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Help-my 11 year old thinks he's a teen - Page 2

post #21 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post
Wow, I'm blown away by this. If you really want to "Hold on to your kids" you're going to need to love and accept them for who they are, their likes and dislikes, their good and bad emotions, and their peer relationships, whether you like them or not. You're job is not to dictate or control, but to guide and educate, especially during these times of constant change and uncertainty in his life..
It's not who he is. It's who his friends are.
post #22 of 36
But I think there can be a happy middle. Really.

And, I'm no expert, but I've seen many times the results of constantly refusing the "forbidden fruit". My best friend growing up was in a very strict home, insanely strict. At 18, she took off, got pregnant, experimented with drugs, etc. etc.

My point, I guess, is if you don't let them live a little, they will binge. But that's my opinion.

I don't think you have to let an 11 year old completely go nuts. But I don't think stifling them is doing them any favors.

As a parent, you hope you can instill morals and honor and common sense in your child. You can't force them to use it. You just pray that they do. And you know what? They will make mistakes. And that's okay too.

hugs.
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamasBoys View Post
What were you doing at eleven? Does normal human development change in 20 years or is it just "the times" that forces them to change?

At eleven I was still playing childlike games. I had not yet had a period. I was not wearing a bra. My husband was also still playing and he did not start puberty until he was 13.

At 11 I was in a C cup with an underwire and had been having a period for a year. That's not really the point- those things don't define emotional maturity. An 11 year old is NOT a teenager, by definition. Until "teen" is in the number, you aren't one. That doesn't mean you're not in a developmental stage that requires different handling. I have an 11 YO son and am only a couple years older than you so if it's useful, here's my take.

Very little of what you said in yout first post strikes me as being specifically "teen" related. You decide what to buy and unless you're giving him control of his own money, cell phones and junk food are at your discretion. (I will point out that the moms who "never ever let them eat junk" are generally deluding themselves. My older brother and I had a system in place for twinkies and wonder bread. We'd have eaten more reasonable amounts if they hadn't been so enticingly forbidden. That we both have weight issues and are prone to binge behavior is not lost on me.) My kid asked for a cell phone but could not list a single time that he's ever without an adult with a phone. When he starts traveling without a grownup, he'll probably get one because payphones are scarce these days. It still won't be for texting his friends. That's not a service *I* feel the need to pay for.

It's time to let up a little on the kiddy music, but that doesn't mean everything goes. I have rules about what gets played in my home. I will not listen to, nor allow him to listen to (even on headphones) music that I feel promotes a bad attitude toward women or violence toward police officers, etc. Decide what really worries or offends you and set guidelines that work. Offer choices and be willing to listen to the music he wants to see if maybe some of it is acceptable. In the age of downloads you can pick which songs are okay rather than accepting a whole album.

As for girlfriends... hell, I don't know. Sorry. My kid is on the slow end of that curve and I was not a good case study for such things myself. Someone else can offer advice on that one.

Good luck!
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by holothuroidea View Post
The way pre-adolecents explore their individuality is through a long series of immitations, trying to figure out what fits and what doesn't. It is time to let him define who he is.
I just want to add that in my experience, disrupting this process leads to maladjusted young adults.

As far as music in your house, and what you buy for him... stand your ground. Be a shining example of consistency and confidence and conviction. You can do this without being judgmental. For example, instead of saying "You can't listen to that," you could say, "I will not have this music in my house." That way it's about what you can do and not what he can't.
post #25 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamasBoys View Post
I want my kids to be normal, and normal is not mainstream. If my kids were mainstream, they'd be overweight (like 98% of the kids in my son's 5th grade class). They'd be eating a Standard American Diet and they'd be sickly and ill. They'd play a lot of video games and sit in front of the television instead of being active like they are. They'd be vaccinated on time, they'd be on antibiotics for everything under the sun. They'd be yelled at, spanked, humiliated, punished. I can't believe that so many HERE think that it's inappropriate for me to be resisting the mainstream.
I don't think it's inappropriate to resist the mainstream, but I do think it's inappropriate to expect an 11 year old to continue to behave like a small child and to continue to treat him like a small child.

