One of the downfalls of trying to be good parent is perhaps you have helped them TOO MUCH.
One of the older boys was voicing great frustration while replacing his shoes laces after I washed them. When I told him to just try again, (I have shown him how to do it right) his reply was, “I have tried it three times!”
I cannot help but laugh. I could make a tiered red velvet cake at his age, alone. I remember my mom handing me the keys to her Mazda when I was eleven and her saying, “Go get some bread and milk.” And I did. Doesn’t mean that it was right, but I could do it. He genuinely could not get his shoes laced up. He was mad and he was mad at me for not doing it for him.
Here I am at a much younger age than my son and I guarantee you I laced all of those shoes. I mean if I was going to go to school with THREE PAIRS OF SHOES, I had to know how to lace them. Why did I need THREE pairs of shoes for one day of first grade?
So am I a good mom or am I the dreaded, “helicopter parent?”
I show him, again, how to start the laces.
Has anyone else found boys around twelve to be completely exhausting? I try so hard to make them try and use their brains and figure things out and to learn to look for what they feel inside is the right thing to do. They are such a funny mix of little boys and big kid. They seem to have no common sense. Is it me or does it seem like we had more commons sense when we were our kids age?
For instance at Christmas they were mad we wouldn’t get them an iPhone, (what planet are they on and if they are telling the truth what planet are ALL of their friends parents on?) When we explained why and data fees and that twelve year-old kids don’t need one their reaction was, “Fine, then I will ask Santa for one!”
Let me know how that turns out.
Is it because so many things are easier and simple to do that our kids are lacking the daily drive to “make something work?” What do you think?
– Abbie allthatmakesyou.com
- I can prove it…I have pictures! (allthatmakesyou.wordpress.com)
Boy, you look quite saucy with all them shoes.
I think you’re on to something here, Abbie. We are spoon-feeding our kids (the generation I mean, since I don’t have any of my own) and they somehow seem to be losing their ability to problem-solve creatively. I often compare the children of poor families in India (that’s where I belong) with those of middle-class/rich families. The poor children find such creative ways of amusing themselves, whereas the kids who seem to have all the toys in the world seem so easily bored.
It is so different for each kid. I complain and yet one of my top ten phrases I say to my kids constantly is, “Use things for their intended purpose!” I know that sounds like a bad mom but after they had broken three of my push brooms and lost an unbelievable amount of my garden rakes in the pond I began saying it. I have recently began saying, “Use MY things for their intended purpose!”
I should be happy they are being creative, right?
I grew up middle class but I I was still creative, (like pulley system to flip the lights on from bed in the morning, no off though) but the everyday things that I do for them are beginning to worry me.
I told one of the older boys that his short were in the dryer and he came back in and said he couldn’t find them. He was looking through the wet clothes in the washing machine.
I see kids that are in the US from low income families and from wealthy families and in between and the biggest worry for me has been the inability to entertain themselves. They get bogged down in front of a video game console and lose all sense of social skills. That was always my worry so I guess I won that battle! Ha ha!
Maybe you’re just too nice 😉
I have 12 year old twins and it seems you just described my life to me. It seems I’m consistently answering the same questions over and over (and over and over) again.
One thing I can think of off the top of my head is when they take the garbage out. They always forget to put a new bag in the garbage can. It doesn’t matter which one does it, they both forget. Then it’s always, “Did you forget something?”
Funny I woke up to this! This morning is our garbage day and we told the boys to take the garbage and recycling out. They bagged up nearly empty trash and recycling bags in the kitchen.
I need to say, “DId you forget something?” I always say, “Get in here and put a new bag in. You know that is part of the job.”
My twins are 12 as well. They were so sick at first I think I did some coddling. It made them sweet but not independent thinkers yet. Ha ha! Perhaps they have to do that “Wonder Twin” thing. WONDER TWINS…TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE! ONE BE REMOVAL AND ONE WILL BE NEW BAG!
BTW, Can I just tell you I have hundreds of Star Wars figure images on my laptop from my boys. When I saw your Gravatar I thought the kids had switched mine to it. Peter once put a lizard he wants me to buy him on my FaceBook page to lobby for it, (he is seven.)
