I need my son
I have a son 20 years old, who I love dearly. I have tried to be so many people for him and I cannot get it right. I want so badly for him to know I love him but everything I say is wrong. I muck up all the time. He is so angry at me and says such terrible things. He keeps losing his job for anger towards women and I feel like I am to blame. He talks about how much I have let him down and it is unbrearable for me. I try so hard and my 3 girls seem to think I have done ok by them. Please can some young men help me understand why I have failed him so badly.
Well, girls are different than boys and some boys have a very hard time growing up. Our emotions are immature to about 30yo in many cases. Thats why your girls are content with you.
As a male that was also slow maturing I can comment categorically a number of experiences at that age about my mothers influence -
- That I could not change overnight to live up to expectations for my age
- I couldnt hold down a job due to being erratic
- I had a mental illness I didnt discover until 46yo
- That I did need support but not the kind my mum gave me
- My mum felt never good enough but so did I
- As my sibling was a girl and always did everything right I felt worse
Support is a fine line. Support in its best form is listening intently, absorbing his story, walking in his shoes and occasionally a few wise suggestions - in the form of questions.
Eg he tells you he resigned from work
You- "ok, how are you feeling "?
He tells you how bad he feels for a few minutes. He tells you he yelled at a female employee
"So, how do you feel about that incident now"?
This goes on for a while. Towards the end of the conversation. ..
"well, it's over now. We all learn from our experiences. What kind of work will you look for now? A change maybe?"
Instead of that my mother would say "oh Tony, that was a good job. Why cant you just settle down like other boys"
Sit back, be supportive with few comments, mostly questions. Use examples eg "your uncle had trouble at work but as he got older he held down jobs easier".
This is the ultimate form of understanding. In its physical form its as good as a hand on his shoulder saying "its ok, I love you"
I agree with white knight that you can be there and support your son, but I also don’t think you should allow him to walk all over you. I think it’s important to set boundaries of what you will and won’t accept. If he is being unreasonable or losing his job for anger towards women, I think that you are well within your rights to tell him to pull his head in. Sometimes these things aren’t what someone wants to hear, but it’s what they need to hear. When you bend over backwards for someone, sometimes it just makes them more entitled. Can I ask, has anything gone wrong in his life that may have contributed to his behavior? Would he ever consider seeing someone professionally about his problems?