What do you wish you’d know before your eldest child turned 13 ?

(36 Posts)
Lardlizard Fri 12-Jun-20 20:17:27

Anything you wish you knew back then ?

OP’s posts: |
BlessYourCottonSocks Fri 12-Jun-20 20:21:25

I can't remember. They are over 30 now. grin.

What I wish I'd known before my last child turned 13 was that he would be a dick compared to all the others and that I should have used contraception...

Guttersnipe Fri 12-Jun-20 20:26:30

Before my eldest turned 12 (13 was a year too late) I wish I'd known he would never allow me to take another photo of him, or at least, not until he was about 20 and even then, none of them would show him smiling. I should have taken a lot more fun, smiley family photos, you know the sort of things: your children leaning on a fence together, or lying in a bundle on top of each other. For years, my other children participated in photos but it is as if dc1 was air brushed from our lives.

Lardlizard Fri 12-Jun-20 20:44:17

BlessYourCottonSocks 😵 did he grow out of it and what age ?!

OP’s posts: |
Lardlizard Fri 12-Jun-20 20:45:03

Gutter yes I hear you on that one !

OP’s posts: |
sleepydragons Fri 12-Jun-20 20:47:31

That the teenage years also have some of the best moments when they make you really proud when they are kind and compassionate rather than vile and bolshy

MayFayner Fri 12-Jun-20 20:56:12

That I would go from having a girl-guiding, loom-band making, sunny little tween to a cooler-than-thou, eyeliner-wearing, hair flicking teen overnight.

Honestly, it happened so quickly and I wasn’t expecting it. Little girl days were done and dusted.


Feellikedancingyeah Tue 16-Jun-20 14:47:36

To not have got a playstation

BlessYourCottonSocks Tue 16-Jun-20 19:10:59


BlessYourCottonSocks 😵 did he grow out of it and what age ?!

Sadly he is 15 at the moment, and no, not yet would be the answer...we are not getting on well during lockdown.

He is only interested in sleeping, playing on the phone or Xbox or saying Oh my God! like Kevin the teenager any time he is asked to do anything.

Splattherat Tue 16-Jun-20 19:20:42

Once they hit secondary school;
no photos here
you are no longer the centre of their world anymore and probably never will be again
They tell me off for being too silly!
They think they know more than you
They will maybe act less serious and more playful with younger cousins occasionally.
Treasure any smile or any small amount of time that you spend together as this gets less and less.
Sorry 15 and 16 here and its been hard going recently. Hopefully things will get better.

fluckityfluckfluck Tue 16-Jun-20 20:22:40

My 12 year old dd is still really lovely. Hate to think I may be on borrowed time....

Lardlizard Wed 17-Jun-20 11:48:45

Thanks for the insight guys! I shall try and make the most of the last of this special time ! 🙈🙈

OP’s posts: |
vickibee Wed 17-Jun-20 11:50:29

That they never leave their phone unattended and spend most of thier time in their bedroom on their PS4

Mintjulia Wed 17-Jun-20 11:55:29

My sister had to deal with a 12yo daughter who went from a skinny ribbed child to a girl needing a 32F bra in a week.

Not an easy size to find then.

ExpletiveDelighted Wed 17-Jun-20 12:10:16

That they don't necessarily just change the minute they hit 13. Change has been very gradual for us (14 and 16 now). They are lovely and spending lockdown with them has been a pleasure. I know there's still time for it to all go pear-shaped though.

IHaveBrilloHair Wed 17-Jun-20 12:20:35

That she'd be an absolute horror until she moved out!
No way will I ever live with her again, but I adore her company now, she's fabulous.

EnidsCrochetCorner Wed 17-Jun-20 12:32:40

That you definitely need to lay down some ground rules about communicating which means talking, actual words, in sentences grin and that you are part of the family and cannot just live in your room.

To explain to them that I have sat through weeks worth of shit programmes for them, waited whilst they went on merry-go-rounds, smiled and waved every time they went past, played boring games to keep them entertained, fed them, clothed them, washed them, took them to school and picked them up after standing in a playground in the pouring rain, and now if I ask them for something, to go somewhere, or do something then they had better fucking do it without complaint because of the above.

I hate to say it but I have two incredible sons, Ds1 is 17, caring, thoughtful (put a note in his phone about something I mentioned about wanting to get and then arranged for Dh to get it for me for Christmas) Ds2 is 14 and getting there. They do chores, cook, have great school reports I like to think because we talk to them, talked about the future, that you cannot live at home forever, you have to get a job and earn money.

