{Adventures in Parenting} My Middle Schooler Is Driving Me Nuts!


I have a son whose 12 years old. Every day with him is a new adventure in parenting–that I am rarely ready for. Last year was his first year of middle school and the entire year he was trying to find himself. He was the “new kid” at school so it took him a while to get used to the other kids, his new teachers and just middle school in general. The entire year I was on “edge” making sure he didn’t get sucked into the black hole that is middle school. In the end he survived–well he did more than survive. He made all A’s all year long and at the end of the year he was ranked #14 out of 300 six graders. I was ecstatic, he was happy, Dad was happy–everything was good.

Well this year things have changed.  He’s decided that in addition to making good grades,  he wants to get into more social activities this year and just be (in his words) “cool”.  When I heard this I took a deep breath before I lost it but I decided that I would give him a little freedom to “find himself”. I remember being that kid who just wanted “a little bit” of freedom and my mother being like, “heck no”. So I decided to take a “chill pill”.

His transformation started this summer when he got a new phone. You see for his entire 5th and 6th grade year I got him an old flip phone that didn’t text or take pictures–all it was good for was answering calls. I also got tired of his old ‘flip phone’ randomly working and me not being able to text him when I needed to talk to him. So still ‘high’ about his stellar academic year, I bought him a new phone (and installed some safety software) and he literally has become that teen that is OBSESSED with their  phone.

He texts on it, eats with it, sleeps with it and even puts it in the bathroom with him when he’s in the shower.  I’ve had to literally take it from him for hours at a time just to make sure it doesn’t blend in his skin.

This is the first thing that’s threatening to drive me crazy.

Then toward the end of the summer he decided that he was going to grow his hair out. So no more hair cuts instead he just wants his hair “lined”. I wanted to scream, “NO!” but the mother inside me told me that I just needed to be quiet and let him go. So he’s walking around with a bushy hairstyle (that’s still nicely lined) but  he spends hours in the mirror brushing/combing it until it’s “just right”.  My husband laughed when I told him I wanted to hold him down and cut it and said, “All little boys go through that.”

Then the phone calls started.  Don’t ask me HOW all of his friends from school, summer and debate camp got his number but they CALL all evening this summer. I’ve lurked outside his door to hear the conversation (don’t judge me) and it’s all silly stuff- video games, Disney movies, and of course girls.  But when he has more people calling the house then me–that’s a problem. No girls have called the house yet but one time when I was going through his text messages I did find out that some girl liked him but (thankfully) he said she was “crazy” and that he’d pass. I thought I was going to have to take my investigative skills to this girl and her family.

Take the girls and cell phones foolishness aside, I’ve caught him (several times) staring at himself in the mirror and trolling the Internet looking for clothes that he says fit his style (i.e. he’s done with Gap Kids) such as Abercrombie, Nike & Fitch and Aeropostale. Whenever we go into the mall he’s so PARTICULAR about what I buy that I’m exhausted when we leave. Despite all of this, we made it through the summer without me going crazy but now he’s decided that he wants to try out for the soccer and  basketball team at his middle school.

When he first told me I wasn’t surprised because he played sports for the community center for the past couple of years but I was surprised that he was willing to “try out” to be on a team. Still I supported him and told him I’d pick him up from tryouts. So today I  watched him try out for his school’s soccer team. I could have  been mad that he made me wait for him  but instead I was proud. Proud that he was confident enough to “put himself out there” to try out for the team, proud that he was responsible enough to get all the  materials he needed to be able to try out and proud that he said he’s going to go to the next four days of trying out. He’s even commented that if he doesn’t make the soccer team he’s going to try out for the basketball team.

All I could think on the way home was, “that’s my boy.”

I know I’m over here rambling but I’m going CRAZY on how to deal with  my baby “growing up”! Do you guys have any advice for me?

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Written by BossyGirl1980

Here I am 35 and accidentally a mother of four, naturalista, wife, business woman, budding socialite and self proclaimed “runnergirl”. Follow me on my journey of living the fab life while trying to maintain my sanity. In 2010 I lost over 30 pounds by embracing exercise and running as a pastime. This is your place for everything it takes to be a BossyGirl .

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About BossyGirl1980

Here I am 35 and accidentally a mother of four, naturalista, wife, business woman, budding socialite and self proclaimed "runnergirl". Follow me on my journey of living the fab life while trying to maintain my sanity. In 2010 I lost over 30 pounds by embracing exercise and running as a pastime. This is your place for everything it takes to be a BossyGirl .
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12 Responses to {Adventures in Parenting} My Middle Schooler Is Driving Me Nuts!

  1. Kita says:

    None I am actually taking this all in so I can be ready for mines at that age I don't mind the phone I guess that's just the world we live in and he is keeping up his grades. My 6 year old is obsessed with the cell already I can only imagine how it will be at 12 *shuddering*

  2. @atlnewf says:

    I'm lucky in that mine isn't addicted to his cell. He did "have to have" one though to keep in touch with his friends. Mostly it's his scouting buddies he's in touch with, not too many school friends yet. His addiction, though, is to his XBOX.. where he'll be up to all hours gaming with his buddies.. SAVE ME!

  3. nylse says:

    Go with it…you know your son and if he's a good kid, pick your battles. to me hair was a non-issue, so my son wore braids in HS and then cut in college. Its good that he wants to try sports. He takes pride in his appearance – that's good also. I could never shop for my son – he was too particular. Curb cell phone usage if you have to or remove unlimited texting. I always focused on morals and character. And yea, rely on your husband – he understands what being a boy is like. So dont go crazy – just wait until he gets to HS.
    PS – my son is now 22 and he's one of the good guys!
    My recent post Respite

  4. Katherine G says:

    Unfortunately I can’t help you our kids are in the same grade. My daughter is still in what I call her little girl stage. She still likes Barbies. She does talk about wanting to try out for things at school but nothing specific yet. She hinted at wanting a phone last year but my husband and I don’t think she needs one yet. We both told her that if she wants to talk to her friends that with our permission then she can give them our phone number. We are on the look out for these stage though. She is just getting interested in attempting to do her own hair but nothing beyond that.

  5. Katherine G says:

    My little lady is 12 too

  6. _K_Rock_ says:

    I know that this is what will happen to me if I get my son a phone. He is in th 6th grade and asks for one almost every day. Arghh! And the hair thing. We definitely went through that "I wanna grow my hair out" phase but I have since shut that down. It never looked good. Thankfully he is not into clothes yet but I am sure it will come pretty soon. If it's this hard for boys, I cant imagine what the girls will put us through.
    My recent post Wax off

  7. Shatara says:

    As I was scrolling through this hilariously written article , my mind is scrolling back to when DJ was a baby!! I can't believe he is a middle schooler now; however, I can believe that he is an academic scholar!! I mean, look at his mom:-) The staring in the mirror, scrutinizing of the clothes, etc- we both know where he got that from(big smile)!! I'm so proud if him

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