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-   -   12 year old boy is weepy. Causes? (http://www.mothering.com/forum/39-preteens-teens/1398775-12-year-old-boy-weepy-causes.html)

mommyin2001 03-10-2014 08:33 AM

Hi. I am new here. I have a 12 year old son. I went through changes when I was 12 but my hubby says that boys are different. I'm not understanding why he is having crying spells. He talks to me about what he is crying about but it's over silly things like having homework, not wanting to go to school because he is tired, stressing over getting work done in school. It really reminds me of when I was a teenager but I had a hormonal imbalance. Can boys get that? Could he possibly be changing into a teen? When does that happen? Hubby says the first sign is their voice changes and his hasn't. Could he be not getting enough sleep? Could it be his diet? I try to comfort him and hug him and tell him everything will be ok, but I'll be honest.. with all his father and I went through in school with bullying and etc., my son has a REALLY good school. There is no bullying, not even teasing. He is popular. I'm just really confused as to what is going on. My son has always been happy-go-lucky. He doesn't seem depressed as much as he seems hormonal. Is that even possible for boys?

 

Side note: Is there a parenting magazine out there for parents of teens or tweens? I really loved parenting magazines but I don't want to read those that have mostly articles about babies and small children. Thanks!!


MeepyCat 03-10-2014 08:44 AM

Boys are different then girls, sure, but I'm not at all sure that they're different in a way that makes them necessarily not weepy at this stage.  The hormonal shifts of puberty start before obvious things like voice changes.  So yes, it's absolutely possible for him to be hormonal, and yes, he's changing into a teen.  That happens at different times for everyone, and he's twelve and kind of emotionally messy, so... 

 

I don't think your son is crying over silly things.  He seems to be reporting stress over academics - he has homework, he's tired, he's stressed about getting work done.  Is there a lot of pressure in his school at this point to do well in order to test in to good high schools, or be able to take the classes he wants to take?  What are his grades like?  What do his teachers think?


mommyin2001 03-10-2014 10:44 AM

His grades are good. He had an F at one point but got it up to a C. Cs are fine with us. We don't pressure him. I don't think his teachers are. He hates homework period. I remember spending hours on homework each night. He has study hall and completes most of his homework there. He will come home with one sheet of homework and just act devastated. He will spend a great deal of time on one sheet simply because he doesn't want to do it. I've spoken with his teachers. He is in grade 6. He was on the honor roll but now is struggling. He keeps saying he is tired of school.. hates homework..  I beg for any small info for what is going on at school. The teachers report that he is popular. He says no one makes fun of him or anything. This morning he was crying and crying to the point that I was afraid to send him to school. He says this time its because of a choir concert coming up. He signed up for it, he begged and begged for a solo. Now he is crying because he wants out of it because he realizes he has to practice. He recently had a few days off. ALL he did was play xbox 360. Its not like he has clubs or sports or anything. He has choir as an elective at school and that's it. His bedtime is 8:30 but he begs to stay up till 9. Aside from hormones, I really can't see why he would be so upset. I was hormonal early and put on birth control simply to regulate my hormones. I remember just sitting and crying and crying for NO reason. Idk what they would do for boys. I'm seriously terrified of the teen years if I can't handle this. I simply don't know what to do to stop him from crying. Is there something all-natural that boys can take to help regulate the hormones? I can't take him out of school. I can't do his homework for him. I don't know what else to do. I dropped off my son today and anyone else in the world would think someone died in our family. I feel for him, I really do, but I'm so confused as to how to help that I can't offer any constructive help. Hugs don't help. :(


mommyin2001 03-10-2014 11:01 AM

To be honest, I am seriously considering homeschooling next year simply because he is 100% happy when he is here unless he is thinking about school or doing homework from school. The school psychologist says he was crying during an assembly the other week. She has no idea why and thinks he is fine. They never even called me. I found out about it a week later. Could it have nothing to do with homework or hormones? I swear sometimes I wish so much I could see what is going on there. :,(


fisherfamily 03-10-2014 11:54 AM

This doesnt sound right to me. Could he have a nutritional deficiency of some kind? Low b12, or magnesium, or something obscure?

