12 year olds - does anyone else feel this?

(57 Posts)
TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 10:23:53

I don't know whether anyone saw this article on Saturday? Mine's a dd not a ds, but despite the slightly mawkish tone of the article (which I generally dislike in the 'a letter to' column), it really struck a chord.

I don't think I found dd1 so difficult, but am finding dd2 so arsey and stroppy and just generally feeling as though.... she doesn't really love me any more. I'm glum and (hate this excuse, but it's true) a tad hormonal today, and I'd love to hear from other parents of 11/12 year olds. I know she'll be arsey when she gets in from school, so I don't hurry to be home first. I know she won't really be grateful for anything I do, but I just pathetically keep on. When I suggest things, she never seems that keen. When I ask her to do stuff, she huffs all over the place. She's cutting and unsympathetic and generally gives the air of despising me - and it is me, it's not dp and not really her sister who get this.

She's doing amazingly at school - clocking up the merits, lots of good feedback, happy in friendship groups which she's broadened since starting year 7. I just don't think she likes me much, and to be honest, some days I struggle to like her. sad

Startail Mon 22-Apr-13 11:01:42

My 12y DD2 can be like this, Family are boring, grump, take dinner to her room and shut the door.

Unfortunately for her, she has three problems with keeping it going.

1) She lives in the middle of nowhere so actually seeing not texting friends requires mum onside to taxi.

2) She has always had phases of whinging and me and non nonsense DD1 (15) are inclined either giggle at her or ignore her, we are a bit mean grin

3) Most important of all, she actually needs to feel secure and loved and if she's too miserable, DH who she loves to bits, buggers of to his computer.

In the end living where we do and being a very sociable soul who eventually needs company and needs activity, she can't hide in her room forever.

But yes OP 12y behaviour can have it's downsides. We are very very lucky to have had DD1, who thinks teen behaviour is pointless, first.

All the advice I can offer is that the little child is still there sometimes it requires persistent ignoring teen stroppyness to find it.

Oh and one last thing, finding an activity they love helps too. Playing on the trampoline might be babyish, practicing gymnastics isn't wink

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:18:19

Thanks startail.

I feel I rely on dd1 too much as my 'comfort' - like at least I got one of them right! She also gets quite annoyed and defensive on my part when dd2 is rude or unpleasant, and it can be tempting to wallow in that when actually I shouldn't set up 'sides' and it will only make dd2 more resentful.

BeGoodElliot Mon 22-Apr-13 11:19:38

I have a 12yr old DD too and can relate to what you are saying. I think a lot of the time she just actually doesn't know how to express herself so just goes in a grump, like a toddler again.

She is also pretty much permanently in her room, apart from meal times and the odd occasion she needs something! grin

I am, according to her, "always getting on at her" which I do sometimes feel like I am, but I also feel like if she didn't keep doing/not doing the same things repeatedly I wouldn't need to keep "getting on at her". I have been trying to break this cycle.

The past 2 weeks she has been really quite ill and off school and the difference in her has been amazing, she has been lovely, chatty, generally just nice, but also too sick to move from the couch. I think she has secretly enjoyed being looked after. Although this morning she seemed back to her old self! grin

I do think it is a difficult ages with lots of going on (hormones, new school, trying to find their place)

Good to know there are others in the same boat, perhaps we can start a support group for each other!! grin

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:20:45

Good idea!

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 22-Apr-13 11:26:43

Yes, am walking on egg shells around my 12 year old dd quite a lot at the moment. But she still has moments of absolute loveliness and I cling on to them rather desperately grin.

Its all hormones! Hormones make you feel rubbish, don't they?

I remember that invaluable lesson from toddler years - pick your battles and keep showing them you love them. Its just another adjustment that we parents have to make as we guide our dc through to adulthood.

Have to say I'm a bit worried about the next stage though!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:28:48

Yes, I have tried to pick battles, and to stop doing one of my bad habits which is the 'and another thing' rant, so that 'could you put your clothes away?' doesn't end in 'your room is a fucking shit tip, do you even appreciate anything I do for you, and you were very rude to me last week' etc etc.

I feel I've been a much worse mother to her than dd1.

