How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Theresa Your Own Question
Theresa, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 877
Experience:  PhD. Clinical Psychology - Ex. Director Adolescent Treatment Facility
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
Theresa is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How do I get my son to talk to me

Resolved Question:

I live away from my son-about a day''s drive, and I call him on the phone, but he doesn''t pick-up. I know he''s hurt since I had to leave him and I suspect his mother is guilty of PAS, but I would like to know if there''s anything else I can do?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Theresa replied 9 years ago.


Can you provide details about your situation such as:

When did he quit talking?

Surrounding circumstances, etc.?

What is his age?

The more information the better...for this will help me provide you with the best possible answer.

Looking forward to you response...

Thank You,


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
He quit talking when I lost my second job and I had to move far away in order to find work. He was 13 then and he's just turned 17 in October. He quit school 1/2-way through Gr 11 last year in Ontario and then got a job on-line in British Columbia in June. I followed him out here in July and found work, but I'm still a day's drive away fom him. We were very close when he was a little guy...I know he's hurt, but so am I and I would like to know how I could open up some channel to him to help both of us heal. He wants to live his own life now, and I agree with him, but I still want to be in his life the best way I can. I am a male high school History teacher and football coach and part-time actor and in Ontario I was considered a bad role model and villified for who I am. I was forced to resign under threat of losing my teaching license from two different school boards in southern Ontario and I suspect that my son took some heat for having me for his dad as well.
Expert:  Theresa replied 9 years ago.

Hello Dad:

This makes the situation much easier to define and I appreciate your response. From the information that you have given I am guessing that up to the time that Kenny was 13 you lived in close proximity to him.

You indicate that from the time that he was 13 until now with him being age 17 communication between the two of you diminished for he quit talking to you when he was 13...

There are several things that you will have to consider through this process...One of them is that the four years that the two of you were apart was not just a physical distance problem in your relationship with your son...the emotional qualities that were joined by trust became distant as well.

One of the most critical phases of development in the adolescent male occurs during this time. Not only is the child trying to find his place in life by understanding who is he, he is also invincible or so he believes. Not being able to communicate with you frequently and freely gave him loads of time to develop what we refer to as faulty core beliefs.

A faulty core belief means that an individual allows themselves to believe something even though they are fully aware that it is not true or if the possibility that it is not true exists they will hold on to the belief they have rather than considering alternatives.

So common to the 13 year old male and female when they become separated via death or divorce etc. from a care giver is this: It's OK that we don't speak because if they loved me they would not have left to begin with. This mechanism also functions as a protective barrier to their ego...For when they mask their pain and make excuses for the occurrence of the event they are not as devastated.

Another thing that you are going to have to consider is that your son is no longer 13 years of age. His thought, and likes and dislikes are different than they were before. Though we become set in our ways "so to speak" as we age, the adult also goes through changes. With this it appears that you are hoping to correct a relationship that once existed. This will not happen. However, a new relationship can be developed.

You indicate that you were vilified because you were seen as a bad role model and threatened by two school boards to have your license revoked. You also indicate that your son probably took some heat from this. However, you don't really offer an explanation as to what specifically led others to think that you were a bad role model.

It is not my business nor am I placing judgment on you; but, with the potential for your licenses to be suspended or revoked I am led to think that maybe the acting was pornography?

If this is so your boy would have a difficult time understanding this...As parents we teach our children the things that are good for them to do and the things that would not be good for them or morally correct. When we do this we must realize that our children place us under scrutiny that is worse than a jury hearing a murder trial.

The things that will help you at re-establishing a healthy relationship with your son at the time and in spite of his resistance follow:

1. Though you are his parent, you will have to be a man that is big enough to apologize for the hurt that you have caused him.

2. When speaking with him you are going to have to take responsibility for the things you have done rather than make excuses. The reason that I say this is though you were apart from him, you could very well have initiated and kept the line of communication open via telephone contact or letters or cards. He needs to understand that you are genuinely sorry.

3. You will have to be persistent and at the same time patient for he is no longer a little boy and there is not a court that will make him speak with you. Persistent at writing to him and patient as you wait for his response.

4. I am going to suggest that you write to him frequently at least one time a week and attempt to call him no more that 1 time a month. Let him know that you will be calling and when you will do this to provide him the opportunity to really be there.

5. When you write, do not mention his mother to him. The relationship that you had with her is finished and has nothing to do with the relationship that you are hoping to gain with him. Remember, he loves her also and she deserves your respect by virtue of the fact that she gave you a son.

6. If he responds to you and his initial response is negative...Accept this to a degree... Understand that he was not responsible for the split for he was a child and he has 4 years of pain to let go of...

In the years of my clinical work, one thing I have observed over and over again is that as a parent, we often begin to believe that we are to be respected because we are a parent. This occurs because we see our self as a figure of authority that is deserving of and entitled to this privilege. Isn't it interesting how quickly we forget that the little innocent lives that we bring into this world are just as human as we are and require the same respect to grow in a healthy manner.

If this information has been helpful to you then please do ACCEPT by clicking on the green button on your screen for this is how we are compensated for our work. Positive feedback is always appreciated too!

If I can be of assistance to you in the future, you may request my help by typing:

ATTN: Terri60 before typing your question on the header or subject line and submitting it!



Theresa and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you