My sweet little boy turned into a moody 13 year old. Is this normal

Nancy - posted on 01/27/2011 ( 16 moms have responded )

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Any suggestions on how to deal with moody sad acting, makes disrespectful remarks or facial expressions on whatever we say

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It is called growing up, and with kids now days, they grow up to fast. My son is grown now, and turned into a wonderful kind loving and compassionate man. I tried to keep the lines of communication open, even when he didn't. I'm sure I made plenty of mistakes, but I tried to keep on top of issues with him. Most of all, don't be afraid to tell him how much you love him and that you are so glad that God sent him to you. I know there will be times when you wonder if you are doing or saying the right things to him, but he just might wake up one of these days and tell you that he is so glad to have a wonderful mom like you. Don't give up on him, we are all a work in progress, and lets face it, with the pressure that the kids put on each other now days, is awful they are always trying to one up the other. Try asking the moms of some of his friends how he treats and talks to them, you just might hear that he is a most respectful boy. If that is the response that you get then you can say that maybe just maybe you have done the right thing. I know there were days I wanted to pull my hair out or bite my tounge off, but I tried my best to understand what he was facing. I hope this helped you in some small way. Don't give up, he is worth all the effort that you will put into raising him. don't forget to keep telling him how much you LOVE him.

Saleena - posted on 01/28/2011

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Good luck!! Been there, done that ;-) have another right there with your son, and yet one more right behind him who just LOVES to copy his big brothers actions!! I deal with it ALOT better than my husband ;-) us moms usually have more patience!! Which we DEFINATELY need with early teen boys!! Anyway I agree w Louise , try to let some slide, most do it because they have SO MUCH running through their bodies they have to try and figure out what's going on! Mine likes to kid around, joke and be funny! Some of it I don't think is funny and I tell him! We recently moved to where we can go visit his elderly grandparents more often than every 3 or so years ;) the other night he was in his normal 'show off' mood as I call it! I was tired and cranky, so I asked him if he would act like this or treat his grand-parents thus way?! He said ABSOLUTELY NOT, so I said, BINGO!! Please think before you act!! I think it was enlightening for him ;-)
I also keep lines of communication open, I know he's going through ALOT. Especially since we just moved from the only place he knew as home!! Left his friends and his 1st real girlfriend, so I try to give him a little slack ;-) which brings me to ask, has he recently started liking a specific girl that either likes someone else or turned him down? Is he having troubles in class? Just ideas that when our son started this we asked ourselves and teachers, even his friends! Which we learned part of his actions were friends trying to 'out do' what the other kids say they did or said to their parents (locker room talk lol)!
Good luck, there is light at the end of the tunnel ;-) if you can keep communicating you two will have a GREAT relationship when he's an older teen. He'll know he can always come to yoy and count on you to give him good advice ;-) I have 2 older (early 20's now), and 3 older step kids that all went through the same thing!! We have 2 left, and then grandkids ;) hope everything smooths out for you soon, I know it can be stressful!!

Louise - posted on 01/28/2011

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Your little chap is now in the midst of puberty. What is most important now is to keep your lines of communication open. Make a point of eatting together every day to give everybody chance to discuss their day. These are the hardest years for your son. Developing into a man and not a man nor a child. I know what you are about to face as I have a 20 year old and 16 year old son who have both been through it. Make allowances for him and try and ignore the silly behaviour just let things slide. You are in for a couple of years of this but there is light at the end of the tunnel your son will emerge a lovely young man so try and remember this when things are grim.

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Nancy - posted on 10/30/2012

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My son is 13 yr and adopted.We've had him since he was 9 yr. He has always been a bit shy and insecure in the way he walks and friends he chooses to hang with. this past year he has become verbally agresssive towards me. Defient, tells me "no" he won't do whatever I ask, tells me I need a psychiatrist, stands in doorways and won't let me pass and very moody.

I am not intimidted by his methods, more conerned that he has so little respect for me.

I do not back down.

I am sad because while he wants hugs and I try to hug him;they aren't real. I am not sure that he knows how to feel good when we hug. I feel distant from him as he rejects most all that I suggest; yet if he thinks he is going to get something he is nice as pie. He is coniving. I really wanthim to want our relationship to be a positive thing. I am thinking by what I am seeing that may not happen for another 10 yrs or so.. Am I missing something?

Janet - posted on 02/04/2011

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Hate to say this, but it will only get worse. Hormones are not the mothers best friend. As a mother of a 14 yo male, I can completely understand. Take it one day at a time and remember that he is still that little boy you have always loved. BUT don't back down. Hold your ground. When he makes remarks remind him everything he has is a privlege and has to be earned. Smarting off will certainly not keep things as he wants them. Good Luck!!! Janet, Alabama

MarLa - posted on 02/03/2011

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Yes, however, stay involved in his life to ensure that he grows pass this. Study him--his likes/dislikes, people he admires, and what/whom he spends most of his time. Show him love and patience but resist tolerating disrespect. Don't pretend to be perfect.

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We are different from most of the other responders here. We never allowed attitudes nor snide remarks. The children were always to treat us with respect. We have 15 children (13 are grown now) and never once had teen "rebellion" or problems. We started from when they were little to treat their parents and grandparents as they should and they always have. People say it is inevitable for kids to act like this but I can say "No, it doesn't have to be like this". Raising all our children was such a blessing and joy and would do it again in a heartbeat :) Ten of our fifteen is already married and we already have 25 grandchildren! Just address the problems now and do not allow them to slide. You will be glad that you did.

