Urgent Help Needed; Son Struggling Living With Mum

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      Paul Braley
      Participant

      Hi Dads,

      I’m new to the group and really in need of your advice.

      My son is 12 years old, he lives with his mum and Sister (10).
      Me and mum seperated 10 years ago and since then my contact has been two weekends a month and agreed holidays.
      There is a lot of arguing and shouting at home, my ex’s default reaction is always to scream and shout.

      Just before the new school year and my son starting High School, I started to notice changes in his behaviour, he was eating less, a lot quiter than usual and more emotional than usual. At first I assumed this was hormones and coming of age type stuff but then he started unexpectedly vomiting on the journey home from our weekends. This happened several times and only ever on the journey back to his mums, never on the way to me.

      The last weekend of the school holidays he broke down and told me he didn’t want to go home and he wanted to stay with me, he had had enough of the arguing at home and shouting. He seemed drained and exhausted by it all. I calmed him down and took him home, he was sick again.
      Once I got him there I explained my concerns to his mum who replied with ‘there’s nothing wrong with him he’s just being soft’. To which my son got upset and started crying, he didn’t want me to leave and didn’t want to stay at home so I took him back with me. I arranged with the school he would miss the first week back to have some space and process his feelings.
      The day came to go home, I arranged to go to school and see the head teacher with my son and then hand over to mum there on nuetral ground.
      When we spoke with school my son told them he wanted to stay with me and mum doesn’t listen to him, he was fed up of arguing. Mum came to pick him up and he clung to me crying and screaming that he wanted to stay with me.

      Since then he had told me things were getting better at home and he was okay, settled into high school and making new friends, loving basketball and even made the school team.
      Then last weekend he seemed very quiet again and his apetite has gone downhill again.
      Fast forward to last night and his mum rang me telling me I need to have a word with him, he’s not eating and his attitude is terrible towards her and her new boyfriend. I tried speaking to him but every time he tried to talk back to me she would shout over him, calling him a liar.

      Eventually he blurted out that he’d had enough of the shouting and he couldn’t do it anymore. When I asked what he meant he said ‘life’.

      Now I’m telling mum we have a responisbility to get him to the doctors and do anything we can to help him through whatever he is going through and she’s telling me there’s nothing wrong with him, it’s his generation and they need to toughen up.

      Now I’m struggling with what to do, she has taken his phone away so I can’t speak to him until I pick him up on Thursday.

      Through all of this, my daughter is mostly a happy girl. She has dyslexia and is being tested for ADHD.
      There have been some issues with her over the years, incidents I wasn’t told about by mum that I can’t go in to but I am genuinely concerned for my children now but most of all my son at this point.

      What should I do!? What CAN I do?

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