What Do I Do?

I love this kid. With all of my heart. I had him when I was just nineteen years of age, because – well, because I was just hardheaded. This is the kid that would stay up late into the night with me while I studied even though I knew that he was supposed to be asleep, and we both pretended like we didn’t realize the other was aware of the lack of ME putting my foot down.

Now, he’s almost twelve years old – I believe the picture was taken when he was a fresh seven year old. A whole five years ago. And those five years seem like an eternity.

Before I get started, I want who ever will deem it appropriate to comment to NOT come this way and start bashing my child, because I will not stand for it. I’m basically wondering about other parents who have been in my shoes. Not so much the ones with a child who is only five years of age, and still sitting in a time out chair.

We’re dealing with a multitude of things. Forgetting to hand in homework, a general disdain for rules, and just not completing chores in a timely fashion. I’ve mandated that Sunday through Thursday are no television/computer days, and THAT doesn’t help. And for those of you who may be able to read between the lines – my parents were not the types to do take aways as a punishment. Know what I mean? I know that they did the best that could, but it was always in my heart not to be as hands on as they were with me.

Now, I’m all for gentle discipline, but let’s just tell the truth. I’m finding myself doing a LOT of yelling. And a LOT of punishing, and being generally frustrated to the point where I don’t want to give anything for fear that he will take it for granted and just cycle back around to where we were. I will give some facts.

The cellist has been on the honor roll since he’s been getting report cards.

He’s generally a well behaved child, but gets a bit frustrated when he can’t grasp the concept of something quickly.

He has LOTS of enthusiasm for tap dancing, but no longer has any for the cello. Once again, if he is challenged too much, he shuts down.

He’s in the top groups in everything at school. Reading, Math, Science, etc…yet, he wants to quit them all.

He’s very lax with chores.

Now, to give good aspects of the cellist:

He is a great help when he wants to be. If there is something going on, or some place that he wants to go, he’ll clean a room to a spit shine.

There are some days where he’ll complete his chores without us asking, and without any other instances of wanting things.

He’s self motivated HIGHLY when it comes to something that he loves. Usually something that has to do with the arts.

He still likes to give me random hugs – and that’s important.

I’m looking for a bit of companionship in this area. Someone to tell me we’re not horrible parents, and to let me know that it will indeed get better. No lies, and no trying to make me feel bad for where I am. Mostly because it’s my blog, and I’ll just delete your comments anyway. 😉 Seriously though – will it end? And I thought that girls were supposed to be the moody, hard to get along with beings when they were on the cusp of their teen years.

So, HoNey’s let me know, will this end?

This entry was posted in Family.


  1. Jennifer says:

    You are not alone! You described my child as well! I always thought that boys were easier to raise….my son has showed me that I was wrong! LOL! Now that he is 12yrs old, he has taught me that being lenient on him is not an option….nope! I must say what I mean and mean what I say….stay consistent at all times. I am a “hands on” type of parent and I will take his things in a heartbeat! His game systems are in a bag in my room right now! At 1st I thought that I was being too hard on him until I realized that he needed that tough love! We can’t treat our sons like we treat our daughters….they are going to be men one day! Although he is my baby, I am harder on him these days and I stress responsibility! I make him accountable for not turning in his work, not doing his chores, etc. When he is not on his job everything is shut down…..no sports, no cell, no games, no money, nothing! It took him a minute to realize that I was not playing……we are on the same page now! So far so good!

    • Mrs. Houseful says:

      Oh boy! I’m wondering though if our parents did indeed think it was us too, since we’re girls. I think that this is just a general age thing (or the consensus says) and I’m not sure that I am equipped to handle it right now. >sigh< Thanks for stopping by and giving me encouragement though. ((hugs))

  2. ConnieFoggles says:

    He’s a completely normal tween. They test the waters to see what they can get away with. They are starting to feel the need for independence. You’re doing the right thing by punishing, but just try to be sure that the he gets rewards too. I’m right there with you with a 13 year old and have gone through it with my 25 year old. He sounds like a good kid who is growing up and letting you know it. My best to you!

    • Mrs. Houseful says:

      Hi Connie – we’re a big reward family here. I just think that my cellist may have started to feel a bit entitled. Does that make sense? I for sure don’t want anyone thinking that I don’t care for my oldest, but if this is what parents of tweens and teens go through to get to the promised land, I’m a bit fearful! LOL! Right now, we’re going day by day. If he can make it seven days straight, then he can earn a movie (currently the Avengers) if not, he can’t. So far, so good – even though we’re only two days into the week. Thanks for stopping through and commenting!

  3. Holly says:

    I think he is telling you more than you think. Sometimes they just get overwhelmed. My 12 year old does one extra curricular activity at a time. It has worked well for him to just be able to have down time and disconnect from a busy school day. Here, they have 8 classes daily. Luckily they do not have a ton of homework, usually something that can be completed in an hour. He makes mostly B’s with a couple of A’s and we are okay with that. This is his first year in middle school and we think that just handling the transition has been tough enough. They have poured on a lot more responsibility than was ever expected of them at the elementary level. My son thought he wanted to be in band but a scheduling conflict sent him into art instead and he has told me numerous times how he likes the quietness of the artroom when everyone is drawing or painting.
    As far as chores go, we have tried to subscribe to the Dave Ramsey principals of the child being ressponsible for certain chores just becasue they are a responsible member of the family. There are additional chores that he can do to earn some commision, but he realizes some things are just expected of him. That certainly doesn’t mean he does them all the time without being reminded. When he is “punished” it generally involves taking away TV, game, and iPod privileges. The funny part is that he seems to like this time to reconnect with mom & dad. So to say the least, they are strange creatures!

    • Mrs. Houseful says:


      Thanks for stopping by! I’d like to think that we’re pretty approachable, but I do remember how it was to be his age. I mean, he shares a LOT more with Mr. Houseful and I, than I did with my parents, but he still clams up about the small things. You know? I do agree with the plan to ease things as far as school goes, but he’s been switching classes since fifth grade, and I’m just not sure where he lost his organization skills. I’m not a fantastic role model I must say, but I really do need to fix some things over the summer so that when he does indeed get to high school, he’s more prepared than I was.

  4. Rachee says:

    You are not alone. I wish I could offer some better advice but I do want you to know that you’re not a bad parent, you’re not awful and selfishly, I am glad that you shred this. Sometimes I think my child has literally lost her mind. I’m glad I’m not alone.

  5. Jester Queen says:

    I’ve been to a couple of parenting seminars because we deal with this daily. (Note – full disclosure, the ideas are awesome, and so far they only work sort of for me and my own bipolar is a factor). Anyway, the best one that I’ve found is the growing peaceful families group headed by Kathryn Kvols. (She’s googlable). Her stuff sounds like slimy seventies syrupy goo, but it really works for a lot of people. It’s the one that I’ve had the most successes with, but again, it ain’t all beautiful, and we still have horrible days here, too.

    • Mrs. Houseful says:

      I love that you give full disclosure. Love it! So many times, I think people want to give the illusion that their children are these perfect little beings when things are sometimes tough for them. I will go and check it out, and put on a hazmat suit to avoid the goo. LOL! THanks for stopping by!

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