MoreBeta Mon 22-Apr-13 11:37:12

It is a phase (I hope). DS1 has been quite difficult like this for the last year. Spends most of his free time texting friends or chatting on his iPad or xbox. Seems to have a good circle of friends but perhaps overly influenced by them and wanting to fit in.

Pretty much gets down from table ASAP once eaten rather than sit and talk. Mumbles a lot and not very communicative.

Getting good grades at school but letting things slip a bit perhaps last term but we will see if it is just a blip or trend. Struggling to get him to revise for summer exams at the moment but gets merits and consistently good grades mostly.

Motivated to do/watch sport or online music but everything else is just boring. Sometimes just rude and obstructive. Forgetful and will not organised.

It is just a phase.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:39:51

I hope it's a phase: do you ever wonder whether you're just not going to be close at the end of it all though?

insanityscratching Mon 22-Apr-13 11:39:55

I have a dd 20 who, looking back, I can see was a really easy baby/child/teen and then I have dd 10 who I can see, even now, is going to be a whole new kettle of fish. Dh is scared already <rolls eyes> because she has very definite opinions and she shares them forcefully and is as stubborn as a mule.
I'm not sure what you can do really other than be there and keep the channels of communication open.

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 11:44:51

Dc1 always been a challenge.. And now at this fine age all the more
so hmm. I feel your pain! Hard to establish boundaries- what to let slide, what to haul them up on, a v new phase and a spotty one too..

BeGoodElliot Mon 22-Apr-13 11:51:48

I am really bad for doing "and another thing rants" too. I really need to try to do that less, as it never ends well.

I do understand your thinking about not being close at the end of it all, but like Mintyy I cling to the nice moments!

I have been thinking about booking a weekend away/short break just for DD and I at some point, as although she is an only child, we usually always have holidays with others, DP, grandparents, friends etc. Last summer due to a variety of different circumstances we had a week in Spain on our own and she said it was one of her best holidays ever! (Despite us not really doing much at all, as I was recovering from a hospital stay) So I am wondering if another break away might be good, or it could end up a disaster! grin

I will see how finances go in the next few months!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 11:58:34

She never bloody wants to do anything sad

She was tired yesterday evening after birthday sleepover, and I was sitting giving her a cuddle and suggesting we went into town next Sat and spend her New Look vouchers and get some new stuff - after we chatted about it I said something like 'so we'll do that, yeah - that'll be really nice' and she went 'yes Mum, you have said that already'. And I just feel kind of despised.

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 12:01:28

Ooh yes, despised.. And blamed (even for undone homework i knew nothing about?!) ..

BeGoodElliot Mon 22-Apr-13 12:01:31

I often get "Well I'll see if I am free!" if I suggest something, I love waiting to see if she can fit me in!

Salbertina Mon 22-Apr-13 12:03:03

We're all in for the long-haul, aren't we? Next thing we'll be posting same stuff on the teens threads. Sigh..

TheWave Mon 22-Apr-13 12:16:11

Ooh can I join in? Saw that article as well. I think when DD1 was 11-12 she was really busy and the stroppiness didn't kick in till 13/14. Passed thru that after turbulent 2 yrs but now going to be earlier and different with DD2 at 11 I can feel already that stubbornness and independence.

Hopefully learned from experience and I can cope but interesting to hear from others.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 12:21:08

Hi TheWave!

I think I have fallen into the trap sometimes of expecting dd2 to be dd1 again - but they are very different. And I think dd2 also suffers from the shadow of her older sister - which I worry has made her a generally dissatisfied resentful person.

I really bloody try, I do! I know, for example, that she gets angry at meal times when the conversation is all about dd1 - which it often tends to be, as she's about to start GCSE exams, and also because she generally 'shares' more. It's unfortunate for dd2 that, when dd1 started secondary, everyone - grandparents etc - wanted to hear about that, and she was the 'celebrity' - but when dd2 started, dd1 was beginning GCSES and that's all anyone seems to want to know about now.

