12 Year Old Boys>>> HELP

Updated on July 11, 2011
L.D. asks from Westland, MI
13 answers

I have a 12 year old that will be 13. He is going into the 8th grade. He is a very good child until it comes to girls, facebook and cell phones. Help
What time does your kids have to be in the house during the summer months? What time do they go to bed during the school year? Do you let your kids ride to the store and etc with other kids ? How are you going to handle homework for older kids?
I think my son has too much freedom, so we have taken his cell phone and banded him from using facebook. First it was for a month but after finding him sneaking on the computer we have told him he is not allowed on fb at all. What is your teenager allowed to do ???

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answers from Minneapolis on

During the summer, our kids followed our city's curfew times. That made it the "law" not just our rule.

When I raised teens last, cell phones were still new and they didn't have them. My 9 year-old has a cell phone, and I don't intend to ever take it away from her. She does not have text capability. My daughter will have access to FB, but I will be one of her "friends" so that I will have access to what she's doing there.

My 9 year-old already rides her bike to friends' houses, with our permission each time and a designated time to be home, and a phone along to check in if necessary.

By 8th grade, a young person should be in charge of their own homework. We had occasional times, with my stepson, where even in high school he needed our guidance on homework. But it was more about asking him to come up with a plan to catch up and then monitoring the status of his plan. It was not us daily being in charge of him completing his homework, or checking his work.

I'm a parent that believes the young people need more freedom AND more responsibility at the same time. When I and my brothers were 13, 14, & 15 we were left home for a weekend with 26 cows to milk and a farm full of animals to feed and care for. Along with our own meals to cook, etc. And we did it perfectly well. Now many parent treat young teens as incapable and incompetent, so that's how they act. In France, age 3 is the standard age for a child to be old enough to go to the corner bakery each day to pick up the family's bread...

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am such a bad mother! LOL My kids don't have cell phones and they aren't allowed on facebook. They can have friends over and they can go to friends houses but most of the time they stay home with the family. They go to bed no later than 9pm during school but during the summer that gets extended by an hour. They are allowed to talk on the phone but just don't. As far as going to the store with other kids, that would depend on how far away the store was. We have a couple stores within 1/2 mile from our house so I probably wouldn't have too big of a problem with that but I would definately give a time limit on getting back. And, don't think I wouldn't drive up to the store to get them if they aren't back on time. :) I've been told I'm too strict and too overprotective of my kids though.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on


2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My son's 12, has no cell phone and no facebook.
He's starting 7th grade in the fall.
He doesn't want a cell phone and we're not planning on getting him one for the foreseeable future.
He actually ASKS if he can turn on the tv or computer and he only plays games at sites I have approved.
Generally bedtime is about 9-ish year round.
We live out in the middle of a corn field so there's no where else for him to be but at home.
He knows there will be no tv or computer time if homework is/chores are not finished.
He's very respectful and knows good behavior and good grade means I will never tell him 'no' at the book store - he's a voracious reader and a trip to the book store is a real treat for him.
Getting used to middle school last year was an adjustment - the homework is more his responsibility with less checking up from parents, but there are still some checkpoints and he handled it well (there were only a few nights where he burnt the midnight oil finishing a project).
He talks with a few girls but has no desire to date (he's not allowed to till he's 16).
He makes us proud and we hope he doesn't totally wig out as he becomes a teenager.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I know most parents allow their kids to use cell phones and social networking. However I will not. There is just too much temptation. Too many creeps out there and too many kids doing stupid stuff. Our teens can't handle it, they just don't have the maturity yet.

Good job for setting strong boundaries!

Best wishes!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

So my question is: what does HE do, for the home and his parents? I mean, he is a part of a 'family'... and thus that means responsibility and helping his family and parents, too.
He is not a renter. He is a part of the family.
But yet, he seems to have too much things and freedom. And does nothing in return.
Hence, he is just freeloading.

Does he do chores?
Does he have rules?
Doesn't he have a schedule, per your requirements, of WHEN he has to get his homework done by???
Doesn't he have ANY responsibilities in the home and to you/your Husband?

If not, that is the problem.
And he needs, to have these boundaries.
He has a sense of entitlement?
He is not taking anything you tell him, seriously.
He needs repercussions and consequences, that are not jokes to him.
Make him EARN, his privileges.
His privileges are 'free' right now. He gets anything he seems to want.
Make him, earn it.
He does not need those things, he has.
Why does he have it?
He is 12.

Too much, too soon. And he is not mature enough to handle it, in a mature way.
Make him prove, he can handle things.
And make him prove, responsibility.

His 'sneaking" around.... is to me, a MAJOR offense.
Deal with it now, before he gets older and more sneaky.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

My son is now 15, but when he was 12 he had no Facebook. He did have a cell phone but he had no text, no data, and was only allowed to use it on weekends. Heck, he didn't even know his own phone number.

