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Thread: 12 year old

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017

    12 year old

    If it were up to my 12 year old, she would do nothing. And I'm just so sad that this is what she's turning into. She's always been the smartest in her class, she's super athletic, very outspoken and not afraid to tell people what she wants. She's what I always wanted to be, but I was too shy to be in the spotlight. She always wanted to be in every club, join every sport and just be involved in everything. Now, all of a sudden, she doesn't want to do anything. We spent all summer getting ready for volleyball tryouts and then she quits the second day.

    I can't help but feel a little disappointed. She has all these big dreams and talks so much about what she wants to do, but all she does now is make excuses as to why she can't do them. She told me that she already knew she wasn't going to make the volleyball team, to which I told her, that it doesn't matter if you make the team or not, as long as you tried and they see that you tried hard and that you never know. But then she told me that she just didn't feel like volleyball was "her thing" that she didn't love it like she did softball. She's been playing softball since she was in the 2nd grade, but last year she tried out for the middle school team, and didn't make it, either. But she will not put in any extra effort to do anything. She gets decent grades, but if she even did a little bit of studying, she would be A+ all across the board.

    Sometimes, I feel like she does things just because she thinks that I want her to do them and I don't want her to feel like that. That's why I backed off when she said she didn't want to try out for volleyball. Last year, I told her to look around at the clubs at school and join what she thought looked interesting, and she joined nothing. I just want her to know that she is the smartest, most beautiful girl ever and I want her to do and try everything. I don't want her to feel like she has to do anything to please me, but I will not allow her to do nothing. I understand that she is her own person, but I feel like I have to force her to do anything. Even studying and doing what she knows she supposed to do.

    Ugh. Sorry, I just needed to vent my frustration. Parenthood is hard. Lol

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Is she depressed? Perhaps there's an underlying problem.

    Or, is she bored?

    Does she have enough time for extracurricular activities or is she bogged down with tons of homework and school projects? There are only so many hours of the day.

    Does she have friends or is she a loner? Perhaps she prefers to have a social life instead of sports and clubs.

    Did something happen at school? Sometimes cliques can be so mean spirited.

    Maybe she's not in the mood to do and try everything. Some people don't want to be too busy.

    Is she on her cell phone or PC too much? Correspondence, texting, messaging, emails, games, social media, etc. turn into huge time traps. Then she doesn't have enough time for sports and clubs.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Clio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    It sounds like you are projecting on her your own wishes, regrets and insecurities and trying to live vicariously through her. She can probably sense that and it sounds like she is passively-aggressively rebelling against your hidden expectations. Imo, if she gets decent grades and does her chores around the house then her hobbies should be hers to decide on.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    You said she is super athletic yet didnít make the volleyball or softball teams.
    That doesnít sound like someone thatís super athletic.
    You also said she gets decent grades but could do better if she studied? Maybe decent grades is her best?

    You say you want her to know that she is the smartest most beautiful girl ever.
    No offence at all , but perhaps sheís not the smartest etc but you have dreams of her being so? And she feels undue pressure to be that?

    It is ok for her not to be athletic or academic!

    Itís ok for her not to pursue sports etc
    But why is it not ok for you?


  6. #5
    Bronze Member kim42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Maybe she feels under pressure, and perhaps she is not as super athletic as you would like her to be, no offence. Sheís probably figuring out what she wants to do, not everyone wants to be in the spotlight, and thatís okay.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Ontario Canada
    12 is a rough age, hormones are starting to get ramped up, puberty is getting going as well, that can make any kid act like yours. They change their minds with the weather, try different things, some work out, some dont. Parenting tweens and teens is sooooo difficult, I would not want to do that again!

    Keep the lines of communication open, dont push her to any particular sport or activity, but encourage her if she shows an interest.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Cloud Nine
    You are trying too hard to live vicariously. Perhaps since she's entering puberty she's starting to rebel again the helicopter parenting. Take her to a physician to rule out any physical problems and let her go to a therapist to talk out her issues.

    It sounds like you are developing a combative relationship with her by micromanaging. And sadly, she may be cutting off her nose to spite her face to send a message for you to stop trying to live her life for her. It's not all about you. You as well would benefit from some family therapy to understand your need to inject yourself to this degree.
    Originally Posted by JandJMom
    If it were up to my 12 year old, she would do nothing.

    I can't help but feel a little disappointed.
    I feel like she does things just because she thinks that
    I want her to do them and I don't want her to feel like that.
    I told her to look around at the clubs at school and join what she thought looked interesting, and she joined nothing.
    I just want her to know that she is the smartest, most beautiful girl ever and I want her to do and try everything.
    I don't want her to feel like she has to do anything to please me, but
    I will not allow her to do nothing.
    I feel like I have to force her to do anything.

  9. #8
    Forum Supporter ~Seraphim ~'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared
    One word, TEENAGER.

  10. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Originally Posted by ~Seraphim ~
    One word, TEENAGER.
    ^^^YEP. This is VERY typical teenager behavior. Be prepared for this and worse for about 5 more years.

