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RealSupport, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I have a 17 year old son who is being brainwashed against me

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I was divorced over a year ago and  have a 17 year old son who is being brainwashed against me by my ex, who buys him fancy things to manipulate him.  Yet he refuses to help me pay for kid's college and wants me to take on all the loans.  Then he put my son into online schools against my will. My son is doing the work and says he's fine, but even though I have 75% custody of him, he is being kept from seeing me. I've been told it won't help going to a judge since the boy is 17.  I just helped my daughter get into one the nations top colleges, and it is upcoming application time for my son. I want to help my son. What can I do? What can I do to be the best possible mother? 


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, I would like to keep the question open. I don't know whether to try to legally deal with this issue by forcing my son to come back here (since I have 75% custody, or whether to just keep letting him know I love him and am here for him. My ex-husband is really stranding in the way of my being able to help him, but my son (17 years old) wanted to be with him. He had never really had the chance to spend much time with him when he was growing up due to ex's work. I want to do what is best for him.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX continue to look for a professional to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

I am very sorry to know about this overwhelmingly frustrating and sad situation. You have had the biggest legal power to define your son's situation, but he is already old enough to choose what he wants, and the law will enable him to take full responsibility for hims own choices as a full adult very soon.

I can see you allowed him to stay with his father because you care about him and wanted him to have the chance to bond and share as he did not have the opportunity before because of his father's limitations. I think you are generous and set his needs as real priorities in your life, before any marital issues and current disagreement with his father. But now the scenario has become very concerning, since he is literally spoiling your son in such unacceptable ways, literally to bye his preference over you, and this is not only a very unacceptable approach undermining your relationship with your son, but deeply distorting his perception of reality and his need to learn to value things with a healthy and assertive approach.

I do believe much damage could be caused to your son's personality and life by his father's manipulative and dysfunctional approach. This is why I think you'd need to have a very open and honest talk with your son about this situation, for him to understand why it is not healthy to follow such path, that you fully support him staying a lot of time with his father, but also need to share with him, and know he is taking good care of himself by taking healthy and wise choices. This way your son will be taking responsibility for his own choices, feelings and actions,since he is becoming an adult and need to do so, especially because of the importance of his decision around these core life areas at this time in his life, including education and a future.

The you would need to meet his father and make it clear what you need and expect from him, setting clear boundaries and limits, specially around his responsibility to raise your son with maturity, assertiveness and healthy affection, not by spoiling him. In case he continues to dismiss these issues and perpetuates his approach, where he does not set your son's needs and well-being as his priority, you would need to adjust your situation here, and for that I see the need you have to get competent legal counsel to know which are your core responsibilities and rights in current situation, what you could expect and do supported by the law. It's tricky because your son is almost an adult and he will choose what he wants, then your role will be limited to what you can openly agree with him, gaining and promoting his trust and affection, while respecting his own choices.

Does it make sense?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

This does make sense. It was an excellent answer and very helpful. Thank you. I am trying to do as you've advised and will continue to do so. Again, thank you for taking the time to give such an in depth and sensitive answer.

You're very welcome. I am glad to know it has been this helpful, and that you have decided to take consistent actions about it. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions or to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible.

Thank you for your trust.
RealSupport, Family Counselor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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