All electronics are kept in the common areas of our house - so he is always supervised. I run parental controls on the computer so I get a report of what websites he visits. I also keep security set to high and limit downloads on his account. He is not to change his passwords without telling me. I am the administrator account on our Windows Vista so I can block his access at certain times/days. During the school year I block access from Monday thru Thursday nights. If he needs the system for homework I log him on under my account.

When he was 12 I did not allow him to ride anywhere with other kids as drivers - that would have made the other kids at least 16 and I think that age gap is just too much for an impressionable tween.

Bedtime during the summer was midnight,and he attended Boys & Girls Clubs during the day while I was at work. During the school year bedtime at 9, he could read or watch tv for a 1/2 hour, then lights out. Fridays were midnight, Saturdays were midnight unless he started having trouble getting up for church, then I pushed it up to 10pm.

In the house during the summer by 6pm for dinner.

Homework had to be completed before he had any other privileges - computer, PS3, etc.

Other than the bedtime and phone these rules still are in place. I have a family text package now for him - but still no data on the phone. I do read his text messages every once in a while to check for content. Next year he will be riding to school with a friend - but I know the boy and his parent's. He no longer attends BGC so during the summer he does chores during the day or sometimes comes to work with me. During the school year I plan to block computer access and "confiscate" the game controllers as I expect him to come home and get his homework done first.

If you think you are being too permissive then tighten up the rules. You are the parent and you get to "dictate" what privileges your child(ren) have. I love my son to distraction but I don't confuse parenting with friendship - it is my job to set boundaries that teach him responsibility and accountability for his actions.

Good Luck
God Bless

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

My son is 17 years old. He is not allowed to have a Facebook page. I see what some teenagers put on there and am shocked. To avoid that all together, no Facebook. If he wants to play a game or something he uses my account.

During the summer he has to be home by midnight. On rare occasions curfew is extended to 1 a.m. During the school year he has to be home by 7 p.m. if there is school the next day (except when he's gone for sports). On weekends it is either 10 p.m. or midnight, depending on what he is doing, where he is, and who he is with.

Bedtime during the school year is 10 p.m. During the summer he goes to his room at 10 p.m. and is allowed to read or play a video game until he's ready for sleep (usually around 11 p.m.).

I do not let him ride to the store with other kids, but we live in the middle of no where so it is a little different for us. A trip to the store takes 45 minutes.

I'm not sure what you mean by handling homework for older kids. We ask everyday if he has homework. If yes, he gets a snack then does homework. No phone, television, video games, or anything else until homework is done. After homework is chores, then time to have fun/relax. If he needs help with homework, he usually asks his dad or looks it up online.

We have a phone rule too. No phone after 9 p.m. or before 7 a.m. He broke that rule continuously so now he does not have a cell phone. We allow him to use mine to talk to friends and his girlfriend, but only with permission.

He does not have a computer. He uses mine with permission. I have a program that logs every page he looks at, even if it is deleted from the history. We don't check it every time, but do random checks to see what he is up to online.

Many people tell us we are too strict, but we disagree. Our son is well mannered, gets decent grades, and is usually helpful. He grumbles sometimes about chores, but they do all get done. He also volunteers at the church doing chores for elderly church members, working in the kitchen during VBS, working at fundraisers and events, and things like that. He has never been in serious trouble, only minor things like breaking curfew and using the phone too late. If that is the result of our being strict then we are happy with the results.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

First - password protect your computer so he can't get on it.
FB is how the kids communicate these days. There is software out there that will give you a screenshot every 3 seconds so you know exactly what they've been up to. You might give him 20 min. a day on FB with his friends when you are home and in the room. Kids should not ever have their own computer until they head off to college.
Kids don't need cell phones unless they are going somewhere where they'll need a ride home... We don't allow texting and our cell phones were camera free by choice when the kids were that age -- therefore, no sexting either!
I don't let my children ride in cars with other kids - ever. Kids and cars are dangerous - especially teens. I wouldn't let me rising 8th grader socialize with kids who can drive. That's just asking for trouble. If you are talking about riding bikes to the store -- again -- asking for trouble.
When my kids were in middle school, they went to summer church camp for 2 weeks, band camp for a week, and volunteered in different capacities the rest of the time. That's not to say we didn't have any fun. We went to the movies, went swimming, played games, etc. My kids always had adult supervision at that age.
Homework: Needs to be done immediately upon arrival at home. There are no ands ifs or buts about it. I didn't need to check it - my kids have always been good students and did their homework when they walked in the door. I am very schedule oriented. Homework first then fun. If they had an activity or a lesson after school, they did their homework when they got home or while they were waiting for their sibling to finish up. Time management is a skill they need to learn early. (If you have 10 min, sit and do some math or the history worksheet.)
Bedtimes: School year - 9pm... Summer - 10pm
If you are going to crack down on the freedom, you'd best do it now. It's not going to be pleasant, but you'll be glad you did. My children earned their freedom - one year at a time. My oldest - now a college freshman - still has to ask to take the car, tell me where he's going, and call me when he is headed home. It's all about safety.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

a 12 year old boy is old enough to be paying for the things he wants, like cellphones and he honestly should not have a facebook account to begin with because according to the facebook agreement you have to 18 to join. 12 years old with raging hormones and the common sense of a bullfrog, should not be allowed girlfriends at all, its a great way to end up raising your own grandchildren because your kids are making babies before they are old enough to get a good job. trust me, i am not knocking you, our daughter wont be allowed to date until she is 35. when my sister was a teenager, i escorted and chaperored her on her dates
K. h.



