Parenting: How to Survive a 12-year-old son April 21, 2015 By Bekki 10 Comments This content may contain affiliate links.My son almost died today. That’s right, I almost killed him. If you just sucked in all your breath and blurted, “How can she say that?”, then I will assume you have daughters, have never had a 12-year-old son, or your sweet little boys are still under the age of ten. Like this love-bug. Now, of course, I would never harm my children. I adore them and see them as precious gifts from the Lord on High. This, however, does not get them to stop testing my limits of self-control daily. My 12-year-old son didn’t wake up hoping to severe the last shred of my sanity. He woke up thinking he was in charge of the universe and that I should bow to his every need. Silly child. What was he thinking? He woke up: believing that he is invincible. Why would I question his ability to run across a busy street while dodging cars? Or that he can catch an arrow between his teeth? with a full measure of resolve. Apparently, what I have been teaching him no longer applies to him because he is 12, after all. He is ready to go toe-to-toe with me over cereal, showers, and anything else that can be spelled out in English. arrogant. And a genius. I can retire because “He knows everything”. a weeping mess. This one confuses me most. Division and handwriting never made him cry before today. This is a problem because I am his teacher. tears cause him to get angry. I mean screaming and stomping and huffing and puffing angry. This too is a problem. Anger is normal for everyone, but outbursts of anger are unacceptable- call me old-fashioned. Can you say, “HORMONES?” As a mom of five sons, I would testify in a court of law that nothing tests a mom more than a hormonal 12-year-old son. Nothing. I mean NOTHING. Nothing except maybe being crazy enough to have five sons, like me. That’s five 12-year-old sons to survive. I should get a gold medal. Do you have a Hormonal 12-year-old Boy (maybe 11-13)? My advice: Watch Captain America together. Pop popcorn even. I am being perfectly serious. Watch the scene where the wimpy Captain Rogers is willingly strapped into the apparatus that transform him into Captain America. Explain to your son, “this is EXACTLY what you are going through right now. You are the pre-captain. Son, you are strapped in for the ride of your life. You will be pumped full of hormones that will stretch your bones, increase your muscle mass, cause hair to grow in strange places, confuse you, give you endurance and courage and will ultimately transform you into being the man you are destined to be.” Son, It will hurt. It will cause pain, not just for you but for those of us watching. But you will come through the other side. I promise. Mama, your job is to help him through this “gauntlet of change”. His job is to realize that while it is painful, scary, and down-right hard, there are some definite boundaries. Attitude, determination, drive, self-control, humility. You need to talk about these. A Lot. That’s why this is clip is so great. Expert tip: Remember, popcorn makes it better. Anytime you feed your son you have better access to his attention. The captain goes through an excruciating transformation, but he never gives up. …even when he is closed in and no one can see what he going through. Not even when he is scared. Or when it hurts. The woman in the scene (like a mom) just wants the pain to stop. She can’t stand seeing the suffering. As moms, we cry, “STOP!” We can’t stand to see our kids struggle. We are confused that our sons, who used to worship the ground we walk on, no longer want us to coddle them. How can we help them through this gauntlet? Show your son what happens in this scene of Captain America: The captain screams in agony. People line up to watch. The Mom figure cries out in horror. The Dad figure swears. Sparks fly. Things explode. Machines break. Suddenly, hero music breaks through, the machine tilts, smoke provides the backdrop for the final results: Captain America is Born. No one questions the results, no one regrets the struggle, everyone beams with pride. It was all worth it. Yes. Watch this with your boys. Over and over again.Talk about it often! Transitioning from childhood to manhood is painful. People will watch him closely. Moms will cry, dads may swear, sparks will fly and things may explode. Sons will feel trapped and may suffer in agony. Growing pains, acne, uncontrollable body functions and emotions are confusing and can cause real pain. But he can make it through the process successfully. Don’t Let Him Be Confused Watch the clip and explain the process his body is going through. Be specific. Talk about the man he hopes to be on the other side but describe him in detail. He needs to know what his “Captain America” looks like, acts like and feels like. Truthfully, you do too. He needs to know what his “Captain America” looks like, acts like and feels like. Quite honestly, you do too. Mama, don’t despair about your hormonal son. He can make it through his transformation alive. Although, it may not be fun for either of you, though. It doesn’t have to be fun for either of you, just successful. Sorry to break your bubble, but “fun” is overrated. Remember, You are raising a future man. How Can you Help Your Son? How can YOU survive the Process? If you are married, trust your husband’s instincts in regards to your son. He will instinctively know how to help him transition to manhood, although you may think he is being harsh. He’s not. Men are hard-wired to expect strength, dignity, respect, honor, and hard work. Let your husband lead. Have a backbone. This is not the time to coddle him. Love him, yes. Coddle? No. Do not allow your son to walk all over you. Work that boy! Make sure he sweats daily! Forget what society says and hand that son a shovel. If you do not have a yard big enough to keep him busy, lend him to the neighbors. (Obviously use discretion, but someone always needs help in their yard. Who knows, maybe he’ll earn a few dollars as well) Give him purpose: He needs jobs to run and lead. Boys need to know they make a difference. Teach him to do chores, change a tire, split wood, cook meals, and change diapers. Be careful, though. There is a difference between keeping him busy and training him to be truly needed. He knows the difference! Pray often. You need supernatural help to be the best mom you can be. Pray hard. This world sees prayer as weakness when it is actually the definition of strength. Be warned: Prayer is hard work. Trust the Lord. Because He promises to never leave or forsake you- even when your son is 12-years-old! Hang in there! I have been through this four times so far and the results have been the same. Pretty soon the music will play, the smoke will clear and you will be looking in the eyes of a great man. Your man.