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    • mutley74
    • By mutley74 18th Jun 17, 2:24 PM
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    mutley74
    Teens and holidays
    • #1
    • 18th Jun 17, 2:24 PM
    Teens and holidays 18th Jun 17 at 2:24 PM
    As a single parent with a teen (who is almost 16) not had any family holidays for 3 years. Basically son is not interested and rather stay in and play with games (Xbox) 24/7 during school holidays (in fact does not go anywhere with family he even avoided a family funeral because of gaming).

    Last month he say's he would be offered in an overseas trip and short UK break (finally!!). So I tell him he has to help with choosing a destination, what to see, do, places to stay etc. I even told him he can check out flights etc, and we can discuss and book together.

    My mum past few weeks says I am very unreasonable and should just go ahead and book a holiday. I tell her no, as he might not enjoy what I want to do, and I don't want to pay lots of money for a trip he might even decide to cancel last minute or sit there with a miserable face. I want him to put him some research effort and be part of any holiday.

    Am I unreasonable? So far Son has not made any effort, he selected a destination but nothing else, when I ask him, he tells me he is "too busy" (with gaming).

    As we will now incur higher holiday prices being so close to Summer hols, I feel like telling him I have made my own plans (as I have had no proper holiday for 3 yrs too).

    How do other parents deal with teens in such situations?
    Last edited by mutley74; 18-06-2017 at 2:47 PM.
Page 3
    • Rosemary7391
    • By Rosemary7391 19th Jun 17, 2:51 PM
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    Rosemary7391
    Op, if your son is spending so much time on gaming he is going to fail his GCSEs. And I have to say, that would partly be your fault for not stamping down on this. It could affect his whole future, and by being weak and giving in you are not being a proper parent. I am sure there are many parents on here who have had teenagers melt-downs and tantrums, but have taken the tough line and stood firm.

    Sorry, that's what you should be doing on a day to day basis, never mind holiday selections.
    Originally posted by Caroline_a
    The bold might be true, but it might not be. I'd suggest that the OP needs to be very sure that is the case if that's the line they're going to use. It would've been counterproductive for me because I didn't fail my GCSEs, and wouldn't have even if I'd spent more time online. It's important that things you say are true, otherwise it undermines the credibility of everything else.
    Me escondo detras de mi lengua... tengo miedo de que me entiendas... pero me gustara que me entendases ¡Ayudame!
    • mai_taylor
    • By mai_taylor 19th Jun 17, 2:52 PM
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    mai_taylor
    OP he lives under your roof so needs to follow your rules. Allow him his games but only once he's done an hour helping you round the house and an hour of homework / revising. You can't just let him get away with what he wants or he will be trying to do that for the rest of his life. Does he have friends he see's or a part time job? It's really unhealthy for a 16 year old to do nothing but play games and you need to stop that now or his bad attitude is not going to get any better. Tell him if he wants WiFi he'll have to pay for it.

    As for the holiday, may be easier if you pick about 4 options and just get him to pick the one that he likes the sound of the most but a holiday is a treat so I wouldn't be taking him anywhere until his attitude improved.
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 19th Jun 17, 4:37 PM
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    Caroline_a
    The bold might be true, but it might not be. I'd suggest that the OP needs to be very sure that is the case if that's the line they're going to use. It would've been counterproductive for me because I didn't fail my GCSEs, and wouldn't have even if I'd spent more time online. It's important that things you say are true, otherwise it undermines the credibility of everything else.
    Originally posted by Rosemary7391
    It might not be... but the OP did say
    As with gaming and xboy - this is a battle I have lost. He and both of us have taken professional help, he has seen therapists, but wont listen to any help offered. It has affected his health, our relationship, but I have decided to move on. He let me down on father's day (said he would go for lunch today, then he got up late, his "homework" was on xbox all afternoon!)
    It's too late if he does fail, and then the decision will have to be made what to do next. He may think he can be a 'professional gamer' or game tester but in reality those jobs are as rare as hens' teeth, and those that do exist require some very chunky qualifications. OP - what are his school reports like?
    • fairy lights
    • By fairy lights 19th Jun 17, 4:45 PM
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    fairy lights
    I don't understand why it's so important that he's involved in booking the holiday. In theory it's a great idea to involve teens in that sort of thing, so they learn how to do it and can have a say in your plans, but if he's not motivated enough then why push it?
    Why not say "you mentioned you wanted to go to X destination, so I'm booking us in at Y resort, let me know if you have any other suggestions or I'll book it tonight."
    • Torry Quine
    • By Torry Quine 19th Jun 17, 5:43 PM
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    Torry Quine
    I'm not a parent but have read this thread with incredulity. When I was a child and until I left school at 17 and was earning I wouldn't have been given the options the child here has been given.
    Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving . Albert Einstein.

