12 Questions for Parents of 12 Year Olds

flea pink hair

Parenting a 12 year old is weird.


It has become painfully apparent over the past six months that the Flea I once knew has disappeared.

I used to have a child who thought I was awesome, and had answers to all the problems in the world. Now I have a 12-year-old who knows, with a deep and abiding certainty, that I am an idiot.

Not only do I not understand ANYTHING, but I insist on embarrassing myself by trying to talk about music, or fashion.

I joke, but parenting a 12 year old is a big shift. I barely felt able to parent a 9-year-old but at least she mostly did as I asked.

Now I have my own in-house sub-editor, who interrupts any story I tell anyone with her corrections and edits. Thank goodness for blogger friends going through the same stages.

Fellow tween parents, do you recognise these questions?

12 Questions Parents of 12 Year Olds Ask Themselves

  • How many days in a row can I remind someone to have a shower before I can physically pick them up and deposit them in the bath?
  • At what point did, “That’s a nice coat, Mum,” turn into, “That’s nice…for a Mum Coat”?
  • How is that everything I own is a Mum-coat, Mum-jeans etc? At least, right up until the moment my daughter steals it to wear herself?
  • When did, “I’m just going upstairs to get my shoes,” become code for, “I’m just going upstairs to watch YouTube, listen to music, rearrange my posters…” 
  • How can you go upstairs to get changed, spend 2 hours faffing, and come downstairs STILL NOT WEARING SHOES??
  • Why is it so easy to take a plate to the kitchen but absolutely impossible to actually put it in the sink? 
  • Just how many Sephora highlighters can one human use in a single lifetime?
  • How can I be “so embarrassing”, when I’m literally just standing here, breathing?
  • When did it become okay to ask me to take you and all your friends to Frankie & Benny’s, then ask me to sit on another table? See also, “Can you take us to the cinema but you have to go and see a different film to us?” 
  • How can you insist in walking to school without a coat in zero degree weather, but require a massive mermaid blanket and a onesie to watch TV in our centrally heated house?
  • How can you carry every book you own in your school bag each day, and still get notes in your planner complaining you didn’t take your maths textbook to class?
  • Seriously, where do all the mugs go?




Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

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  1. 26th January 2018 / 6:30 pm

    Haha this properly made me laugh. Especially the one about being embarrassing for breathing! In fairness my children are still at the stage of embarrassing us at the moment. Maybe their teenage years are just payback?

  2. 26th January 2018 / 7:49 pm

    hahaha! This made me laugh out loud.
    I have 10 & 15 year old girls and I am a constant embarrassment.
    I think all the mugs go to the same place as the odd socks! lol x

  3. 26th January 2018 / 10:32 pm

    I went back to education a bit later in life and was working towards doing my teaching certificate when my eldest became 12. I then decided that I no longer liked children and did not want to teach them and gave it all up. I think that sums up a 12 year old for me.
    18 years later and I now have another 12 year old! I might get the hang of this parenting lark one day.

  4. 26th January 2018 / 10:48 pm

    Ah, she still loves you more than the world itself really, you know 😉 I feel your pain.

  5. 27th January 2018 / 9:13 am

    Oh my goodness! As the mum of 16 and 14 year old boys, I thought this would be entirely different from my life, but no, you’ve just summed my life up right there!
    And only two months until my daughter turns 12…

  6. 27th January 2018 / 1:13 pm

    LOL, I look forward to half of these. The other half are already here and DD is only 9. The shower thing particularly hit home.

    • Sally
      29th January 2018 / 11:06 pm

      I suspect in another year I won’t be able to get her out of the bathroom and I’ll miss these days.

  7. 27th January 2018 / 2:34 pm

    We have actually lost 4 plastic bowls and 5 tubs. I suspect they were used in which to create shades of make-up by Huda Beauty or Two Face, but not currently on sale in Superdrug.
    Have you read “Get out of my life, but first take me and Alex into town.”? That’s our lives, that is…

    • Sally
      29th January 2018 / 11:06 pm

      *added to reading list*

  8. Smurf44
    27th January 2018 / 9:20 pm

    I had the same problems when my cute GD left Primary school and had a complete personality change within a few weeks! We have been through the No Showers/baths phase, we have more odd socks than whole pairs and dishes rarely make it into the kitchen and Never into the dishwasher. Getting her out of bed at an acceptable time seems an impossible task and an uphill struggle on schooldays! Yes, I too am embarrassing and she knows everything now she is 14. I live in hope things will improve with age, but there is little sign of it ATM! By the way, her teachers think she is wonderful and she has numerous awards, badges and certificates to prove it! It’s good to know it’s not only me having all these teenage problems!

    • Sally
      29th January 2018 / 11:05 pm

      Getting out of bed? I’m not sure Flea would surface at ALL on the weekends if I didn’t force her 🙂

      I don’t mind really, she’s very easy to live with in the main (so far!) it’s just a bit of a change!

  9. 4th February 2018 / 12:28 pm

    Yes yes yes! I have a 13 year old and an 11 year old who turns 12 in a couple of weeks and I was nodding to most of these… minus the clothes and make-up since mine are boys ha. I am essentially now a taxi service. They refuse to wear coats ever and yet also refuse to get out of bed during the week until I put the heating on to a level where I’m stripping to my t shirt. At the weekends I am lucky to see them before lunchtime, in fact the main time that I see them is if they need food or if they want to try and con me into doing their homework for them.

    I’m sure they love me really, just maybe a little bit less than their PS4s and the girlfriend that one of them has… It’s peaceful though and I get to do embarrassing things like pinning baby photos to the notice board in one of their rooms before the girlfriend comes over, plus they tell me all sorts of rude jokes now. Having older children is actually pretty cool (though one of their friends told me no-one says ‘cool’ anymore just Mums) though.

  10. 8th May 2018 / 8:12 pm

    Okay so mine is…..we are having a general conversation about something and she says “Do you know about such and such?” and I say no, and she says “Mom, how can you not know, everyone knows!” making me feel like a total idiot….wait until she turns 14 like mine….You know I get it, I do remember being a teen. That’s what keeps me sane.

  11. 3rd January 2019 / 10:23 am

    Bunny is ALMOST 12 and I’m with you already on the forgotten books, the not wearing a coat to school, the plates in the sink (yet somehow my 2 year old and 6 year olds manage this) and the showers. My goodness the lack of hygiene is overwhelming. She suddenly wants to wear makeup but the deodorant gets forgotten and we have to threaten blocking her phone to get her to shower!

    She also seems to think it’s okay to wear my shoes without asking. Without socks!!!
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