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Ways in Which Fathers Can Connect With Teenage Sons


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Old 13th November 2017, 5:48 PM   #1
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Ways in Which Fathers Can Connect With Teenage Sons

Long shot in starting this thread here, but if I get any replies I guess it will be worth it.

I have a 15 year old son who would be, if he tried, gifted athletically (as a goalie or defense in soccer, or even football if he ever tried it, which he has not because his school does not have it). His father, my ex-husband, was a great athlete, mostly in basketball, but really in everything he tried. He (my ex) has a very hard time with the fact that his son doesn't show athletic ambition, even though he actually does have the inclination. Our daughter is also very athletic, but she's involved in other solo passions that take up all of her time (art, equestrian).

Today, after some parent/teacher conferences I was asked to attend, after the first quarter, it was reiterated to me (no surprise) that my son is not working up to his potential and is showing extreme apathy with school and life in general. The main reason for this is social stuff.....his best friends left his private school, he has a couple close friends who are supposedly leaving next year, and he is just "done." (He and I had a great talk about this stuff this afternoon and I really feel like things are going in a good direction).

I emailed my ex today to tell him I was called to these conferences and to tell him the results. (Why they asked the mom and not the dad? No clue). My ex, his father, has expressed his frustration that he has tried to connect with our son, but has no clue how to do it. He emailed me tonight that he wishes he "could connect with him on something." My ex and my daughter are very close. They've connected over the horse he bought for her, the upkeep of the horse, etc. And my daughter is just more "outdoorsy." My ex and my son just have trouble connecting.

Any advice? My son needs a passion (we actually talked about this today, he and I), and his father desperately wants to connect with his son.

TL; DR: My son's father wants to try to connect with him when he feels they have nothing in common. Are there any fathers here who have successfully done this?
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:01 PM   #2
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Could they go hiking or mountain climbing together to bond? Would that be something your son might be into?

I think it's great that your ex is concerned about maintaining a close relationship with your son. You're very lucky in that.
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by amaysngrace View Post
Could they go hiking or mountain climbing together to bond? Would that be something your son might be into?

I think it's great that your ex is concerned about maintaining a close relationship with your son. You're very lucky in that.
He was a lousy husband, but he really is a great dad <3.

I don't think either of them would "love" hiking just by themselves. I've hiked with both of my kids and we've had a great time, but I think if his dad took him hiking, they'd both be like, "why are we doing this?"
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:06 PM   #4
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I should add that I really do think my 15 year old son wants to branch out and get some other interests beyond video games. He really WANTS to change.
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:07 PM   #5
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Bowling, skiing, fishing, wave runner....

how about a tropical trip over winter break?
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:10 PM   #6
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Bowling, skiing, fishing, wave runner....

how about a tropical trip over winter break?
He has taken both kids on great vacations. I wonder how he'd feel about just a boys trip.
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:28 PM   #7
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your son may be having problems unassociated with lack of direction, apathy....or lack of passion for things (such as sports ... which you referred to him having an inclination for....something he got from his father). These sound to me as if they are symptoms....of a deeper problem..symptoms which.....blaming them on losing friends....would be safe (and reasonable sounding) reasons for not fulfilling his potential....safe for the both of you...and safe for all involved.

There may be problems that neither you nor your ex can help him with. they may be problems that are associated with things that even he doesn't fully grasp...or at a minimum....problems that he's never felt safe discussing with either of you..

I'll just be honest. I think it could have something to do with the divorce. Don't know that's the case. Don't know anything. Just reading on the internet a situation....and it sounds to me as if....that's all. Could be wrong. A disinterested 3rd party's hypothesis who nothing more than some guy on the internet.

that said....I've had problems with completely fulfilling my destiny....and my parents did not divorce. So....take it for what it's worth....

good luck to you all
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by CautiouslyOptimistic View Post
He has taken both kids on great vacations. I wonder how he'd feel about just a boys trip.
And also, is your son interested in any sports events or concerts?

