Improving relationship with my teenage son?

Discussion in 'Secondary School and Higher Education' started by MrsTing, May 16, 2009.

  1. MrsTing

    MrsTing New Member

    Woww I'm the first one in this forum for sec sch kids. Let me start by asking all mummies: How do you maintain a good relationship with your teenagers? Ever since entering the teenage years my son has little interest in communicating with me. Is it normal? I have tried having heart to heart talks with him but it just doesn't seem to work.
  2. EnFlor

    EnFlor Well-Known Member

    Hi Mrs Ting, I don't have any teenagers yet but i've worked with many of them before. So i can only share with u some of the reasons causing teenagers to drift away from parents. Instead of solving the problem straightaway, it will be good to identify what cause the problems.

    Common problems.(not statistically proven but these were based from my interaction with teenagers) Usually, they mention something along these lines. But i've kindda edit and rephrase them.

    1) My parents and I don't share the same interests.
    2) Before i can explain A-Z, my parents 'shoot' my words/ideas down.
    3) They don't have time for me so why bother to even talk to them.
    4) I worry about the expectations they may have set for me and i don't want to upset them or make them think i am a failure. So to avoid myself in the dilemma, i simply 'avoid' them.
    5) .....

    Once you have identified what causes him to have minimal communication with you, you may want to start by analysing your role first (compare what you have done last time and what improvement you can make now), finding out his likes and dislikes and after that organise some activities that you know both of you can enjoy together. Normally, through shared fun activities, a person may start to ask questions or open up his/her thoughts unconsciously. That is a good start to generate a two-way communication.

    Hope it helps.
  3. CanCanMum

    CanCanMum Moderator

    is tat your only child?

    tats also my concern actually worh~~~

    would like to hear some advices from parents here~~~
  4. Angelmum

    Angelmum Moderator

    My pre-teen doing this ... last yr, he actually treated me like enemy ...getting some improvement.

    DS think mum is femaile, can't hug or kiss like what he did to Dad daily.
    Also Dad is lenient, doesnt press him on sch work, a person he can ask for free game time while mum 'law by law'..... Said Dad shouldn't sit back shake legs n let mum - son strained relationship.

    Maybe wanna consider getting yr HB to bridge like what I'm doing.
    Believe it is good to talk it out, rather then guessing. I'm still learning, trying to let the kite fly higher :shyxxx:

    I try to use opportunity to stress my ways/discipline are out of love b4 he turns into a bad boy (eg cheating).
  5. stonston

    stonston Well-Known Member

    Teenagers need someone to look up to and talk to. Sometimes they feel that their parents are unapproachable because their parents will 'judge' them.

    Think about yourself when you were a teenager, how did you feel? What did you wish your parents did better?

    For me my parents were lenient but there's a limit. They are supportive of us even if we did something wrong. Yes, they will nag and discipline us, but they will still show their support. And I had no problems telling my parents everything and anything. Maybe cause I'm female?

    But my brother was the strong and silent type. He does not tell my parents anything at all. Where he goes, who he goes out with, what is he doing, etc etc. Even he kena public caning in school, he din tell my parents. But he told me, his younger sister. when it gets very serious, then i'll tell my parents secretly, but their reaction will be: "wah! he so notty ar? tell him dun make teacher angry already la!". they did not hear it from him, so they pretend they dunno but ask me (who noe abt it) to go advise him instead.

    how u handle ur teenager greatly depends on many factors.
    jus bear in mind tt they are growing, they want freedom, but they r not mature enuf to have obsolute freedom. set reasonable limits WITH them and they'll learn to respect u if u r consistent.

    and rmb, be supportive of them even if they did something wrong. be supportive of them even if they did not meet ur expectations. be supportive of them and don't judge them.
    and they dun like to hear repeats. jus say wot u wanna say once and make tt impact. repeated nagging = ignore :)
  6. PlayfulFairy

    PlayfulFairy Member

    Agree with Stonston her points 2 hands and 2 legs up!

    Personally, I have always been the strong and silent type at home cos all my family members are the 'judgemental' type.