So I tried a few weeks ago to make the conversation about her, and about the sorts of things we've often ended up chatting about with dd1 - friends, school etc. Things she gets cross about us being too interested in when they are about dd1. And then she said 'can I please stop being asked questions now' and I gave up.

carriedawayannie Mon 22-Apr-13 12:25:09

OMG I have a 5yo and a 2yo and my heart just literally ached when I read the line ' I have a photo of us from when you were small. It shows us smiling together, in a time when affection was easy between us and you weren't uncomfortable showing you loved me.' sad

I can't imagine a time when they don't need to climb all over me for cuddles when I sit on the sofa.

Sorry to be no help, I'm just off a weep

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 13:19:34

My heart aches all the darned time at the moment, or so it feels!

VivaLeBeaver Mon 22-Apr-13 13:28:48

I've got a 12 yo dd who some days I feel at the end of my tether with. She can still be very loving and affectionate but also can be a stroppy bundle of screechy hormones.

Moans and mopes about the place saying she's bored but doesn't want to go anywhere, do anything. Has no hobbies apart from Minecraft. Moans at me that her out of school life is boring, moans at me that she hates school, moans at me that I work, etc.

Tears this morning because she doesn't want to go to school as she says some other kids are calling her a freak.

Is doing really well at school results wise and does seem to have made some friends.

Then sometimes she screaming abuse at me, telling me to fuck off, etc.

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 22-Apr-13 15:17:03

Am emphatically not saying that anyone is guilty of this on this thread but I am doing my darndest not to be too sentimental and sorry for myself over the whole lost childhood thing, because I know for sure this would make dd hate me!

Am just doing my best to love and accept her as she is now (and to shield her younger brother from her scathing), which can be tricky at times!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 15:18:57

Mintyy that is a good point, and to an extent I am guilty of it - I do miss the days when both were younger, and although I don't think I go on about it, maybe it's evident anyway.

And now as home from school time looms, I am wondering how many grouses she will have about her day to greet me with!

TheWave Mon 22-Apr-13 15:27:41

It's always the worst time just when they come out of school I find at that age. Just when I am trying to find out how her day was. Interested don't you know? Having to bite my lip and not chat on sometimes while she chills out in her own time.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 15:29:00

And heaven help you if you say the wrong thing..

TheWave Mon 22-Apr-13 15:37:22

I thought it was appropriate what Elliott said about them being lovable again when they are ill. They are so nice mean mummy

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 22-Apr-13 15:44:56

Isn't that what happens in 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' shock

But yes, they are - we played Pictureka last time, it was nice! Perhaps I could undercook the chicken tonight and she might love me again.... wink

MintyyAeroEgg Mon 22-Apr-13 16:11:38

I take it all back! Dd has come home in the sunniest of moods smile. She made me really laugh with her self deprecating comments about the scones she made in DT and wasn't even grumpy when I couldn't find any jam to go with them.

Love my little girl (even though she is an inch taller than me).

BeGoodElliot Mon 22-Apr-13 20:52:22

The idea of undercooking dinner really made me laugh! grin

Must be something in the air today, DD also came home in a good mood as she was presented with an award in assembly this morning and couldn't wait to show me. Perhaps she still hasn't fully recovered from her illness yet! wink

Startail Mon 22-Apr-13 23:55:16

Actually I'm feeling a bit of a fraud because for all her grumpyness, DD2 is better than when she was 10. At least now she doesn't come out of school in a massive grump or through a fit if the world doesn't revolve around her.

By the time she's done an hour on the bus she's happy to be back.

She will always be harder work than her sister because she fits in with her peer group, has friends and cares what they and the wider world think of her.

My dear quirky dyslexic in your face DD1 has never fitted in, on a good day her peer group ignore her, on a bad day they bullied her (I think her GCSE groups are much better). Home and her special non school friends are her sanctuary, for better or worse her family are her friends a lot of the time.

Strangely despite, or perhaps because of this, it is DD1 who has the deep self-confidence and feels no need for the teen limit testing, do you still love me antics of DD2.

bigTillyMint Tue 23-Apr-13 06:59:59

I know exactly what you are saying - DD is coming up to 14 and you just get used to it grin You learn to give them space and accept that the relationship is changing - she is no longer your little girl and you have to start treating her as becoming more of an equal (at least at timeswink) She was a really easy baby and child and has been a relatively easy teen, I guess. I think the 11/12 - 13+ was the most difficult as she went through the worst bits of puberty. And as Mintyy says, those sunny moments need to be cherished!