I'm sorry...just throwing things out there hoping something will click.
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:59 PM   #9
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Maybe they can fix up a cool old car, and get it ready for when he gets his drivers license??...Even if he's not that mechanically inclined its good to learn some tool skills and basic stuff....I've seen a lot of bonding between sons and fathers with this type of stuff and just about every kid, (especially guys), like to have a nice ride...

Or hunting/fishing? I know some don't like the hunting part, but again, lots of fathers and sons bond with that type of activity...

He could also take him into NYC or whatever big city you are close to...Go to a pro ball game and grab some dinner...Have some laughs...Its a great thing as well..

I have a daughter who I adore...I was an accomplished athlete, but she doesn't have any interest...It bugged me in the beginning, because I know she has it in her, but what can I do..?? I foster the other stuff...

My best wishes...

TFY
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Old 13th November 2017, 6:59 PM   #10
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I should add.....

at 15....we can all be somewhat lackadaisical.....figuring things out. Straight "A"'s....Captan of the soccer team....and practicing the piano....isn't every 15 year old's mold.

At 15...I can't even write on the internet what I was doing.

but....I managed to....gain traction when the times presented themselves.

(how's *that* for vague?)

Every chance the guy will be fine. He has 2 loving parents pulling for him.
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Old 13th November 2017, 7:45 PM   #11
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I'll just be honest. I think it could have something to do with the divorce. Don't know that's the case. Don't know anything. Just reading on the internet a situation....and it sounds to me as if....that's all. Could be wrong. A disinterested 3rd party's hypothesis who nothing more than some guy on the internet.

that said....I've had problems with completely fulfilling my destiny....and my parents did not divorce. So....take it for what it's worth....

good luck to you all
Definitely possible! I don't discount this. I seek ways to foster communication with my son since I know it's waayyyyy more likely for that to happen (with me) than with his father. Nothing against his father, like he's doing anything wrong. Just the way he is.
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Old 13th November 2017, 7:50 PM   #12
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Maybe they can fix up a cool old car, and get it ready for when he gets his drivers license??...Even if he's not that mechanically inclined its good to learn some tool skills and basic stuff....I've seen a lot of bonding between sons and fathers with this type of stuff and just about every kid, (especially guys), like to have a nice ride...

Or hunting/fishing? I know some don't like the hunting part, but again, lots of fathers and sons bond with that type of activity...

He could also take him into NYC or whatever big city you are close to...Go to a pro ball game and grab some dinner...Have some laughs...Its a great thing as well..

I have a daughter who I adore...I was an accomplished athlete, but she doesn't have any interest...It bugged me in the beginning, because I know she has it in her, but what can I do..?? I foster the other stuff...

My best wishes...

TFY
His dad is a sporadic hunter, but my son has shown no interest in that so far. Or a specific sports team. I wish his dad was more interested in stuff like that. Basically, what his dad wants him to be interested in is working . Just hard labor. It's what he considers to be "success." I don't even know if he'd admit this, but it would be the first think he'd connect with him over since he's a workaholic and doesn't really understand people who are not.
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Old 13th November 2017, 7:56 PM   #13
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How about joining a gym together? They can each get up early and go work out and spot for one another before their days begin. It may help to get your son out of his funk too since exercise is good for that.
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Old 13th November 2017, 8:14 PM   #14
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How about joining a gym together? They can each get up early and go work out and spot for one another before their days begin. It may help to get your son out of his funk too since exercise is good for that.
They do this once or twice a week together. Definitely more because my son is bending to his dad's wishes than the other way around.
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Old 13th November 2017, 8:17 PM   #15
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Now that I'm reading and responding to this thread I realize that what the relationship my ex and my son have together is way more than what some desire to have. I feel bad even starting this thread now. I'm sorry.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 13th November 2017 at 9:46 PM.. Reason: Edited for Moderation call out ~ V
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