Post Edited (Sherrine) : 8/22/2008 11:31:55 AM (GMT-6)
Breathe. Did your son push your buttons? Did he get you flustered, upset, and doubting your parenting skills? Well then, pat yourself on the back for a job well done! He's doing what he's supposed to be doing during this developmental stage, frustrating as that is. The developmental task of a teenager is almost identical to that of a toddler so if you feel like you're talking to a sulking, pouting, egocentric two year old sometimes, that would be why. (Next time he rolls his eyes at you, try asking him if he can see his brain when he does that ) The task is to assert independence and discover who he is apart from you and it's just as annoying in the teenage years as it is in the toddler years. The key, and the difficult part (coming from a child therapist and parent educator who is way better at teaching this than practicing it!!) is to keep your cool and pretend it doesn't bother you and then state a simple expectation attached to an action on your part such as, "I love you too much to argue with you. As soon as you have finished that chore, I'll be happy to drive you to ball practice--or give you back the remote control, or x-box or whatever" and then WALK AWAY and refuse to respond in any way to the arguing, whining, pouting, whatever. I know that what he said to you was very hurtful and if you didn't have brain surgery and fibro, it would have been something else just as hurtful. I'd like to gently suggest that the loving child you had before the surgery was a loving child because he was ten and you raised him well and that the rebellious 14 year old you have now is testing his wings and would more than likely have attitude whether you had fibro or not. The good news is that it is a stage and there are parenting strategies for it and that when they work through it, the typical course of development is to pretty much be as they were before horrible adolescence so if you had a caring, considerate, and loving child before this stage, you can expect to see him again in a couple of years. In the meantime, kick the ex's butt for talking negatively about you! That is not good divorce co-parenting practice and is more hurtful to your son, believe it or not, than it is to you. Take care of you. Get out the baby photos and remember why you love this kid, give him a hug or high five, and go soak in a tub or read a book and leave him with the task of figuring out if he's going to help out or not. If all else fails, he will eventually get hungry and that's when you can hand him a bag of trail mix and tell him you'll be enjoying your meal that you prepared just for you or ordered from a restaurant in the den or on the porch and that you will be happy to do all the things that you do for him as soon as you are feeling respected. Ofcourse if you are going to use these techniques, they have to be done matter of factly without any angry tone at all. I know I'll get some bashing responses to this for suggesting you deprive him of food--believe me, he'll live and he'll gain a new respect for all the things you do for him. Good luck.
This is the third time I have tried to respond to your post and it is so hard because I can actually feel your pain from what you wrote. Our kids are our sore spots and they truly do have the power to hurt us so much and yet they also have the power to make us get on our hands and knees and thank God for them!
Just let him know you love him unconditionally. He will come around. I know when my angelic son turned 14 I thought someone had taken my real son and replaced him with a smart mouth, sneering piece of work! He did grow out of it, he now has 3 boys of his own now so his love for me has never been more apparent! I am sorry you are going thru this. I wish I had something etter to say or suggest. Just know this forum has some great people and people here are so kind and understanding. I wish you luck and happiness and some compassion. Please take care of YOURSELF!