It may be a question of geography, but the "mainstream" ( I hate that label) kids in my 11 yr old's class are mostly not overweight, and none of them seem to be sickly and ill.
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by j924 View Post
I love Hold On To Your Kids. It is a great book. We also have four dc with our oldest being 12. I feel your pain. It seems like just a year ago she was playing dolls wiht her sisters and this year she wants to conitnually be connected. What has been helpful for us is to give in a bit but make rules that work for our family. With the cell phone, it docks in our room at night and only has a specific time to be used, and NO ONE should have a phone at meal or family times. Music: we discuss together (opened up a lot of great topics) and she pays for her downloads. Boyfriend: he is there but now that school is finished for the summer not really as they don't dateThe most important has been to schedule lots of family time and to make that time really exciting and bonding. Recently when we were feeling a bit disconnected from one another we called a family day where every member got to do at least one actvitiy that they suggested. It took nearly twelve hours but we did it. It was a transforming day. Good luck to you. It takes so many levels of compromise as your kids get older.
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post #27 of 36
I think there can be a good middle ground between what is "mainstream" and what you want your family to be and it does get harder as the kids get older. Sit down and talk to him at a "good" time. Come to some compromises, perhaps even take out a piece of paper and write down your column and his column. You may be surprised to see what he has to say
post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post

It may be a question of geography, but the "mainstream" ( I hate that label) kids in my 11 yr old's class are mostly not overweight, and none of them seem to be sickly and ill.
I think it definitely is geographical. We lived on an island of mostly "crunchy/natural" families and the children there were completely 100% different than the kids here.
post #29 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Elsa View Post
(I will point out that the moms who "never ever let them eat junk" are generally deluding themselves. My older brother and I had a system in place for twinkies and wonder bread. We'd have eaten more reasonable amounts if they hadn't been so enticingly forbidden. That we both have weight issues and are prone to binge behavior is not lost on me.)
I always think this is an interesting theory but my husband and I don't subscribe to it. They get enough junk at holidays, family get togethers and school functions--we don't need to put cheetos and cookies in their lunch every day.
post #30 of 36
I can see why this might be making you a wee bit upset

I have a 7 and a 6 year old who are currently in mainstream school, and honestly, some of the nutty over-sexualized BS that goes on there is beyond the pale. I can remember being very young and thinking Luke Skywalker was dreamy, but I draw the line at a seven year old wanting to wear a bikini and "date". Not happening. No way. There is WAY too high a proportion of pregnant high school girls in our small town of 2000 for me to be comfortable with that kind of stuff.

Same reason I "won't have Hannah Montana in my house" That girl is no positive role model for A at all.

Anyway I digress. At eleven, yes, you're not a little child any more, sure. But you're not a grown up either. I do see that if left to his own devices, he might pick the wrong way - sure, that's your job as a mom to make sure he doesn't fall into a negative way of thinking about cops, or women, or drugs.

Already now we have conversations in our house about what drugs do to people and why it's important to be nice to people, and not to hit. A and D are lovely children, but with such amazingly negative outside influences, it can be a challenge sometimes: conversations have to be had at strategic moments.

When I see a serious attitude in A, it usually is an outside influence that has done it. Specifically being allowed to binge-watch the Disney Channel or something at a friend's house. Then, we have to sit down and have a talk about the way things are. Then, we do something together as a family!

We go out in nature a lot; try to listen to a lot of music from around the world; paint together; craft together and bake together as a family. Cutting TV RIGHT back has helped an awful lot

I did once find a CD with totally inappropriate explicit lyrics in A's CD player upstairs one day, which she'd been allowed to buy at a garage sale by a relative who had no idea what she was really buying. I gently removed the offending item and...well, I took it away and now I've no clue if it even exists any more! I said "not this CD, but let's listen to some other interesting music instead!" and we listened to Paul Simon or something.

All in all, it's a totally bizarre world out there nowadays. There are so many "whatever, let's just do drugs and mess about with 101 different women/men" influences out there. It's so not cool with me if my kids go that way - I've seen way too many people fall into that and end up wasted and on drugs, living in car parks. Not cool. So we just kind of redirect, which is a gentle, nonviolent approach. Give them a bunch of other options and lay down some boundaries - which there with always be in our house (for adults as well as children) - and happy children we have

Anyway there we are. We love to let our children explore, but we wouldn't let them walk along proverbial train tracks - like gangster rap or drug experimentation. We go fishing instead and explore nature and creative stuff. It works for us

*HUGE hugs* and good luck mama! XXX
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamasBoys View Post
It's funny because I feel like I'm being made to look like an uber strict, conservative parent and I certainly don't feel that way. I'm a pastor's daughter and my parents are/were very conservative Christians. I was not allowed to wear pants until I was 9 years old, we didn't listen to "secular" music or watch any television that wasn't Christian or rated G. As an adult, I'm an atheist, we are liberals, we are very young parents, we enjoy all types of music and our kids have been exposed to a lot of things that my parents would gasp at.

