My 12 Year Old Son is Driving Me Nuts!

I’m not even sure if I’ll publish this post. I’m currently sat writing this without any idea of what direction it will take and with the only hope that writing it will help me see things a little clearer.

I also said in my previous Blogging Journey post I would be writing more honest stories about my life as not everything is always as rosy and easy as it appears. Social media doesn’t share the flipping great big stand-off Coby and I had last Saturday night does it. It doesn’t show the struggles and confrontations we sometimes have to go through.

Teenager driving me nuts

So, here you have it, total transparency on what’s it like when you’re 12 year old thinks he rules the world!

My son, Coby, who I have spoken about quite a few times on my blog is driving me insane right now. Does that make a bad parent to admit that? I’m hoping it’s just a stage – people say that it is with hormonal teens right? I’m desperately praying this doesn’t last until he is 18 either. I may just end up losing the plot if it does. It’s gruelling.

He doesn’t scream or shout, in fact it’s quite the opposite. He just shrugs his shoulders and says “I dunno” quite often. My handsome loving son, the boy who has always been so open with me about most things won’t talk and it’s making me feel like a bit of a failure. Sad right. I know that as parents we’re not perfect, who is? And I’m well aware I’m not alone and we all feel like this at some point through our children’s lives regardless of what age they are.

But how do you fix it? Can it be fixed? Do we just ride it out and follow the ‘choose your battles wisely’ option? I honestly don’t have any answers, but if you do – please enlighten me!

The issue

It’s mainly his attitude. With me, his Dad, all of his family really. He’s great at doing his homework, he doesn’t swear and his manners have always been lovely. He does backchat his teachers sometimes but generally his attitude towards us sucks. That’s our challenge.

I know I’m not alone in this situation. Parenting teenagers makes even the most sane of us act nuts…right? Please agree with me here…ha!

Have you also found yourself horrified when stood in front of them arguing reminds you that you used to act or say exactly the same things? See, even most of us parents acted the same when we were at this age too. Don’t deny it 😉

We usually have the most lovely days out together, our holidays are always exciting and we have the best of times. I’m scared that those moments are gone. I’m scared my kindhearted, sensitive, funny child has disappeared. I miss him. He still luckily tells me he loves me and we always have a hug before he goes to sleep every night so I know that we’ll be okay, and I know he does care, he just doesn’t understand how to express that right now. I’m the adult in the relationship and I still have to guide him on the right path.

I need him to understand the consequences of his actions and behaviour. What do you think he was bothered about when I took his phone off him at the weekend? It wasn’t that he’d upset me, it wasn’t that he was in the wrong and he certainly wasn’t sorry. Looking at me like I was some sort of zombie one eyed cyclops his only concern was losing his ‘streaks’ with his friends on Snapchat!! It’s bizarre. He was being very self-centered and I’m not going to feel ashamed by saying that about my own child either.

There are two ways I think about Coby.

The first is that I can see the person that he eventually will grow to be – smart, funny, caring and I know he’ll fill me with pride and admiration. He does that already and we make sure he knows this. He’s a good person.

Croatia holiday - Mum & Son time - Part One.

The second is what I’m writing about now and the side that makes me….want to…. punch him in the mouth.

Can’t believe I just wrote that and for clarity… I obviously wouldn’t 😉

What next?

Maybe we’re just having an off week? But it’s been building up gradually over the last year so I don’t think it is. I wrote a post once about knowing what he needs and I’m reading it back and reminding myself he needs alone time, he needs patience and he needs boundaries! Setting reasonable limits are important because eventually, he’ll need to be able to set reasonable limits for himself. He’s got to learn about self-control.

I have to remind myself I’m not his friend, I’m his parent. He doesn’t need another friend, he has plenty of those. I think a bit of ‘tough-love’ is in the pipeline.

Determined not to lose the communication link we’ve always had, and always treasured, I’m hoping to have some one-on-one time with him this weekend so we can be together and re-connect. Part of me sometimes feels guilty for when I’ve been so busy with work and other responsibilities that I worry he needs me more than I’ve been there lately.