He sounds like he doesn't feel well to me.

MeepyCat 03-10-2014 12:14 PM

If I had a formerly honor roll kid who even temporarily ran an F in a class, I'd be concerned.  Cs may be fine with you, but are they fine with him?  What kind of feedback is he getting from his teachers?

 

Junior high is a stage at which much more organization is required from kids, and some kids rise to the challenge while others flounder.  It's possible that your child is reacting badly to floundering.  It's also possible that he's facing social challenges that his teachers aren't noticing. 

 

Have you talked to the school about the changes in his grades?  Have you considered finding him a counselor to talk to? 


whatsnextmom 03-10-2014 12:33 PM

Oh sure, hormones reek just as much havoc on boys and they do girls. Like girls, puberty can start subtly before the obvious signs pop-up.

 

My 13-year-old has been really emotional since last spring. There have been some tears though for him, his emotional outbursts have been mostly anger sometimes dissolving into tears. His straight A's have dissolved into a sea of B's and C's. Focus has been an issue and he knows it and it frustrates him. This all started about 12.5. A month after his 13th birthday he grew 5 inches, started to break out a little, and voice has changed a bit but not dramatically. Shortly after the physical jump, he started getting more stable emotionally and his grades are on the upswing again. I know that at least one of his friends has been crying a lot. He's always been the happy-go-lucky kid. He never really had a temper so it sort of seems normal that he'd go the crying route as opposed to the rage route. I know DD's boyfriend (17) breaks down in tears due to stress a lot these days though I think he pretty much only lets DD see.

 

I'd double check on the bullying thing just because it's very common for boys this age to not admit to being bullied. If he's not, that's great, but that doesn't mean he's not feeling any social pressure. Being popular, feeling like you have to live up to this perception others have of you or you could lose your position... that's not fun either. I wouldn't look at this like it's something that will get worse as he ages. It'll be peeks and valleys. For my daughter, the worst was 13 and 14 but gosh, 15 to 17 have just been awesome. Like I said DS had several months of really intense mood swings but we've gotten a bit of a reprieve now it seems. I don't expect it's clear sailing but I also don't expect that every year will get steadily worse.... probably just pockets of rough times.

 

I will say that yes boys can have hormonal imbalances. My little brother went into full puberty early... by 10, he was in a 15-year-old body. He was really out of whack and eventually put on medication to help level him out. I can't say that's the case with your son. I do think what you've described isn't outside of what we are experiencing and hearing from other young boys on the cusp or just starting puberty. It wouldn't hurt to talk to his doctor though.


mommyin2001 03-10-2014 01:00 PM

On hormones: he is breaking out in pimples.
On diet: he is a VERY picky eater. You might be on to something.
On school counselor: she said he is distant and won't show emotion with her. (He thinks crying is sissy so he hides it) One good sign is that he sent himself there.
On grades/teachers: she actually used the word lazy and also said he was disorganized.

MeepyCat 03-10-2014 01:54 PM

I wonder if some of the weepiness is that he is trying to work hard and do well, but having too much trouble organizing things for his efforts to be noticed by his teacher.  I would be really upset and stressed if I was pushing like crazy to get things done, and the person I most needed to impress thought I was lazy. 

 

I'm not saying that's all of it.  This age has all kinds of tough parts.


One_Girl 03-10-2014 04:17 PM

The teacher may be part of the problem. Calling kids lazy is unprofessional andif she's stepping to unprofessional with you I wonder what she is doing the rest of the time. I don't have a boy but my friend does and he definitely gets weepy sometimes. A counselor not associated with the school may help him feel more comfortable opening up.

