12 years old

How can a 12-year-old boy hurt a grown man’s feelings?

Because my whole heart is in it, little does he know.

I always wanted to give the boy the kind of experiences I had as a kid but the world is so much different. I had an Attari but only played it when extremely bored. Like when it was raining or below zero. He doesn’t want to do any physical activity. He hates camping, he doesn’t want to go to the farm, or swimming or anything. I have forced him to do these things thinking he will start to enjoy himself but the kid is so stubborn that he even refuses to have fun because in his words " how can I have fun when I have been kidnapped and forced into hard labor". I probably shouldn’t have laughed at that but it was funny… At first. It very quickly made me angry. I mentioned video games because I thought I could play games with him and bond that way. Nope. He cheats he really does and he trips out and tells me he ain’t cheating. It’s not his fault that I suck and he is right about that but he won’t play the games that I am good at. He doesn’t like to lose. Who does?

This Parenting thing is not as easy as I had imagined. As a matter of fact, it isn’t easy at all. I remember when I was a kid I promised I was gonna be an awesome dad. Which meant no spankings, no angry outbursts. I was gonna listen to my child and have respect for it. Reminds me of something I read once…

“When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a * child, I thought** as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

I feel a little better now that I wrote my “feelings” down. I was gonna cancel this post but thought I would leave it up. Maybe there are some veteran parents out there with some anecdotes or stories of their own.


Sorry that your feeling this way BUT there is good news , hes 12 and has hit that age where they have this fuck you yiur an idiot attitude, it fades it turns into a further distant thing but mor respect …Remember it not you its him and its this generation…I have an 18 , 9 ,8 and 5 year old …I also have a 14 year old step son and he still wont go outside , doesnt want to do anything unless it involves an electronic device with a screen…Is this your Son or Step ?

When they get older they will know and respect what you are trying to do…its not instant gratification but at least you know there will be a time where all.yiur trying to do will be appreciated


I don’t see this with your kids, but unfortunately some folks never get past 12 years old in their behaviour! :laughing:


Oh brother, do I know how you feel. From 12 to about 14, boys are monsters. My son was a great little kid then the middle school years came around and he became something I didn’t like. I almost gave into the “dark side” and wanted to force choke the little punk but I remembered what I was like at that age. Surprised my mom never murdered me. Anyway, we just started talking to each other. Nothing important, and I didn’t force him to talk about anything specific. I didn’t inquire about his feelings or why he did what he did and such. We would talk about legos, friends and I avoided anything that would get him in trouble that he could lie about. Eventually (after a lot of head/heartache) he opened up and we were able to bond on another level. He’s now 22, still lives with me and I can honestly say that no one on the planet knows me better than he does. And it’s mutual. We talk about anything and everything. It’s funny because now when he looks back on those early teen years, he’ll say something like “I was such an asshole”. I’ll agree and we laugh about it.
I guess what I’m trying to say is try not to force it. The more you do, the more they resist. Give him a little freedom (with basic boundries of course) to come to you. Observe what he’s interested in and ask questions about them but do it in a casual manner. I’ve found that at that age, he was trying to establish some identity and independence (maybe without knowing it) and I was trying to keep him as the loving adorable little kid I was used to.
I don’t know if that helps. I hope so. Good luck my friend.


Great words, man. And that last part- Even though all of my ‘kids’ are long past actually being children, it still stings when I think of the times they were wee and things like SpongeBob and Lionel trains were all that mattered. I miss those days, and while they seemed to last forever, looking back it was little more than a blur.

Yeah Dan, just love the kid. Don’t ever do anything you’ll regret later and everything will work out.

Unless he kills you in your sleep. There’s always that. :full_moon_with_face:


I’m not a parent so I cannot speak of direct experience. It sounds like you are a great Dad to your son. Things are extremely different today than they were when we were kids. I can only image if I were to be that age now I might be afraid to get out of the safety of the home for fear of doing something bad and wrecking my future. It seems that there is just no incentive to leave the cybor-world where you can do as you wish, for the most part, without repercussion. Most of the children of my co-workers don’t even care about learning how to ride a bicycle and later getting to drive. To us that’s unimaginable.

