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Could we talk about 11yo boys please? Spesh with those of you who've been there, done it...?(3 Posts)
OK, mine is my eldest and therefore a mystery to me. Could do with the voice of experience on a coupla pre-teen things...
Washing: better to force into shower/hairwashing more frequently (he resists even a weekly/biweekly shower but he REALLY needs to more often now), or leave him to it and let him face the consequences? And, dear god, the blackheads. Do I encourage him to do something about it (and what?) or let him work out for himself, running the gauntlet of evil girls in Y7?
Friends: he has new secondary school friends. I'm not really sure of pre-teen etiquette. He doesn't go out too far (plays out with neighbours etc) and his new friends live further away. What happens now? Do we still invite people over for tea etc or is that considered beneath them at this age? What alternatives to help him develop friendships? I asked DS what he wanted to do and every answer, in true 11yo style, was 'dunno'.
Communication: he has always been fairly volatile, but seems to be so up and down now, perhaps puberty is properly kicking in. I could do with not 'losing' him emotionally, but he is testing every boundary most days. I don't want an escalation of threats and removals of privilege but I've no real sense of how to get through to him when he's so angry and feels victimised all the time (even when we're simply saying 'er no, you can't whack your brother like that...') I need to get into a mode of negotiation with him that is less 'child/parent' and more teenage/parent but I just don't know what that is... I'd like him to be more independent but right now he just takes the piss (ie won't demonstrate maturity enough to earn independence)
Could do with advice from those who have been there, thanks.
Take one thing at a time.
Personal hygiene: honesty is the best policy.Tell him that now he is growing up he needs to shower every day. If he doesn't he will small, then he won't have any friends. Buy him some nice shower gel. If you feel he needs deodorant you can get him some of that too.
Black heads - a bit more sensitivity required. Perhaps buy him some clearasil astringent or similar.
Social life: I encouraged mine to organise their own as much as possible, but I had a list of class mates plus telephone numbers. Always liaised with the other parents - tactfully. Had a rule that friends were always welcome, but the HAD to call their parents to let them know that they were at our house, and a home time was agreed.
I did not encourage hanging around the streets after school. It means you end up with a noisy/full house, but it is worth it because it pays dividends to get to know their friends and the parents.
Never call them on their mobile - always text. More discreet.
Communication is key. I wrote a contract outlining reasonable behaviour for my teenagers and got them to sign it. We each had a copy.
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