September 07, 2010,
L.M. asks from Gainesville, TX on September 28, 2008
My 16 Year Old Seems Distant
I'm worried about my 16 year old.. I'm not sure if that is common, normal for teens of his age..
He tends to close the door and stays in his room, Always on cellphone.. He doesnt commicuate much with me..
I talk a lot with him, let him know that I'm there for him and such. I feel as Im losing him.
What else can I do?
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your help. I forgot to write in of what happened.
It was bit of work but he has came around, he now sleeps nightly in his room with the doors open! He hardly don't hang out in his room, he would work out in there since we bought him weightlift set for christmas!
He been taking some girls out to date, he made sure I met them, he totally approve to show off who I am, it was so nice.. He texts me and always said "hey mah, love you".. Hell come home and tell me how much fun he had w his dates, with friends..
We set our boundaries and rules, all. We spend one hour together during and after dinner, just to talk and play games.
R.A. answers from Houston on September 29, 2008
L. - I hear ya, girlfriend. I'm going through the same thing with my 16 year old son. I am a single parent. What I do that seems to help some and he and his friends even think I'm kind of cool, sometimes, that is. I try to have an "open door" policy for his friends. They are never afraid to come over or just call to talk. I mostly listen but it shows my son that I care about him. His friends appreciate someone who will just sit there and listen - not try to fix things. They know that I would help any one of them.
Good luck and let me know how it goes.
H.H. answers from Houston on September 29, 2008
Keep doing what you're doing and one day he'll come out! He's fine. He's a teenager. That's how many of them are. Most of my friends didn't speak with their parents throughout high school and there was never anything wrong. They just didn't think their parents "got it". It's very normal for teenagers to not want to interact.
E.B. answers from Houston on September 30, 2008
Does he have a computer in his room? Take it out- put it in the same room as yours. We have "my" computer and the "kid's" computer on desks that form an L shape. That way you can keep an eye on what he is viewing-may or may not be something you approve of- and it is a wonderful time to talk. At nights my son sits on his computer playing w/ his iTunes and I play Solitaire and he will play some "cool" new Death Metal tune for me. Much to his dismay I have found some of his music that I love this way. (Altho he says it kills it for him when I like some of his music-truthfully I think he wouldn't show some of these bands to me if he didn't think I would like them. Of course- he also tries to shock me with some of the bands.) Also -TEXT him. If he doesn't have unlimited text- get it for him AND you and USE it. I have gotten more "I love you"s on my cell phone than ever before. Also handy if he is out w/ a girl- I give them an hour or so of "hanging out" and then send a text- "Whatcha doin?"- just so he knows I'm thinking about him-and so he remembers that he has a family w/ values that he should be remembering! They are much more likely to respond to a text than answer the phone. Stock LOTS of food in the house and tell him he and his friends are always welcome. My husband and I lose a lot of sleep on the weekends w/ big ol' nocturnal boys tromping around up stairs - but at least I KNOW where they are. And they are FUN! And funny. And when you ask a group of them a question- you'll be surprised at what info one of them will let slip out!
But otherwise- hiding in his room is pretty normal. Unless you have a gut feeling something is wrong- don't fret too much. If you are worried- do a search of his room-discreetly-while he is at school- just to rule out drugs and hit Control H on the computer to check the history of what he has been viewing. I also have a MySpace page so that I can occasionally check his MySpace- altho he just made his private since that is basically his email. But I go to his friend's pages occasionally....really I don't want to know TOO much- just that he is safe and not up to something he shouldn't be. Also I MADE my son find a volunteer position- he volunteers at the food bank once a week- since his grades are volatile (he has math issues) and he needs to tutor which makes a job a challenge. The volunteering has brought out a political and social side of him that I had not seen before. He is more aware of the goods and bads in society- it has connected him. Hang in there. Good luck.
2 moms found this helpful
D.F. answers from San Antonio on September 29, 2008
I have 2 boys 18yo & 16yo,and one preteen 11yo girl. My oldest one was very outgoing and very social. He never stayed in his room. My my middle one is a gamer, so he is always behind closed doors. As mentioned earlier dinner together is a must. We love our dinners, we laugh, and get caught up with each other. I also know all their friends. I am Momma to everybody in the neighborhood. We cook alot and always have enough for extra friends. My kids tell me they love me everytime we talk on the phone, no matter who is around. I am very blessed. Of course we have had our problems, they are NOT angels. But I think the key is communication. And always letting them know that NO MATTER WHAT, you love them and are there if they need you.