Now think back, when has life ever played out the way you had envisioned it to? For me it never has. There’s the old saying about life is what happens when your making plans, or something along those lines. I have Niece’s and Nephew’s that I envisioned having a close relationship with and us getting to do fun things together. The reality has been far from my past visions.


Dan is this a joint custody situation where you only get to see him certain days of the week/month?


Isn’t that the truth. I was a holy terror confusing ass queen bitch at that age. I think I mostly grew out of it… :grimacing: Lol
In all seriousness though @Dan_the_Man, keep doing what you’re doing. Keep trying. It might not be appreciated at the moment but there WILL be a time when he looks back and appreciates the love and effort you put out.


I raised my nephew and brother in law…They both thought I was unfair and controlling , they never understood …Now they are in their mid 20s and both understand , im proud to say they have grown into great young men


When are you going to let them out of their cages though? :wink: kiddin’ Fids!


Never …They may ruin things lol


I’ve always been of the opinion that you don’t have to like them, you just have to love them.
Mine are in their 40’s now and they love me.


I’m on my phone and don’t know how to do a quote but that’s funny you mentioned unless he kills me in my sleep that makes me laugh cuz I’m paranoid about s*** like that. It’s from watching those real crime shows and finding out that it’s usually a family member that’s the murderer LOL I’ll reply better when I have a keyboard everybody


My kid is 13 and most of the time I want to scream because while I love him with all my heart he is a spoiled little brat LOL. We do play video games together and have fun doing that. My husband makes him and my 16 year old work out with him an they think he’s a jerk for it… one day they’ll look back and realize all you tried to do for them… I know because my 30 year old tells me that all the time…


I did have to smile recently, my son showed his 12 year old daughter a blank sheet of paper, and told her “this is a list of everything that the world owes you”


My youngest son is 19 and my oldest is 39,
it never ends…


Dr Bo recommends bribery. Everybody has their price, even if it feels like Satan has grabbed a holt o’ them. Pay them to do some sustained physical labor or something otherwise industrious. Mowing the lawn etc. Open him a savings account (co-account with you) and put in half the money. Once he sees he can actually get enough cash to buy a new killer toy (game console etc?) he’ll learn about long distance goals. Plus by not giving him all the money at once he won’t have enough in his pocket to buy a bag of weed :wink: Mowing the grass or shoveling some snow etc might build muscles too …just what’s his price? heh Don’t tell him you’re planning on taking half in advance of the negotiation.

And you’re the Customer now, so you also need to approve the final job. And try to look the other way when he spends his money …as long as it’s legal it’s his journey. If he rejects the idea, pay a neighbor kid or sibling and be sure he’s in attendance for that negotiation. He’s a Man now (or thinks he is), time to learn how shit works Mr-Hey!-I-Have-a-Pube!


@Dan_the_Man hey Dan, I don’t have much to add because everyone else had great things to say. I did learn a lesson from a young women I had responsibility for when she was 12-15 yrs old. She was a hellion and having an affair with a 23 yr old man when she was 15. Later when she was an adult I admitted that I was trying to not be too strict and be more of a friend. She said young people secretly want an adult to guide and help them through life. So, she taught me something.

He may not show it now but rest assured that your wisdom will be appreciated down the road. I agree with BoDarc. My mom taught me the meaning of saving my money for the things I wanted. If it was something big and I was too young to get a job she made a deal that she would pay for half if I saved up for the other half. I really took care of my things and appreciated them because of that. I thank her to this day for that lesson.


12 year old boys have their own problems/growing pains, should grow out of it with any luck. Hang in there and might try to be available to his needs when possible.


Dan, I gave my son a great life, did what you do, gave him what he wanted and never treated him like my father treated me.
8 years ago i had a surgery and the doctor made a very big mistake that almost killed me. I was flown to many hospitals to find a surgeon that could fix the mistake. My son never called me or visited me and has never spoken to me since. I dont know why and it breaks my heart as he is very intelligent, he is 25 now and should be able to see what he has done.
The point here Dan is we can’t control what our kids do or who they become but last we can’t make ourselves crazy trying to change them. Dan dont stress, he has his life and you still have yours, live your life and he will come good or he won’t. But 1 thing is for sure if you stress too much you will suffer. If you feel you have done your best then the problem is not you. Xxxxx