I have a 16 1/2 year old and a toddler. DS1 and I have mostly negotiated the murky waters of his adolescence and my parenting a little one again, but we have really lost touch. I know this is normal, but we used to be so close. I have really struggled with feeling positive and loving towards him, much to my dismay and heartbreak. His father and I are divorced but have had joint legal/physical custody since he was in pre-school, and the older my son gets, the more of his father I see in him. I am in counseling to help me be aware of the fact that I need to accept who he is and never hold his father's characteristics against him, so please don't flame me for being honest about that. It's just part of the picture. I am also an SA survivor and my abuser was a teenage boy, so I try to be very aware of any transference issues.
I tried a couple activities with him to help us "bond" again, but it felt forced and artificial and I honestly didn't look forward to seeing a movie with him, taking him for coffee (he'd just head to the bookstore part of the place to read), etc. I finally just decided to go out to eat with him once a week (or close to it) while DH watches our toddler. I make an effort to keep the discussions AWAY from anything unpleasant or controversial; he pretty much just talks the whole time and I listen and pay the bill. We are pretty broke, so this is an effort for me; however, so far, I feel like it's one of the only things I've done "right" with him for awhile.
Anybody else have experience with feeling like this? Anyone have suggestions on how to spend time with your teen?