Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My 15 year old's son/father relationship

My son and husband were always close up until he became a teenager. My son never wants to do any father/son activities with my husband. This hurts my husband. My son is very sensitive and my husband will say things that he doesn't mean. For example, when my son was younger and didn't listen my husband would say "get out of the car". So my son took it literally, rather than a threat that wasn't meant. My son holds onto these comments I believe even to this day. Also, he isn't very nice to his brothers. Is this a normal teenage behavior? I am very troubled by this and am looking for any advice you could give. I think the both of them need to sit down with a third party to get their feelings out.

Thank you for your time.
Nancy


Dear Nancy:

You are not going to like my answer. Any parent who tells a child to get out of the car rhetorically when they are young doesn't realize the child will take it literally because that is how their brain is wired at that time in their life. This was not particularly a good thing to do to a child. Now your son is older and logically does not want to spend time with his dad and your worried about dad's feelings? You needed to be worried about your son when your husband was telling him to get out of the car. This is what being a parent is all about and when the other parent is not appropriately behaving with the child it is important to stand up for the child.

It sounds to me like you son is acting more and more like his father?

Some pulling away is normal for teens. They are becoming independent adults and need to pull away. However, regardless of where he learned his behavior he needs to know there is appropriate treatment of other people and inappropriate treatment of other people, including his brothers. This behavior though needs to be a standard for the entire family.

I strongly suggest Family Therapy. Find a good qualified Family Therapist and get everyone into therapy now before it gets worse.

Sincerely,

M Kay Keller