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How do you deal with the changes in your realtionship when you teenager starts closing off to you?

My son is 14 and he's a wonderful boy. I'm a single mother, so we've always been extremely close, relying on one another for support, spending time together, etc. At 13, he came out and asked if our time together could be at home instead of out 'in public'. That was hard enough, but then, he still wanted to be around me in the afternoons, evenings and weekends. Now, he comes home, grabs some food and goes straight to his room, locks his door and turns up the music.

I know much of this is natural. When he has a problem, he wants to talk to his friends....I remember and understand. But I never realized how hurtful all this would feel, how lonely I would feel when it happened. I'm having a very difficult time in dealing with the emotions it brings on. I don't want to end up taking it out on him unfairly. I know if I weren't single...maybe had someone else to spend some time with, that might help, but I also don't want my relationship with my son to go to such extremes so quickly.

Can anyone offer any advice or suggestions?

Answer Question

Asked by BrandinaV at 3:55 PM on Jan. 18, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

Level 5 (94 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • Do dinners together at home or his favor restaurant.  Watching a TV program together.  Do a outings say to the zoo where the unlikelihood of his friends seeing you together would be unlikely.  At times just taking a walk around the neighborhood might be the thing to do. 

    The key thing is getting him to open up for some conversation's on what's going on in his life. GL


    Answer by musicmom08 at 4:10 PM on Jan. 18, 2011

  • I know it is hard, but give him his space. My daughter is 13 and sometimes she says barely a few words to us and other days she talks our ears off. She is very closed mouth about what is going on with school and friends also. Also, I hate to break it to you, but they are embarrased to be seen with their parents. If you want to go out with him to eat or a movie maybe pick a restaurant or movie in another town just make the excuse that you want to try a new restaurant in so and so town. If he is pretty sure he won't see any kids from his school there he may just go.

    Answer by jcm62497 at 1:45 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • I have two boys 12 and 16 and haven't run into this issue yet. Have you considered talking to him about what you're feeling? Not guilting him but sharing how much you love him, how you value your relationship and want to continue in the long term. Letting him know that you have very real fears about our what your relationship will look like. I've had very heart felt conversations with my boys, I was open about my fears that we wouldn't have a relationship when they left home, and how I didn't want that for us, I wanted to ensure we maintained our relationship. It's important they know how we feel, to see we are human too. When they are home we are together, they have alot of freedom and space but when it starts to take over their time I just ask where I will fit in, and they adjust. They invite friends over, we watch movies, go out and talk alot. Kids need their space and they need us, sharing your thoughts might help.

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 3:46 PM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Hugs to you! My son is 13 and i too am a single mother, he has started pulling away the same. I have made it a point that we continue to sit down and have meals together...sometimes breakfast or lunch, but always dinner! That is what I have always done and i make him stick to it now! It is hard, i don't really know what else to tell you, ever try going in his room sometimes and listening to music with him (if you can stand it) i do that sometimes and if his mood is right we get to laughing and joking, if not and he wants privacy I allow him to respectfully tell me that! Good luck, you are not alone in the "my boy is growing into a man club"!

    Answer by 2boyz2pray4 at 11:23 AM on Jan. 20, 2011

  • Luckily, he is still quite open with me about many things and we do have deep discussions from time to time. I don't know if it's just the closing the door (sometimes locking it - which I hate) that makes me feel shut out or what. We live in an area where most people have very large incomes and I don't - but the schools are excellent so the struggle to afford to live here it worth it to me - but I feel this is a large reason why he never wants his friends to come over. We don't have cable or internet and often no phone. I often can't help but feel hurt and offended that he is embarrassed by what little I'm able to provide (we've never had any financial help from his father or his father's side of the family) because I work very hard and have accepted the struggle so he will have the best possible education. Maybe I'm just empty nesting it too early. Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions....

    Comment by BrandinaV (original poster) at 11:58 AM on Jan. 20, 2011

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