Another school year has begun. Akank turned a year older too. So we have a 12 year old in Grade 7 at home now. Not any 12 year old, please be assured. An assertive, confident, knows what she wants 12 year old. I wonder if it is the entire generation that is like this or it is the environment and the peers that make them the way they are. Gone are the days when what we said was irrevocably accepted as rules. Now everything we say is challenged, questioned and scientifically examined. Unless we can back up anything we say with a plausible explanation, the idea is not considered. Not much works because ‘I said so’ anymore.
For a long time now, our conversations have bordered on the lines of yelling. Another reason why I have not enthusiastically updated my blog. What do I tell my blog? That I have issues with my 12 year old? I am not able to make her see reason anymore? She is grown up now and does not have to listen to reason anymore? But memories of her growing up has to be recorded somewhere for posterity. So that someday when she has her own children to bring up, this could serve as a guide. To show her that she was not easy at 12 either.
What are the things we argue about, you may ask. Well, where do I begin? You don’t remain a favorite parent when you repeatedly refuse to allow her to take her iPod classic to school. Listen to this –
Akank -Everyone has an iPod.
Me – So do you Akank.
Akank – What is the point of owning one when you cannot take it to school?
Me – Word. But when you are sending a $400 dollar worth gizmo to school with a 12 yo, one is not too sure you will see it again.
Akank- Oh come on ma, no one is interested in my iPod Classic. They all have an iPod touch!
And so it goes on.
She has been wanting an iPod touch ever since her last want was met. She wanted a Yamaha digital piano instead of her PSR keyboard which “didn’t do any justice to her maturing music skills”. “I need higher octaves to practice my music and my hand span can accommodate more keys now. I won’t ask for anything more if you buy me a digital piano!” What we missed was the I won’t need anything more…. ‘for a few months’.
Then began the request for an iPod touch. “I am not asking for an iPad ma. Everyone has an iPod touch! It is so cool to be able to download apps and play games when I am on the bus. It gets really boring on the way to school”. She managed without the iPod touch for a few months with the iPad I own. She downloaded about fifty games among which I kept losing sight of the few apps I downloaded.
On her 12th birthday, her dad indulged her with the gizmo of her dreams- a snazzy smart iPod touch. We even let her take it to school on her birthday. That evening she came back home to tell us that her ‘social life rocked’. However, it did not take too long for her to go from ” You guys are the best “to “You are so mean” when we refused her the permission to carry it to school everyday. Now it is back to “Can I take my iPod classic at least?”
The latest quest is for an account on Facebook. I have denied her an account for a year now and she was alright with the rule that she had to be 13 to have an account. Now that she is in her 13th year, she has stopped seeing reason. So it goes –
Akank -When can I have a Facebook account, ma?
Me -Not until you are 13, love. You know the rules?
Akank – All my friends are on FB. They are all bonding and sharing and doing fun stuff there.
Ma -There is nothing special happening on FB plus you meet your friends at school everyday. Bond with them there.
Yesterday when she got back from school she had this to say to me – ‘I have a message from my friends for you ma. They asked me to tell you to hurry up with the decision to allow me to have an account on Facebook’.
Sigh. I am giving up fighting. I don’t want to be thought of as mean because I didn’t allow my daughter on Facebook. I have agreed to allow her to open an account with a few plausible conditions.
I will soon have a 12 yo as friend on my Facebook list of friends.