12 Year Old Boys... - Beverly Hills,CA

Updated on October 28, 2012
J.E. asks from Beverly Hills, CA
16 answers

My girlfriend has a 12 year old boy that is truly driving her nuts. I give as good of advice as I can, but really I raised girls, Im sure its different. Her son, has started "dating" a 13 year old girl (who mom doesnt like hehe), is pretty disrespectful to his mom, he is spoiled with cash & fancy electronics by his Dad that lives in a different city. He wants to "go out" on dates with the girlfriend, I think in groups it should be ok...? He has no experience using transit alone- I think now is a good time to learn... theres a bunch of stuff. I guess what Im asking, in terms of independence & privilidges, what are your 12 year old (6th grade) boys up to (with your approval & assistance)? What sort of limits around dating, curfews, cell phone usage, home stereo etiquitte (sp), ipad touch usage, that sort of stuff. Also, the non custodial Dad giving limitless $, I think mom can enforce some chores/ responsibilities around that? His Dad loads his bank account with 2-300$ almost weekly & he just spends how he wants. Also, Dad & son keep mentioning a change in custody that doesnt seem fair, its held almost as a condition to my friend that she allow what he likes or he will move to Dads.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Personally I think that a 12 yo boy and a 13 yo girl are a little too young to be dating. That's just my opinion.

Let him move to dad's--the grass won't be greener.

She should not allow her son to blackmail or manipulate her & her parenting decisions!

7 moms found this helpful

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answers from Biloxi on

For reference to my answer let me say that I have a 14 year old boy and understand the challenges of being a single parent to a teen.

With that being said -

Dating: 12 year old children should not be allowed to date, either alone or in groups, without appropriate adult supervision. I would never let my boy, at 12, go off with a group of children and no supervision. I don't let him do that at 14.

Respect: Rules must be set in her household - if the boy is disrespectful, there should be consequences that are adhered to at all times. She is the parent and needs to take control of how she is treated in her home.

Chores: At 12 the boy is certainly old enough to contribute to the household chores. At that age mine was doing his own laundry, which he continues to do. He also mops, alternates doing dishes with me, mows the lawn, cleans his room, and takes care of our dogs. I keep a "chore chart" on the fridge for both of us to keep track of our "duties".

Electronics: It does not matter who gave the cell phone, Ipads, stereos, etc. to the boy. They are in her home and she gets to set the rules on usage in her home. Again, she is the parent and should be in control.

Money: She needs to open a 2nd account in both her and her son's name, and have child transfer a percent of that money into savings each week. Again, she is the parent and should be in control. There are set consequences when he does not do his chores - loss of privileges and allowance. Again, she is the parent and should be in control.

Custody: If Dad were serious about a change of custody he would have taken her to court already. He, and the son, are using emotional blackmail to get their way. She needs to let her son know, in clear terms, that she will no longer be swayed by that line of reasoning. My son went through a "I don't want to live with you" phase. Being me, I said fine, call your Father and I will drop you off....you can spend the next school year with him. He backed down very quickly. Sometimes, as much as it hurts, we need to call their bluff.

Our job, as parents, is to lead our children into responsible, successful adult hood. Your friend needs to be the one in charge in her home...right now she has abdicated all of the power to the 12 year old. It is not an easy thing to take back power from a tween - but through consistency it can be done. Help her set up rules and consequences that she will follow through on and support her so she can stick to it.

I feel for her - it is very hard to parent when the other parent is undermining your best efforts. But she needs to break cycle of emotional black mail before her efforts become completely ineffectual and she looses all control over the boy.

Wish her Good Luck from me...I am sending thoughts and prayers her way as I type this.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Close the bank account - May require a court order
Nix the DATING
Speak to the parents of the girl

If all else fails, send the boy to live with Dad and let the boy visit Mom

It will only get worse if something isn't done.