Actually, I think DD is generally a bit better at home (and having a lovely bf seems to help - she is always in a better mood when she's been chatting/out with him!)

However, I now have a 12yo DS who is hormone-city and eating for England. His voice is really loud (hard to volume-control on breaking voice, apparently!) and he is being soooo annoying - joking around and showing off..... Not grumpy yet though, thank God, apart from first thing in the morning!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Tue 23-Apr-13 10:45:53

My dd too was perfectly pleasant yesterday and this morning - to be fair, I don't worry she's a horrid girl, I just sometimes feel she doesn't like me very much!

Am very chuffed with her today because she's had the option of doing the Junior Maths Challenge at school, and last year at primary didn't get a bronze whilst some friends got gold - she knows this, and she knows maths isn't really her thing, and she knows she doesn't have to do it, but she's going to, which I think is fab smile.

Startail Tue 23-Apr-13 12:58:58

As for not liking you very much. You and, hopefully,her dad are safe to dislike as you will always love her.

BastardDog Tue 23-Apr-13 13:11:39

My dd is 12. She is a hormonal mess and so am I as I am going through the menopause. We really do rub each other up the wrong way a lot of the time.

I find myself avoiding spending time with her as she swings between being moody, moany and downright nasty, followed by needy and clingy.

Last night was a needy night. During the course of the evening she decided she was verging on anorexia and had gone off food; was self harming because she purposefully hurt herself in science to get out of the lesson and has OCD because she keeps checking the bathroom door is locked when she's in there. hmm it could be a long, next few years.

ChloeR32 Tue 23-Apr-13 17:45:19

Hi, well my 13yr old son has been/is a real challenge and sometimes frightening. it's only since posting here and reading threads like this that I realise how blooming difficult all this parenting stuff is. Its not like they sell it is it.
My son really doesn't like me at the moment and I have (lots) of moments when I really don't like him, but I'm beginning to wonder if we're feeding off each other and both thinking the same thing.
Its funny isn't it that all our DD and son's (I can't bring myself to write DS after the flaming row this afternoon) do so well at school and with other people and then morph into aliens when they get home. Who knew Harry Enfield was so wise?
Onwards and upwards I suppose.
Chin up and head into the wind...
and thank goodness I was encouraged to join this website!

t875 Tue 23-Apr-13 18:23:20

yeah walking on egg shells here too! Have to say though there have been some times where she has been too much and its tipped over the edge of the normal bit of banter and ended up losing her laptop so im hoping this is going to calm her down for now which it looks to have done.

If we say we are going out though all hell breaks loose that girl don't want to leave that room, she is turning into a mini hermit! grin Although i try and get her to get involved with family games, board or the wii, me and her go up the shops or the cinema if something good is on we have also been watching the great sewing B! And get her out to the park or down the beach, bowling from time to time too!

The hormones are a night mare though aren't they, its like they change complete person! haha! But then again she has some great times too like someone said i hang onto them grin


Jellykat Tue 23-Apr-13 18:52:04

I can tell you it is a phase..i have a DS2 who is 15 now and i can see light at the end of the tunnel, yay!... However i had the advantage of knowing what to expect as had already had the enjoyable experience with DS1.

I would say there's bugger all you can do, so try not to waste time changing tactics as there isn't a right one, just ride the storm, and be patient hmm as they definitely become nice again smile

ArthurCucumber Tue 23-Apr-13 19:02:09

Christ, yes. I have 11 yr old dd2 puff puff puffing around the house tonight, all because she HAASS to pack her bag, and then she HAASS to have a shower, instead of sitting with her nose in her phone. Because tomorrow she HAASS to go - down a coalmine? Nope. On a school trip which she always enjoys, to a place she loved when we were there before, with all her friends and a big bag of sweets.

