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Help with son

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On 10/20/2019 at 11:06 PM, Guest Guest Brown Eyes said:

Upon reflection I was a more hands on Dad than my father was and yet I still feared and respected him. I believe that I may have been more informal and given greater freedom than I had to my son. To that degree I think I may have contributed to his stupidity.


I used to try and raise my children the way my parents raised me and my siblings, I was failing miserably, I was given a reality check by my mother when I was complaining to her (one of many times) about my children's behavior, she reminded me that the way they raised is was appropriate for that time and that method isn't going to work today, there's no right way of raising your children, you do what you think is best for them, you promise yourself you won't make the mistakes your parent's made with you (in your opinion that is).

You don't sound like a bad parent, your son doesn't sound like a bad child but sometimes our circumstances change which put us in situations that end up like yours, you've tried your level best and left the ball in his court so now it's up to him, as long as you've told him that the door is always open you have done the right thing.

If you have other children I would concentrate on them and make sure this whole thing isn't affecting them to a point where it becomes an issue.

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Guest Guest Brown Eyes

All I want from him is this:

Treat his family with respect;

Continue with going to Gurdwara doing Seva and listening to the Kirtan / Shabads and get involved;

Work hard in studies to get a decent job;

Keep going out to weekends;

Save where you can and build up some savings;

Keep your room hygiene wise and personal appearance tidy;

Pass driving test;

Have some discipline in meeting timescales, morning routine etc.


His answer is that:

Us parents are always on at him. (Despite never listening first 5 times)

Mum is always upset (just lost her mother 4 months ago)

Has a massive social circle so must be out all the time compared to sibling

Wants to be happy with the "right" girl (current girlfriend is short, fat and extremely needy according to sister)

Not sure what direction he wishes to go (couldn't be anymore vague when asked for details)

Hates where we live because has no friends in the area (despite one of the safest places in the midlands)

Don't question where I go, who with, how much I spend, when I am going to find a new job and what course I may be doing.

Don't ask about my girlfriend.



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Guest guest


not to go into your private business, but did you do something or did something happen to make him feel betrayed and so 'go off the rails'?


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Guest Empathy

Hi Brown Eyes,

Your son appears to want independence without responsibility. He also seems to expect sensitivity without having to demonstrate any himself; how on earth can a child be so uncaring towards a grieving mother?

It won’t help you to learn that all children display churlish behaviour when they, apparently, ‘mature’. Nevertheless you are being tested beyond your limits and it seems that all the good advice you might get from people here falls on deaf ears when you try to impart it to your son. 

I won’t go into specifics, but I went through a situation with my oldest son that makes me relate to your plight. The similarity was that my son, despite all the love that was poured into him, was hell bent on ruining his own future.

When I’m in an unfamiliar situation, I take advice from people who are wise - even if it contradicts what I feel is just and acceptable. I was advised to keep the channels of communication open. I was advised to be a listener. What I actually felt like doing was the complete opposite.

It took an extreme scenario to make my son snap out of the lifestyle he paved for himself (he wouldn’t allow himself to bury his grandfather while coked out of his head). You too (hopefully not, though) may find it takes a life changing moment to bring your son to his senses. So, in my case, once my son had taken himself off the precipice, that’s when the open channels of communication were most effective. There was no shame or judgement from me holding my son back from being a better person. At least that was the impression I presented ... If I’d followed my instincts, I would have made him examine and apologise for every moral, social and religious failing that he had allowed himself to pursue. I would have demanded certain behaviours of him and imposed conditions upon him. Instead, I took good advice and now know that that all the condemnation I wanted to heap on him, he actually reflected on and atoned for in private. 

Nobody wants to broadcast their shortcomings; that is particularly true when it comes to telling others of our disappointment in our children. However, those who have been in your shoes, Brown Eyes, are well placed to advise you on what works. For that reason, I would urge those that have have had a good outcome to a situation such as yours to suggest what might work for your family.

Your religion is a source of strength and comfort too. Never underestimate the unseen that protects us. Where there is faith, there is certainly hope. 



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Guest Guest Brown Eyes

He has hinted that he perceives that we treat his elder sibling with more attention (he's 21 and a year older) which couldn't be further from the truth. We have told him (and his siblings) repeatedly they are all treated the same. I have asked for evidence or examples of his complaint and he didnt give me one. 

We suspect that he is easily intimidated both by male and females. His <banned word filter activated> girlfriend texts / calls him relentlessly and some of the language used in the early exchanges were suspectly out of his vocabulary. Equally his loser friends have daddy's wealth sustaining them whilst he is out of work.

Today's exchange "I am far happier than I have ever been living with my grandparents" no care for his mother, brother and sister in all this time mean nothing to him.

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