My 15yr old son is ruling my life...

(77 Posts)
HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 16:53:16

Help. This is a nightmare. How do I start...?? To get to right here, right now would take ages!!! Brief and basic - single mum til son was 10, he's now 15. Partner (of 5 years) has secured a job elsewhere. This means moving. Yes, horrendous timing. New job wasn't expected to become available for another few years, and if he hadn't taken it now, it could have been 25-30 years before it came up again. I have put my life on hold to stay here until son sits his exams in the summer. He was so upset at the thought of moving I had to do something. We agreed that if he could just consider the idea of moving that we would stay here til the summer hols at least. Lasr weekend we were supposed to visit my parents for the weekend - family live some distance away. He texted me to say that he didn't want to go. I replied that yes he was. He then said he would not be home that night and that he'd be home Sunday. There was more. He would not be moving full stop, he'd had a meeting with youth services who were looking into getting him into a flat or hostel. Boom. 15. Now, please, he does not come from an under privileged home, he is very bright and I was once a teenager also. I contacted the school. He had been to see his guidance teacher, and yes, they had rang youth services, but she has not encouraged him to do so. We have had meetings with guidance staff at the school, but son remains mute. Last night I asked him to write down his grievances to make things easier for him. On reading his grievances, it would appear that not only does the entire world, but the whole solar system itself, revolves around my boy! I'm so proud. Basically life is better without my partner here, he hates him, I care more about him than my son, the best thing about home is leaving it. In fact, his only suggestion on how to make his life better is to allow his girlfriend to sleep over...!! I feel like he has me over a barrel.

He hates your partner, he'll be doing exams at school, and you want to take him away from his friends? I'm with your son here, I'm afraid.

That's a huge upheaval at that age, especially if he hates your partner. Did you discuss the situation with him and try and come to a compromise or just tell him you were moving?

I had a teenager living with me for a year or so in similar circumstance (dad was a lone parent who got transferred abroad). Do you have friends he could stay with locally until he's finished school at least? Otherwise, I'd seriously consider staying and meeting up with your partner at weekends. Sorry - probably not what you want to hear.

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 17:10:55

Talk about stating the obvious. Thanks anyway.

juneau Wed 22-Jan-14 17:15:11

I'm sorry you're being torn in two, but I'm afraid I'm with AP above - your DS (at least until he's finished his education), should come first. I'm assuming that he's planning to do A levels at his current school? If so, I really think, if it was me, that I'd stay put until he's 18. If he chooses not to move with you at that age then it's not so young for him to either get his own place, or he could be going on to further education.

An alternative, if you've already burnt your boats with regard to staying where you are after June, might be for him to lodge during term-time with a friend (if there is a friend with a family that's willing to have him). It seems harsh to uproot him from his school if he's settled, although many teens do change at 16 to do their A levels elsewhere. Is his dad on the scene and nearby? Is the girlfriend serious?

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 22-Jan-14 17:19:13

If the OP posted "we have to move because of money/health/housing" people would be finding ways to help, reassure etc. This is a five year relationship with (presumably) no serious conflict between son and partner.

Change is scary for everyone. It's not necessarily bad though.

VelvetGecko Wed 22-Jan-14 17:24:41

I'd imagine it must have been hard for your son having you to himself for 10 years, then having to share you and now you want to take him away from friends/school. Has he always disliked your dp or is this just since you told him you were moving?
If he were younger then I'd say tough really but he's almost an adult and his opinions should be carefully considered.
Sorry not what you wanted to hear but I could never force my child to live with a man he 'hates'.

LeBearPolar Wed 22-Jan-14 17:30:47

When I was your son's age, my parents decided to move house. By the time the move went through I was six weeks in to my A Level course. I had to change schools, leave all my friends behind and the home I'd grown up in and start again in a sixth form when everyone had known each other for ever and where I was a half-term behind.

I spent months pleading with my parents to let me finish my schooling in my home town - I even had a local family who offered to take me in for the term times - but to no avail.

I find change immensely stressful and difficult, but that was the hardest one of all. I still don't think of the place we moved to as home, and I have no friends of my own age from that time in my life.

So I can very much see your son's point of view, I'm afraid, although I know lots and lots of children move and are perfectly fine with it.

juneau Wed 22-Jan-14 17:30:49

I dunno - I was a step-child and it was shit, so I guess I always feel empathy with DC in that situation. This boy has, presumably grown up in this area and lived his whole life there. His friends are there, his gf is there (yes, I know he's only 15), and now he's been told he has no choice in moving, just because his DM has decided to follow her DP somewhere far away. He doesn't want to go. He knows that once he's 16 he can say 'no' and stay if he's really determined to do so. Maybe my advice above seems harsh and maybe the OP should go, but find some way for him to stay. She can force him to go, I suppose, but I don't think that would be a happy solution for any of them.

Goodness, what a difficult situation OP. How awful for you to be stuck in the middle like this.

How far away are you planning on moving?

Can you try to do some research on the the area you plan to move to that might be of benefit to your son. A good A level college, good university nearby, excellent recreational facilities and the promise that his current friends can visit whenever they like and that he can visit them might make the move easier for him. How are the transport links?

The Summer is a while away yet and although your DS is digging his heels in now it could be all change by then.

cory Wed 22-Jan-14 17:36:15

Are you seriously saying that you were considering moving just before he sat his GCSE's and that he actually had to argue this with you???

Because if so, then I'm sorry, it's not him ruling your life, it's you wanting to run your life without the considering the impact on him. I can see that he has lost trust in your willingness to think of his needs as equally important to the rest of the family and you will have to work hard to regain that trust.

