Any parents of preteens here? I have a question.

  1. I have a son who will be 13 at the end of the month. For the past 2 or 3 months, he has been moody. I call it his "woe is me" attitude. Is this normal for young boys before they become teens? The other night, he got mad because his 10 year old brother was standing in his way. We were getting ready to eat pizza, and the older boy said "I don't deserve to eat." The younger one responded "Fine, if you starve, you starve." The two younger brothers have just about had it with this attitude also. Any advice? I have tried to talk to the older boy to see if something is bothering him, but he denies it. He usually is fine most of the time. If this is the way young boys act before they become teens, I will probably not make it to the youngest one's 13th birthday!!
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    The "tude" as I call it, is not unusual. My kids however think they are superiror and would be fighting over who got the pizza first!

    My dtr is one of those girls you couldn't stand in HS, kind of a stuck up snot, but also has a generous heart when it comes to some things. Her self-esteem fluctuates from so high I can never relate, to so low. I am a terrible mother you know b/c she has not been to the dentist in 3 years! (We've been paying for the other one's braces, but we love him more of course! Problem is I am too fussy about dentists d/t my own bad experiences, and so we have to pay out of pocket for our of network one that I trust. Plus, she had lost so many freaking teeth during that time, I figured wait til their all grown in right? I'm such a bad mother.)

    I have never heard them say I don't deserve.... least that I can remember. Sometimes raising teenagers is like giving birth, you block out the pain to cope so you can face another day! I haven't touched much alcohol in the years from birth until now. Now, at least there is always a bottle in the liquor cabinet, before I used to have to go to the liquor store if I ever felt like a drink! Anyway, I remember myself having such loooooow self-esteem at their age, it can be very hard. You definitely want to talk to him, before he find other things that make him feel good, like drugs.

    I have found one-on-one time works well. My dtr is so into herself, that whenever she is home, she monopolizes every conversation, must be the center of attn at all times, I love her, but she sucks the life right out of me at times. So, the first few times she had spent the night at a friends, I thought, ah, peace and quiet. But to my delight, the opposite happened, my son started babbling to no end. It was nice. He actually had a lot to say but never was given a moment by his sister. No matter how hard I try to get him to talk, it still seems he does his best talking in the car when it is just the two us us. He is in HS now, so he gets home an hour before his sister, this is the time he spends out of his room talking to me, when she comes home, he disappears into his room.

    So, my advice is take some time to go somewhere together, without the other boys along. Make some time every week for just him. See what happens. If he still doesn't want to open up to you, try getting his dad or an uncle, or another male figure he admires to take him out, on the pretense of helping to do a chore, or just for fun, let him pick the movie/activity, etc. Just be there, so he knows if he needs to talk to someone, you will make time for him. Kids this age don't know what they want right now, just be there, I think it gives them security deep down inside.
  4. by   ComicRN
    Deespoohbear - as I was reading your post it reminded me of when my younger son went through something like that. My boys are 3 years apart. My older son had a birth defect that took a lot of our time when he was younger. When things settled down in the household, my younger son started showing his presence!! He had been really "good" during those earlier tumultuous years, but then I think he was letting us know it was "his turn." Anything like that going on in your family? Just a thought!

    With his comment about "I don't deserve it..", he sounds a little depressed. Could he be getting teased in school about something? Maybe the kids at school (where he spends the majority of his time) have been razzing him about something and he has come to believe it about himself. (sort of like what my ex-husband did to me!!) Kids often don't like to tell their parents when something is going on at school because they are afraid that their parents will "march right in their" and make a fuss.....then it only makes things worse.

