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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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My boyfriend and my teenagers - July 29th 2021, 08:02 AM

Hi : )

I am a mother of 3 children, 16 year old son, 14 year old daughter and 4 year old daughter. Divorced 2 years, in a new relationship for 6months. My boyfriend is an awesome guy but hasnt been in a relationship for a good few years and has a son of his own who is 22.

My struggle is that he is very good with my children but doesnt seem to understand that now days teens tend to stay in their rooms, with Covid and my older two doing school online, they like to sleep late and do their won thing.

he think they just eat and sleep and gets irritated with them, but isnt that what all teens do? They do help around the house, although I need to ask them constantly to wash dishes and clean the kitchen, hang washing or feed the dogs. Teens now days arent considerate, they are selfish, its fact.

I sometimes feel torn between standing up for my children but also dont want to lose a very good loving relationship. He gets annoyed becasue they will come through and finish the last of the milk or eat all the biscuits or cake I baked....yes very selfish - but thats what they do.

Im so torn, how do I approach it with him, how do I approach it with my teens. I want everyone to be happy.

Last edited by Ennui.; July 29th 2021 at 10:31 PM. Reason: Moving to more appropriate forum :)
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Re: My boyfriend and my teenagers - July 29th 2021, 02:09 PM

While I don't have children, I see both sides of the issue.

A lot of family matters come down to communication, or lack there of. If your teenagers are doing things you feel are selfish, it would be a good idea to discuss your thoughts and feelings with them. Be encouraging. Give them reason to do the things you want them to. Think of how you grew up, were you similar? If so, what motivated you to listen to your parents?

I remember when I was their age, I never cleaned up after myself. I never bothered to wash dishes, dry them, or put them away. I didn't bother buying in any food or going out for food shops to replace what I'd eaten. No matter how many nice things my family bought for me, I barely gave back in return. I can't imagine how frustrating it was for my my family to have to deal with my behaviour. My older brother of 2 1/2 years was quite similar.

This isn't to say all teenagers are quite thoughtless, but I see parenting as somewhat of a game. In order to get them to do what you want, sometimes, perhaps you need to reward them with something in order to get them to do it.

Again, back when I was young, I never realised my own behaviour. I took a lot of things for granted. It wasn't until I was in the position of my mother that I realised. When I grew up and started living on my own, I had to fend for myself. This meant washing up after myself. Doing my own laundry. Cleaning up my flat. The usual basic things that relate to hygiene etc. It was a lesson learned.

Sometimes people have to go through the experience in order to understand it. You've gone through the experience of being a certain type of teenager, and have grown up, married, divorced, as well as have 3 children. They haven't yet reached that point in life. They don't yet understand the importance of why you're asking them to do the things they need to do. They don't understand that it's impolite to finish off the last of food supplies and not consider letting you know, or even bothering to replace them.

I would definitely sit down with your children and discuss the reasons for their behaviour. Try to avoid scolding them or coming across as aggressive. Try and be understanding with them and see things from their perspective. Maybe this will help them reciprocate and understand your needs too.
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Re: My boyfriend and my teenagers - July 29th 2021, 04:56 PM

Hi Welcome to TeenHelp!

I agree with a lot of what Sarah said in that, if I look back on being a teenager I was definitely difficult when it came to tidying up after myself and doing what I was told at home. I think you tend to find that with most children and teens, at home they do push boundaries a bit - not all of them, but definitely a lot of them. I think having a chat with any concerns you have about your kids is a good idea, especially if they are ones you've noticed yourself, and not just ones your boyfriend has mentioned to you.

As well as this though, it might be good to have a talk with your boyfriend too as it's obvious that some of this is causing you some stress. Having this relationship means a lot to you and it's important to try and keep it on good terms, so being open with him and ensuring he knows how you feel might help. For example, if some of the things he is saying makes you feel like you need to defend your children, let him know about this. As much as it's good that he wants to be involved in your childrens lives, 6 months is a relatively short amount of time to base judgements on them, and you know them much better than he does. Equally, he should feel able to come to you if he has things which are upsetting or concerning him, and having an open conversation about that is always good! Communicating is definitely healthier than bottling upset and stress up and having it all blow up later.

Is there perhaps a way you could arrange some bonding with him and your children too? I know that with teenagers, this is tricky! I was definitely a socially avoidant teen (not much has changed there actually...), but maybe base it around their interests. For example, if they're into football, maybe find a local match and go as a family, or have a movie night where you order a food of their choice and decide the movie together. This way you're giving everyone some mutual, common ground to get to know each other better. Like you say, teens often do want to do their own thing, so maybe it will work and maybe it wont, but perhaps it's worth suggesting something like that so that your boyfriend can see beyond the stereotypically lazy teenager and get to know them better, especially if he's going to be a prominent person in their life!

I hope this has helped a bit.

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