Good luck!! Like the cartoon Maxine says, MOTHERS OF TEENS KNOW WHY SOME ANIMALS EAT THEIR YOUNG!
1 mom found this helpful
L.B. answers from Austin on September 29, 2008
It is normal and common. I have two of them at the house, a girl and boy. They seem to be in thier own little worlds. My two do the same thing, be in thier rooms with the door closed, texting thier friends, watching TV or playing video games. It seems the only time we communicate is when they need something or want to eat:) At that age they are trying to find thier independence while still trying to figure out how to let you know they still need you because he does. I use to worry about it also but as long as they know you are there for them no matter what, they will talk to you when they feel like it or when they feel they need too. We do alot of texting. I am not sure how you feel about that but at least we are able to communicate about the small things. The big things we communicate face to face. You are not losing him, that is just part of the growing up process. TEENAGERS!!! hehe
C.G. answers from San Antonio on September 29, 2008
I think it's really important and a crucial time to be invloved in your kids life at that time. Because for many reasons it can be a defining moment in your kids life.
Start planning stuff for just the two of you to do or with the rest of your family but try to focus on him and start really talking to him as a friend and when he opens up to you with things that he likes like rock music or rap music or weird goth stuff or whatever strange things or not so strange things, he may like or not like, really try to relate to him. Try to let him know its ok to try new things to see if he likes it or not.Support his exploration, and at the same time try to protect and warn him of the dangers that may come with it. He may find it corny at first but don't give up. Maybe make it a goal of yours to get him to laugh with you-alot.
He probably feels like he has been given alot of independence from you because he is not like your younger son who really needs looking after and he thinks he needs to do things on his own. Just remind him that it is not the case and that he is not a grown up yet and there is still alot for him to learn from you.
M.E. answers from Houston on September 29, 2008
Check out loveandlogic.com... they have resources for dealing with teenagers...
Do you have family night? Game night? Do you go on vacations?
Do you have a hobby or interest you can share? You didn't mention his father. Does he have an older male friend or relative that you trust that you could encourage to spend more time with him?
Get him out of his own little world and into the real one...
I know it must be hard. He may feel like he has no control over anything. "Love and logic" has creative ways of giving choices and responsibilities and appropriate consequences to kids to give them confidence, etc. Hang in there!
B.P. answers from Houston on September 29, 2008
That it very typical teenage behavior. I have a 15-year old and same thing. She does interact with us but at home she likes her own space and we give it to her. I wouldn't worry too much about it. We make sure dinner time is our sitdown interacting time. I will tell you if my husband and I are talking to her she knows to put the cell phone up. It's a priviledge that can be taken away. Just think back when you were a teen. I'm 39 and I remember staying in my room listening to music and on the phone (landline, of course). It's called surviving the teen years.
J.B. answers from Houston on September 28, 2008
I remember what my mom did with me at that age was to make sure we ate dinner as a family. I was kind of distant but there was just always at least dinner time for us to communicate. She also did her best to have us in a good church family. She didn't really "make" me go, it was just understood that that is how it was in our home. I made some mistakes along the road but turned out to have a great life and great relationship with my mom. Oh, and of course she prayed alot!! :) Best wishes to you and your family!
S.H. answers from San Antonio on September 28, 2008
I feel for you as I do not look forward to that, but I do think it is totally normal. you're doing the right thing. Maybe take some time to plan some thing to do with him that he likes, from time to time. I know when I was 16 I fought spending any time at all with my parents. I was not involved in anything bad, I guess I just did not find family interesting. I was busy in my own head and thinking about my life at school. I was also hiding in my room the fact that there were still parts of me that were a child. I watched tv shows for tweens and did not want anyone to know, not even my parents.
I would hesistate to put a computer with the internet in his room. I just worry about involvement in pornography as it can be habit forming.
I wish you peace. And rest assured that he'll come back to find you some years from now.