Parenting a 12 Year Old is Challenging
Twelve. We now have a twelve-year-old. This is our second experience with having a twelve-year-old and, oh boy, is it a hard year! Looking back, it was a hard year for me. For kids, it seems as though they are always entering a “new phase” from the time they are born until they graduate. Then the phases seem to have wider gaps between them. Each phase comes with new challenges for both the parent and the child. So, why IS twelve such a difficult year for kids? I am going to give you my reasons and what I learned from my now 16-year-old through his twelfth year.
12 Year Old Life is Hard
Twelve is the age where kids become more aware of who they are. Seeing their own faults and noticing features like their weight, their style, and even their personality begins. They are critical of themselves and, in turn, critical of others. They are trying to cover up their insecurities by picking on other kids. Most children are eleven when they enter the 6th grade. At first, fear of being in a new school for middle school keeps them out of trouble but then they quickly become more comfortable in the school and begin to try to impress the older kids. Jabs at their classmates begin… usually around the age of 12.
Hormones are kicking in all at the same time. Outbursts from the typically calm, cool, and collect child start happening at home. The combination of all the crazy feelings that happen can throw your child into acting like a child you don’t even recognize when hormones first start changing, the need for feeling accepted begins, the struggles of beginning a new school have set in, and the switch from child to teen has begun.
The struggle is real for both child and parent. You will start noticing some behavior challenges (for even the best-behaved kids). Toys will be a thing of the past. They will stop playing with their toys and find more interest in more grown-up activities. In their minds, they still want to “play with toys” but since they are in a more grown up setting, they have the fear of being picked on if anyone found out they still liked playing with toys. Most days, they will come home from school and disappear into their bedroom for a nap or plop on the couch to play video games. Tears will begin when they have had it with being torn down by their classmates all day, every day.
Some Tips on How to Get Through the Twelfth Year
- Give a TON of affection in the privacy of your own home (don’t embarrass them with hugs around their friends unless THEY initiate).
- Just love them through it.
- Encourage your child to be open in conversation with you.
- Ask very pointed questions that require more than a yes or no answer.
- Play games as a family.
- Be their biggest cheerleader even if they are annoying the mess out of you!
- Understand that they are confused with how life seems SO different!
- Limit video game, TV time.
- Allow them to escape for a while to decompress after a hard day.
- Remind them often how much it hurts to be criticized and encourage them to be the “better kid”.
- Give consequences for bad behavior.
- Make a big deal of the not so big deal moments of good behaviors.
- Keep them active.
My son’s friend attends another school. His mom was just telling me last week that he had another 12-year-old tell her child that he didn’t amount to anything and should just kill himself. Kids are MEAN, especially at twelve years old. I am sure that kid didn’t REALLY feel that way about my son’s friend. He is probably struggling and just lashing out at someone else because… well, he can and it makes him feel better about himself for the moment.
My son needs alone time each day to be able to decompress. He is small for his age and gets picked on often about his size. I know he is far from perfect and says things that hurt other kids feelings but I find that the more confidence he finds in himself, the less he lets their critical comments deter him from being angry.
He loves to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. It is good for him! One of his favorite things is to ride his Razor Power A2 Electric Scooter. Feeling the fresh air as he rides helps him relax in ways that he can only do on his electric scooter. It gives him a freeing feeling. A feeling of independence. A breath of fresh air! It is time to get alone with his thoughts and realize he is better than what the kids at school may have told him during the day. As his mom, I love that he can enjoy some time outside instead of sitting in front of the TV.
About the Razor Power A2 Electric Scooter
The Razor Power A2 Electric Scooter is an upgrade from Razor’s classic kick scooter (The A Scooter), including a compact, foldable, ultra-modern update. The electric scooter has an array of innovative features, including a 22-volt lithium-ion rechargeable battery, a push-button throttle control and a kick-to-start, in-hub electric motor.
The push-button, thumb-activated throttle control is designed to kick start the high-torque, lithium-ion battery-powered motor, which in turn, provides the rider with smooth cruising, quick acceleration and a quiet, rattle-free ride.
The in-hub electric motor is very low maintenance, with no alignment issues, belts or chains that can result in the scooter owner parking the scooter in the garage or shed. Since the Razor Power A2 Electric Scooter is compact, foldable and lightweight, users can take it on-the-go and safely store it when not in use.
Recommended for ages eight and up, the scooter provides riders scooter action at a maximum speed of 10 MPH, with a battery life of up to 40 minutes of continuous ride time.