Every time I try to parent my teens they threaten to go to their dads: Advice?

I am a single mom of two boys, 12 and 15 years old. I have primary care, and dad has every second weekend. Before the Christmas break I had an argument with my oldest (he has decided that he is transgender and now prefers to dress as a girl) I didn’t take it too well at first, but I am now trying just to be supportive. It was just a shock at first. He took off and went to his dad’s and did not come home for a month. His dad just kept him, and I’m sure they influenced him to stay. Dad and his family talk really poorly about me to the kids. This has done my job to parent them pretty much impossible. My kids swear at me and now threaten just to take off (to their dads)if I try to put any rules in place… They have been taught that they don’t need to ask me for anything and just come and go as they please. Dad and his family make plans with them and pick them up without me knowing, usually when I’m at work. They communicate to me through the kids regarding any plans, and even then I’m not being asked, I’m being told what’s happening. They are both in counseling. My oldest was suspended from school yesterday for fighting, and I tried to talk to him calmly about it after work. Immediately he threatened to just take off to his dads if I tried to ground him or take his devices away. (He is also only passing one class in high school) If he takes off to his dad’s, can I ask that he be returned? Their dad is also trying to influence the boys to live with him instead, anytime he wants extra time with the boys I let them go, now I feel like that’s all just been subtle manipulation. He begs to keep them an “extra day or night,” and I always cave… for the kids. Now I see it’s all just a game. I’m so frustrated. Dad also calls our youngest every day, and I’ve caught him lying about me to him. I feel like he’s trying to put them against me. I’ve talked to dad repeatedly about their behavior, and I’ve been told from the boys that he says I must have done something for them to behave badly. Dad says that when he talks to them, he doesn’t need to report back to me about anything. Everything is a fight, and I’m exhausted.


Well if he takes off and you have primary custody you get the papers and go to his house with the police. And honestly you need to get a tour set up with dh… Or call the police for him being obedient I know parents don’t want to but sometimes you gotta.

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Let them go to dad’s permanently. Buh-Bye!


Is he only supposed to have them every second weekend? Is that in writing through the court? If the father keeps the children longer than that like a month like in the past, that is illegal and you can call the cops.


The father has to abide by rules of the court or else it’s illegal so go court if you haven’t already!


Let them go & tell them they cannot come back unless they want to follow the rules🤷🏾‍♀️


Parent of 29 yrs, raised 3 to adulthood, whoooo Teenagers huh, yeah NOT MY FAVORITE PART, my advice Pull thier cards mom, Pack them up and personally deliver them to Dad. When the P/T parent gets a taste of what it’s like to parent FULL TIME and starts laying down some rules be prepared for the phone call BEGGING you to come get em!!! Wouldn’t tell ya to do anything I Haven’t been through myself sweetie, Trust me THEY WILL BE BACK LOL

Also do yourself a favor and start keeping a record of things. Text the father instead of calling to keep a paper trial of responses


My ex husband would have done anything to hurt me, they don’t care if they drag the kids into it! Let them go to their fathers then! If they don’t want to follow your rules and show you no respect! LET THEM GO!They will eventually see the truth! What a Jerk!

First of all to be truly supportive and understanding and respectful of your oldest “son” you need to use the right pronouns. I know it’s hard but it’s the first step you now have a daughter and a son. Imagine being in your oldest’s head and what kind of turmoil and bravery that took to do. Have you sat down and really talked to your oldest about this decision? Second of all, If you are having issues with the father you need to get the court involved so there are clear boundaries. It’s seems as if you have allowed yourself to be a doormat and now aren’t being taken seriously. You have given up your time with your children that you can’t get back and you have have set the standard. To change that play hardball but be the bigger parent. You can always say I know your father says negative things about me and it’s your choice to listen if you want but I’m not going to do that. We are all still a family.


Honestly if your kids want to go live at their dads, let them. Believe me I wouldn’t like my kids moving to their dad’s but it will give them a chance to realize the reality of the situation in the long run. Never let your child threaten you with leaving because then you need to hand them a suitcase and say if they feel so much better with their dad then go and find out because you’re the parent not them so you should. Be giving them ultimatums and not the other way around. They will realize down the line that their dad was only acting a certain way just to get them to move in so it can hurt you he’s not doing it for the kids he’s doing it to destroy you your feelings so I would say just let your children live with him for some time and they will realize themselves that you were the one that always took care of them and was there or did the most for them because hes only playing the good guy for now just wait when he has the kids longer…that facade with fade eventually. Just my opinion.

let them go to their dads if they dont want to be under your rules in your home then tell em to f off


Then they would go permanently, until they could respect you…


Honestly I would sit down with the boys and have a blunt honest conversation about your rules and your expectations. If they don’t agree to them then let them go live with their Dad. As old as they are there is no simple fix. You have already lost control.


Let them go and live there permanently. They are growing up and they will soon realize that it was just you trying to love them all along. You need your peace too


They are teens or close to it. Maybe it would be good for them at this age to live with their dad for a bit.


Let them go once they’re there im sure he would wanna go back with you.


Give them their freedom…if they want to go to Dad give them permission to go…But…they can not come home unless they live under your rules…you have lost control of them and at their age let them try to be the boss…Dad’s may not be as nice when they do not have an option…Think of your self…as they age you have to let control go anyway…start now


Let them go to their dads, they will soon find out the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.


Were you and dad married before? Because I know here when divorcing and there are children together. Both parents are required to go to a court appointed parenting class. One of the biggest issues they point out is one parent demeaning the other parent in front of or too the child. Nor allow anyone around your child to do so. Not allowed to try and take the love that child has for that parent in any way. Not to fight through the kids and so on. And if that happens the “innocent” parent can file contempt charges. It can result in jail time and or fines. If you weren’t married I’m pretty sure since the issues can’t be agreed upon by both parents you can request a guardian ad litem.