I want my kids to be normal, and normal is not mainstream. If my kids were mainstream, they'd be overweight (like 98% of the kids in my son's 5th grade class). They'd be eating a Standard American Diet and they'd be sickly and ill. They'd play a lot of video games and sit in front of the television instead of being active like they are. They'd be vaccinated on time, they'd be on antibiotics for everything under the sun. They'd be yelled at, spanked, humiliated, punished. I can't believe that so many HERE think that it's inappropriate for me to be resisting the mainstream.

I don't see any issue with resisting the mainstream- unless it's at the cost of your child's trust in you to allow him to explore himself.

DH and I are young parents- DD is only 10 months but I already shy from the mainstream. I consider myself pretty crunchy. But it's easy at this point- she's a baby, and is pretty willing to go along with my preferences of music and activities. I'm scared of the adolescent and pre adolescent years- considering how I acted, I must have it coming to me.

I will attempt to protect DD from the crappy, sexualized, woman-hating rap and hip hop and even pop and rock. That doesn't mean she won't be able to listen to those genres, but I will try my best to gently censor her- but ultimatley, I will try my best to raise her in a manner that lets her censor HERSELF.

-hugs- you are only trying to protect your son, and that's so good. just don't overdo it.
post #32 of 36
Well, our two just really like having their ears tickled! We listen to all sorts of music from around the world: African music, Native American music, Irish, French, Indian - you name it. It's so interesting!

And I'll tell you what: when they take gangster rap as an indication of the music of the African race, actually listening to some African choral music is very informative and great! They just want to stay interested, you know, like any child. Thank goodness - they have malleable ears and want to be drawn into something.

My own father, who is a musician, would play me everything from 14th century Spanish folk music to the Pet Shop Boys when I was growing up. "Being Boring" (PSB) beat out NSYNC every time because it was simply better music and inevitably more interesting to my young ears.

We had a great afternoon painting the hallway listening to Ladysmith Black Mambazo the other day

Anyhow so yeah, music speaks to the soul when it's good...I'm a music junkie and want my kiddies to hear all the GOOD music! Which can be challenging when most of the stuff on the radio is so....well...crap!

xxxX
post #33 of 36
What kind of chores and other responsibilities does your son have? If he wants to be more grown up, then perhaps it's time to ramp them up a bit? Not as punishment, but just to help him grow. He's very concerned with having the priviliges of young adulthood, which is fine, IMO, as long as they are accompanied by corresponding levels of responsibilities as well.

P.S. Not sweating the "kids today" stuff. The highest rate of teen pregnancy in this country in the past 100 years was in the '50s. I'm 31, and when I was your son's age, I listened to "grownup" music and read "grownup" books and had a great deal of control over how I spent my time once I was finished studying and contributing to the housework. With the freedom to choose how I spent my own leisure time, however, I wasn't particularly peer oriented. I also spent a lot of time with older and younger family members. Had there been a battle over it with my mom, I wonder if that would have still been the case.
post #34 of 36
Quote:
I definitely plan on homeschooling our youngest children (this is not the only reason, but it now makes the decision crystal clear.)
Why not start homeschooling your son? You said the problem is not him, it's his friends. He's 11, the influence his friends have on him is only going to grow.

It was a for a different reasons but I began homeschooling my kid in middle school, which quickly turned into unschooling. He chose to go to the public high school when we moved and it's been a great experience.

My point is not that you have to homeschool but rather that when you are unhappy with the enviroment where your child spends the majority of his waking hours, it's worth looking at making a change.
post #35 of 36
My son just turned 12 a few days ago and I'm 30. My son does have a cell phone because we don't have a house phone. I like to being able to get in touch with him if he isn't at home or if I'm not at home. He knows I monitor his phone...our bill shows every call and text he sent or gets. He is free to listen to any kind of music he wants. I feel thats part of him being able to express himself freely. I listen to rock, hip hop, and R&B. My son on the other hand likes rock. In fact I took him to a Linkin Park concert for his bday. He has no interest in hip hop at all. My son is a very good kid....doesn't get into trouble at school, does have some organizational issues but thats a whole other story. I believe that at his age he should be able to start making some decisions on his own. At 12 I was in 8th grade, wearing making up and attending a Sir-mix-alot concert. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
post #36 of 36
I'm returning this thread, after removing some UAV's and some posts responding to those UAV's.

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