My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something – What To Do?

It can be heartbreaking when a child, especially a grown son, only seems to reach out when they need something. 

Whether it’s financial assistance, help with a chore, or a listening ear during a rough patch, this transactional relationship can leave you feeling hurt and undervalued.

This article explores strategies to navigate situations my son only contacts me when he wants something

We’ll discuss ways to reconnect with your son, establish healthy boundaries, and foster a more balanced relationship.

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something – 10 Things To Do!

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

Feeling disconnected from your son, who only reaches out with requests? Rebuild a stronger, more balanced relationship with these strategies. 

We’ll explore initiating contact, fostering quality time, and setting clear boundaries to create a foundation for mutual care and support.

Read Also: Why Do Sons Forget Their Mothers?

1. Initiate Contact On Neutral Terms

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

Don’t wait for him to reach out with another request looming. Take the initiative to connect by sending a casual text or email. 

Instead of messages directly related to his potential needs, inquire about his life, hobbies, or interests.

This shows genuine curiosity and sets a neutral tone for the interaction. 

You could say:

“Hey [Son’s Name], I haven’t heard from you in a while! Just wanted to see how you’re doing. Did you finally catch that game you were looking forward to?”

2. Focus On Quality Time

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

When you manage to connect, plan activities beyond solving his problems and create an opportunity to bond on a deeper level.  

Instead of offering to fix his car when he calls, suggest attending a sporting event he enjoys or grabbing a cup of coffee.  

This focus on shared experiences allows for more natural conversation and strengthens your emotional connection.

3. Practice Active Listening

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

Communication is a two-way street, and feeling heard can go a long way in rebuilding a relationship. When you’re together, show genuine interest in your son’s life. 

Ask open-ended questions that encourage him to elaborate beyond one-word answers. 

For example, instead of asking “How’s work?”, try “What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced lately?”.  

Avoid interrupting with advice or anecdotes about your own experiences. Listen attentively and offer empathetic responses that acknowledge his feelings.

4. Express Your Feelings

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

Bottling up your emotions won’t help the situation. Choose a calm and assertive moment to communicate how his transactional approach makes you feel.  

Focus on “I” statements that avoid accusatory language. You could say, “I feel a little hurt when I only hear from you when you need something. I miss our conversations and spending time together just because.” 

Explain your desire for a closer relationship built on mutual care and support. 

Be receptive to his perspective and understand his reasons for relying on you, primarily when he needs help.

5. Set Clear Boundaries

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

While showing your love and support, it’s crucial to establish healthy boundaries. Be upfront about what kind of support you’re comfortable offering. 

If you can’t afford always to be his financial safety net, be honest. Explain your limitations clearly and firmly.  

For instance, you might say:

“I care about you and want to help, but financially assisting you every time you’re in a bind isn’t sustainable for me. Let’s talk about ways to manage your budget better in the long term.”

6. Offer Alternatives

Instead of simply providing solutions when he reaches out with problems, empower him to develop independent problem-solving skills. 

Explore ways he can tackle challenges on his own.

If facing financial difficulties, encourage him to create a budget or research different financing options. 

If his car needs repairs, learn some basic DIY maintenance skills together.  

Teaching him self-reliance prepares him for future challenges and reinforces a sense of personal responsibility.

7. Focus On Your Well-being

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

It’s impossible to pour from an empty cup. Taking care of yourself emotionally and physically is essential. 

Build a strong support network of friends and family you can rely on for companionship and emotional support.

Engage in hobbies and activities that bring you joy and a sense of purpose.  

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle reduces stress and allows you to approach your relationship with your son with greater clarity and resilience. 

Consider joining a club, taking a fitness class, or volunteering for a cause you care about.

8. Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, communication breakdowns and complex family dynamics require external support. 

If the situation is causing significant stress or you’re struggling to communicate effectively with your son, consider individual or family therapy. 

A therapist can provide a safe space for open communication, offer guidance on setting boundaries, and equip you with practical communication skills. 

Therapy can help you understand the root causes of the transactional dynamic and develop strategies to build a more fulfilling relationship.

9. Be Patient And Consistent 

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

Rebuilding a relationship takes time and effort. Don’t get discouraged if change doesn’t happen overnight. Consistency is key.  

Continue initiating neutral contact, expressing your feelings respectfully, and offering support while maintaining healthy boundaries. 

Every small interaction can be a step towards a more balanced relationship. Celebrate any positive shifts in communication or interaction, no matter how minor.  

Acknowledging progress reinforces the positive changes and motivates you both to keep moving forward.

10. Celebrate Small Victories

My Son Only Contacts Me When He Wants Something

It’s important to acknowledge and appreciate any positive changes in communication or interaction. 

Even a simple phone call to share a laugh or a casual conversation during a planned activity can be considered a victory.  

Celebrating these moments reinforces the positive direction and encourages further effort. Be mindful of your expectations. 

Remember, you aim to gradually shift towards a more well-rounded relationship, not an overnight transformation.

Read Also: Why Are So Many Kids Cutting Off Their Parents?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I give him what he needs even if he doesn’t reach out often?

This depends on your situation. Consider your resources and whether the request is vital. If you choose to help, tie it back to setting boundaries. “I’m happy to help you with X, but let’s discuss a plan to avoid similar situations in the future. Financial literacy workshops might be helpful for budgeting.”

Am I a bad parent?

Don’t blame yourself. Family dynamics are complex. This could be a phase related to his age, life circumstances, or communication styles. Therapy can help you explore the root causes and navigate them effectively.

What if he gets angry when I set boundaries?

It’s normal for boundaries to be met with resistance initially. Remain calm, explain your intention to maintain a healthy relationship, and stick to your principles. “I understand you’re frustrated, but this is what works for me. Perhaps we can explore alternative solutions together.”

Will he ever initiate contact just to chat?

Absolutely! The transactional pattern can shift towards a more well-rounded relationship with consistent effort and improved communication. He’s likelier to reach out for casual connections as he feels valued and heard.


That was all about the topic my son only contacts me when he wants something. Having a son who only reaches out when he needs something can be a source of pain and frustration.  

Implementing the strategies outlined here can open the door to a more meaningful connection. Remember, communication is vital. Initiate contact, practice active listening, and express your feelings openly. 

Patience and consistency are crucial. Setting healthy boundaries protects your well-being while encouraging your son’s independence. Feel free to seek professional help if needed. 

Celebrate small victories as your relationship progresses towards a more balanced and fulfilling dynamic. 

With time and effort, you can rebuild a stronger bond built on mutual respect, understanding, and genuine care.

Ethan W
Ethan W.
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Ethan W. is a relationship expert and author committed to helping individuals and couples cultivate healthy and fulfilling relationships. He shares practical insights and proven techniques for navigating the complexities of love and intimacy in the Relationships section.

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