    From my own childhood experience....Best is to be your teenager's friend, gossip with him about his pop idols, his friends, his teachers, his dreams though you still set rules and regulations.. Get into his facebook if possible, laugh, cry together with him...
  7. wenz

    wenz Member

    my DS is still young but will become a teenage very soon...
    may i know what's the age gap between u and ur teen?

    for myself, when i was a teen i was also not in very good terms with my parents, reason as below, maybe u can use as ref??

    1) Both of them work long hours and on weekends as well
    2) When they are back is either they nag or scold and keep asking me to do housework due to their busy schedule and i'm the eldest at home
    3) My siblings is irritating so i dun like to stay at home looking after them
    4) When i goes home late (after 6pm, their benchmark) they starts to scold again
    5) They will call me every single hours to ask where am i, who i am with
    6) I got no one to talk to when i'm at home
    7) Frens understand me more as they are fun not like my parents...

    So i hate to stay at home and dun like to see or talk to my parents back then...

    What i felt is that we need to make the gap between our kids and us to be smaller.. like wat others mentioned, find out their interest and do things together.. talk to them like a fren instead of like a parent so they can easily approach u when they have prob...
    Know their frens and be fren with their fren...
    Give them more space but when too much, must pull back alittle...
    Check out what's IN for the teens now and go shopping together so u got topic to talk about..
    Be stylist... dun be like a 'lao gu ban' so they dun find u boring...
    After scolding them, tell them the reason so they wun feel tat u r just venting ur anger on them...
  8. CanCanMum

    CanCanMum Moderator

    wah....means if i have my one and only son do i need to work double to stay a good relationship wif him next time? Coz he got no siblings worh~~~

    being parents really headache hor?

    i dink girls tend to confide in parents more, esp to mums.....
  9. stonston

    stonston Well-Known Member

    1. as teenagers, they'll nvr be able to understand the need for their parents to work so hard. in most parent's minds, being able to afford school and some luxuries for their kids is most impt!

    2. when parents are busy at work, they hv their own stresses. when they go home, naturally they will want a nice clean environment to go home to. imagine being so stressed at work then u go home tinking u can rest but end up the whole house so messy! for my parents they noe they cant expect us to do the housework cos we got so much activities, and financially they can afford, so they got a maid. it really helped cos when they come home, dinner is ready, they jus sit down n eat w us. then they will spend time chatting with us rather than nagging at us to do housework. but it depends from family to family. if the family realli need the kids to help with housework, chore lists, duty roster, and basic explanation of expectations will help the kids to understand the need for their help better.

    3. which sibling isn't irritating? hahaha! my bro n sis were irritating too! but i still lived with them :) it's a matter of having your 'own space' at home. i share a room with my sis, but day time she goes to my parents' room to do her studying/watching tv. me n my bro will keep to our own rooms when we r busy. we onli disturb each other when we are in the living room (means not busy). it's impt to give each child their own corner in the house where they can go to do their work when they need to n wont be disturbed.

    4. when u go home late, did u inform ur parents u will be late? my parents always told us tt it's ok if we are late sometimes cos movie is longer than expected or bus take very long, but once we noe we might be late, we should call home n let them noe n keep them updated on wot time we will reach home. all parents will worry. imagine ur parents trust tt u will be home at 6pm, so they dun worry about it. but u nvr appear at 6pm, they sure worried. where is their precious gal? is she ok? did any harm come to her? u must understand ur parents' thinking also. if ur own child gets missing, will u be worried? as teenagers they wont understand tt, but parents must verbalise it "u noe u come back late, i tot some bad guy caught u?" or "next time pls call back if u r gonna be late, else we will worry abt u and wanna go out to find u already". yes, limits and curfews are meant to be followed, but allow some flexibility at times.

    5. this i will say is the teenager's fault. i always tell my parents who i'm with and where i'm going. last time i dun hv HP yet, i will give my parent's my fren's HP no. if i'm going my fren's house, i will give them my fren's house no. once they noe where i am n who i'm with, they nvr ever call me. the no i gave them was in case of emergency. they noe not to call me unless got emergency else will embarrass me (well, i emphasised on this when i handed them the no).

