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12 year old doesn't do anything for himself

(113 Posts)
chocolatesaltyballs22 Fri 24-Jan-20 13:06:59

My 12 year old stepson has his head so far in the clouds (his phone/gaming) that he has to be told to do everything. Is this normal? He regularly forgets his packed lunch for school despite it being made for him and being put in the fridge every night. He goes in the fridge every morning for milk for his cereal but doesn't think to take the lunch out of the fridge and put it in his bag, unless someone tells him to. I told my husband last night that we should be teaching him to fend for himself instead of spoon feeding him all the time. He agrees but always ends up running round after him. Am I being unreasonable or is this what all 12 year old boys are like? I've never dealt with boys before, only girls.

BillHadersNewWife Fri 24-Jan-20 13:10:37

My DD is 12 and she's like that. Don't make it a gender thing. Some people are more scatterbrained than others.

Luzina Fri 24-Jan-20 13:10:42

I think this kind of head in the clouds forgetfulness is very common at this age, definitely was an issue with my DCs.

I think you are right to discuss it with your husband and encourage him to work on independence skills, but that's all I would do in your shoes. You could also stick a post it with packed lunch reminder on the front door or somewhere else suitable?

okiedokieme Fri 24-Jan-20 13:13:42

I still remind my 21 year old! Some are forgetful. Dd has 2 humans, phone reminders and the Alexa reminding her to take meds, she's forgotten twice this week!

KeepThosePlatesSpinning Fri 24-Jan-20 13:17:07

Can you do a small white board for the hall, near the front door, listing things to be remembered every day? Other than that I'd let him crack on, and ensure he has some money on his account at school if he leaves lunch in the fridge. DS is a bit younger but otherwise exactly the same.

Allyo19 Fri 24-Jan-20 13:17:35

My 11 year old DSS is exactly like this! When they leave the house, he leaves the front door wide open. I'm hoping its a stage...

MrsBobDylan Fri 24-Jan-20 13:33:29

Just keep reminding him. My ds is 12 and absolutely lovely and helpful. He also has the memory of a nat when it comes to practical stuff.

I just keep reminding him and checking in that he has done things - he's only 12 and has plenty of time to work out strategies before he gets to 18.

I was the same as a child and my parents 'let me fend for myself' and I suffered as a result.

Tp93 Fri 24-Jan-20 13:40:46

I still tell/remind my husband to do things. I would think it just slips his mind, annoying but theres nothing wrong with him.
If your stepson forgets his lunch then that's on him but it doesn't hurt to help him out 🙂

Redcliff Fri 24-Jan-20 13:47:01

If my 12 yo DS had a step mum I would think you were talking about him. Everyday his dad has to prompt him for his lunch box to fill it and then it goes on top of his school bag otherwise it would be forgotten. I also don't think he has ever remembered to take his PE kit on the right day without reminding. Lets hope they grow out of it soon.

nibdedibble Fri 24-Jan-20 13:49:01

It's bloody annoying but it is normal, some people are like that and grow out of it (to whatever extent grin). 12 is very immature really, still a child.

chocolatesaltyballs22 Fri 24-Jan-20 13:53:37

OK thanks for your comments, genuinely didn't know whether it was normal so maybe I will cut him a bit of slack!

cuckooken Fri 24-Jan-20 13:56:46

'Remember you lunch' isn't handing it to him on a plate. Sometimes it takes a lot of reinforcement to make things stick. By casually reminding him you are just helping him to form the habit, eventually he will should start to lift his lunch himself.

formerbabe Fri 24-Jan-20 13:58:41

My ds is 11 and very much like this!

CodenameVillanelle Fri 24-Jan-20 13:59:57

It's really normal to have to remind kids to take what they need before they leave the house. My DS usually remembers all his things but at least once a week he forgets something so I always remind him to check before we leave the house. It's no big deal. I didn't properly learn to be organised until I was an adult! As long as kids do the thing they need to do when reminded without complaining, it's not a problem. If you have a kid who whines and complains when reminded to do a task, that's a problem.

kingsassassin Fri 24-Jan-20 14:00:17

My DS is 10 and hyper organised. DD is 12 and away with the fairies most of the time. She forgot her school bag the other day because she'd assumed I was carrying it for her - I'd already left for the day....

bridgetreilly Fri 24-Jan-20 14:03:56

I think it's reasonable to remind him, but I wouldn't then check that he had done it. And if one time he forgets, it won't be the end of the world and might make him start remembering!

NotALurker2 Fri 24-Jan-20 14:04:03

One of my kids was like that at 12. Two years later he woke up one morning declaring he would from them on be responsible for setting his own alarm, making his own lunch and getting himself out the door. Which he did. It was a bit heartbreaking.....

Mummyoflittledragon Fri 24-Jan-20 14:17:11

My 11 yo dd for the most part is like this too.

FishCanFly Fri 24-Jan-20 14:20:37

Let him forget it. He'll not die of starvation.

my2bundles Fri 24-Jan-20 14:21:32

He is 12 so started year 7 in Sept? 12 is still so young and there us so much more for them to remember and get used to when they start high school. Cut the poor child some slack.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 24-Jan-20 14:23:09

My 12 yo is pretty much the same too. Just can't seem to follow a process through without being told.
He can do part of a job sometimes without being told, but then seems to drift off in the middle of it and not finish it.
He also currently is unable to do things efficiently - so if I ask him to do something and he is reading, he'll come with the book in his hand, then when I tell him he should have put the book down, he'll take it back to his room rather than putting it down on the nearest table - since quite often I want him to take something to his room, he's then done a whole extra trip to his room and back, which is totally inefficient. Or if asked to clear up, he'll only use one hand, rather than both (mind you, the younger one does that too).

He's been known to bring shopping in from the car (good stuff!) and then leave it in the kitchen - sometimes he'll start putting some stuff away (excellent!) but then he'll just leave the shopping bag on the floor (No!).
It's not through lack of teaching, either!

Never mind, hopefully he'll get it together one day.

karencantobe Fri 24-Jan-20 14:24:06

If he forgets his lunch does he have to do without? Because that is what made me remember my lunch for school.

5zeds Fri 24-Jan-20 14:26:08

Teach him to use a todo list effectively

KingCatMeowInSpace Fri 24-Jan-20 14:26:11

My 12 year old son is exactly the same - needs constant reminders - I'm hoping he'll grow out of it!

chocolatesaltyballs22 Fri 24-Jan-20 14:28:18

He's almost 13 and in year 8, so second year of high school. If he forgets his lunch his mum has topped up his school dinners account with an 'emergency fund' so there's no real incentive to remember it as he still gets something to eat.

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