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Posted by: Julie | 2017/10/21

My son and I

I am currently going through menopause, my son is 13 and annoys me. His father and I divorced, he was 3 at the time, he has been living with me ever since. He, in this day and age, is a good child, sits at home watches TV, goes out and kicks ball with his friends etc, I just find him annoying, to the extent that I shout and scream at him at the drop of a hat. Basically I want to cut the apron strings, but he seems to hold on. What can I do to get him to let go?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink
- 2017/10/23

If you check, you'll find I responded to this issue the other time you posted this concern.  I'm a bit concerned that you seem, if my system is accurate, to have posted this message at 3 am, which might fit with depression and it's associated insomnia. When you chat with the lad, make it very clear to him how much you love him and consider him a good child, and that you are really bothered to find you have shouted at him inappropriately at times.
Isn't 13 a bit young to be "cutting apron string " ?  This is an age at which kids switch between emotionally reacting as a dependent child, and trying to be much more adult and capable than they actually are. And the more firmly you try to cut those strings, the more he is indeed likely to grab and hold on.  Maybe it upsets you more because you have been feeling a bit less able to be as available and helpful as he wants and expects ?  How do other readers handle situations like this ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Julie | 2017/10/27

Thank you to all who responded, and yes ED I realised the fault is with me and not him. Anonymous thank you for sharing, I am in exactly the same situation as you, so your input has made me realised that I need to treasure these moments with my son.

Reply to Julie
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/10/25

Just as someone with a mother who did cut the apron strings at a very young age, it caused me huge emotional distress. I spent years wondering what was wrong with me that she didn't want to help me, spend time with me and why I was treated so differently to my sisters. In my adult years now I realize she was going through her own issues (and I am the most similar to my father who I guess was the cause of HER issues), but as a 14 year old I didn't comprehend that. My mother was the same as you sound- she was irrational and unreasonable in her dealings with me, threw actual tantrums and I believe it was one of the main causes for my depression diagnoses when I was 17. Although I am older now and more understanding, I still harbor resentment which is obviously not how I want to be feeling. I'm sure you'd like to spare your son these feelings and the stress inflicted by cutting the strings.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/10/24

I smile because when my son was that age, I wanted to sell him to the circus. he is now 17 and I treasure every minute with him. My son is letting go naturally, and I know it's the circle of life, but, I wish I had more time before he is a man and everything changes. It is a phase and you are both going through changes in your lives (puberty and menopause) and this needs to be taken into consideration. Something that single motherhood has taught me is that your teenagers need you a lot more than little children. Cutting the apron strings at this point in his life would be very unwise, as he needs you more than ever. Be available to him and spend extra time with him as much as you can. Draw him closer rather than cut him loose. You won't be sorry. What I did with my son from when he was very little is to cultivate communication and openness. For example, If he asked me what was wrong, I would tell him. If I cried, I allowed him to comfort me. I didn't hide anything away and I always answered his questions openly no matter how difficult or embarrassing, so that he could feel free to come to me with anything. I never judged him. If he did something that I didn't like, we tackled the issue, not the person. They say, kids spell love " TIME " This is so true. Give him your time, and your full attention. I promise, when you look back in a few years, you wont be sorry.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: Julie | 2017/10/24

My apologies for posting twice, thought the first one got lost in cyberspace. Yes sleep eludes me sometimes, esp when I have a lot on my mind. Sometimes I just wish his father could take him for a weekend and few days during school holiday, but that's too much to ask. I have never asked his father for anything ever, a few months ago, I asked him to buy an item of clothing, up until today, he hasn't bought it, I eventually just bought it myself. After writing to you about it, I realised I needed to chat to my son, and explain about personal space and time, and that seems to have had an effect. I was also just very angry and frustrated at his father, but then again I should have known better. Thank you, I will also keep in mind that he is still a bit too young to wanna cut apron strings.

Reply to Julie | 1 comment (hide)
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/10/25

Julie, after reading your reply I can some how see where you are coming from. You are only human and not jus a mom. Being a single mom is one of the hardest jobs you will ever have and it comes with a lot of responsibilities and everything is on you. I have cousins who's ex husbands flat out refuse to help out or even contribute to the well being of their child. They even ignore court orders and one actual left his job just to not pay child maintenance. That boy is also 13 years old and his poor mom has to do everything. You can see tha little boy misses his dad, he call him but the dad either promise to pick him up which seldom happens or has a sh!t load of excuses. You are overwhelmed and tired. That said your boy is still so young and very confused by the divorce and the why's and not's of his dad abandoning him. Now he tries to stay as close to you as possible out of fear that you also wants to up and leave him and in his own way he is also trying to comford you the only way how by always being around you. He can see your hurt and tired and is trying to be there for you. Remember the children is the ones who suffers the most in such cases. Your a good mom who gives a best under the most stressful and trying times. Keep strong and be there for each other. You sound like a strong women who has an off few days it is normal and you are not a bad mother. We as moms try to spread ourselves so thin for everyone without thinking twice about what we need. I think it is time you go sit down and think what you can do for yourself, be kind to Julie a bit, pamper Julie a bit you do no need money for it. Be nice to Julie and try not to be so hard on yourself. Be happy and enjoy your sons childhood before you know it will be over and he will be out and making a life for himself.

Posted by: Phil | 2017/10/23

Maybe try and post only once, with all your questions?

Reply to Phil
Posted by: Anonymous | 2017/10/23

He is still very young, Julie. I think you have a hormonal imbalance go and speak with your gynaecologist about either giving you a new hormonal tablet or something. Please do not take it out on your son. My son will be 14 soon and he loves being home, reading, watching TV or playing games. He loves hiking and cycling as well and his new addition running few kilometres. Your son knows and can feel you want to cut him loose, so the more you pulling away the more he will letch onto you. Go and have a sit down with him and have an open and honest conversation with him. Hear him out before you jump in and mess things up. I always make sure that my son has that platform to express himself and knows I will listen to him. Communication is so vital at this stage of their lives. Find that mid way that will help both of you so the two of you can co exist in a healthy environment.

Reply to Anonymous
Posted by: ED | 2017/10/23

Wow ... shame on you, you are doing your child an injustice. He needs love and attention not screaming and apron string cutting. Look for the fault by yourself and not by him.

Reply to ED

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