    You cannot expect her to act like " a good little girl" for the rest of her life. It's totally unrealistic and you will be setting yourself up to be disappointed. Disappointment goes hand in hand with having teenagers, even "good" ones. You will find her testing your limits, getting into trouble, starting to explore who SHE is and not who YOU want/expect her to be and some of this will happen thru rebellion. Sorry, but I'm just being honest with you. I can tell you after going thru 3 teens of my own- The more you try and push her to do what you think she should do, the LESS she will want to do that.

    Don't be one of those parents that thinks their kid is perfect. She isn't. And won't be. If you have that expectation, the next five years are going to be a DOOZY for you! And please do NOT be one of those parents that said " If I was her/him, blah blah blah"- because it's IRRELEVANT! You aren't them and they aren't you. Your child isn't going to be (and shouldn't be) a carbon copy of you.

    Part of your kids growing up can be painful, because they usually don't become exactly who we expect/want them to become. Or utilize their full potential or however you want to put it.

    My advice. Breathe. Be there as a support and don't try to tell her what to do. (TRUST ME, this will only backfire if you do!) Guide her, by all means. Parent her, by all means. But do not try to FORCE her into something she isn't interested in. Why not ask her if there's something new/different she'd like to try? Maybe she could try for the school play? Or maybe she's interested in animals? Perhaps she'd enjoy the debate team? Or maybe you could interest her in giving yoga a try together? Don't give up or think it's hopeless just because she's lost interest in one field or wants to do something different. This is where YOU really need to be open minded and help her explore her OWN interests. (which may change) When you discuss things- you MUST be calm and not get angry. And this is important- DO IT WITH HER. Do NOT "order her" to "look into anything" or put any expectation. You can even frame it " I was wondering if this weekend you'd like to try X, Y, Z with me?" That way you can get a pulse on stuff she may be developing interests in without being pushy or making it sound like a command.

    Teens are lazy. So get ready for that. I can tell you the more you say " I won't allow her to do nothing", the more she will want to do JUST THAT. Learn to pick your battles. It's important at the beginning of the teen years to allow for open communication and try to keep your own anger/disappointment in check. It's a very difficult time for young women. Try and establish a sense of calm, communication and support NOW. It will help serve you when things get MUCH MORE challenging (and they WILL) than her not wanting to play a sport anymore.
    Figure out a strategy on how you want to speak with her. She is starting to become an adult- so just screaming or getting mad won't "scare her into doing what you want" anymore. I can tell you what my girls did when I or their Dad yelled at them as teens- EYE ROLLS- and then they did what they wanted anyway. What WAS effective was speaking to them calmly and maturely and with respect for their own individuality.

    The teen years are never easy, any way you slice it. It's easier on you physically since they can now care for themselves. But it gets MUCH more challenging emotionally and psychologically. And part of it is US- Learning to accept that they might NOT be like us, understanding that we have to start treating them more maturely and capable. Learning to choose when to have a difficult conversation or when to laugh and let it go. (If she has a day where she spends the day on the couch, is that such a crime? At least you know where she is and she isn't getting into trouble) I feel for you and I get it- Finding that balance is tricky to navigate, especially at first. Just remember, she's not a baby anymore. You have to adapt.

    Last edited by redswim30; 08-22-2019 at 12:26 PM.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    New Jersey
    Telling your daughter that she's beautiful when she doesn't believe it's true will harm your credibility with her. If you want her to trust your judgment going forward start to ASK her things instead of telling her your answers.

    Telling her that YOU WANT her to try everything only sets her up to feel lousy about her current state of aversion to trying new things. Instead, learn how to negotiate with her even while you teach her negotiation as a life skill.

    I'd start by asking her to come up with a restaurant she'd like for you take her out for a special meal. When she asks why, I'd tell her that I have some ideas I want to bounce off her, and we'll discuss those while we eat. I'd allow her to order her own meal instead of asking her what she wants and ordering for her. Then I'd try this approach. "You're 12 years old, not 2, and I want to start treating you like more of an adult than a child. I want for us to learn together how I can become a better Mom for you as you start growing into adulthood, which means I will start letting you make more of your own choices. You'll teach me how to start trusting more of your judgment if you're willing to trust me enough to work through the good sides and bad sides of some of those choices with me. I'm going to try to become a better listener instead of giving you all the answers. How does that sound to you?"

    Then listen to her if she has anything to say about that beyond a grunt. My next question would be, "So what are some areas of your life where you'd like to make more decisions?" If she doesn't know, I'd ask her if she'll think about it and come up with a list for me that we can talk about tomorrow or the day after.

    Then I'd tell her that I also want for us to create something called a bribe list. I'm going to write down some things that I'd like her to do or do more of, and she can come up with a list of things she wants from me. The lists can also include things that we wish the other would stop doing. From there, we can use these lists to negotiate trades: something of value to you in exchange for something of value to me.

    Ask her what she thinks of that, and then freeform the conversation into something relaxing that you can both enjoy and laugh about. Don't turn it into a lecture session, or it undermines the whole point.

    From this point on, you can learn how to ask questions to get HER to listen to herself speak her own answers. Remind yourself that when you say it, you know it, but when SHE says it, she will know it.

    Your intentions are beautiful, and your daughter is lucky to have you for a Mom.

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