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16 yr old refusing counseling
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lealealea posted:
My son has recently given me an ultimatum- 1. my husband moves out 2. I find a place for him to live that will take him, his 2 dogs, and about 50 reptiles. He refuses to work on any in between solution. I think the next step is counseling, but he said there is no way that it could possibly help.

The reason my son doesn't like my husband is personality clash. My husband wants to work with my child to resolve any issues they may have, but my son doesn't want to. He thinks that my husband doesn't want him living there. My husband would even be willing to move out temporarily if I think that will help, but I don't want to do anything extreme until we try counseling

I think my son is jealous, but I make a daily effort to try to do things with just us. My son is refusing to do anything with me unless I pick one of his 2 options. The last thing I told him was that I won't let him do anything that would need my cooperation unless he goes to counseling with me. Of course all of his basic needs will be met, but if he needs me to take him somewhere that I don't think is necessary I won't.

Even though I think this is the best for now, I can't help but feeling guilty.

Does anyone have any further suggestions?

Thank you!
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
Wow this brings up a lot of questions for me:

1. Is your husband your son's father? If not, how long have you been together?

2. Have you sought counseling for yourself and parenting classes/counseling for you and your husband?

3. What led to this point?

4. Why does your son have the power to make these "ultimatums" in your family?

5. Has your son been screened (ever) for mental health issues or do you see signs of drug use, O.D.D., ADHD, etc?

6. Are you certain that your husband is not abusing your son in any way?
 
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lealealea responded:
Thanks Louise for looking into this with me. To answer your questions.

1. Is your husband your son's father? If not, how long have you been together? He is not my sons father. We have been together for 4 years, married for 1, and lived together 2 years before we got married. His biological father isn't in the picture.

2. Have you sought counseling for yourself and parenting classes/counseling for you and your husband? Yes, I have been to counseling on my own, and my husband is very willing to go. At this point we think that my son and I need to work on our relationship. I first went to counseling about 2 years ago when my son first started withdrawing from us. My son didn't act any different when my husband wasn't around, so I didn't think he was the main issue. The therapist pretty much said he was a normal teen anger, and since he wasn't being confrontational not to worry too much. I went again about a month ago when my son started refusing to go anywhere with us. I didn't get too much from that session, and really think that my son just needs to be with me for us to get anywhere.

3. What led to this point? I think it's just been a gradual list for my son of things he thinks went wrong. He doesn't like the fact that I've changed some since we've been together. He doesn't like that I consult my husband when I make decisions. I have told him this is part of a normal relationship.

4. Why does your son have the power to make these "ultimatums" in your family? I would have to take most of the blame for this. I had my son at 15, and I raised him the best I could. I had a turbulent childhood and was raised by different sets of parents/relatives at different points. I never had a positive role model for parenting. I adjusted my life around him, and gave him too much leeway with decision making. Simply put, it wasn't always obvious to him that he was the child and I the adult. My husband was raised by his parents who were very consistent with discipline, and it was very clear what the role of the parent was. My son has overheard some of our conversations with my husband expressing what he/his parents would have done in certain situations, whereas I wasn't sure how to discipline.

5. Has your son been screened (ever) for mental health issues or do you see signs of drug use, O.D.D., ADHD, etc? no

6. Are you certain that your husband is not abusing your son in any way? Yes, my son thinks that he is emotionally abusive/too controling over me, but the situations he describes are aspects of a normal relationship. My son is not used to me being in one. I think he is resentful of the fact that my husband has very different ideals about child raising. Again at this point my husband isn't saying anything else about what he would do, and wants my son and I to work on our relationship.
 
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Burleya responded:
I can understand where your son is coming from to an extent. my family was/is similar. my parents divorced in 1998. Shortly after the divorce my mom moved in with her new boyfiend. My dad was never really much of a parent. he tried to be our best friend and we got our way with whatever we wanted with him, and we KNEW it. My mom however was strict and a good parent. My older sister hated the way my mom did things and acted out very badly. She knew my moms boy friend was trying to work things out with her, but in her eyes she didnt want another father. To this day they still clash.

Now, my dad has learned to get into our heads, to where he can get us to do certain things. His latest target is my younger brother. We dont have the greatest life with my mom, il admit that. We have our struggles. My mom became a work-a-holic and her boy friend is a truck driver. we have to help out. I watch the kids until my mom comes home. i prepare supper, amd help to clean. My dad is allowed to see us twice a year. Everytime we go to his house however, when we get home it turns into a huge power struggle. IT takes about 6months to settle things back out, then its time to see him again.

He wont go to counseling either. So, we went to the school. We talked to the counselor at his school and she began working with him. they set up an appointment every week til the end of the school year. it seemed to help a little. I would definately recommmend talking to the coulselor at your sons school. He can open up to them about whats bothering him and they can come up with a plan to help it.
 
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Suemac3000 responded:
This sounds like "your husband" is not his father. This is no longer a family issue.

"Your Husband" has to come to terms with your son. At this age, he is bucking for a leadership role in the family. The Dominant Male in your life either has to come to terms with him or I would serously consider finding another relative for him to live with (that does not mean his biological Dad if he is not available or capable).

This is a very difficult age. When I deal with my 16 year old, he is no longer interested in obeying me. But when I tell him that how he treats me will determine how he will treat his future wife, he is very loving and helpful.

Your son is almost a man. In some cultures, he would be marrying and becoming the head of his own household. You need to appeal to that idea and help hime find a place where he can be who he is.

I suggest counseling for "your husband" and he, and you stay out of it. It sounds like your son's canine an hepatology intererests and your husband's don't mix. You have to choose now. Support your son's life choices as he is about to leave you in a couple of years, or choose the new man in your life. I think you should support your son at this point in his life. If your husband refuses, he married a single woman, not a mother with a family.
 
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Lillyanya responded:
Wow, I'm sorry but the idea of choosing is a bad one. I wouldn't give your son an option. My mother and father didn't, and I'm very grateful to them for this. It is not his choice. He lives under your house and therefor under your rules.

He may not understand it now, but this could help him in the future because he may be able to get that father figure that he needs. It could end up being a beautiful relationship!
 
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lealealea responded:
Thanks for the support! I have set up an appointment with a therapist, and have enrolled in a parent support group called "taking back control"....hopefully we will get somewhere.
 
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Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
Best of luck to you all. I hope that you will keep us updated.


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