She can see the dark side in everything. That "generally resentful and dissatisfied person" phrase, OP - that's my dd2. (And yes, she also has an older sister about to start GCSEs.) She refuses to try anything, and then gets all bitter and twisted that she didn't get to do it. And makes pointed remarks about it for the whole rest of the day, so that whatever we were doing becomes all about dd2 and massaging her ego. Gah.

Only thing keeping me going is that dd1 acted like a complete arse at her age as well, and is now quite pleasant.

Mintyy Tue 23-Apr-13 19:17:44

Oh I know I shouldn't but I am smiling at some of these.

My own darling 12 year old said something about her steel pan lessons at school today. I said "I didn't know you were learning steel pans how exciting!" (I do genuinely love and adore steel bands and she knows this) and she goes all eye rolly and "yes you do Mum, I told you ages ago, have you forgotten?"

So I asked dh if he knew (of course I knew he didn't because we'd have discussed it between ourselves) and he said no and she now blames both of us for independently forgetting that she was having steel pan lessons at school.

Does she think she's actually correct, or what? Anyway, I am letting it pass ...

bigTillyMint Tue 23-Apr-13 19:40:10

Hoh yes, Mintyy, never argue that they haven't told you something. It's ALWAYS your fault for not listening/rememberingsmile

DD and my goddaughter (who lives 200miles away) are dancing to Beyonce. On skypesmile

FernieB Wed 24-Apr-13 08:02:58

This thread could be written about my twin DD's (12). They are both (fortunately at different times) moody, sulky and cross with me. My Nan always used to say 'A mother's place is in the wrong' and I accept that now and automatically assume I'm going to be wrong and it'll be my fault. That way it's a pleasant surprise when I'm not grin

I should say they can both be wonderfully delightful and a lot of fun but only when they want to be.

MoreBeta Wed 24-Apr-13 08:36:17

Two classic examples from DS1 this week.

Goes back to school on Monday, flat refuses to take PE kit and sports shoes even though he is taking his swimming kit and his huge cricket bag with cricket kit in and hence putting the PE kit will take 20 seconds and weighs nothing. I back off despite advising him to take the PE kit 'just in case he needs them for athletics' and I get the look and huffing despite my good advice. He comes home last night. 'Dad I had to do athletics in my cricket kit today'.

Then this morning at 7.40 am 'Dad can you bake me a cake and bring it into school at lunchtime as we have a cake rota and its my turn today'. I say no but offer to bake one tomorrow (for 24 people) as he is going to dentist today and offer to email his form teacher. Apparently that is not a good enough answer.


SomeBear Wed 24-Apr-13 09:26:00

Ahhhhh. I've got a 12 yr old DD and have been reading these posts with a smile on my face. Unfortunately I've got no friends nearby to compare what is "normal" but it is reassuring to hear that I'm not alone.

She is mostly lovely, to be fair, but huffs and sighs and prevaricates when asked to do anything but text or Skype. Anyone else got a DD who leaves a trail of chaos on her wake? So far this year she's lost a phone, three scarves (including one of mine), a pencil case, homework diary and contents, a couple of jumpers... and she just doesn't care!

BastardDog Wed 24-Apr-13 11:04:13

My 13 yo loses lots of stuff. I started giving him a weekly allowance a few months ago and told him anything he lost needed to be replaced out of his allowance. Suddenly, he is not losing so much stuff. Funny that.

ZZZenagain Wed 24-Apr-13 11:10:45

dd is 12.5 but I don't get this yet. What she does sometimes is march about and slam doors. Dh is getting the backlash, not me so far and it does get him down. She can be so unresponsive to everything he suggests and does for her. She used to run up to him and hug him whenever he came in, they did a lot together at the weekends, even went on holiday alone together and were very close. I feel so sorry for him but I don't know how to help, although I do try and intervene and speak to her about it. She doesn't seem to consider his feelings at all but she does mine. We are together a lot, she and I but dh works very long hours and is away on business frequently so sees her less.

Not sure how it will all pan out.

