Teenage son

by Mary
(Australia )

Hi. I'm a single mum to 2.
I'm at my wits end. My 16 year old boy waa fantastic until his now 22 year old sister moved back home. He does not listen to me but rather his sister, who is destructive, demanding and controlling.
She expects everything but gives nothing I return.
She dominates her brothers thinking and I feel she has turned him against me.
My ex doesn't make the situation any better. They think the world of him now whereas previously they couldn't stand him. It's all about money with my kids. Who can give is great in their eyes.
They don't realise I keep a roof over their heads good bills and cater for everything while their father does not support at all and never has.
They both take me for granted and put me down which has led to severe depression
What do I do?
I've told them to leave to their dads as I feel they are only with me because they can get away with things.
It was not always like this. They were great until their father came back into their lives with big money.
Please help.

Comments for Teenage son

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Dad Causing Problems
by: Ask Sara

Dear Mary,

I am so sorry you are struggling. Teens are tough! They can be short-sighted and focused only on themselves. Free access to lots of money certainly doesn't help.

If it is possible to speak to the father, you need to do so. He is likely feeling like he is making up for lost parenting time. The kids are happy about the money, so he thinks it's working. If you are able to talk to him, I would approach it like this:

"It's great that you are back in the kids' lives. It is so important that children have a relationship with their father. Right now, the extra money you are providing is making things quite challenging for me because the kids are (describe the problems). Can we work together so that the kids see a united front, and they stop perceiving your generosity as a free pass for unpleasant behavior?"

Of course you can amend as necessary, and perhaps working together you can find better uses for the extra money.

Now for the kids...

At 22, kids are feeling they are adults, and know what's going on. Your daughter may view herself as mom #2; or maybe she's just being obnoxious. You'll have to decide. If it's the first one, speak to her lovingly about the situation and let her know you'll continue to be the mom.

If it's the second one, you'll likely need to play bad cop. At 22 she can choose between being a good roommate in your home, and choosing a new home. You'll have to follow up as appropriate.

For the younger boys, reminding everyone of the rules, and following through on your established system of rewards and consequences is pivotal.

This time period will take a lot of effort on your part. However; the alternative is clearly not acceptable to you.

You've come this far. Dig in your heels and you'll cross the finish line.

Good luck! You got this!

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