    Anyway.....just a couple of thoughts. Good luck.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN
    AH!!!!!!! Describing my oldest for the past two years. Finally passed at 15 1/2. (Just leave me alone, I'm not feeling well, I'm tired, then clammed up.) The car ride really works well. LOL. Found out so much important info, worries, school concerns that way. He didn't realize it but some trips to distant mall, store etc were because I would see him being moodier than usual and knew a trip with just him and I would unleash his pent up soul. He's happy and well adjusted, still little insecure when out of his element. Joined Boy Scouts cause his brother and best friend were going......found out he loves camping. Took on responsibility for being quartermaster, in charge of all troup equipment for a WHOLE year, his choice. "NO ONE gets samonella from OUR pots, they are clean when returned to the closet!" Praised for well organized closet by scoutmaster. Boy, if he would only carry that through at home.

    Have discovered with my boys that things/behaviors go in 3 month cycles, but this persisted much longer. Now youngest is going thru simialr stage but to lesser degree. Oldest says he realizes from reading books, TV that he WAS depressed. I even had the school counselor see him in the the begining of 8th grade thinking it might be something happening there after discussing concerns with pediatrician. Counselor reasured me he seemed very well adjusted and mature; just more sensitive than some teens and very caring.

    Now the brother wars have errupted, tussles back and forth over clothes (both wearing same size), TV remote, computer time, etc. I know it is part of growing up, learning to share and establish boundaries. Put up with minor skirmishes, major wars have combatants going to seperate bathrooms (1 up, 1 downstairs) where I can close door and they can brood. Funniest time was when youngest complained that older brother got sent to upstairs BR, and he ALWAYS got assigned downstairs. They switched real fast. These times have been few since summer.

    This spring the swearing started. The rath of DAD occured with computer/Nintendo restrictions. I brought out gallon Gatorade jar, cut hole in top and DOLLAR was deposited for every expletive heard. Only paid for one family trip to movies when cursing stopped.

    Hushand never went to school dances or class reunions due to ill parents and divorced sister moving back home with toddlers at that time. He doesn't realize how important these things are to help kids learn to develop social skills, as I realize from reflecting on my involvement in high school activities. Have been pulling oldest into the 21st century by going to high school football games, especially if dance held afterwards.....he will go to dance then. Boy can he yack afterwards when I pick him up after a little prodding . Wishing you much fun in mothering!
  6. by   debbyed
    My youngest son went through this for about 12 -17. Most the time it was as attention getting thing (No body cares about me) Other times it was punichment because he was being denied something.

    Don't worry, we lived through it just fine, and I am sure you will to.

    This son in now 24 and just recently he call me up to let me know that he came to the realization that "Mom, your weren't as stupid as I use to think you were' I took that a quite a compliment and a sign that maybe he is actually growing up (at least alittle)
  7. by   canoehead
    I don't have kids, but must say I remember 13, and I made EVERYONE's life miserable, but that was nothing compared to how miserable I was. If I had to do it over again, even knowing it would eventually end I wouldn't, would take a long walk off a short pier before I'd go through the teen years again. So I vote to be firm but to keep a little sympathy for the poor suckers.They can't help it.
  8. by   JillR
    This is really refreshing to see that I am not the only one that has a child that has an attitiude. My daughter is 13 and hard to live with. I love watching her frow up, but wow!!!!! We should have a support group for parents of pre-teen and teen kids.
  9. by   semstr
    Please let me join too! My daughter is 13 (and a half,as she says) and WOW.........................

    What nerves me most, is the beckering and fighting with her dad!
    My husband!! Sometimes I think I've got to 13 year olds at home!

    Take care of your nerves, Renee
  10. by   lpnandloveit1
    I have 4 kids the 3 oldest are 24,21,19 and the youngest is 9. after going through alllllllllll of this junk with the older 3 I can't wait for my youngest to hit "that age". I found that a lot of that woe is me stuff and the "your so stupid" stuff is just them looking for some sort of validation. You have to be careful not to send the wrong message however. learn to let it go yourself unless of course there are real s/s of depression or drug/ETH abuse. I have always thought that keeping kids in a big plastic bubble from age 12 to 17 is a good idea.