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12 year old boy - comparison / advice

(27 Posts)
AFOS11 Thu 13-Nov-14 10:30:41

I have a 12 year old SS who lives with us. I'm struggling to differentiate between what is boy behaviour / 12 year old behaviour / his upbringing (he lived with his mum until he was 11) and / his personality.

He is doing things which anger me so much and I don't know if they are normal (still not acceptable but at least I'm not alone) or not. He is a good boy and very loving 80% of the time. It is that 20% which frustrates and angers me and I need support of you lovely ladies!

If anyone would be willing to share stories / examples of good and behaviour and any tips on coping with it I would appreciate it.

I also have two young children (who he is brilliant with mostly) and therefore I don't have any mum friends with children his age.

Thank you in advance.

Inkspellme Thu 13-Nov-14 11:28:34

I find my 12 year old ds easy company and easy to cope with when he does misbehave. He's not perfect and we do of course have issues to address on occasion. That's no different than any aged child but unless I know what kind of issues you have I have no idea whether I can relate to them and be of any help to you.

So perhaps it would be helpful for you to give some examples of the behaviour you are finding challenging?

Seeline Thu 13-Nov-14 11:32:48

I think you really need to give us some idea of the things that are bothering you smile

AFOS11 Thu 13-Nov-14 11:46:00

Thanks. None of these things are constant, just examples of the things which when they happen infuriate me!

Not saying thank you when bought things without prompting
Not doing agreed things such as washing face, brushing teeth, brushing hair in the morning
Leaving his things everywhere around the house
Talking to his Dad (and sometimes me) with disrespect i.e. talking over what we are saying, being sarcastic...
not replying to text messages from anyone who does things for him
Eating with his mouth open
Chucking his clothes on the floor rather than put them away


I should add that he is always reminded to do things / not do things and then if he doesn't / continues he loses privileges. I feel he is too old just to be in trouble without explaining it to him first and giving him a chance to change the behavior etc.

Inkspellme Thu 13-Nov-14 14:30:38

Most of those sound like behaviour which was probably not noticed as being unacceptable in one house now being unacceptable under a new set of rules. Saying thank you is a habbit that can be inbuilt from an early age but he just isn't in the habbit of it - it doesn't mean he isn't grateful but just hasn't dawned on him that he should express it.

the clothes everywhere and lack of personal hygiene sound like habbits as well.

I would talk to him about rules of the house but habbits take a while to break so would be expecting to remind him often on the changes you need. I would then remind him firmly but not angrily.

As for the sarcasim or talking over you - I think I would tell him it's unacceptable when he does it. If he percists then warn him he risks a confiscation of something (maybe screentime?) if he doesn't stop. If he continues you do the confiscation.

Inkspellme Thu 13-Nov-14 14:33:16

I would add that when you have little children you can easily expect an older child to be quite grown up and independent. they're not really.

Eastpoint Thu 13-Nov-14 14:40:50

I think he sounds pretty normal. I don't think he's behaving particularly badly, just not at the standard adults prefer. This experience comes from one son who is nearly 15. When he was younger he was politer & generally easier, he is now better at washing regularly than he was at 12 but if I bought him something randomly he would assume it was because I wanted to buy him something so he wouldn't feel grateful or see the need to thank me. I'm not saying this is right, I just think it's how boys can feel/act.

AFOS11 Thu 13-Nov-14 14:54:18

Hi - thank you for your replies and I appreciate the points you are making which completely make sense.

It sounds so simple, just when you are in it I can't see that clearly.

I'm going to take both your points on board and a) try to see it as reminding to break habits and b) not take it too personally when he does things which aren't intentionally done to annoy me but are just annoying such as not washing... :-)

Thanks again!

bigTillyMint Thu 13-Nov-14 15:15:44

I think most of those things are pretty normal for a 12 year old boy.

DS did and still does those things, but would never not wash his face, brush his teeth, or brush his hair in the morning or eat with his mouth open (he would be horrified at the thought!) and he is very good at saying thank you. However, he can be very sarcastic and can be disrespectful at times (especially when annoyed).

AFOS11 Thu 13-Nov-14 20:51:41

Thanks for that - I also try and remind myself that when anyone else meets him they constantly tell us how amazing, sociable, loving and caring he is and how they can't believe he is only 12 etc etc. So I will work harder at remembering that and just not give up with telling him / reminding him!

Thanks again

bigTillyMint Thu 13-Nov-14 21:15:27

That sounds exactly what happens with DS. Well, not some of his teachers, but outside of school...