Another parent of twins I need to pray for now. Pray you survive. 😉
Haha. I’m a bit of a Star Wars freak, and I liked that picture.
As for the twins, I seriously can’t wait for the common sense gene to kick in. They are really smart boys, but do really dumb things sometimes…
I know. Mine are too but I remember a friend with a now 18 year old son talking about how stupid he was at 12-14. She cracked me up when telling a story about him running down the stairs holding a baseball bat straight up and putting a hole in the wall. So something my kids would do.
It reminds me of a quote by Calvin’s mom from Calvin and Hobbes: How can kids know so much and still be so dumb? Ha ha.
I think parents today do too much for their children and give them too much. I don’t advocate going back to the times when children were afraid of being beaten or were the last to eat, but some kind of balance is needed so that children learn self-control, respect for self and others and independence.
My mom never tried (or wanted) to be my friend. She was my mom. I see parents today trying to be pals, not parents. And their children won’t benefit from that in the long run. Employers or college professors sure won’t want to be their pals…
Mine know I am the parent, (I am more like a drill sergeant) but I think some parents are just worn out. I have my moments. I think having twins right off the bat just made me do things for them because, most of the time, it was just easier than trying to teach two little ones at once. Our youngest is by far the most independent. My oldests though are really kind to others. I figure most people would rather work along side someone that is nice and nice to be around. I don’t care how smart you are if your a jerk and think the world revolves around you you aren’t going to last long. I say this because I call my kids out and will say, “If you act like a butt, your a butt!”
I guess there’s something to be said for both methods but goodness knows what would happen if we ever found ourselves without Google and the like!
I tell my kids all the time what it was like to do school work before Google. It is as if I am talking about living out on the prairie, the way they look at me!
I think you’re right about kids lacking the daily drive, although I sometimes feel I’m falling into the same bad habit. After all, today it’s all about convenience and ease of living, but then again, I don’t have three young boys to keep up with!
I downloaded an app on one of their iPods to teach them to tie knots??? Is this good or bad? I mean, my kids play outside. I have to force them in. We have Xbox, wii, ipads, ipods… and they get used on rainy days and we don’t get a lot of them and it has to be pouring to get them in. I played outside and I tied knots but I didn’t know “how” and what types and what for. Anyway, I am thankful for the technology and I Google EVERYTHING but are they developing their ability to figure things out instead of looking it up?
For eleven years, I’ve been praising God and Allah that we were given girls instead of boys. Well, the drama is ramping up exponentially, and I suspect I’m going to have a few days in the coming years wherein I wish we had boys.
I think it all equals out somehow. Right? Let’s just tell ourselves that. I find just saying, “Even though you are being ugly to me, I still love you.” or “It hurts my feelings when you say things like that” and today, “I am frustrated at your lack of responsibility to get your things together the night before but don’t confuse that with not loving you.” I say these things to GUILT THEM! It is hard to be disgruntled when someone is all showering you with love. Ha ha ha! I am not that “sticky sweet” mom so they are a little scared when I talk in a slow soft voice and reply to, “You love Peter more than me!” The reason he yelled it…to distract from the fact that he didn’t “run his list” of things to do the night before to get ready for school the next day. I will say a little prayer for dad’s of girls and you say one tonight for mom’s of boys. Ok? 😉
Oh my, reading your story made me giggle! Yes 12 year old boys lose their brains and ability to think for awhile (girls do too). I teach a room full of mid schoolers, so I feel your pain!
Ok, then. You are an expert and I will let them live another day. 😉 I have days where I think I am the crazy one in the house. I mean, they all agree and I am like, “whaaaat? is it me who thinks it’s too much to ask them not to throw all my brooms and mops up in trees like harpoons? I mean is it really that bad to have to go outside, get a ladder down, climb a tree and fetch my kitchen broom so that I can sweep?”
Oh my goodness, there is something to by said for the thought process of mid schoolers! You certainly find yourself having the most insane conversations with them wondering if you are truly the only sane one in the building. I wish the the greatest of luck, and I can tell you that 12 year old girls aren’t much better. I have one of those in my own house!