    6. there will always be ppl to tok to. it's a matter of whether u wanna give them a chance to listen or not. my mum used to be very busy n had no time to listen to me. so i wrote little notes to her. "mummy, today i got bullied in school by my classmates who called me names. i'm so angry!", "mummy, today my classmate fell down the stairs then injured her head, sent to hospital cos ambulance came". i wrote short snippets of my day so she is kept updated. once she's free, she'll ask me for details n updates. and it makes me feel better that i wrote it out instead of jus keep it inside me. there was once i wrote this to my mum n my dad freaked out "mummy, i tink there's a boy in church tt likes me. but he's very irritating!". hahaha my dad freaked out cos scared i got boyfriend but end up he encourage me to be with tt boy cos he noes tt boy is a good boy. but it din work out :p

    7. frens will always be more fun. tt's a fact. but give ur parents a chance to do something with u. i've got students who hate their parents alot (every time they talk, it's screaming n shouting at each other). but when i asked them to bring their mums out for Mothers' day, jus go park take a walk or go fishing, they came back with reflections tt if they gave their parents a chance, their parents can also be fun!
    one of my student shared with the class tt she tot her father was a boring old man who was onli interested in making money. when she fail test, he nag. when she do well in tests, he got no comments, nvr even encourage her.
    then she brought him out with her fren and her fren's dad to go cycling. she said it was so fun cos the 4 of them had a cycling challenge to see who can cycle faster and she saw e fun side of her dad when he tried all sorts of tricks to overtake them.
    sometimes adults r jus to busy being adults n forget to hv some fun. and to our kids, it'll make us seem so boring! but adults can be fun too, jus rmb to set aside some time to let ur hair down!

    bottom line, parents should try hard to win their kids over. but if the kids dun give the parents a chance, they'll nvr be able to show their kids the other side of them.
    as parents it's good to start family bonding as a habit since young. once it's ingrained in ur kids, it'll stay with them for life :)
    CanCanMum likes this.
  10. kuan

    kuan New Member

    wow.....i m having similar problem dd, 10 yrs old , very tempremental. if she is in gd mood, she will tell u what happen in school, blahblahblah. if she is not in gd mood, u ask her abt school or friend, she will tell u :" aiyah, tell u , u oso dun know!"

    have tried so many times to have heart to heart talk with her, but end up i'll b the one talking. she jus listen , keep mum , sometimes tearing!!!

    i've encourage her to speak up abt her feelings, not to keep everthing 2 herself, but doesn't work. i know if she go on like this, in the long run, she is going to suffer , she will feel miserable , or even hurt herself as a result of frustration.

    me and dh are really at our wit's end! :Dancing_sad:
  11. wenz

    wenz Member

    But usually for teenage to understand their parents its only when they become parent themselves...
    i only came to understand why and the reasons behind all of the above when i become a parent myself and i had been telling myself i will not let this happens to my kids and will handle the problems from a teenage/kids point of view...
    i dun have communication prob with my DS now, maybe he still young or my method works, i dunno... but me and him is always talking like 2 kids, tats what my mum and frens says... but i like it this way...
    but there are also times when i need to show colours to him and i'll throw out the I'm YOUR MOTHER figure and make him listen.... so far he is still respectful to me...
  12. Ruth Wong

    Ruth Wong New Member

    Agree totally with the need for parents not to be judgemental in their relationship with their children. They need time to grow and not be judged for every thing deemed "wrong" based on the values of parents.
    Thus the imparting of values must start young then when the children reach teenage years, I would pray that the foundation will help them to make better choices. It has worked for me for far...can't say it had been easy.
    I have 3 kids... in their teens and late teens. All still talking to me, and hugging me each morning before they leave for school/uni. But I think the trick is knowing when to let go (no matter how relucant we feel). Let go and give the child space to define himself.
    So values inculcation in their younger years is important, that's the only time they simply absorb and not protest. ; ))
  13. nyrd

    nyrd New Member

    Hi Mummy,
    I have a 12yrs old son and 15yrs old daughter. feeling very stress with my son. Checking on him too often, he's now keep silent not talking much with me. Sms him after tution he refused to reply end up in shopping centre taking lunch..Meeting friend 3 hours early before tution start..
    I got no problem with my girl at all, altough still checking with her by sms she reply on time.( cos i am working mother)
    Wonder when i can stop worried about him..
  14. potato

    potato Member

    Hi nyrd, i think you should trust your son.. Have a heart to heart talk with him, but be prepared that he'll be non responsive? It's growing up stage.. I guess it's better to be a friend to your kids, in that way, they'll be closer to you! That's what my mum is to me and my sis! :)
  15. -jOanna

    -jOanna Member

    Hi just to share.. Im a single child and brought up by only my mother..