    I can bear pain myself, he said softly, but I couldna bear yours. That would take more strength than I have -
    Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 19th Jun 17, 8:46 PM
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    Fireflyaway
    Not blaming you because at 16 kids are pretty much their own person and its hard to negotiate! However he sounds quite ungrateful and gaming to the extent you do nothing else and are even rude enough to prioritise it over a funeral is unacceptable. Tell him - tell don't ask- that you need to know by the end of the month if he is sure he wants to go and if so where. If he is not forthcoming then arrange a holiday for you. Could he stay with a family member whilst you go? If he did go would he be inside gaming anyway?
    I think the issue here is not the holiday but the gaming. How will he get qualifications? Get a job? Find a boyfriend / girlfriend? Enjoy all the world has to offer? Yes you might be subject to tantrums but he lives in your home. You support him and feed and clothe him. You deserve respect and unless he has a learning disability then he needs to take more responsibility. Its kind of you to offer him a holiday let alone a say in the destination. If he is ungrateful don't beg him. Go on your own and have a great time!
    • mutley74
    • By mutley74 19th Jun 17, 8:57 PM
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    mutley74
    Gosh so many replies thank you
    Let me answer some points raised, so many good points and suggestions :

    1. I am a single parent Father! (more than 10yrs now)

    2. Son does go out occasionally, he has a few friends, and they all seem to be the same ones online when he is playing. I would say in a typical school holiday week, he will go out maybe 2-3x in the week. During term weekends he is basically gaming from AM to PM.

    3. School - his recent mock GCSE results amazed me, I was expecting him to be "D" level student (find graded easier to compare), but he is more "B" rated, which exceeded my expectations for him. For a kid that basically does not spend much time on homework/revising, it is quite shocking! He has no motivation to be to be "A" student and get 8s/9s in his subjects (all teachers have told him a bit more effort he will be top student).

    4. 3 years ago, he would rebel, fight, argue etc etc if I try to control his gaming/wifi use. To the point my health & our relationship was affected thus I sought professional help. It has helped things a bit, but only if I don't really interfere. Only time I stop him or tell him off when his gaming noises wake me up at night (most nights). I had no choice, I could try help him, control his gaming use, offered him alternative hobbies, sports = he was not interested. I had to let go. He has seen teenage counsellors, therapists etc etc (he is not depressed or has no mental illness), I think most of them have given up with him. I am told teens gaming/wifi/SM 24/7 is a common problem they have to deal with.

    Back to holidays......
    I told him yesterday, to give me some ideas where you like to go and do, but Tuesday. Today when I come home he is just sitting there on xbox. After an hour of playing I said he could easily spend a few mins looking for ideas, options etc. He said he was too busy and needs to relax after school and his response (with a harsh tone) "later in the week".
    For the people thinking I am expecting him to book and do all the details planning...no. But it would nice if he researched some suggestions what see/do/where is best to stay/ how to travel around etc.

    I really wanted to go with him, but after hearing his constant horrible attitude & manners the way he speaks with me, I am now having 2nd thoughts. Do I really want to spend a week away putting up with this??
    Last edited by mutley74; 19-06-2017 at 9:00 PM.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 19th Jun 17, 9:05 PM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    Gosh so many replies thank you
    Let me answer some points raised, so many good points and suggestions :

    1. I am a single parent Father! (more than 10yrs now)

    2. Son does go out occasionally, he has a few friends, and they all seem to be the same ones online when he is playing. I would say in a typical school holiday week, he will go out maybe 2-3x in the week. During term weekends he is basically gaming from AM to PM.

    3. School - his recent mock GCSE results amazed me, I was expecting him to be "D" level student (find graded easier to compare), but he is more "B" rated, which exceeded my expectations for him. For a kid that basically does not spend much time on homework/revising, it is quite shocking! He has no motivation to be to be "A" student and get 8s/9s in his subjects (all teachers have told him a bit more effort he will be top student).

    4. 3 years ago, he would rebel, fight, argue etc etc if I try to control his gaming/wifi use. To the point my health & our relationship was affected thus I sought professional help. It has helped things a bit, but only if I don't really interfere. Only time I stop him or tell him off when his gaming noises wake me up at night (most nights). I had no choice, I could try help him, control his gaming use, offered him alternative hobbies, sports = he was not interested. I had to let go. He has seen teenage counsellors, therapists etc etc (he is not depressed or has no mental illness), I think most of them have given up with him. I am told teens gaming/wifi/SM 24/7 is a common problem they have to deal with.