DS1 is 12 and a half. Puberty kicked in with a vengeance about three months ago. He is all over the place, tearful, stroppy, sad....Eugh. I am no longer allowed to touch him sad

SomeBear Wed 24-Apr-13 11:19:47

BastardDog - I've started taking contributions for replacement items out of her allowance after I added up what I'd spend on buying things twice and got incandescent annoyed. It hasn't worked yet, but she is having to suffer the indignity of a £4 mobile phone.

madamehooch Wed 24-Apr-13 18:40:26

Reading this thread has made me feel so much better.

My 13 year old DD changed overnight from a stroppy, huffy pre-teen who's stock answer to everything was "in a minute" or "I'm just about to do it" to a girl who would look me in the eye with real defiance and say "no!" It was literally a Kevin the teenager moment. She's glued to the phone, has discovered orange make up and hair extensions and is embarrassed by everything I do.

I think part of it is that they don't know who they are at the moment. Part of them want to be grown up and part of them would still like to be your baby.

All I can do is just take each day as it comes. I ask her if she's had a good day and if she's got any homework and then leave it at that. She then can't claim that I'm hassling her or that I'm not interested in what she does. I accept the fact that she wants to spend time with her friends and now offer to include them on some family outings.

Some days this works, other days I'm still the worst mother in the world.

I did show her on You Tube the moment when Kevin turns into a teenager. Think that hit a bit close to homesmile

Threads like this though are really supportive. The alternative is red wine.

Dancergirl Wed 24-Apr-13 22:32:42

I have a nearly 12 year old dd and I suspect we are on the cusp do this too. I don't know her these days, she's developed a real sarcastic/cynical side and at the moment, EVERYTHING is 'awkward'. What's that about FFS?

cjel Wed 24-Apr-13 22:39:06

its about growing up!!! probably having troublemat school cos theywill be taking it in turns to be hormonal!! try not to 'bite' every time and enjoy the coherent moments!!

bubby64 Thu 02-May-13 16:45:33

I have 2 of thes hormonal, angst wrapped, 12yr old boys, and this letter really struck a cord with me. Both of them have changed significantly since starting High School, but dts2 is a particular worrying. Dh and I don't seem to be able to communicate at all with him for 70% of the time, and the other 30% seems to be made up of him either raging at us, or us attempting to make him see reason yes, he is 12, reasoning with him is a lost cause, but we keep trying!

IreneR Fri 03-May-13 12:58:48

This thread is just what I needed this morning, as I sniffle into my cup of coffee. Really sad part is, my DS isn't even 11 yet.

Panadbois Sat 04-May-13 17:35:08

Can i join? DD, 12, says she hates me cos I'm too strict. I'm refusing to let her pierce her belly button and its soooo not fair.

I'm sitting on my bed hiding now cos she bullies me. She's not very nice at the moment sad

merlin Wed 08-May-13 10:21:14

Bubby64 - you have just described my DS1 perfectly. I do worry that the communication is going completely downhill sad

timetosmile Wed 08-May-13 10:31:49


I am coming to join in with you lot!!

DS1 is 12.5, and can be veeery hard work sometimes, in the snarly eye-rolling "You can't tell me what to do any more, Mum" kind of way.

But at other times he's chatty, funny, thoughtful, still snuggly

I think DH and I and also DS have that sense that we are feeling our way into a new phase of our relationship.

What I think I struggle with most is the self-control to 'let him fail' i.e.if he dawdles his way through the morning he will be late for school, if he doesn't get his homework done he will get detention etc.

What are your non-negotiables in terms of ThingsThatNeedToGetDone?
Mine are school bags packed the night before, laundry into bin, clean clothes off bed and into wardrobe, brush your teeth twice a day, do ad-hoc chores when requested.

It just feels like our relationship is diminishing to a constatnt bickering about stuff...

But I love the solidarity on here!

sandyballs Mon 20-May-13 12:53:27

Dancergirl - that 'awkward' thing drives me insane! DD has also started a new phrase "I actually find that rather offensive", she must say it about 50 times a day angry.

Dancergirl Wed 22-May-13 12:45:41

Out of interest, do you all think that not liking your parents and saying I hate you and all that stuff is inevitable at this age? We haven't had much of that yet but I'm getting glimpses of what's to come. Dd is angry with me for not letting her do something. I know it's all normal but how do you cope with I hate yous?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now