Having a difficult time with 14yo DS - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 10-21-2007, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Where to begin. I'm not posting this in the teens forum because this is more about me and my expectations/feelings as a parent than it is about him. He doesn't have many friends yet I feel that he should. If he would rather stay inside than go outside to play football, I feel like I want to push him out the door. He has a hard time in school so I have offered him the option of homeschool or a private school, yet DS seems determined to stay in his school and flounder. He doesn't care too much about what he looks like, so I always feel like I need to help him choose his clothes, brush his hair, etc. His choices of friends (the few he does have, which are neighborhood kids who are all younger than him) are not good choices and sometimes he agrees with me, but is reluctant to try to make new ones. He doesn't seem interested in girls or going to school dances, yet I feel that I am pressuring him when I ask him why.

He is a good kid, very loving, smart, and empathetic. He is not doing drugs, cutting school or engaging in any other "risky" behaviors.

I realize part of my problem lies in comparing my two sons. My oldest is 18 and a freshman in college. He was pretty much a dream to parent. He did well in school, was involved in sports, music, and had a good group of friends to socialize with. He is in college on a scholarship.

Do you think I am needlessly worried about my 14 yo? Reminding myself that I shouldn't compare doesn't do me any good. I know that, but I want the same kind of experiences for my youngest.
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#2 of 3 Old 10-21-2007, 09:28 PM
 
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[QUOTE=AbundantLife;9497670]Where to begin. I'm not posting this in the teens forum because this is more about me and my expectations/feelings as a parent than it is about him. He doesn't have many friends yet I feel that he should. If he would rather stay inside than go outside to play football, I feel like I want to push him out the door. He has a hard time in school so I have offered him the option of homeschool or a private school, yet DS seems determined to stay in his school and flounder. He doesn't care too much about what he looks like, so I always feel like I need to help him choose his clothes, brush his hair, etc. His choices of friends (the few he does have, which are neighborhood kids who are all younger than him) are not good choices and sometimes he agrees with me, but is reluctant to try to make new ones. He doesn't seem interested in girls or going to school dances, yet I feel that I am pressuring him when I ask him why.

He is a good kid, very loving, smart, and empathetic. He is not doing drugs, cutting school or engaging in any other "risky" behaviors.

I realize part of my problem lies in comparing my two sons. My oldest is 18 and a freshman in college. He was pretty much a dream to parent. He did well in school, was involved in sports, music, and had a good group of friends to socialize with. He is in college on a scholarship.

Do you think I am needlessly worried about my 14 yo? Reminding myself that I shouldn't compare doesn't do me any good. I know that, but I want the same kind of experiences for my youngest.[/QUOTE]


Gently,

Maybe he doesn't.

He's not your older son, and there's nothing to say that he won't be just as happy, or happier being what HE wants to be.
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#3 of 3 Old 10-22-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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How wise you are to realize that this is about your own expectations! Deep down, you know that Son#2 is okay and doesn’t have to be like Son #1.

The fact is that Son #1 fits the cultural standard for “Success”. That is an inherently easy road to travel…IF you are suited to it. Son #2 would never be happy on that road. In my “Humble O”, your best course is to help your “loving, smart and empathetic” son to discover his road. Encourage him in his hobbies and interests, even if they don’t interest you and you think they’re geeky. We all do our best at that which we love. Our son loved superhero comics. Nothing could have been further from my idea of a good hobby, but it led directly to his nearly completed degree in Graphic Arts. So, you never know…

It sounds like his maturation may be a little behind his peers. That’s okay, too! Lots of sensitive people are reluctant to join the adult world, but they all get there. In that vein, and I know (oh HOW I know!) how difficult this will be, but please, do him and yourself a favor and stop “mothering” him with the clothes and the hair. For one thing, if he’s a path-of-least-resistance guy, he won’t take care of himself until he has to and, for another…98% of his peers look terrible. They just do that at that age. As long as he’s clean enough to be healthy, let it go!

I predict he’ll end up being a fabulous husband and a great father. Enjoy him!

Blessings on you!
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