3lilchunklins 03-10-2014 06:09 PM

It sounds to me, like there are several different things at play here.
He is definitely stressed. Crying can be a natural way for your body to cope with stress.
Its sounding like he also needs positive reinforcement. Rather than being criticized for doing something "wrong", he really needs to be praised often, ANY TIME he does something "right"
And right now, he's showing his emotions. But if you make him feel silly for crying, he will put walls up, and stop showing emotion. If I were you, I would tread very carefully ...

mommyin2001 03-12-2014 05:29 AM

While I'm totally confused as to the whys I never make him feel silly for crying. Guys being able to express their emotion is a big thing with me. If anything, I may be pushing him in the direction of letting it all out.
Thanks for your advice. Gave him a 'mental health day' yesterday and he must have been exhausted he slept so much. Seemed happy-go-lucky again today.

3lilchunklins 03-12-2014 05:41 AM

Oh ok that's good. IDK why I was getting the vibe that he was being shamed for his feelings. That's my bad.
It must be really frustrating! I'm sorry for you and your DS... Do you think he might open up to his dad? Sometimes kids need the parent of their same sex. Maybe they could do something your DS enjoys with no pressure about opening up, just get his mi.d off of things. And sometimes when you stop chasing is when they surrender. Or at least dad and DS have a day of bonding and ge might open up more in the future.

ETA- my DH is a youth pastor and some teens are SO very deeply wounded. There are a thousand reasons and each kid is different. But he gets them to open up by creating trust. He spends time one on one and just hangs out... When they do start to reveal things, never evver bring condemnation!

mommyin2001 03-12-2014 06:32 AM

Yah that's the weird thing. We have a very good relationship with him. If anything, we are too lax. Example: two days ago he decides he would like to learn how to lockpick lol. All the doors inside our house lock (we rent. Don't get me started on how weird this house is). So without thinking or asking, he locks his bedroom door shut. Thank goodness he was not on the inside! We don't have keys to the weird doors. I YouTubed how to lockpick and never could figure it out. Hubby had to break in through the window- which thankfully wasn't easy or I couldn't sleep at night. Anyway, there was no grounding or anything. Even when he got an F, he was just told he needed to get it up to a C. We probably would have grounded him but lately he is SO hard on himself. He will see the 2 things he did wrong and not the 10 he did right. I myself, am a perfectionist. I never thought of this, but perhaps he is simply imitating me in how hard I am on myself. Hmm. Food for thought.

whatsnextmom 03-12-2014 07:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyin2001 View Post

Yah that's the weird thing. We have a very good relationship with him. If anything, we are too lax. Example: two days ago he decides he would like to learn how to lockpick lol. All the doors inside our house lock (we rent. Don't get me started on how weird this house is). So without thinking or asking, he locks his bedroom door shut. Thank goodness he was not on the inside! We don't have keys to the weird doors. I YouTubed how to lockpick and never could figure it out. Hubby had to break in through the window- which thankfully wasn't easy or I couldn't sleep at night. Anyway, there was no grounding or anything. Even when he got an F, he was just told he needed to get it up to a C. We probably would have grounded him but lately he is SO hard on himself. He will see the 2 things he did wrong and not the 10 he did right. I myself, am a perfectionist. I never thought of this, but perhaps he is simply imitating me in how hard I am on myself. Hmm. Food for thought.

 

Some consequences might actually help the perfectionist and "beating himself up" issues. I know that it "sounds" counter-productive but some kids do better having a price and being able to pay it. Otherwise, they feel like no mistake can ever be fixed. Like there is no redemption. Getting in trouble, having a consequence and fulfilling that consequence can actually help them let go of the mistake. I say this as the parents of two such kids whose issues in this regard improved when we started a few selective "punishments" as opposed to always just "talking about it." It helped them put things in perspective too as before, neither could differentiate emotionally between a really poor choice and an honest mistake.

