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10 10 10 10 Yes
Comment: Very helpful. many thanks
Subject: My 14yr old son’s relationship with his father
Question: My 14yr old son has the normal teenage moods but is particularly bad with his father. He is confrontational and argumentative and flies off the handle at the slightest provocation. Until recently my husband has enjoyed a close relationship with our son and finds his present behavior very upsetting.
What advice would you offer to improve their relationship. My son is polite and well behaved on the whole, works well at school and enjoys sport but seems unable to tolerate his father lately, constantly finding fault with him.
Answer: Dear Anonymous:
Well this is the good news, “My son is polite and well behaved on the whole, works well at school and enjoys sport but seems unable to tolerate his father lately, constantly finding fault with him.”
Both you and your husband need to focus on this part of his behavior and really praise him for all he does do right.
I know is attitude towards your husband is probably causing you both a lot of discomfort and you should discuss how it hurts your feelings with him and with each other.
I think this happens because as you mentioned he has had a close relationship with his dad and therefore this is his way of pulling away and becoming an individual. Teens have two major developmental tasks to complete for their development.
The first is socialization. They learn to socialize with others and practice this until it drives their parents insane with grief over their separation from the family.
The second is they will find away the way they feel is the most effective to show they are growing up into separate individuals.
Your son is most likely pulling away from your husband. His picking and criticizing is his way of saying I am different from you (probably not) and that I am a separate human being, this translates into “Please see me as different and for who I am.”
Hope this helps!
M Kay Keller