Lori - posted on 02/02/2011

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Your title here says so much... I have a son who is now 15- and he has had so few strong males that have been a consistent influence in his life. His own father hasn't been consistently in his life- but also having never been a boy myself- I was getting my feelings hurt so much and do some (a lot) because I made it about me.. I think at 13 was when my son told me one night- "hey can you stop telling me you love me so often, it is annoying?" At that point I had still been going in and doing the mini tucking him in routine, and would kiss his forehead, turn his light off, say I love you and close his door for him, which he hated before.. Prior to that he still would ocassionally ask to sleep in my bed because he couldn't sleep... that was the hardest habit to break him of- often wished it didn't end now-because it was almost nightly for many years- again- He diidn't have anyone else really..I also found out how mean kids can be to each other- and my son was getting so hurt left and right... It goes on- But the night he told me to stop with the I love you- I sat on the couch and cried and tried to process what he said. Next night I told him- "if the worst thing I ever do is say I love you- then I'm doing OK?" But since it bugs you I will cut back." I didn't hear it as a kid from what I recall and it has been and was natural for me :(. I constantly worried and still do- especially when the anger and the multitude of emotional things that we have had in our lives. I had found and have found that backing up a little, but not too much, because I've gone to every extreme, and therapy prior to this, and after the puberty started for a while- but his dad talked him into his thoughts that it wasn't working (therapy).
If you are definitely able to stay on the same page as any other adult in his life where the moodiness- and wanting to be left alone, etc.. is concerned and each play a complimentary role- I don't know just a thought- and it sounds so basic but it is a huge problem and has been forever here. Of course I'm sorry this is too long- but it's a difficult thing. Routine in his life- hasn't been modeled well by me or anyone- he has at times had to be more grown up than I wish he had to be. I am working on the blaming myself and feeling full of guilt and need to compensate for everyone who has let him down as well as allowing him to also know what triggers the guilt- and playing on it- has been tough at times. It would continue here- never commented here- so again sorry- and I say that too much. My son told me that too- and when he is full of anger which has decreased lots- I stay as calm as I can- but boy that took some real focus and work- I'm not perfect- and it's a work in process.

Rayanna - posted on 02/02/2011

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I know how you feel. My older son is 15 now and decided last May that he wanted to live with his dad because he has no structure or discipline there and does pretty much whatever he wants to do. He had rules here and that was okay until he was about 13. Until then he wanted to be with me and his step dad. He completely changed his mind when he got a girlfriend where his dad lives (about an hour away). He finally asked to move there last summer. He hasn't been here to see us in 3 months. I miss him very much but I won't let him hold his love over my head to get what he wants. Hopefully he'll grow up sooner than later.

Jane - posted on 02/02/2011

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I have a 12 year old girl (almost 13). This kind of behavior started when she was 11 and progressed. As she has matured, though, it has gone from all the time moodines, to now just sometimes. Maybe it was through maturity and they say boys mature a little later so hopefully it will subside in time for you. To be honest, I found the best way to deal with it was to be as cheerful as possible myself. With the disrespectful remarks, I made her stand in a corner (yes - a corner, I told her if she wanted to act like a young child, she would be treated like one). I just joined this community and love it, but I also belong to another one called motchat.com which is just for moms/dads of tweens and teens. The advice I get from other parents is sometimes the best I can find.

Dottie - posted on 02/02/2011

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A 13 yr old boy is just that...they like to feel like they FINALLY became a teenager...and that gives them more rights to do things and act older...try to gain their own independence, I had two sons, One is 28 in June and the other was murdered at 17, and now I am raising my two grandsons 5 and 3...what your son is doing is normal...Just keep telling him he can talk to you about anyting...and that you love him...but expect him to NOT talk to you...because he thinks he is a TEENAGER now and that he is old enough to do certain things...Just make sure he kinows the ground rules of your house...and let him know that he can be independent about certain things as well..and above all els LOVE...LOVE...LOVE...

Karie - posted on 02/01/2011

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You think the terrible two's are over until the 13th year....Whew. It is a tough time for your boy too. Let him know no matter what he can come and talk to you about anything...and it can be difficult to keep reinforcing that over time when they huff off and make faces at you while you are saying it - but he will hear you. My oldest will be 15 in July and for about the past 4 months now I am seeing my sweet boy again. It takes time and patience - but as moms - we can outlast the behaviour of puberty. Hang in there and know it's pefectly normal. Exhausting! But normal.

Dianna - posted on 02/01/2011

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Hi i have a son who is 13 he makes faces rolls his eye ignore me when calling him i see he is just trying to get independant from me i just hug him and dont make a big fuss on smart remarks but if crossing the line then i tell him any more attitude he cant play xbox 360 he will out grow out of it God helping me on this matter i hope that help feel free to write back Dianna

Ana - posted on 01/31/2011

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I'm there with you. My son is 13 and has become more secretive. I know he likes a girl in his class and she likes him back. All this I found out by checking his fb messages. He doesn't have a clue that I know. Although I don't like him not sharing his personal life with my husband or I, just knowing what's going on in his mind helps me to be more patient with him. So, let's keep the communication lines open, be there for them, and pray that our sons will get to the end of the tunnel, safely. Pray, pray, pray!

Pamela - posted on 01/31/2011

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I hear you sister! I also have a 13-year-old boy and have noticed some similar behavior to when he was testing his independence and boundaries when he was two! Sometimes humor diffuses the situation. When he melts down, I have been known to say, "Are you really mad at me or are you just being thirteen?" And no, I certainly don't handle every situation coolly, but I know it will have a better outcome if I do.

Gilda - posted on 01/27/2011

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I have learned to just support them give them space, must have alot of patience, most of all love..

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