons etc etc etc.

So when at our house, when he's not 100% "occupied" by a parent, he is at a complete loss as to what to so with himself. Hence the constant "what are we doing next dad?". DH hasn't been a Disney type and for years has been trying to turn this question back and ask DSS1 what he would like to do, what ideas he has himself for the weekend. But it falls on deaf ears.

When I spoke to people about this, say 5 years ago, people said "He'll grow out of it", "He'll develop his own interests". But he hasn't. I personally can't see him changing in any sort of medium term future. I am completely envisioning a 20 odd year old coming round and asking "What are we doing next dad".

BTW he doesn't "have" to come over. DH has had various conversations about him about this, and he definitely wants to come round. So that's not the problem.

So - what do you think DH should do about the constant "What are we doing next Dad?" questions? Any ideas?

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:50:23

He isn't interested in any of those things Bonsoir.

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 17:50:58

BS!!! Kids were really bored in the past.

It really is outrageous to expect a teenager to self-entertain all weekend.

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:51:30

He isn't interested in anything at all tbh

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:51:56

Lol at outrageous

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:52:57

I didn't say he was expected to entertain ALL. But 30 minutes or do in 3 days would be a start

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 17:54:51

Think about it. It's just lazy and neglectful parenting not to organise something for your DCs at the weekend. It doesn't have to be an entertainment (though a family outing to a restaurant/cinema on Saturday night or Sunday late afternoon is always nice) but it does need to provide stimulation. Humans are designed to self-stimulate eternally, especially not when they are young.

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:54:54

I didnt say kids didn't get bored in the past. But ime my friends and I wouldnt have been asking mummy and daddy what they were doing to entertain us at 17yo. I had a part time job and a boyfriend for a start. And yes I still studied

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 17:55:09

are not designed to self-stimulate

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 17:57:38

The other 2 manage to self entertain. And im talking about during family downtime, not all weekend! It's only DSS1 that struggles. Many of my work colleagues have boys this age and they're experiences are very very different. Much more a mix of some family time but a lot of socialising/outside interests as well

Pipsytwos Wed 09-Jan-13 17:58:20

Reading this post has made me finally accept that my partner is right about my stepson. He's only 5, but we keep him at all times occupied with high impact activity. We pay for horse riding, swimming, I do crafts, play games, football. Way more than you'd get in a family youd live with. All of a sudden, if he's got 5 mins not doing anything because partner is using the loo or doing dinner and I'm nursing my baby he'll say 'I'm telling Mummy that I'm bored at Daddy's' Once we had to do our shopping while he was with us because it hadn't been long since having a csection and I couldn't drive to do it on my own (we have stepson early sat till sun evening every week) and he went mad. Started hitting and screaming. I think we're responsible for allowing him to think he's owed a good time and that our lives should stop as to facilitate that. My partner has said enough is enough, that dss has too much power and he needs to see that he is part of a family, a normal one that does normal things. Now I see where this can lead I think we do need to sort it and maybe my argument of 'oh we only have him at weekends we should just make it about him' will just cause us more problems.

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:04:12

Yes Pipsy I'm with you all the way on that. You do t want to have this when he's 17yo, you really dont

LillianGish Wed 09-Jan-13 18:12:47

Humans aren't designed to self-stimulate - honestly Bonsoir I usually agree with you, but what does that even mean?! I agree kids should have hobbies, but they should also be able to amuse themselves. Both are important.In the case of the 18-year-old - he's not a child, it's an adult. I can't believe he even has to be tied in to access visits at that age - he could leave home if he wanted to, be fighting in Afghanistan. Surely if he wants to go to a cricket masterclass with his dad on a Sunday he doesn't need his mother's agreement for that to happen.

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 18:14:47

I get really fed up with threads complaining about teenage boys - it's all about mothers/stepmothers' personal agendas (not wanting to have to bother or pay) and nothing to do with the reality of teenage boys and where their brains are.

Tough shit if you have a teenaged boy around - deal with the reality grin.

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:15:50

Why read them if you're so sick of them confused

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 18:16:24

Because I feel sorry for the teenage boys at the receiving end of so much bitching!

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:19:39

The reality is a terminally bored socially isolated young adult who I suspect will be thus his entire life. I'm mature enough to realise that my frustration is way from the biggest problem here. And also that giving him the cop out of keeping him entertained 24/7 is merely masking the reality he'll experience for the rest of his life, namely that no one can do this for him ad infinitum. Well unless he always lives with his mum, which is a strong possibility

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 18:25:13

Don't be such a meanie and do something for him.

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:32:26

When did I say we don't do anything for him. Honestly I don't really see the point in discussing this with you when you're just making stuff up. And to be honest I don't agree with your parenting style, but thanks for the input.

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 18:33:10

Maybe you don't agree, but the result is fab grin

LillianGish Wed 09-Jan-13 18:34:38

Have you thought of turning the question round and asking him what he wants to do?

Selks Wed 09-Jan-13 18:34:39

Bonsoir, he is 17, almost an adult, and shouldn't need activities etc organising for him. Are you familiar with young people of that age group at all? It's hardly "lazy and neglectful parenting" not to provide activities for that age group every weekend. I find it hard to believe that you are being serious!
Part of growing up is learning to self-guide with activity and interests, becoming ones' own person etc etc. It's a necessary part of child development, and imo the lads mother is doing him no favours at all in stifling this.

Numberlock Wed 09-Jan-13 18:35:05

Well surely his dad provides some entertainment during the weekend so his son must enjoy some activities - what are they? I have 3 teenage boys and have them 50% of the time. They don't expect a pre-planned agenda but we do lots together - cinema, theatre, meals out, pub quiz, meal with friends, DVD box set etc; the eldest two are 17 and I hope our 'social life' will continue for life.

nkf Wed 09-Jan-13 18:39:08

The op doesn't like having the boy around. She always posts these why won't he leave my husband alone posts. Not pretty.

Bonsoir Wed 09-Jan-13 18:39:10

I have DSS1 (nearly 18) and DSS2 (15 and a half) so yes, am pretty familiar with boys that age. And I meet a lot of 17/18 year olds in a professional capacity grin. I think my judgement is based on a hell of a lot of experience.

groundhogday17 Wed 09-Jan-13 18:40:18

Lillian yes this has been DH's tack, asks him back what he wants to do. The answer is always "I don't know"

Number yes DH does loads with them. He will happilly partake, but not in anything when a parent isn't doing it with him. Our weekends with our joint children are a healthy mix between enjoying activities together as a family, then some downtime in between where we doing chores whatever and children do what they fancy. DSS2 enjoys this mix as well, and on the occasions DSS1 hasnt been here, the weekends have been very enjoyable.

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