If you just sucked in all your breath thinking, “How can she say that?” then I can tell you’ve never had a 12-year-old son, or your sweet little boys are under the age of ten.
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, doesn’t stop them from fighting, arguing, rolling their eyes, huffing and puffing, backtalking, second-guessing, and testing the limits of my love, patience, and self-control daily.
Twelve is a funny age.
As a mom of five sons, I would testify in a court of law that nothing tests a mom more than a 12-year-old son. Nothing. I mean NOTHING.
Do you have a hormonal 12-year-old boy (maybe 11-14)? Are you at your witts end with that hormonal pre-man? Are you looking for a way to reach his heart and pull him safely through the adolescent gauntlet that taunts him day and night?
Scientists say 12-year old boys are the worst.
It’s not easy being a 12-year-old boy. It’s hands-down one of the most awkward ages and stages of growing up. But new evidence shows it’s not just the embarrassing pangs of puberty that are affecting these boys. Research says the brain changes that prompt impulsive decision-making (which we often associate with the later teen years) actually occurs much earlier, like around 12 years old (go ahead parents, take a gulp). These factors combined make parenting 12-year-old boys an especially challenging task, and one not for the weary. ~Julie Andrews, The Loop
I’ve certainly conducted my own science experiment by giving birth to and then raising five sons. Yep. It’s bad.
Before you panic, go pop a bag of popcorn. Not that store bought microwave stuff.
Make Homemade Popcorn in a Brown Paper Bag Open a brown bag and add a little oil (or spray with a healthy cooking spray. Yes, you can make your own) Add about 1/4 c. of your favorite popcorn kernels. Fold the bag with half-inch folds three times. Make a staple tear. It’s old school, but it works. Check it out here Microwave popcorn for 2-3 minutes, listening for the popping to slow
Trust me, it’s better than Pop Secret or Orville.
Watch Captain America Together. I’m serious. You don’t even have to watch the whole movie, just this one scene.
The one where the wimpy Captain Rogers is transformed into Captain America.
Explain to your son, “this is EXACTLY what you are going through right now. You are the pre-captain, being pumped full of hormones that will transform you into being the man you are destined to be. 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.”
Mom and dad, your job is to help your son through this “gauntlet of change”.
While the hormonal gauntlet is incredibly emotional, dangerous and challenging, you can set some definite boundaries.
That’s why this clip is so great.
You can watch it on Netflix, or buy your own copy. With five sons, we own this one.
3 Lessons from Captain America for Your son’s Heart and Soul
~Attitude is everything.
~Don’t use excuses to cause you to compromise.
Not when you’re scared. Not when you’re in pain. Not when sparks fly.
yes, He is physically alone in that machine. No one can see what he going through. But he never quits. Lessons for Mom from Captain America
Just like the woman in the scene, we moms just want the pain, confusion, and torment to stop. We cry, “STOP!”
~Choose Fear or trust
Things explode Things break Accept the truth: we can’t stop the transformation. And we shouldn’t ~See the value This hormonal gauntlet is necessary to “fire and test” our sons It is their first real chance to hold their ground, look life in the eyes, and press through pain Like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon, they need to do most of the work themselves. If we “help” too much, we actually cause them harm
Realize it’s worth it In the end, Captain America comes out the other side triumphantly With the right mindset and encouragement from you, so will your son
He will go into this stage a gawky, awkward, confused, emotional pre-teen and come out the other side”
A strong, resilliant, courageous, integris, dependable, responisble, and valiant man.
Lessons for Dad from Captain America
~Believe in your son.
~Be close by but don’t “save” him. Let him struggle, sweat, and face his season of life. But reassure him often that he’s not alone.
~Do not give empty compliments. Show him you see and respect any and all wise choices that he makes, quietly acknowledge that you are proud of him and then move on. He needs to be seen, but not puffed up.
~Enjoy the journey with him.
Watch this. Look for your son, yourself, and your husband in the clip. Then… Watch it with your son.
Mama, don’t despair about your hormonal son.
He can make it through his transformation alive.
It may not be fun for either of you. But can make it together.
6 Practical Ways to Survive Living with a 12-year old Son Breathe. Pray often and pray hard. Trust the Lord. If you are married, trust your husband’s instincts in regards to your son. This is not the time to coddle him. Love him, yes. Coddle him? NO Work that boy! Make sure he sweats daily. Forget what society says and hand that boy a shovel. If you do not have a yard big enough to keep him busy, lend him out to the neighbors or your local nursing home. (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. Hang in there! 3 Must-Reads if You’re Raising Sons 1. Mother and Son: The Respect Effect: One of the homeschool moms on the coffee chat email list suggested this book to me last year as I confessed dreading this year. I was standing between an 11 and 13-year-old son facing a Super-Charge Gauntlet of hormones. I grabbed a copy from the library and before finishing the 3rd page, ordered my own copy on Amazon. It really is groundbreaking for moms with sons. 2. Wild at Heart
Every man was once a boy. And every little has dreams, big dreams, dreams of being the hero, of beating the bad guys, of doing daring feats and rescuing the damsel in distress. All of my sons read Wild at Heart until it falls apart. My eyes were opened when I devoured this one too. I still don’t understand the heart of a man, but this book helped me get closer.
Every little girl has dreams, too: of being rescued by her prince and swept up into a great adventure, knowing that she is the beauty. Somewhere between 13-16- years-old, the boys read the counterpart to Wild at Heart. As a future Godly man, they need to understand a woman’s heart. It’s easier for them to digest from the author that understands their wildness.
Mama, Look at your son and smile. This crazy, explosive, weepy, eye-rolling, confused stage will pass. It will be challenging. There will be days that you want to throw in the towel, send him to military school, or hide in a closet. We ALL have those days. But, you don’t have to despair. You and your son can make it through this gauntlet. All you need is a plan, a copy of Captain America and a big bowl of popcorn! Related: A FREE Raising Sons Cheatsheet. POPULAR RESOURCES
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