Imo there is a small window where you can move during your later teens without seriously damaging your education and that is, as juneau says, straight after his GCSE's, with a view to doing A-levels at a new school or college. But that would always be based on the assumption that there would be a suitable school or college offering the right courses which is willing and able to take him. Have you looked into this? Have you discussed it with him? It is his future you are talking about here: not a naughty teenager refusing to pick his coat up or something.

Unexpecteditem (great name, BTW) if the op said she had to move for health or financial reasons, the gist of my post would have been the same - "your son is at an portang stage in his education; do what you can to let him stay whet he is".

hugmebrotha Wed 22-Jan-14 17:37:49

You're being really unreasonable, can you not wait until he's done his A levels? When he goes to uni he'll be living away from home anyway so it won't matter then.

I can only imagine how upset my DD would be if I suddenly announced that we were moving away. He'll feel so alone because as you've said, he doesn't like you partner, so he'd only have you.

FFS, "an important"

The OP has said she'll stay to GCSE's, why the hell should she stay for A levels too.

Loads of 16 year olds move to six-form collages or different schools they know no one. DD1 may well choose to.

A 16y can skype, a 16 can get on a train and go back and see his old friends. In two year he'll be of to uni and see hismum 3-6 times a year max

cory Wed 22-Jan-14 17:52:13

Starballbunny, there is a big difference between choosing a college because you think it would be a good fit and being told that you have to move because it would suit the adults.

And there is a massive difference between taking advice on education from a parent who has already shown she is considering your education as important and being expected to comply with the dictates of a parent whom you have recently had to talk out of the hairbrained scheme of moving just before important exams.

That was my point: the OP has undermined her ds' trust that she understands his needs and has his best interests at heart. She now needs to regain that trust. She needs to do that by demonstrating that the move can be a good choice for him educationally and that his views will be taken into account when it comes to choosing a new school or college.

So come on, OP- what have you done to find out about the educational opportunities in your new location? How will it compare to what you are asking him to give up? You will need to sell this to him.

NatashaBee Wed 22-Jan-14 17:57:54

Exactly, cory. I would never uproot a 16 year old like that if they really didn't want to go (although I would obviously try to find them a good school and convince them to come) - to me, he's made it obvious he's not going and it's a matter of finding an interim solution until he's 18 and he and all of his friends go off to university. Would any of his friends parents be happy for him to board with them?

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 17:58:13

Thank you everyone! Yes, I totally see where my DS is coming from. We had to leave our home when I was a teenager, and I had grown up in that house, as had my older siblings. We weren't moving out the area but it made me deeply unhappy at the time. My son has not grown up here, but has entered, and is now in mid-teens here. ...still a very shaky time for anyone. I have looked into every avenue. No-one I know here is willing to take on a teenager. We have told him he can have his friends to stay whenever, we've told him we'll get him a season ticket for the train so he can visit here! We even offered to buy him a scooter! When we moved to this house it was the summer before high school, and he kicked off then, about moving 7 miles. A different catchment area. Fair enough. So for the last 4 years we've paid over £500 a year so he can go to the same school as his friends. I have done nothing but bend over backwards to make life easier for my DS. Right now, it feels as though DS is using this as an excuse to get his own way and to get away with some pretty appalling behaviour. And no, there has been no conflict between DP & DS until moving was mentioned. Dad doesn't help. If my life is made more difficult, all the better.

hugmebrotha Wed 22-Jan-14 18:03:22

it's only a few more years until he finishes school and will no longer be living with you. I understand that you've done a lot for him but after he goes to university he'll be thinking about getting his own place away from you. Surely it would make more sense just to wait until then?

noddyholder Wed 22-Jan-14 18:04:40

I am also with AP your first duty is to your ds and his wellbeing and education. Your dp can wait

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 18:11:31

Yes, I have looked into the schools and colleges there. High school is 2 minutes from the house compared to 7 miles and 2 bus changes here. The school there is very good. There is a technical college 17 miles from the house with a straight bus route. They do courses for 16yr olds, he is interested in becoming a chef, which they, ahem, cater for. This is not a hairbrained idea. My DP made me aware of the possible job/move very early on, we did not have a crystal ball to let us know when the job would become available, and I'm well aware it is the worst possible timing ever, hence my partner of 5 years and I are now living apart, while DS sits exams.

Rosencrantz Wed 22-Jan-14 18:11:38

I'm with your son. Do long distance with your DP until DS has finished the year. Space from your DP will do your son some good.

HDEnuff Wed 22-Jan-14 18:43:33

I am doing long distance til the end of his 4th year.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 22-Jan-14 19:22:22

I'm biased, I moved loads as a child and teenager. It was fine. I did great at school. Needs must. Your DS sounds like he's dug his heels in without giving you a fair hearing.

Having re-read your OP and your subsequent posts I'm not sure what you're asking?

You're staying put until the Summer and then you're moving. Is that right?
If so, are you asking us how to make your son move with you or if it's ok to leave him behind as he'll be 16 then?

I really feel for you as you're being pulled in two directions.

Can he not live with his dad for a bit then? Is that an option? I agree you should stay til significant exams are over and then talk about it. But your son is being really unfair on you and thinking only of himself - as teens are likely to.

Have you made a list to share with him? Might it help him to digest your perspective.

I moved loads, and often didn't want to. Has served me very well indeed as I am able to adapt well to a lot of new situations where other people stress about it. As a result I got on better at work ...

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