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Thread: Family Trouble

  1. #1

    Default Family Trouble

    Sorry but this is going to be a long post, but please hear me out here, god knows i need help on this. So things have started to come up, troubles with my cousin namely. He has gotten horrid and mean to his mom (My mom's fraternal twin), he avoids her, hangs up whenever she calls, talks back to her that would make a brat blush and a whole lot more.

    It started this summer, first it was small but then it escalated to the point where he won't come to my little sister's birthday tomorrow because his mom will be there. Well to get a bit understanding i am going to have to explain a few things, like the reason i am telling you this; ever since he was little, me and him have been great friends and really close, so my mom wants me to go and talk to him about it, see if i can get some understanding in the case. His parents are divorce but that was like 2 or 3 years ago, though the problems started just this summer

    He suffered from bedwetting for 3 or 4 years ending when he was around 8-9 years old, we had sleepovers a lot then and i personally didn't mind if her wore pullups to bed, i never mentioned it and never made fun of it. He is 13 now and yes, he is one of those people. He plays COD, namely the newer releases, he plays Assassin's Creed and GTA V (Quite a lot, i think he is level 60 something now). I have notice a change in his behavior, but just being annoying, like inputting a single letter when you are writing the password to your computer or never stop pushing random buttons whatever you are doing.

    And to answer future questions, yes, he lives with his mom and dad separately, i think it is either weekends or weeks that his dad has with him. They both starting dating again and both live with that mate. His mom has moved 2 times since the breakup while his dad lives at his childhood home. He has also said that he hates his mom's boyfriend even though they barely speak or even interact with eachother.

    So the bottom line is, i have to talk to him since he looks very much up to me, me being his older cousin by quite a few years. But i have no idea what to say, i have no idea what causes this hateful behavior towards his mom, i like to study psychology in my spare time, and human behavior the part i like the most, but there is no clues here, if he would be mad about his mom not giving him enough attention (which she has) then why does it not mirror to his dad as well.

    Any comments or thoughts would be greatly appreciated and any questions you have will be answered. Thank you
    Last edited by Zenka; 21-Sep-2014 at 00:13.

  2. #2


    Hi Zenka,

    I don't think I could possibly hope to figure out everything that might be a problem for your cousin in just a few words. There are a lot of things you describe that could be sources of tension and anxiety for him: everything from the divorce, the bedwetting, all the way to just being a 13-year old boy. It's a difficult time and it doesn't get easier when you add in an unstable home and family situation to the mix.

    Here are some thoughts, I hope that some of them are helpful.

    *How much will he talk to you? And not just chat about whatever, but I mean a serious conversation. If you're a person he's willing to confide in, then you're in a wonderful spot because you can ask him for the truth. Just listen and don't judge, try to understand his perspective and why he's upset. Just talking might help him, and learning what's bothering him will give you way more ideas for how you can help than anything we can tell you here.

    *If he doesn't want to talk to you, and you think that's weird, that's the issue you have to investigate first. He might be hostile or uninterested, and you have to make a decision about how much you want to press him and whether it's even worth doing, or will just backfire. Try to figure out what's holding him back. That might be looking for physical signs, like what topics of conversation make him most uncomfortable.

    *If you can't talk about the important stuff, try talking about something else. Ask him about his best kills in his recent COD games or sports or something. Get him to talk a lot and stay interested. You might be able to shift the conversation or he might let something slip on his own.

    *Don't judge. Yes, you're there because your mom asked you to talk to him and everyone's got an agenda. But if he thinks you're there as an agent for all these people he's mad at, he won't confide in you. Be there to listen, learn, and support him.

  3. #3


    First of all, I'm sorry you have to be the go-between. This is a tough situation and you may not find many answers, if at all.

    He is 13 and the whole puberty thing might be starting. Kids about that age start to spread their wings and rebel against their parent(s). His dad may have a firmer hand on him than his mom. Was he closer to his mom growing up? He might resent her more for having a mate who is taking away her attention from him (in his mind). I also hate to mention this, but it does happen, the mom's mate might be abusive towards him. Verbally or otherwise.

    I would start off by saying you understand why he doesn't want to be at the party but maybe he can come and hang out with you instead. Ask him how his mom's mate gets along with him - is he nice, does he yell at him?

    Those are my first thoughts. I'm sure I and others will think of other things. Again, since he is acting out aggressively, you may not get any answers. Is counseling a possibility for him and his mom?
    Last edited by zipperless; 21-Sep-2014 at 03:35.

  4. #4


    Thank you guys, it really means a lot and i really care about him. We have been growing appart little by little, mostly because i am almost always busy with other friends or school, i still see him regularly since his mom is a licensed hairdresser, so you can guess where we go for haircuts.

    And Zipperless, i too have thought about abuse. I do not know a lot about her mate, frightening little considering that they have been together a year and a half now almost. It was more like a rumor that she was starting to see someone until on my cousins birthday (which happens to be halloween). That was when the big family met him first. my aunt never talks about him and he is certainly a man of few words. He is big but a bit... i wouldn't say fat but more thick, it is obvious that he is really strong but also a bit chubby. I rarely ever meet him but i know that he is/was a fisherman, or at least worked at sea.

    It is a tough position indeed. His dad also started dating a woman but i don't even know her name, so i know less about that side, but i have heard him talk about how awesome it is at his dad's, mostly because his rules are close to none. Which might start the question, is he grown tired of rules since he experiences so much freedom and independence at his dad's?

    again, thank you for responding, it really means a lot to me.

    He has always been this energetic guy (Yes, he was diagnosed with ADHD this summer). He is almost always laughing, mostly because of pranks. So... yeah, that is it, any more questions?