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

Wow- she really has her hands full with this one. My son is 15 and still not allowed to "date" he goes to movies or hangs out with his friends and sometimes girls but that is as far as it goes- you get to date when you can drive and pay.
ALL electronic devices- ipod, laptops, cellphones are shut off at 10:00 accept on weekends this is done with parental controls not just asking him to turn them off
Bed time if you are over the age of 12 is 9:30-10:00 before that 8:30-9:00 on the weekends a hour or so later.
If you are 15 and out with your friends you are home by 11:30 if you are not home by 11:30 next time it is 9:30 and I will come get you no matter where you are.
There are chores done every day - Trash taken out- dishwasher emptied- dogs fed- if these are not done you dont go/do anything.
I will hand out $20 a weekend if you want/need more there are always extra chores.
As far as the dad she really needs to talk to him if at all possible just handing a kid that age money is a bad bad idea. He needs to learn responsibility or the money is going to end up bail money.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

My 12yo doesn't have any limits on most of those things b/c it would never occur to him to consider any of them (other than techno-gadgets, which are after school work is done.)
I really feel for your friend!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

If he doesn't 'earn' it, and by his behavior, he does not get to do it.

A kid this age, has to learn that, by now.

Otherwise, they get sense of 'entitlement.' Not good.

The human brain, is not fully developed until 26 years old.

Loading his account, his own account, with that much money WEEKLY... is absurd.
I don't even get MY account, loaded with that much money weekly. And I am a grown-up and a Mom.

A kid that age, DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO MANAGE MONEY. And he proves it. He is irresponsible and ill behaved.

He does not deserve it. At all.
He is ONLY 12 years old!
And he is "dating?"
That is the problem.

She also needs a Lawyer, because she is being emotionally blackmailed.

There are different types of "child custody."
Here are the links about it:

Her Son, is also being negatively emotionally manipulated, by her Ex.

Her Son, is also a "Tween."
Do a Google Search on: "Tween Development" and many good articles will come up.

At his age, he is getting way too much, stuff, and does not earn it.

And, he is too young to 'date.'
Does he even know about Sex... AND Sexually Transmitted Diseases? AND does he even know HOW to treat a girl?????
Show him what STD's does to the body, online.

She is really being Bullied and manipulated... and threatened that if she does not do what her Ex wants, then her Son will be moved to Dad's house.
Her Ex, is really teaching her Son... how to be a really disrespectful boy. And so called "Boyfriend"... who has NO Boundaries what so ever.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Maybe he will move on with Dad. Then Dad will see just what he is doing and pretty soon get tired of a 13 yo who is disrespectful and demanding. Guaranteed the boy will start on Dad too.

She needs to get a strong backbone. You be her suport becuase she will need it. She needs to enforce rules. So what if Dad takes him, the boy will see who is more fair and who is more of a parent soon enough.

I don't mean any disrespect or to be harsh, I hope I am not. But the boy will respect her more when she stands up to him and stands her ground.
I send her prayers.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My son is 12 1/2.
He is not interested in dating and he is not permitted to do so until he is 16 yrs old.
He does not have a cell phone and we are not getting him one for the foreseeable future.
He does not have a stereo, or an iPad or a game system and he can only use the computer for a few games once his homework and clarinet practice is finished.
He asks to turn on anything - like the tv or the computer, and the second I tell him it's time to turn it off - he turns it off - no arguing.
Curfew for a 12 yr old? He's home right after taekwondo and we live in the middle of a soybean field so his only other place to go is next door to play with the neighbors Labrador. He has no curfew because he's never out and about.
Look, this is a classic tug of war between divorced parents.
Obviously Dad is trying to buy his son's favor.
What would happen if she called his bluff?
Does Dad REALLY want to raise him the rest of the way?
Maybe your friend should let them try it.
Because if the son finds out his attitude won't wash with Dad, he's got no where left to go but back to her.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

6th grade boys do NOT need to be dating. There should be no curfew because they shouldn't be out unsupervised. If outside playing or riding backs, then home by dark. They also do not need a cell phone. OR $200-300 if their bank account weekly. If it was me, I'd open a savings account, and transfer 75% or more out of the account to a savings. If she needs the sons consent or support to do so, then she should talk him in to saving for something BIG - maybe a car? - and then he should agree! And, YES, he should absolutely have chores & responsibilities.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Gainesville on

