Unhealthy relationship with only child - FamilyEducation
Unhealthy relationship with only child
06/25/2008 at 10:56 AM

I don't know how to bring my son and husband together again.  My son is 11 soon to be 12 and about a 1 1/2 yrs ago started distancing himself from my husband.  My husband wants to play catch and do things, he won't.  Whenever they try to have a conversation, it always ends in pushing each other and shoving.  What can I do to bring this family together without arguing?  My son is really like an attorney, he always has defense statements and comebacks.  I would have to say, he's an excellent one.  Thank you for any advice.

"always ends in pushing each other and shoving."

As the adult, your husband needs to walk away or learn to restrain your son if son begins to try pushing or shoving. He should not be pushing and shoving back. My opinion is that this needs to stop. Now. Your son is learning to get physical in an argument. He could end up doing this with the women in his life. These fights he has with his father could escalate, and one day (sooner than you think) your son will be physically stronger than your husband. Then what might happen?

Have you considered family counseling? A counselor can hopefully help your family learn new ways to communicate and work through problems together. I think it can only help, not hurt, so it's worth a try.

Good luck to your family.


The pushing and shoving does seem an issue here, but children your son's age do start to back off from adults. My son had a wonderful relationship with both myself and my partner until he was about 11 or 12, then he distanced himself. A lot of it is just an age and hormone thing. I think it is worse with fathers and step fathers because of the old Alpha male thing. My son is now nearly 19 and for the last year or so his relationship with my partner has changed again and they are 'best buddies' My son will sit and chat again and tell us all about college, friends, events etc. Just give him some time but you should explain to him how you feel about the pushing and shoving. Could it not be an inept attempt at some male bonding. Hope all goes well for you anyway.