    When I was young, I was taken care by my grandmother and mom goes to work.. But after work would be around 10.30pm and I would have fallen aslp by then.. She goes clubbing almost everynite and comes back only in the morning when Im going to sch.. So basically I cant see her at all, not to say talk to her heart to heart or what.. But I do call her to tell her I've reached home after sch or she does call home to tell me to eat and stuff.. This continues til I'm sec 1..

    (I supposed to turn bad since nobody cares abt me right? Instead I turned Anti-social)

    After I entered sec sch, Mum told me "If anybody finds trouble with you, come tell me, tell them your mum last time also ah lian." -.- But luckily I went into a good neighbourhood school with very strict disciplines.. But I do hang out with friends at Jurong Point at times to eat after school and stuff.. Mum bought me a HP at sec 2, so if I have CCA or Remedial lessons last min, can call her and tell her.. Im not sure about others but this is what I would do..

    (Since Im Anti-social, I have little friends)

    Even if Im at home after sch, no extra classes, she will call HOME to check Im home or ran out but Im always at home.. I just love to be home duno why lol.. Maybe Im trained somehow mentally by the "after sch must go home"...

    Even though my relationship with mom is not very good at teenage times, I still be able to be obedient, unless she comes screwing me for a truth she doesnt know or what her colleagues children are (how clever or spoiled), I would talk back.. Seriously, I go home everyday after sch, how bad can I be?

    But the thing is that I dun have a friend to confide in.. That's why all the suicidal thoughts came in when I was 14-16..

    When only I've reached 19 or 20, then we can talk heart to heart after she changed job when I was 14.. after 14 yrs she didn't talk to me much and 6yrs of trying to communicate with me, we can then talked abit more, my life and stuff..

    Sorry for the redundant post.. but just to share..
  16. virgo2829

    virgo2829 New Member

    my son is 13 years old this year...his behaviour and attitude is still acceptable and am able to control his movement...

    me and my son are just like close friends before but i noticed that when he started sec 1, he talks a lot to his daddy in the car.....even though my hubby is much stricter with him.

    the only problem i have with him is that i am unable to get him to do well academically...just signed his CA2 and the lowest he has gotten for his history is 22 and highest is 75. The rest of the subjects are either just passed and Chinese 34.

    Somehow I regretted sending him to Normal Academic even though he is eligible to go to in a dilemma....
  17. Ting

    Ting Well-Known Member

    hmm, not sure if im still considered a "teen" but ive had good relationships with my parents since young.
    i tell them everything and whatever happen in sch.
    if someone bully me, if i flunk a test in sch.they dont give me and my sisters pressure.
    they do ask us what we did in sch and stuffs. but no pressure on studies. they will tell us to study and explain this and that, but end up, give us the option to choose.
    so im always comfy in telling my parents about my friends.
    my parents arent the super fun ppl who will "play" and do silly stunts, but they are very funny ppl!
    they dun qn much on who im out with everytime, i make it a pt to let them know.
    i'll just tell my mum, im gg out with so&so, gg where(town, ECP, chalet.....) arnd what time will be back.
    tts when i was in lower sec. when im in upper sec, my parents stopped asking.
    its the trust they give, but sometimes, subconsciously i will just tell them where im gg. haha.
  18. CanCanMum

    CanCanMum Moderator

    not a teen liaOOo la, Ting babe :p

    kiddin laa.....

    me when i was a teenager was quite close to my mum and not close at all to my dad....coz my mum is SAHM, prob tats why.

    so FTWM muz work extra hard to communicate with our child.....not easy.
  19. Ting

    Ting Well-Known Member

    hais cancan mum, i go club... bouncer ask me, how old r u? 16 ??? i was like -.-"
    my gf commented tt when i bring pin out, is like a big kid bringing a small kid out.
    i also dun wanna be a teen nor.....
  20. annloh65

    annloh65 New Member

    It is very tough when your child is in that "teenage phase". And I feel it is even tougher for a mum and a son to bond that much. But hang in there and be the best mother you can even if there isn't that much communication. When he grows up a bit more he will appreciate all you have done for him !

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