There’s nothing that a little love and fun can’t heal.

Boca Boca, Salou

Monday to Friday Xbox is now banned. I truly believe the games he plays change his personality. I recently noticed he’d rather spend time playing Xbox and chatting to his friends through his headset over spending time with me, and his family. Without me even realising Coby’s gaming time has slowly increased. It’s time to knock that one on the head and I would highly recommend doing this to anyone struggling with their teen as I’ve noticed a pretty big change already.

Time out is good. I went to a spa on Sunday and as much as my thoughts were mostly around the situation with Coby it did give me time to reflect. It also gave us a little space from each other. Self-care and concentrating on ourselves sometimes helps to see things a little more clearly.

Parenting is tough. But it is also a unique gift that I love and treasure wholeheartedly. I love being a parent, it’s my number one responsibility and we love our children unconditionally. Through their ups and their downs. Through their worst and their best parts. This is my first real testing time with him as when he was a toddler he was pretty easy! Maybe that’s what is making this stage feel worse than it really is?

God, I hate hormones!

After The Playground
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6 Comments

  1. mackintoshtravels.com
    8th November 2017 / 9:37 pm

    I totally understand! We have 2 teenage boys and 1 has been having a bad attitude (selfish) so we have pulled back the plug on videogames and screen time in general. It’s amazing how much more they interact when they’re not on their phone or in front of a screen 24/7. But I wanted to tell you that you’re a good mom and you’re doing your best. I’m just praying that one day they will understand why we do the things we do now. We are helping them become responsible, proactive, engaging young men. Good luck to you! I subscribed to your site! 🙂

  2. Shutterbug Sage
    8th November 2017 / 11:36 pm

    With three kids older than your son (and one right about his age), I have this to share for what it’s worth:
    1) You seem like an amazing mom. That gets you 90%+ through this!
    2) Middle school sucks. There’s no sugar coating it. Ask some one who is in their 80s or 90s even THEY thought middle school was the worst.
    3) Be glad you don’t have pre-teen daughters. (I’m really only kidding a teeny, tiny bit with #3…

  3. 9th November 2017 / 1:58 pm

    You are a year ahead of us Natalie and I think that probably makes a big difference. We had this in Year 6 and the start of Year 7 and secondary has been like the welcoming back of all of the dearest things. You know this right, I’m guessing same for you? I’m also guessing that there is a just you wait until next year coming and I know that it is. I’m milking this period and I totally identify with what you are saying. Feel your pain and I’m guessing, like you, we have to ride these years. I’m also remembering the lovely solo trips you have done with Coby and I totally know that, like everything else, this too shall pass. In the meantime, take comfort from knowing that we are all in the same boat with this next chapter. I’ve certainly been in your shoes and will be again. Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond

  4. 10th November 2017 / 1:40 pm

    Hang on in there Natalie. The onset of the teen years are the toughest bit, as you say all those raging hormones. Plus there is their quest for independence, their need for you to recognise their maturing status and their emphasis on their mates as the centre of their world. You have a lovely relationship with Coby and that and your open communication with him will carry you through the rough and the smooth bits. I promise! My eldest returned from uni for a break last week and we have been through a lot of ups and downs together over the years but our bond is as strong as ever. You are right too about sticking to being the parent not the friend and also taking time out of the situation every now and again. We all need space sometimes – even our teens! Thanks for joining us again. Always lovely to have you. #TweensTeensBeyond

  5. 10th November 2017 / 7:00 pm

    You pull out a lot of important issues here Natalie. Firstly, no you are certainly not a bad parent. This post shows that you are a very caring and proactive parent. Secondly, you are so right when you say that you are his parent and not his friend. They are VERY different things. Also, this is a period of such rapid change and there are up and down days. It does pass though and if you can survive (and I know you will!) you will have a fab relationship with your lovely son once he hits 19 or 20. Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

  6. 10th November 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Been there done that and survived. I used to think the aliens took my sweet daughter and replaced her with a pod person. Luckily they brought her back at about 19 or so. It will get better.

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