  5. #5


    Does his dad speak badly of his mom behind closed doors .
    Plus those video games can be it too.
    He is at the age kids at school start saying parents no nothing who is he hanging with .
    Is a friend treating his mom that way.

  6. #6


    Hello Zenka.

    Boy there has been a lot of good stuff said already.

    IT would depend on "How did/caused What"

    I am going to stick my neck out and assume that his mother perpetrated the break up.

    Since his father has the house and is just now becoming active dating then I would say that he is blaming his mother for "destroying" the family.
    Do not be judgmental, but encourage him to tell you how he feels about the whole family break up situation.

    I bet he has a resentment of her because she has been dating active and that was the physical death nail in any possibility of "his Family" coming back together.
    My step-son never had a "father" and when I came along it turned his life upside down. IT was right around the 13 year old mark that everything came to a head.
    So I would say that the timing is just about right for him to openly express his feeling, but unfortunately not in a good way.
    With the diagnosis of ADHD I can really relate to him. I was undiagnosed and there is so much going on at that time in your life that it is very difficult.

    I would suggest that you take a look at the discussion in the group School House Rocks ADISC. I posted a thread on Collaborative Problem solving.
    The gest of the discussion is that people have learning disabilities such as ADHD and that is not the only problem. He may also have social skill problems that is making it difficult for him to deal with the situation in his family life. If his mother is not addressing these issues and on top of that his "New male figure" in his mothers life is not coping with the situation and/or include him in the life change, then he is a time bomb that is going to blow.

    IF you can talk to him about these skill lacks then it may help him deal with his frustration.

    Be calm, be supportive, and listen to him actively.

    I hope this helps and if you have any questions feel free to PM me.

    Good luck

  7. #7


    This is a stupid tip, but maybe a helpful one. When you're listening to somebody and you want to make them feel comfortable and talk more, just repeat back to them exactly what they said. You can rephrase, and you'll think you're acting like an idiot, but I guarantee that saying somebody's own words back to them as a way of acknowledging that you heard them is extremely effective at getting them to open up.

  8. #8


    As already mentioned it could be a multitude of different reasons why he's acting that way.

    it's exactly those teenager years he's living right now, that aren't called kind of stressful and sorrowful years for most parents for no reason
    Hence it may be the simple fact that he's actually trying to break free from his mother, figuratively. In order to become more mature and responsible himself. Although in a rather drastic way.

    While secondly it could be any problem in school or with friends, or also his father that lead him to at least have one person he can be mean to. That would be kind of typical, I guess otherwise you'd go crazy however if you're just the punching bag or anything similar for everyone.

    Since you mentioned that he's also playing a lot of games. Does he usually prefer to stay at home the whole day? Doing nothing else as just trying to get his mind off things. And perhaps furthermore that his reaction of aversion is also a way of achieving that? He wants to be alone...

    Eitherway, it may not matter that much anyway. Just talk to him as some kind people already suggest. It doesn't even matter about what to be honest.
    Talk about anything, get him talking about anything he likes to talk to. Eventually he will go on and might want to hear your opinion about some things.
    Besides that it's kinda common for boys to have problems if their mom has a new partner. Role model replacement, or a potential danger to it, in short. Since he's still having contact with his father obviously. For girls it would be the other way around, and funnily this is not even age based. Even adult people might have some trouble with that.

    Furthermore, if you're really having a good connection to him, as you mentioned that you two had in the past a working friendship, then perhaps you could suggest him some of your favourite games?
    I'm not saying that I dislike any FPS game, but... he's 13, the minimum age is actually 16, and it's a cesspool if you're playing online.

    In the end, if he may not want to talk at all, and which is anyway depending on your patience obviously... then just go head on and ask about what's the matter, in time.
    Go on and state your opinion about it... well I'd guess you would say that this behaviour is not tolerable. But don't make him feel like he's losing you as a friend. Try to be a middleman, fixing the broken relationship to his mother, which is in this case his fault if he doesn't speak his mind. But still try to stay on his side in the conversation and lead him to the way that would be right depending on his answers. That's the most important thing I think. Whatever the reason might be, don't make him feel like he's alone.

    But what I'm also trying to get to is his father. Has the divorce been going well or has it been troublesome? Eitherway for his parents or for himself. One big cause, I'd bet, is his father perhaps - trying to influence him. Or on the other hand just giving him that much freedom on the weekends that your cousin might think it would be better to go to his father.

    However it may end, best of luck. Do not worry too much, just see what you can do and that's all that matters. ;)

  9. #9


    I can't add much here since the advise has all been excellent. Teaching junior high kids, I've talked to a lot of them. If they're angry, they'll typically close you off. You really have to win their confidence and you do that by having normal conversations about "just things". It could take you several days or weeks to build a relationship with him. I think if you just ask him outright, he'll think your mom put you up to it and he'll close you off.

    I would invest a lot of time. It's like on this site. It takes time for us to get to know each other or get to know new members. But over time, we find things in common and we open up more and more. And of course as others have said; he's 13. Good luck.

  10. #10


    Wow guys, never did i imagine that i would get this kind of support. And to attract the attention of 4 top contributors. Thank you so much for that.

    Also on another note, he is a tatter tale, very much so, if there is something he doesn't like he goes/went to tell his mom that second.

    I will have to ask him about things on his father's side, and probably something about his mom if he opens up. I doubt that i can get it in a singe day, but i will try to fix the broken pieces, i never was good at jigsaw puzzles in the first place so i take it as a new challenge. I don't know when i will be meeting him or under what circumstances, if her will be at his home or out in the mall or something.

    I will update you on anything that i might recall or even on the offchance that he shows up tomorrow. And again, thanks for all of your help. It means the world to me that someone cares about me and my troubles

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