    Back to holidays......
    I told him yesterday, to give me some ideas where you like to go and do, but Tuesday. Today when I come home he is just sitting there on xbox. After an hour of playing I said he could easily spend a few mins looking for ideas, options etc. He said he was too busy and needs to relax after school and his response (with a harsh tone) "later in the week".
    For the people thinking I am expecting him to book and do all the details planning...no. But it would nice if he researched some suggestions what see/do/where is best to stay/ how to travel around etc.

    I really wanted to go with him, but after hearing his constant horrible attitude & manners the way he speaks with me, I am now having 2nd thoughts. Do I really want to spend a week away putting up with this??
    Originally posted by mutley74

    Can you imagine the furore if the hotel wi-fi wasn't up to scratch?


    Enjoy a holiday of your choice. And I'd unplug the router now just for speaking to me like that one too many times. If I didn't feel up to having the full on 'well, that's what happens when you p*ss off the person who pays for the broadband', I'd say something like 'oh dear, something must have gone wrong with it, I'll contact the company in the morning' and then come up with a 'typical broadband, they can't get an engineer out for six weeks'. And use your laptop upstairs.

    Yes, he'll go ballistic. But tough luck. He's earned it.

    ETA: he has no mental health issues or disabilities. That means he's just being a d*ck.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • Loz01
    • By Loz01 19th Jun 17, 9:12 PM
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    Loz01
    What is he going to do post GCSE? Does he have a plan?
    It's not God I have a problem with... it's his fan club.
    • mutley74
    • By mutley74 19th Jun 17, 9:12 PM
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    mutley74
    Can you imagine the furore if the hotel wi-fi wasn't up to scratch?


    Enjoy a holiday of your choice. And I'd unplug the router now just for speaking to me like that one too many times. If I didn't feel up to having the full on 'well, that's what happens when you p*ss off the person who pays for the broadband', I'd say something like 'oh dear, something must have gone wrong with it, I'll contact the company in the morning' and then come up with a 'typical broadband, they can't get an engineer out for six weeks'. And use your laptop upstairs.

    Yes, he'll go ballistic. But tough luck. He's earned it.

    ETA: he has no mental health issues or disabilities. That means he's just being a d*ck.
    Originally posted by Jojo the Tightfisted
    Just a stubborn, selfish teenager.

    Although a counsellor told me I am lucky that he at least not getting into trouble with drink or being told off by police etc., which he told me is common with his other teenage patients. In fact son said it is one reason why he left some of his groups of friends, as all they do is drink/smoke in parks.

    It is his loss, I am now going to just do something with friends instead, or go away in September myself.
    Last edited by mutley74; 19-06-2017 at 9:32 PM.
    • Rosemary7391
    • By Rosemary7391 19th Jun 17, 9:23 PM
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    Rosemary7391
    Just as an aside... it used to really bug me when my folks expected me to drop whatever I was doing right now to do what they wanted. Just like someone else wouldn't want to put a good book down halfway through a chapter. An element of forward planning might help him feel more in control and get a better attitude. For instance, over breakfast say - we need to sort the holiday tonight, would you like to do it before or after dinner? And depending on the answer make sure he doesn't get started gaming just when you want to do it!
    Me escondo detras de mi lengua... tengo miedo de que me entiendas... pero me gustara que me entendases ¡Ayudame!
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 19th Jun 17, 9:27 PM
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    Spendless
    3) Doesn't surprise me. There's been some aspects in what you've said that remind me of my own teenage son(17). And being able to get a B/C grade with minimum effort and plenty of time to spare for gaming is one of them. Mine only ever wanted to get 'just enough' to get on to the next step. We (or rather my DH, who works in IT) have been able to steer him though, onto a computer course, which he much prefers to his schooldays. What's your son's plans post GCSE?

    Holidays - I'm reminded of an MSE'r who used to post a lot about her eldest son and how he was creating a problem at home and not engaging with them. On one of her thread she had a suggestion from a (male) poster that she take him away, to a tent in a field if need be and re-engage with him. Later she came back and said she'd taken that advice and it worked really well.

    Book your hol, he's given you a suggestion, now you look for something with the right things. Choose something that you'll enjoy and you can do together eg crab pooling, deep sea diving. Anything that doesn't involve a plug or battery life. Tell him you intend booking by Sunday evening, that gives him chance to have a look with you.

    It's quite possible that he doesn't know what he wants to do or where to start. Mine told me he wanted to 'look at things' when we go to Florida this year, but couldn't come up with an example of anything he did want to look at.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 19th Jun 17, 9:34 PM
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    meer53
    OP he's selfish and stubborn because you're allowing him to be. You're not being fair on him, nor on any partner he may have later in his life. You're living with a person who has zero respect for you, are you happy for that to continue and for him to treat someone else like this ? You've given up on him, thats really sad.
    • mutley74
    • By mutley74 19th Jun 17, 9:39 PM
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    mutley74
    He says he wants to be in some sort of finance job post GCSE's.