I have a 16 y o son and a 13 yo daughter. My son went on 2 dates chaperoned by the girls parents when he was in 8th grade- was really cute but that's it (they went to movies) my daughter has been asked out but she so far doesn't like the boy at all.. But she freaked out when i told her if she went on a date that I would have to meet the boy first! she was like no way! I have had talks with both of them about respect an relationships and liking someone for who they are not how they looked (b/c my daughter said she didn't like the boy who asked her out b/c he had weird pants) My son is not that social so i didn't have to worry about curfew etc, but we did have majot fights about getting up for school and I moved for work about 14 months ago and he moved in with his dad. Who didn't used to do chores responsibities.. but has stepped up a little...My ex does do the santa clause thing with my girls which has made it hard for me to parent them & put limits on them. for example bought my daughter new cell phone which she broke within first week - screen totally cracked. she wasn not punished and he actually asked her if we had gotten it fixed yet?? really? NO!
But as for your friend i think she should be documentting the behavior of sone and dad. and if they have a custody issue this info will be helpful. I think it would not be a good idea to bad mouth dad, but I think you can set limits on cell phone usegae, internet and curfew when at your house. Talk to son about parenting differences and why its your job as a parent to set limits- you need to teach the child to be a responsible adult. but ultimately you can only control what goes on in your house!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It's hard when parents aren't on the same page. I'm not sure how to handle that. Hopefully some other mamas will have some good advice.

We have a 13 year old son, and he doesn't date. None of his friends do either. He had a girlfriend for awhile, but they didn't go anywhere. She lived near his best friend, so he saw her occassionally when he went over to his friend's house. They were only together for about a month. It was nothing serious, which is how I think it should be at that age. My son has virtually no money to speak of (compared to your friend's son). He saves up some from time to time, but then spends it on a video game or something else like that. He has an itouch that he saved money for and bought himself. We don't allow him to use it when he's at the dinner table or when we are interacting as a family. He is extremely respectful and fun to be around. We also have a 7 year old, and the boys get along well. Our 13 year old babysits his brother fairly often; he is very responsible. We limit video game/computer time, and he has a cell phone, but never uses it. We have strict rules regarding the phone, but he goes weeks without ever turning it on anyway. I feel the reason he behaves so well and does so well in school is because we set high expectations early and were very consistent. We live on a few acres, and he has many chores. We don't have public transportation, so I can't really say how I feel about that. I haven't ever considered it. Your friend has the challenge of not having the consistency because of Dad giving him whatever he wants. It would help matters if she and Dad could get on the same page as far as what was allowed and how they were going to handle giving him money and gifts. You're a good friend for trying to help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Hello, The dad is buying the son. It is going to be a hard battle to keep him from going to his dad's. She can limit all of the things he is now being allowed to use unconditionally. I would take everything away until he remembers what respect is. He can earn each item and privilege back. My 12 year old grandson doesn't have nearly as much freedom as this young man. In fact, my 15 year old grandson doesn't either. All of their privileges are earned and can be lost at the snap of fingers.
I wish your friend a lot of luck with her precious son.
K. K.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

J., I just wanted to say thank you to you for posting such a great question! And, thank you to all the mamas who responded - I cannot add anymore to your wonderful advice & just want to thank you for being such fabulous mamas!!! Peace to all of you! B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Teach him some discipline its bad enough he's spoiled he should listen to you and if that means grounding him do it!



answers from Los Angeles on

Honestly, I think he is way too young to date. The purpose of dating is to find a mate. At 12 years old I hardly think he's ready for tht. It really sounds as though he's buying into peer pressure, which makes me wonder what kind of example his father is setting. I would say that it's okay to be friends with this girl, but nothing more.



answers from Los Angeles on

Dad is an idiot!!!!

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