Co parenting teenager becoming independent
25 March 2021 at 10:58 pm #52004
SallyMum to 1Participant
Hi, I am divorced and share care of our teenager (15)
When he is with me, he ALWAYS phones his Dad every night. When with his Dad, he rarely contacts me.
He has some needs, currently in very slow process of an ASD diagnosis.
When with his Dad, he does stuff with him, when with me, he stays in his room, rarely appearing mostly just for feeding.
I try all I can to encourage family time, he just refuses and gets verbally aggessive if I push him to join me with stuff.
He has no awareness of time etc, and for the next 2 weeks he is on Easter Hols, but for the Good Friday and weekend and Easter Monday, he has decided, again, to be with his Dad. He says when he is here, we can make time! I work from home 9-5 but am off on good Friday, but he doesn’t want to spend time with me. I am upset, but he just doesn’t get it.
How do I 1) let him know how his attitude makes me feel
2) get him to understand about fairly sharing his time
His dad does not contribute financially at all, never gives pocket money, ever, I pay for his brand new mobile phone, pick up that bill, buy teenager designer track suits and trainers, he is always asking me for money for this that and the other. Never asks his dad, even when I suggest it, he refuses.
I feel really bad about all of this. I don’t know if it is my son becoming independent, or his Dads coercive control (reason for the divorce, along with physical and psychological abuse)
I welcome others opinions and some strategies to cope, manage, and move forward
Thanks26 March 2021 at 12:18 am #52005
I don’t have any advice but wanted to say you are not alone.
My daughter (14) is similar. I suggest we do things together, like, go for a walk, watch a film and she usually refuses. When she phones her dad, they talk about programs they’ve been watching and what they’ll watch during their time together. That hurts. I show an interest in what she’s watching and suggest we watch it together. She’s always got a reason why I can’t.
They speak every day on the phone, it can be twice if not more. It’s a combination of him phoning her or she phones him. When she’s with him I won’t phone her because I don’t want to upset their time together (I don’t think he’d be too happy either). She’ll only contact me if she wants something (usually to buy something off the internet). She was with him on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day last year. I asked if I could phone her and she said no.
I used to ask her why doesn’t she spend much of her time with me when she spends a lot of time with her dad. I’ve stopped asking now. On Saturday, we were going to watch a film together. Once her time limit was up on her phone, she phoned her dad (two separate calls in an hour) so the film was called off.
I spend most evenings on my own now, as like your son, she spends most of her time in her room.
I still question why it happens but haven’t found any answers. It could be her feeling safe to be herself when she’s with me (by being free to spend time doing what she wants), it could be control on his part or she feels obliged to do what he wants.
I know from conversations with her, she does not want to spend anymore time there than she does. That is a comfort at least.