answers from Detroit on

My oldest is a 14 year old girl so my answer may be a little different. Ahe does have a cell phone and Facebook but I have the pass word to the facebook so if I feel the need I can go on and check what is being said. I am also friend so everytime I go on I can see also. I do find many times it was an adult family member who says something I don't agree with rather than her friends. We set rules when we let her get an account 1- no accepting friends unless we approve of them 2- we get her password 3- if at anytime we don't like what someone posts they will no longer be her FB friend. There has only been 1 o 2 times we have had any problems with posts. As for the phone I would rather she have it in case anything happens. Same rules apply I can read any texts at anytime if I feel the need.
Now homework is another matter with her it is like pulling teeth but she is an good student A's and B's so she knows if her grades go down what happens, lees time with friends. Bed time is into her room by 9 lights out by 9:30.


answers from Detroit on

I'll tell you the freedoms I got at that age and what I plan to do with my kids when they reach that age. (I have an 8yr old daughter and a 3yr old son)

When I was in Jr High, my parents didn't have to give me a curfew. I WANTED to be in bed no later than 9pm during the school year. Hell... In HS my parents didn't need to give me a curfew. Again, I WANTED to get sleep. ***FYI- I was diagnosed at 30yrs old with Idiopathic Hypersomnia with long sleep cycles (polysymptomatic).*** That makes a big difference I'm sure. : )

Anywho... I began working part time while in Jr High. I haven't stopped since. I started paying rent at 16 because I wanted to have gas AND electric in the house (my parents both got laid off at the same time).... I paid for my cars and insurance... Along with any maintenance and repairs needed. I paid for my own vocational education. Didn't have a computer until I was married the 1st time. I got and paid for my 1st cell phone when I was 17. I had my own phone line in my room that I paid for starting at age 14. BUT... That's why I had so much freedom... My parents didn't have too much to worry about with me. I was far too busy with work, homework, and school.

What I plan on doing with my kids? My daughter and son will always get the same treatment. Neither will be online until at least 16 unless it's for school work and our PC is in a common area of the house. Not in any bedrooms. They MAY have a cell phone for calling us or 911 at age 13/14 but cannot have their own plan until they can pay for it themselves. They will pay for their own car (we may help some), insurance, and maintenance or repairs (we may help some with this too since hubby & I are both mechanics). They will both learn how to the basics on a vehicle as well. Homework will be done in a common area of the house. They both already have a couple of age appropriate chores and will continue with the age appropriate chores as they get older. Their curfews will follow the state and local laws. They're pretty strict in our area. As far as riding bikes to the store... Our closest store is only 3 blks away and the next one is only 6 blks away. I don't see an issue with that once they hit 10/11... Depending on their maturity. FB won't happen (or the like when mine reach teens) unless I have total access to their acct and they still will be closer to 16 (again, depending on their maturity).

I am going to be far stricter than my parents were (I honestly don't think mine were quite strict enough... with the right things), but times are VERY different and my kids are VERY different from the way I was as a kid.


answers from Dallas on

My son is 13, and also going into the 8th grade. He has no facebook, and he got a cell phone last Christmas. It hasn't been a problem at all, except that he never turns it on, so whenever I need to reach him it isn't on. The rule is that it has to be off, and in the kitchen before bed, but like I said, he rarely uses it anyway.

He gets 2 hours of computer time each day during the summer, and that's it, less during the school year. The computer is in a central location in our home where we can monitor it easily.

Girls aren't an issue yet either. He's had one girlfriend that lasted a month. They never saw each other except in one class, so it wasn't a big deal at all.

We will not let him go anywhere in a car with other kids unless parents are there. The only exception is when he's with older siblings in two families that we know very well.

Homework is never a problem. He's in all pre-AP classes and obsesses about having high As in all classes. He stresses about it much more than we do. I'm an AP teacher, and see this all the time from my students. He comes home and gets his homework done first thing, then once it's done he's able to relax. It's not a rule that I have, but it works well for him.

As for bedtime, during the summer we aren't strict about bedtime at all. He stays up late with his dad watching movies pretty often, but whenever he's tired he'll go to bed on his own. He seems to know when he needs sleep. During the school year he goes to bed at 9:00 on school nights unless he has a lot going on and needs to be up a little bit later.

He's O.K. with all of this. He helps out around the house a ton - cleaning, cooking, helping with his younger brother, etc. Because he is such a good kid, he is allowed many priviledges. He spends quite a bit of time with friends, here and at their homes. He goes to Six Flags often, and we all have passes to a local waterpark. Responsibility balanced with priviledges works well for us.

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