 

In your case, we wouldn't have punished for the door. That was impulsive but just a mistake. The F, if it's been established that the effort isn't there... if the grade is largely based on missing assignments.... then maybe a consequence will actually help him. It should be a consequence that supports his efforts at a higher grade... not just some arbitrary thing but if you are dealing with his inability to move past his own mistakes, implementing some consequences might actually help.


QueenOfTheMeadow 03-12-2014 10:55 AM

I'm shocked that a teacher would call a student lazy. I've heard teachers say unmotivated, and then brainstorm how ti motivate them, but lazy us just so out of line.

Your son sounds so much like my middle sin. He has a lot of anxiety around school. He's popular and sociak, but at the same time he's an introvert st heart. By the end of the day he is physically and mentally exhausted. On top of that, he's hormonal. It's a rough combination. I'd look into diet, exercise, supplements and counseling.

Sorry for typos. I'm on my phone!

moominmamma 03-12-2014 11:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post
 

Otherwise, they feel like no mistake can ever be fixed. Like there is no redemption. 

 

Or that no one believes you're capable of better, since their lack of anger and disappointment suggests that they were expecting you to mess up. I have two very perfectionistic kids who tended to be mortified by mistakes to the point of withdrawing and brooding and avoiding anything that might acknowledge that the mistake had happened. When I saw them being so hard on themselves, I certainly didn't want to rub their noses in what was obviously such a painful and humiliating experience. But sometimes it was best if I pushed them to confront their mess-ups, because they needed me to acknowledge the seriousness of the mistake and show them how to deal with it and move on. It went contrary to my urge to comfort them and wish the hurt away, but I wish I had done a bit more of it.

 

I'm not a fan of punishment as a parenting tool, but I do think that there is a role logically related and mutually agreed-upon consequences for poor choices. Not as a sort of penance to wash away the guilt, but as a way of helping a kid own a mistake, do what he can to right any harm caused, get a sense of closure so he can move on, and reduce his likelihood of making similar mistakes in the future. 

 

I'm not saying you're getting that balance wrong on this: it's impossible to know how things are in your home from just the couple of anecdotes you've shared. I'm just interested in the whole issue of perfectionism and the role parenting practices play in it, and find it helpful to myself to think and talk about it.

 

Miranda


4evermom 03-12-2014 03:44 PM

My 12 yo has had a couple of weepy episodes recently. I just attributed them to his being too tired since they happened in the evening after busier than usual days... They say kids start to need more sleep when they hit puberty so maybe that's a possibility even if he is getting the same amount of sleep. I don't think puberty starts with the voice changing though that may be the most obvious thing to other people. My son started having body odor about age 11 and is now just beginning to get hairy at 12 1/2. Voice hasn't changed yet.


moominmamma 03-12-2014 04:45 PM

The earliest stages of puberty usually involve pubic hair and scrotal enlargement -- and the beginning of the growth spurt. Penile growth and the changing voice usually follow that, with armpit hair, acne and facial hair coming at the tail end of puberty. There's a lot of variation in when it all starts and in how quickly boys progress through the various stages, but the main point I wanted to make was that hormonal changes usually start well before the voice break. Your husband is mistaken if he believes that it is normally the first sign.

 

Miranda


blessedwithboys 03-12-2014 05:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyin2001 View Post
 

