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How can I get my 12 yr old son to care?

We have tried both positive and negative consequences and we can't seem to make him care about anything at all. He will not do anything without a yelling match and then still doesn't do it correctly. I feel as if I am beating my head up against a brick wall 24/7!!! His "I don't care" attitude is rolling down to our 4 yr old son and I don't know what to do. We have grounded him, tried to pay him, tried to offer incentives, taken away belongings/activities...he just doesn't care!!

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Asked by mom6825 at 1:10 PM on Feb. 1, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (6)
  • be consistent, follow through with whatever punishments you said you were going to do.. my 11 yr tries that I don't care attitude, but it don't work on me.. make a chart if he is good he gets a star .. he can earn stuff with the stars.. allow him to pick his rewards tv, video games, etc.. make him earn everything until he improves his behavior

    Answer by maiahlynn at 1:17 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • we'll he's 12. IT's the age.
    not what you want to hear, but he cares, just probably not so much about the things you WANT him to care about. He now probably cares about things like the object of his affections, his friends, things he figures you wouldn't understand. Let's face it we wouldn't truly understand it. we had peer pressure, but our bullies and such didn't have ways to spread pics of us in a bad outfit to 1000s of people at a time with a click of a mouse!
    Do your best, but realize that he's got his mind on other things.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:33 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • I understand he's 12 and that's part of it. We've tried to give him extra time with friends or stuff he wanted. We've tried taking away time from friends and things he wanted. We've taken away soccer, wrestling, church activities, games, tv time, phone, computer, school activities, overnights with friends/family. We follow through with our punishments/rewards. There's no effect from anything until I get to the point of screaming and yelling and fighting with him...and like I said it still doesn't get done the way he knows it should. His laundry would be a great example...he would prefer to wear dirty clothes than take his hamper to the laundry room...or even just put the dirty ones in the hamper so I can take it in there.

    Answer by mom6825 at 2:08 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • Are things at school or with friends hard right now? Is he personally going through something? Maybe make him see or talk with a counselor. I started this behavior at this age and went in to drugs and alochol and my sister was the same and she started running away.. I loved my mom but just felt sad and mad all the time. hormones for this age but we also didn't hang aroudn the best kids either. I am not sure what would have helped but making me DO more activies and get active in groups and churches would be one GOOD thing.. yeah shitty attitude sucks but that IS teens also.. but taking away the good influences in his life are maybe not the best idea? I am sure you are at your wits end though and are just trying everthing... I have no good advice but maybe couseling and something is going on with him...

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 2:40 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • If you pass this off as a he's 12 thing, then you're going to be sorry when people are trying to tell you it's because he's 18. Take away everything, games, legos, everything until he decides to care.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:50 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • he will care when he has to earn everything or be bored.. & when mine start complaining of boredom I make them clean

    Answer by maiahlynn at 11:52 AM on Feb. 2, 2010

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