    When I go on holiday I like museums, history, travel and eating local cuisines. When we last went on holiday together we did lots of activities (biking, walking etc), theme parks etc. we are both not really into spending 7 days by a beach. I am not booking any holiday for him unless he shows a bit of interest. At the start of 2017 I offered him to go anywhere in the World (seriously) but he showed no interest......think I am on a lost cause here.

    I am not expecting him to "drop what he is doing" just for me, but I have asked him a lot the past 3 weeks and not getting real feedback.
    Last edited by mutley74; 19-06-2017 at 9:42 PM.
    • Jojo the Tightfisted
    • By Jojo the Tightfisted 19th Jun 17, 10:40 PM
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    Jojo the Tightfisted
    Just a stubborn, selfish teenager.

    Although a counsellor told me I am lucky that he at least not getting into trouble with drink or being told off by police etc., which he told me is common with his other teenage patients. In fact son said it is one reason why he left some of his groups of friends, as all they do is drink/smoke in parks.

    It is his loss, I am now going to just do something with friends instead, or go away in September myself.
    Originally posted by mutley74
    And you're supposed to be grateful for that? Oh well, he's an insufferable prat, but at least he's not out stabbing people? It's an argument akin to somebody's partner drinking themselves stupid every hour of the day but saying 'I could be out injecting heroin, you know'. Or somebody who screams abuse at their children saying 'you should be grateful I don't hit them'.

    We have had to endure some of these infants at work. When he speaks to you like that, how do you suppose he speaks to staff members? Or does the prospect of detention/not being able to come home at 4pm and get on his X-Box all night/his phone being confiscated until the end of term concentrate his mind so that he speaks to them with some respect?

    If he is capable of being polite to staff, he's capable of speaking to you like it. He's not 13 and in the grip of the hormone rush, he's almost 16 and that is when the majority of them have already stopped treating other people like dirt.

    One of the funniest things at work is when the ones that insist on continually going off task on the computers suddenly find the internet disabled from the staff computer. They really aren't happy about it, but it results in them realising that they are not in control of the adult in the room.

    It's unhealthy for anybody to be fixated upon a screen 24/7. I have that tendency, many people do, but the calmest, most productive days at the school were when the network was shut down for 3 days due to a ransomware attack was opened by somebody. Because there weren't any interactive whiteboards, computers, videos or wi-fi to piggyback phones out of data on. The kids were foul for the first half day. By the next, they were calm, working well and behaving much better.
    I could dream to wide extremes, I could do or die: I could yawn and be withdrawn and watch the world go by.

    Yup you are officially Rock n Roll
    Originally posted by colinw
    • svain
    • By svain 19th Jun 17, 10:51 PM
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    svain
    The child is obviously has an addiction ... same as gambling, drinking, drugs etc .... Not quite as easy to just turn off.

    Im with OP, some battles are not winnable. The time to of battled this as a parent was a few years back. Unfortunately this time has now passed and so the teenager (near adult) will need to figure out for himself.

    As for getting his holiday input .. dont waste your time, book a holiday and leave him at home.
    Last edited by svain; 19-06-2017 at 11:15 PM.
    • Caroline_a
    • By Caroline_a 19th Jun 17, 11:05 PM
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    Caroline_a
    He says he wants to be in some sort of finance job post GCSE's
    Originally posted by mutley74
    Oh dear. Everyone I have ever known in finance departments works crazy hours, it seems to be expected. Plus study for exams on top. How will he find time for that with gaming?
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 20th Jun 17, 1:22 AM
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    Savvy_Sue
    He may think he can be a 'professional gamer' or game tester but in reality those jobs are as rare as hens' teeth, and those that do exist require some very chunky qualifications.
    Originally posted by Caroline_a
    Not to mention the fact that the testing can be INCREDIBLY boring and repetitive ...
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    • *max*
    • By *max* 20th Jun 17, 3:59 AM
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    *max*
    Just go on holiday without him, and leave him at the grandparents, if they'll have him.

    He's a typical teenager. Entitled, angry, all-knowing.

    He'll regret not going on holidays with you when he's 30, trust me! But for now, there's nothing you can do about it. So go, enjoy your holiday!

    And when you get back, try your hand at light discipline. He'll hate you - he's a teenager. But who cares? You're not his mate, you're his father. Act like it.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 20th Jun 17, 12:59 PM
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    sheramber
    My father told me 'while you live in my house you follow my rules'.

    With my own teenagers up until 14 years they came with us and the holiday was geared to us all.

    14 -16 years they had the choice of coming with us and we would find something to cater for us all, or they could stay with their grandmother.

    From 16 years the choice was come, stay with grandmother or stay with a friend.
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