13 year old boy attitude etc(13 Posts)
I am struggling of late with DS1 (13 years, July born)
He gets himself to school on time, does his homework, tries at school, behaves himself etc, which I am thrilled about and very proud of, but at home he is driving me insane.
What I am finding difficult is the fact he will happily lope around the house in his underpants all day, wrapped in his duvet, because our house is on the cool side despite heating being on (ancient, draughty Victorian villa) as he is too lazy to actually put any clothes on. He leaves plates, bowls, cups etc everywhere. If I ask him to tidy his room he will act like it's the end of the world. If I suggest could he just load or unload the dishwasher for me it's like a scene from Kevin & Perry with all the passive aggressive sighing and huffing and puffing.
He has a very entitled attitude about everything. He thinks he can help himself to my iPad when he feels like it. He locked his iPhone accidentally and now just expects me to go and pay to get it unlocked though he helps with nothing to earn it being unlocked.
DS2 (12) seems to be maturing at a rate of knots which only highlights it all further. He can see what needs doing and will offer to help sometimes.
DS1 is very sensitive too and when I try to gently broach things with him he ends up upset which I really don't like. I realise I also let things slide sometimes to spare the upset which I know is only going to make it worse.
I don't need a massive bashing about how crap I'm doing at parenting, I just wondered if anyone's else's 13yo boy is similar in any way and how to go about sorting it.
Do I endure the upset and just be harder on him?
Anyone with older teens recognise this as a phase? I'm just lost with it. I love the bones of my kids and want to do the best for them but at the moment I wish they came with a manual. 🤔
Sounds normal to me! Is he the eldest? They are worse imho.
It will wear off. They can be a bit ‘challenging ‘ at that age.
We’re having similar issues with DS1 (12). Same as you, does well at school etc, most people think he’s absolutely wonderful, but at home it is a very different story. Don’t get me wrong, he can be absolutely brilliant but then over the smallest thing his attitude changes to being completely awful. He won’t listen, answers back, thinks he’s hard done to etc. It can go on for hours and some of the things he says are horrible. We’ve tried ignoring it and letting him calm down, which occasionally works, challenging him - which ends in total meltdown, issuing warning and sanctions and carrying them through but nothing seems to
Work. Getting to the end of my tether with it, and struggling to know what to do.
Entirely normal. Best approach is not to bother asking nicely, expecting him to do things when asked with good grace or to to pick up on social etiquette (like wearing clothes....) but simply to have very clear, fixed rules such as noone wears a douvet to breakfast, or it's his job to empty the dishwasher on Sundays and Thursdays (or whenever) so there's little room for grumping about each and every time you ask.
IME they start doing things without being asked by about 18, so you've a few years yet to get through by other means.
Sounds normal. Ignore the tantrums and make him clear up after himself and help round the house - in return for which he gets privileges such as a phone.
If he wont play nicely, just say no and retreat to a different room. And change the wifi code.
Hell. I thought I'd typed this while drunk . I could have written your OP word for word. And I teach teenagers.
Best advice is to imagine he is a large, overgrown toddler. He can't help it, basically, with the hormones rushing through him. Most teens respond better to massively positive statements. Jollying along and making neutral noises to huffing tends to work with mine. And offering a slight choice - such as 'I need some help. Would you unload the dishwasher please - or would you rather fold all the washing? I'll do the other task'. If he huffs about 'I don't want to do either' I nod sympathetically and say, 'I know. I feel exactly the same. Which one will you do?'
DS2 aged 13 is like this. Previously adorable he's cartainly hit 'that age'. His older brother is 16, mostly lovely and coming out the other side now so DS 2 doesn't phase me.
This is my DD 11. Absolutely horrible most of the time. Instigates arguments with her sister and is deliberately with intent mean. She says the worst things, yet is an angel at school.
I'm pulling out my hair with her.
Right now I'm taking on a different stance of just ignoring her rude behaviour.
The whole point of parenting is to produce independent, responsible, kind and thoughtful young adults with good social skills and basic life skills isn't it?
With that in mind, what are the male role models in his life like?
Do they tidy up after themselves, and are kind and thoughtful to you and other family members?
If your child treats you badly and the house like a hotel then it's important you nip that in the bud before it's ingrained behaviour.
If he didn't learn as a toddler to put his dirty laundry in the basket or dirty crockery in the dishwasher at the same time as when he was learning to clean his teeth then it's important that he gets those basic life skills learnt now.
He's probably going to be a partner or father one day and you don't want him to grow up to be one of these entitled, misogynistic and useless men you read about here on MN all the time!
Time to teach him kindly but firmly how to cook, clean, wash his clothes and tidy up on a daily basis and he doesn't get a phone or internet access until he has helped out.
This is a very important time. You don't need to shout, just be firm and kind and do not tolerate any rudeness whatsoever.
If he gets pocket money or an allowance it should be as a reward for kind and thoughtful behaviour so get him helping out daily from now on.
The best way to get all this going is to have a sit down meeting with him round the kitchen table when you are both in a good mood.
Write a list of everything that needs to be done around the house and ask him what he's like to do to contribute.
Explain it's a part of growing up to take on more responsibility. That only toddlers and babies get everything done for them.
You will find the more responsibility he is given the more he will appreciate what you do or have done for him and the better his attitude will be.
He won't take you for granted anymore.
My 12 y.o son does his own laundry, empties the dishwasher, vacuums his own room on a Sunday and makes me a cup of tea if I'm tired as he basically just follows his dad's lead.
Good luck, it will be worth it
To be fair, I think basic life skills flies out the window as soon as a child hits the age where they are able to think for themselves. Teenage years, I've heard, are the hardest.
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