Question: Dear Luise: I’m a 43 yea- old mom of four. Oldest son (15), daughter(12), twin daughters(11). The three girls live with me and my son lives with their dad. I don’t see my son very much. They only live 30 minutes from me but he doesn’t like to come to my house. He says he doesn’t like my current husband. Mainly because my son isn’t allowed to do whatever he wants or disrespect me. But the problem is I’m feeling guilty for not pressing harder to have my son more in my life. I love him so much but I feel he and I are not mother and son. His grandmother lives close to him and his dad so she had raised him since he was 8. That is when his dad and I divorced. I don’t know what to do to bring him closer to me. I feel that as he gets older the more space has come between us. I love him with all my heart and tell him often. I don’t know what else to do. C.
Answer: Dear C.: The only thing I know of that you can do is to keep the doors of your home and your heart open. Your son is at a difficult age…soon he will be on his own. The day may come when he is interested in re-establishing contact with you and he may find relating to you as a friend more to his liking than being your dependent child.
Age 15, for boys especially, is often a time when authority is challenged and if your son is in a position to remove himself from his stepfather’s influence…that may appeal to him a great deal.
Divorce has to be accepted by children and they are forced to adjust to it. Resentment is often part of the package. Siblings that might have hated being raised together may feel that being separated is unfair. There is often a lot of fall-out.
Your situation has been in place for a long time and I seriously doubt that there is anything you can do now to rectify it. What matters most is that your son grows up to be a fine young man in spite of all the challenges that have come his way.
Do your best not to give in to guilt. None of us do parenting perfectly and who knows how it would have turned out, had you handled it differently. It might have made things worse.
Look back; I think you know in your heart that you did and are still doing your best. That helps. Blessings, Luise