My son is 12 years old and he’s becoming a real pain to live with.
I’m a single mum and he’s my only child, so we’ve always had to muddle along together, but lately all he does is grunt.
He’s moody, unco-operative and won’t do anything I ask him, so I end up shouting or nagging, which upsets both of us. I end up feeling guilty because when I can actually get him to talk, he says I’m just moaning and getting at him all the time.
If only he’d pull his weight a bit more and cheer up a bit, I’m sure I’d be better too, but I can’t get him to see this. RS
FIONA SAYS: HE’S GROWING UP, DON’T BE TOO HARSH
Your son sounds no better or no worse than any other 12-year-old going through puberty.
It’s a testing and confusing time and the need for acceptance from their peers doesn’t gel well with domestic chores and cuddles from mum.
It’s a natural phase to start rebelling against authority, but the only place he can carry this out safely is within his family — you — so don’t be too harsh on him.
You need to keep firm boundaries, though, which although he will hate, he will appreciate later.
In time he’ll come through this, but it would help speed things up if you start treating him like a young adult rather than your little boy.