His grades are good. He had an F at one point but got it up to a C. Cs are fine with us. We don't pressure him. I don't think his teachers are. He hates homework period. I remember spending hours on homework each night. He has study hall and completes most of his homework there. He will come home with one sheet of homework and just act devastated. He will spend a great deal of time on one sheet simply because he doesn't want to do it. So opt him out of homework altogether. I've spoken with his teachers. He is in grade 6. He was on the honor roll but now is struggling. He keeps saying he is tired of school.. hates homework..  I beg for any small info for what is going on at school. The teachers report that he is popular. He says no one makes fun of him or anything. This morning he was crying and crying to the point that I was afraid to send him to school. He says this time its because of a choir concert coming up. He signed up for it, he begged and begged for a solo. Now he is crying because he wants out of it because he realizes he has to practice. He recently had a few days off. ALL he did was play xbox 360. Its not like he has clubs or sports or anything. He has choir as an elective at school and that's it. His bedtime is 8:30 but he begs to stay up till 9. That's too early.  He is becoming a teenager and teenagers naturally need a later bedtime and a later wake time.  Switch him to 9:30 and I bet you'll see a huge improvement just from that.  Circadian rhythms and mood are closely linked.  I know this bc I have on child with a sleep disorder and another on with a mood disorder.  Fun!  Aside from hormones, I really can't see why he would be so upset. I was hormonal early and put on birth control simply to regulate my hormones. I remember just sitting and crying and crying for NO reason. Idk what they would do for boys. I'm seriously terrified of the teen years if I can't handle this. I simply don't know what to do to stop him from crying. Is there something all-natural that boys can take to help regulate the hormones?  Strictly limit sugar in all forms, including grains and maybe even fruit.  Blood sugar spikes can cause mood problems.  My son who has mood issues craves sugar and if I don't keep a tight rein, he can end up crippled for days with depression and hopelessness.  I can't take him out of school. I can't do his homework for him. I don't know what else to do. I dropped off my son today and anyone else in the world would think someone died in our family. I feel for him, I really do, but I'm so confused as to how to help that I can't offer any constructive help. Hugs don't help. :(   Yes, they do.  More than you realize or he can tell you.  Don't stop giving them!

 

 

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by One_Girl View Post

The teacher may be part of the problem. Calling kids lazy is unprofessional andif she's stepping to unprofessional with you I wonder what she is doing the rest of the time. I don't have a boy but my friend does and he definitely gets weepy sometimes. A counselor not associated with the school may help him feel more comfortable opening up.
Agree!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyin2001 View Post

While I'm totally confused as to the whys I never make him feel silly for crying. Guys being able to express their emotion is a big thing with me. If anything, I may be pushing him in the direction of letting it all out.
Thanks for your advice. Gave him a 'mental health day' yesterday and he must have been exhausted he slept so much. Seemed happy-go-lucky again today.  What a great mom to know just what he needed and provide it!  Growing into an adult is exhausting.  Try the later bedtime and give him a day off any time it seems like he might need it.  

whatsnextmom 03-13-2014 08:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfTheMeadow View Post

I'm shocked that a teacher would call a student lazy. I've heard teachers say unmotivated, and then brainstorm how ti motivate them, but lazy us just so out of line.

 

It's not a diplomatic thing to say but this is middle school. There are a lot of great kids who indeed get "lazy" during those years. I can't tell you how many times my kids have come home frustrated because they had to do relay races in PE and their teammates just wouldn't run... yes, totally capable but didn't feel like it, didn't care and thought they were really cool sauntering around the track while others were huffing and puffing. It'a an age where "not caring" is cool and being cool is everything. Are ALL kids like this? Of course not. Are there kids who actually struggle? Absolutely. Is the OP's child lazy? We don't even know him, how could we say! Is there a lot of laziness in middle school? Oh my gosh yes. Go volunteer on campus and you'll truly understand the term "herding cats." I've watched kids flunk a test because their pencil broke and they didn't feel like walking to the sharpener. I remember watching my Girl Scout troop who were just totally focused and exhilarating grind to a stop in middle school where suddenly, the same girls that wanted to wake at 5 am to go hike to the frozen lake the year prior wanted to sit in the lodge all day complaining about their lives and groaning every time anything was required of them lol. Yep, certainly lazy at that point but thankfully, 12-13, those years pass.


