Author Topic: Battles brewing on the home front  (Read 4821 times)

justme

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Battles brewing on the home front
« on: October 11, 2007, 01:02:47 PM »
So here's my problem . . . the SO and the boy are starting to butt heads over everything.  It's like they don't even like each other any more.  And I feel like I'm fighting to keep from being sucked into the middle of war.

They both come to me and complain about the other, I blether on about respect and love, to no avail.  It's like I'm supposed to fix this situation, but I have no clue where to stick the bandaid.

Any suggestions (that I won't get arrested for)?

Caissa

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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 01:30:38 PM »
Having been there as a teenager, it sounds like the behaviour male teenagers when they are cutting there teeth on an authority figure.  In general, teenagers spend a great deal of their time defining themselves against their parents.  Usually, as a parent, you have to hope the child will come out well on the other side. As a teenage male, I didn't want the problem solved because the conflict was a form of power. My 10 year old and I often get into battles of wills. My wife has to remind me that I'm the adult in the situation. I heart to heart with your SO might be the best way forward.

P.S. I think I saw you on the ATV weekend news 2 or 3 weeks back.

justme

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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 01:51:12 PM »
Yup, I've gone the "heart to heart" route more than once.

I'm just trying to stay out of the fray these days, but I hate what I am seeing, and wish I could smooth the waters somehow :(

Herr Magoo

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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 03:38:11 PM »
Make them do a cross-country road trip.  It works in the movies.

Failing that, can you see whether the contentions are of the line in the sand variety (eg: teen wants tattoo, SO says absolutely not, never) or whether they might both be able to compromise (eg: a nipple ring, that can be removed).

Also, are there any issues that can simply not be fixed, directly (eg: teen resents SO for not being biological dad)?  If so, a family meeting to discuss coping strategies might have merit (and by "coping strategies" I mean don't sit down and say "How can we be one big happy family?"... say "It seems we'll never be one big happy family, because we have some issues that can't be fixed, so how are we going to work around them?")
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arborman

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Battles brewing on the home front
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 04:19:39 PM »
Ugh, memories of my own teen years give me ugly premonitions of arborboy's future teen years.

I presume it is some variant of the kid pushing buttons & boundaries, and the SO getting frustrated at the behaviour.  Repeat and build up, again and again.  There may be other issues (like Magoo said, is SO a stepdad?).

The thing is, teen years for a young male (I can't speak for young females, never having been one) are about 1000 hairs away from the young males in a tribe of baboons. (I'm exaggerating for effect) They need to test themselves against the authority figures, and especially the dominant male.  So nothing the SO does will fully deal with that dynamic.

If the kid is really acting out - violence, major drug use, crime etc, then you need to get active and get involved, and never mind SO's feelings.  Get a family counsellor, get some help if you need it, but get something going - the consequences of that stuff in the teen years can be disastrous for the kid.

If the kid is just being sullen and rebellious, and the SO doesn't like it, the situation is very different.  You can try to work things through, and I encourage you to try, but know that some of that stuff isn't going to be fixed by anything but time and patience (and unreserved support for the kid when kid is depressed or unhappy).
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anne cameron

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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 09:10:13 PM »
What Arborman said.  And I don't think it's "psychological", I think it is deepdown hardwired genetics.  They have to leave home, right?  They have to be able to head out on their own, and if everything in the nest was absolutely wonderful they might look out and see a cruel cold world and never leave.  You dont want him there when he's 40!  So they get narky over nothing, they get gnarly and unreasonable and convinced they are being most foully mistreated and...

just before you decide that's it, I'll slit his throat when he's asleep tonight they head off to College or get a job and their own apartment and...for ayear or two you'll hardly see them and then bang, everybody is friends again.

But jeebus, from about fifteen to about eighteen or nineteen it is hell.  You can't win. SO can't win.  Kid can't win.  Do you have a brother or are there grandparents nearby where the kid can go for a couple of nights and everybody de-stress?

If this is a "blended" family it's sure to be worse!

I actually "felt sorry" for my ex's girlfriends because my kids were just foul to them. (yeah, even my darling wonderfuls!).  When my golden boy was living with me his butt ugly nastiness was focussed mostly on his biological dad and finally I blew, had me a demonstration of Scots fury and said I didn't care how much they hated each other, or why, in MY house they would be polite to each other or I was going to get mad and "take measures".

That was always a de-stressor with my kids.  I'd threaten to take measures and they'd start Oh god, no, not the measures, mom, please, no measures and we'd finesse it with jokes...but with golden boy and dad there was no joke possible...the situation was worsened by the fact each of them was "right" in the why of it all and dead wrong in the "how"...

Next time they get going at each other why don't you get up, get the car keys, go out, and drive off for two hours.  Not a word from you just.... gone.

They're too big to be sent to their room for a time out so you take your own time out.

And the kid is NOT entirely at fault here.  Especially if it's a "blended" situation.  Step-parents really need to take a course which will teach them to mind their own fekkin business!!

justme

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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 05:21:57 AM »
Thanks  :kiss

I guess I know I have to let them work it out between them, it's not like there's any bloodletting or anything (yet).  I don't have any experience with this dynamic, (no brother) so I feel like I'm floundering, not knowing what's coming next.

They're both good guys, just not with each other these days.

I've opted out of a weekend away, so they will be travelling together this weekend.  We'll see how that works out  :dueling:

skdadl

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Battles brewing on the home front
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2007, 06:09:00 AM »
It's funny -- I think of my teen years in a different way, sort of from thirteen to twenty, I guess. I was in my own world much of the time, even when I was at home with the fambly -- I just kind of floated away from what was happening to them, became totally immersed in my own interests and dreams and so on. I'm sure there was friction, but mostly I just wasn't mentally present for them -- it was a bit of a jolt to be reminded of them when, for instance, we all had to pack up and go on summer holidays.

Caissa

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« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 09:26:53 AM »
How did the males do on their weekend away?

Caissa

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« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2007, 09:30:48 AM »
How did the males do on their weekend away?

justme

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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2007, 10:01:21 AM »
Quote from: Caissa
How did the males do on their weekend away?


They got back late last night, both are still in one piece  :wink:

Haven't heard details of the trip yet, as I leave home early in the morning - when I spoke to the boy on the phone this morning he didn't do any bitching, so that's a good sign  :mrgreen:

I'm sure I'll get the rundown on the weekend this evening . . .

Caissa

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« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2007, 09:21:53 AM »
Have they briefed you yet or are they avoiding the germs?

justme

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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2007, 09:27:15 AM »
I think there may have been a small meeting of the minds over the weekend, dare I hope . . . I have no juicy details, but they seem pretty calm with each other.  Nobody came telling tales to me, so that's a good sign  :)

I was talking with the MIL, and apparently the boy was on his best behaviour, did lots to help set up for the party (Auntie turning 85) at the hall etc.

I'm going to enjoy the ceasefire for as long as it lasts  :wink:

edited to add: I woke up with this nasty germ, so nobody at home knows yet that I am infected . . . . no kisses for me for a while :mrgreen:

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Battles brewing on the home front
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2007, 11:53:24 AM »
That is indeed good to hear, justme. Too bad about your cold. Hopefully, the guys can keep the fighting to a minimum while you're sick. Last thing you need is tension caused by them. Perhaps a leedle bit of whisky might help.

justme

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Battles brewing on the home front
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2007, 11:56:02 AM »
Me and the Nyquil bottle have a serious date tonight . . .  :groucho-marx:

 

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