That at times you will hate me especially when it comes to GCSE revision and me breathing down your neck but it is because I want the absolute best for you. I grew up poor, I don't want that for you in later life. I want you to have choices, adventures, experiences.

I want photos of you because even though you may not like them I don't particularly like photos of myself. I am not posting them on social media, but I would like to record the fact that now, at this point, you were here in the room and I would like a photo for when I am old to look back on.

You have to get all this in before they think they are too cool to even have these conversations. grin

Bananasplitlady Wed 17-Jun-20 18:00:45

For me, I needed to learn very quickly how to bite my tongue in the face of utterly ludicrous tantrums, eye rolling, snippy remarks, snappy responses and tired, hangry, overwrought meltdowns. I find ignoring much better for mine than biting or trying to be amusing to jolly her out of it.
Mine is a joy, but FML on the odd occasion she is exasperating. It's like having a toddler again: pick your battles.

steppemum Wed 17-Jun-20 18:05:29

to never give in and give them a phone. Brick for communication, they can watch yourtube on the TV and no play station/x-box etc.

I really really wish I had been strong enoug to do this, to break the trend and to hold fast to it.

They access so much crap on their phones and during lockdown they 'need' them all the time to communicate with friends and school, hours and hours each day.

I hate them.

Sorry, struggling with teens.

Tiktokcringeydance Wed 17-Jun-20 18:07:15

My nearly 14 year old is still lovely. She does communicate in weird sounds instead of actual words and sentences but shes still not too cool for a hug (when no ones looking). I'm not allowed to take any pics despite the fact shes always taking selfies and adding silly filters. And apparently I'm too old to use certain phrases as well
I asked her to wash up today and the request was met with nothing more aggressive than an eye roll which I ignored and she did it.
Maybe I'm just lucky.

TyroSaysMeow Wed 17-Jun-20 18:16:23

Mine's not there yet, but from looking at my sister's kids:

Just because they get through the entirety of being thirteen still being lovely and having no major dramas, doesn't mean you've escaped. They could well just be biding their time!

Lardlizard Wed 17-Jun-20 18:22:30

Oh I have so much to learn 😩

OP’s posts: |
MrsBlondie Wed 17-Jun-20 23:17:50

@vickibee agree.
Most of time spent in bedroom away from parents.
Never want a photo taken.
Learn to ignore. Like having a toddler again so pick your battles.

Never ever ever get them an xbox. Too late here but wish we hadn't.

MillieMoodle Wed 17-Jun-20 23:43:47

As the mum of a 9yo and 3yo, this is absolutely terrifying!

Staywithmemyblood Thu 18-Jun-20 12:05:31

I wish I'd prepared earlier. I was very naive, so it's great you are thinking ahead @Lardlizard 😊👍🏻

My advice would be to keep communicating. And practice your poker face 😶 Let them know no topic is off limits, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Appear unshockable and stay (outwardly) calm. Keep letting them know you are there for them if they want to talk, or just need a hug and a hot chocolate. Especially when their behaviour is bad - that's often when they need you the most. Car journeys are good for chats. DD and I often go for a wee drive when she needs to get things off her chest. Then we blast the music on the way home and sing along 🙉

Topics I wish I'd been better prepared for include:

Friendship issues - bullying/cliques (although this actually peaked age 11-12). In hindsight I would've read up a lot on this from age 9. I was totally blindsided by how nasty kids can be. But it's all textbook stuff sadly 😕 Oh, and regularly check on their social media use (if they have it) when they are pre/young teen. The instagram group chats were a real eye opener.

Mental health- anxiety/depression/mood swings. Seek support if needed, and be aware that waiting lists are long 💐

Relationships- sexting/sex/consent/contraception/porn. You'll definitely need your poker face for this one! 😉

Socialising- parties/alcohol/drugs. As above! 😬

School - attendance (or not!)/studying (or lack of)/future plans. This has been driving me crazy for the last year or so 🙄

Also make sure you take time for yourself. It can be emotionally draining parenting a teenager so it is really important you look after yourself and also have a support system. I've found the teenager board on here a great help, especially the Holding the Rope threads, which cover pretty much every teen scenario so you don't feel alone, and there is some really good advice too 😊💐

Hope this doesn't sound too scary! I can only advise based on my experience with DD, who has been very challenging! On the positive side, she is now 15 and there are glimpses of the fine adult she will become, with good values instilled in the pre-teenage years. I am still very proud of her. She is stronger than I ever will be, more worldly wise, and makes me laugh more than anyone else I know 😊

And you never know, maybe you'll have a happy-go-lucky, level-headed teenager who is a joy to live with and never causes a moments worry 🤞 Good luck 🍀 You've got this! 💐🍷🍫🍰

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