3lilchunklins 03-13-2014 08:34 AM

I think the point was whether or not he truly is lazy, or not, its completely inappropriate for the teacher to call him that.

whatsnextmom 03-13-2014 09:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3LilChunklins View Post

I think the point was whether or not he truly is lazy, or not, its completely inappropriate for the teacher to call him that.

 

I don't know about this anymore. I used to be really concerned about political correctness but now I feel like we are doing our kids and ourselves a huge disservice by not being truly honest. Entitlement is a huge issue these days. It's hurting these kids to move into the work place having never taken any real criticism or being told there is an exterior excuse for every problem they've ever had. My poor DH has to hire and work with 20 somethings that fly into a range when it's suggested that their work performance is not up to snuff. Having had a boy deal with bullies since 3rd grade, the inability of the school staff to throw out kids who they know are torturing their peers, their inability to call those parents in and say "get control of your jerky kids".... political correctness, fear of litigation, it's making it impossible to actually correct poor behavior. We can't be OK telling them they are selfless and hard-working and kind but not tell them when they are selfish and lazy and mean.

 

This is off topic of course. Like I said, we know nothing of the OP's child or whether the teacher's comment was earned or not. I'm just tired of playing the word game.... save political correctness for when it's really important (and there are certainly times).... stressing over whether a teacher says a kid is lazy or "unmotivated" like, if there were just something out there to motivate them they'd be fine... it's just not helping in my book.


fisherfamily 03-13-2014 09:21 AM

Amen.

QueenOfTheMeadow 03-13-2014 11:57 AM

I've got 3 kids in special ed, work as an educator, and have a sister who is a special ed teacher. I have never seen a child who is simply lazy when it comes to learning things. It has nothing to do with being PC. It has to do with being aware of the fact that there are many many barriers to learning that with a little more study, understanding, and support can almost always be helped. Uf this child is crying and overly anxious regarding his homework and school, there is obviously something more going on than him being lazy.

3lilchunklins 03-13-2014 01:28 PM

I'm still in the camp of name calling is immature and wrong!
You can address issues without resorting to name calling. IMO.
I agree there is a huge entitlement issue in our society, but teachers calling students lazy is not going to fix it. I tend to feel like parents sort of develop the entitlement or lack thereof. And I just dont believe name calling is a way to break entitlement.

(My DH has a bunch of lazy guys with entitlement issues working for him too. But I wouldn't justify calling kids lazy just so they would be hard workers as adults.. kwim?
I believe in encouraging work ethic at home for that purpose.
Also there's a big difference IMO of calling a kid and a grown adult lazy)
Sorry to go so far OT

whatsnextmom 03-13-2014 02:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by QueenOfTheMeadow View Post

I have never seen a child who is simply lazy when it comes to learning things. 

 

Really? You've NEVER seen a kid be lazy at learning? Perhaps it's your background. I've worked with special needs kids but I've also spent a lot of time working with average and intellectually gifted kids. Kids that are being offered a good education with involved and engaged teachers and yet STILL can be lazy. We can ALL be lazy when it comes to doing something we aren't too into. My own kids have been lazy at times choosing to sit on an ipod instead of doing a project they know in advance will take a particular amount of time. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3LilChunklins View Post

I'm still in the camp of name calling is immature and wrong!
 

 

And how is "lazy" name calling? The definition of lazy is someone who is unwilling to do work or expend energy. Have any of us NOT deserved that word at times? "Lazy" isn't an ethnic slur. It's not character assassination. It's a description for an action most of humanity has enjoyed acting out at some point. Instead of tip-toeing around the fact that sometimes people are downright lazy, why not embracing that "lazy" can be both wonderful and frustrating. Lazy isn't so good when you are choosing to watch TV instead of finish your report. Lazy is beautiful when you decide that it's too lovely a day not to spend at the beach with the family.... chores can wait.

 

Again, like I said, the OP's kid has a lot going on. I can't say whether it was appropriate or not. I never suggested the kid was lazy at all. I just don't think we do ourselves any favors by treating everyone like the enemy, not seeing our children's flaws for what they are and shielding them from the truth about their poor choices.


