Before I was a mum, a colleague told me that one day her lovely girly daughter went upstairs and the next morning someone looking like her but with an aggressive attitude came down those stairs. She was convinced that her daughter became a teenager that night.
I have a 12 year old and I think they become teenagers faster these days.
My son is lovely, shy and sensitive and very bright. We see this person a little less these days and I guess that is all part of him growing up.
How has he changed?
1. He spends less time with us wanting to be alone in his room or out with friends.
2. He is misbehaving sometimes in school for the first time ever clearly struggling to adapt to the demands of secondary school.
3. He does not always come home from school immediately and is developing a separate life of his own.
4. He is less tolerant of his brother and sister and their child-like games.
5. His moods can be all over the place presumably due to hormones raging through his body.
I wonder if I will be able to support him through this next challenging chapter. I am planning weekends so that I get some good quality one-on-one time with him so he can talk about things if he wants to. When I am with him alone, he is the boy I used to know.
I imagine he might start thinking about all things birds and bees soon. How would I react if I found him kissing someone? I know this happens but I was the girl who waited till her late twenties to give the opposite sex a look-in so how can I support him as he starts forming those sorts of relationships? Deep down, I don’t approve of these early shenanigans. Never mind lock up your daughters! Where is the key and can I persuade him of the benefits of a monk’s life?
There is his future to consider and I don’t have a clue what options will be available to him when he leaves school. The world is changing and the straightforward ways where you went to university or into a vocational trade are long gone. I really don’t know what to advise him particularly given the dire economic situation.
What gives me hope?
1. His Dad and I love him and will do what it takes to support him perhaps admitting that we don’t have all the answers
2. We are a small family unit but we are a strong one.
3. My son still wants hugs, will express his love for us verbally and has all those qualities that make him so special even if they get masked sometimes in the teenage madness.
4. My son has intelligence, great humour and a caring soul.
He’ll be OK. Won’t he?