It's so hard bringing up teens!

Medge68 Fri 14-Nov-14 07:05:33

Pretty much normal! Mine would never not brush his hair though - that seems to be very important to the 12 yo boys that I know. If he doesn't say thank you, which is not often as it's been drummed into my kids from birth, I just say pardon? Or parrot it at him until he remembers. Don't get me started on the clothes everywhere shock

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 14-Nov-14 07:34:26

Based on a 14 year old, a 12 year old and two ten year olds:

Not saying thank you when bought things without prompting
Frustrating, but has been known.

Not doing agreed things such as washing face, brushing teeth, brushing hair in the morning

Leaving his things everywhere around the house

Talking to his Dad (and sometimes me) with disrespect i.e. talking over what we are saying, being sarcastic...
We don't tolerate this, and address it if it happens.

not replying to text messages from anyone who does things for him

Eating with his mouth open
Mine do this despite me nagging. Thankfully, the 14 year old seems to have developed some manners.

Chucking his clothes on the floor rather than put them away
Both ten year olds still do this.

All of these things are annoying, but not terrible. He could be a lot worse.

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 14-Nov-14 07:38:33

Just a thought; perhaps you can modify his behaviour using positive reinforcement. Instead of imposing sanctions whenever he forgets to do these things, offer praise when he remembers: "SS, I really appreciate that you did X this morning. That showed a lot of maturity."

AFOS11 Fri 14-Nov-14 07:46:58

Ditto that!!!

I hold onto the fact that one day he will be a 6'3 protective son (he calls himself my son, I haven't pushed it) and will look after me when I'm old and frail ha ha ha ha ha

TheFirstOfHerName Fri 14-Nov-14 08:23:19

For comparison, these are some of the things my children do that I find annoying:

14 year old: grumpy in the mornings, forgets to use antiperspirant, over-reacts when I ask him to do something.

12 year old: doesn't listen to instructions, easily distracted, forgets to brush teeth, picky eater.

10 year old: uses a baby voice, spends too long in the shower, untidy, can be a bit needy.

Other 10 year old: easily distracted, faffs for Britain, untidy, forgets to brush teeth, usually late for everything.

However, like your SS, these are vastly outweighed by their good points and admirable character traits.

Seeline Fri 14-Nov-14 09:03:03

He sounds exactly like my 12yo DS - although 13 in a couple of weeks so not expecting any great improvement.
The only thing he does do because he had never been allowed not to is say thank you.
Washing face, doing teeth and hair drives me mad. I send him upstairs every morning to do it (has to be reminded still) and often will still not have done it. It's like it's some new weird idea I've dreamt up over night - not something htat has been done every morning since toddlerhood. grin
Just gritting teeth and hoping for hormones to settle....

Chandon Fri 28-Nov-14 16:33:28

Sounds fairly normal to me

Idontseeanysontarans Fri 28-Nov-14 16:42:10

My boy is 14 now and what you describe is totally normal to me. He's started to grow out of some - the hygiene mainly spending more time in the bathroom than I do and he does at least attempt to keep his room tidy and clothes off the floordrobe!
I second/third positive reinforcement, it works a treat with him.

Chandon Fri 28-Nov-14 16:44:16

Seeline, yes, they think it is just your weirdness grin all this focus on soap and washing...

We should have a mums-of-12-yr-old-boys-club

AFOS11 Sun 30-Nov-14 19:52:41

HA ha ha to the club! That would be lovely :-)

At least they aren't too old for a hug :-)


wheresthelight Fri 05-Dec-14 21:09:12

haven't read all the responses but your list sounds like typical teenager behaviour regardless of boy or girl!!

I have an 11 yo stepson and he ticks all your list and then some! and like yours for about 75-80% of the time he is lovely and a pleasure to be around but for that other bit I have to remind myself I was just as bad!

AFOS11 Fri 05-Dec-14 21:30:11

Ha ha that is so true - although I was fastidious about hygiene, I was certainly moody and sulky...

This is what I mean though - having no friends with children this age, I often just need a reality check!

Thank you :-) x

wheresthelight Fri 05-Dec-14 22:35:29

Haha yeah the hygiene bit was never me but the rest was!

it's a good job the split is the way it is, bit unsure if I could cope if dss was a scummy teenager for 80% of the time and only the lovely boy who has tickle fights and likes to help me bake for 20%!

CeeloWeevil Fri 05-Dec-14 22:39:16

I'm a mother of an 11 yo DS and I can identify with all your DSS's traits!

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