3lilchunklins 03-13-2014 02:50 PM

I guess for me *calling* someone lazy is *calling* them a name. Like it might be truthful to say someone is **being** lazy, but you have described what that person is or is not doing. Rather when you call someone lazy, you have described the person as lazy.

moominmamma 03-13-2014 04:22 PM

I have mixed feelings about the "lazy" label. On balance I prefer "unengaged" but that's not perfect either. The implication with "lazy" is that it is the child's fault that he's not doing the work. The implication with "unengaged" is that it's the school's fault that he's not doing the work. It's not usually that simple -- there's often fault in both directions, and in other directions too. If we're talking about a 6-year-old who is not adapting enthusiastically to school, the onus should be on the school to do more to adapt to the child's needs, to relate differently to him, to alter expectations, to revisit its assumptions, to think outside the box, to figure out if there are obstacles preventing him from learning and feeling successful and so on. When we're talking about a 19-year-old taking a community college chemistry course and he's sitting in the library texting his friends rather than finishing an overdue assignment that would help him keep his B-minus, then I think the fault lies with the student. If he doesn't want to complete the work required for the class, why is he taking it? But in between those two extremes there's a lot of grey area. There's a lot about middle school, for instance, that can make the experience quite awful for some kids, whether the social pressures, the fear of sticking out, of suffering humiliation, a mismatch with learning styles, a lack of appropriate levels of physical activity, mistaken assumptions about the level of executive function skills a tween is ready for, subtle or not-subtle bullying, a lack of strong adult role models, a push-pull between the need for support and the drive towards independence .... and yet despite all the potential problems, kids this age have so little empowerment to change anything about their situations. Often the only way they say of coping is to check out, to disengage. Which isn't exactly a mature coping strategy, but it may be the best they've got at that age. 

 

The other day I watched a 13-year-old who was sitting in the lounge at our local school mouth off to the principal who told her she needed to get to class. Yes she should have been in class. Yes she was sitting where she wasn't supposed to be, doing nothing. But I also know the challenges that girl has had to deal with in her life and how ill-fitting and pointless school must seem to her at her age, from her perspective, how far off any meaningful choice and independence must seem. Lazy, or unengaged? Well, both, I think.

 

Miranda


KKsMomma 03-14-2014 11:04 AM

I have to say I skimmed through the replies to this post, so please excuse any ignorance/repetitiveness . . . 

 

My first thought was "Wow, he sounds like me as a teen." Being a sensitive teenager is hard. For obvious reasons! You stress about school, friendships, whether you are "good enough" in so many ways. I think that as long as you are communicating about obvious displays of emotion (trying to find out what is going on, validating, hugging, talking about solutions), you are doing a good thing for him. Trying to adjust diet, sleep, supplementing with vitamins can get kind of overboard and make a kid think there is something fundamentally wrong with him. A lot of kids take a multivitamin to stay healthy when they are a little picky with eating - you could just leave the discussion at that. 

 

I also think that setting expectations about homework might help him. Kids often get "lazy" as they approach puberty because of distraction and self-esteem issues and realizing again "hey, I'm my own person!" But saying that homework needs to be done and following through with checking to see if it is and whatever consequence you have set could help him feel competent if it improves his grades. 

 

I am only speaking from personal experience here, but when things weren't easy for me as a perfectionist or naturally anxious person, I felt like I crumbled. I have had to build my resilience and learn to accept challenges. Parents can be the perfect people to help with this, because they often love you unconditionally and say so. The world doesn't do this for you. 

 

I also wanted to say that being a boy approaching teenage years is hard because culturally that is when boys really feel the pressure to turn their "weak" emotions off and be "like a man," including being "unresponsive" or "flat" in the way they express themselves. This won't last forever, especially if you allow those emotions in your house and can respond to them in a constructive way.



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