Sometimes you just have to write…

7 things my son says

at the computer

at the computer

My fifteen-year-old son had his first full day of classes today. As I’ve mentioned before, he’s not the most verbal of adolescent boys. In fact, getting any information from him is like pulling teeth. He was at the stove after school, making himself a quesadilla for a snack, when I made my attempt.

“How was school?”

1. “Fine.”

“It was your first day of lessons. Don’t you have anything to tell me about it? Anything about any of the classes or teachers?”

2. “No, not really.”

Now I should add here that my son’s school has a lower school (the equivalent of seventh through ninth grades in the US) and an upper school (tenth through twelfth). He’s just started tenth grade. So not only is it the first day of classes, it’s his first day at a new school, so many of his classmates and all of his teachers are new to him.

I realized that to get any information out of him, I’d have to ask more specific questions.

“What lesson did you have first?”


“What did you do?”

3. “Nothing special.”

“How was the teacher?”

4. “She was okay.”

Now I was getting frustrated. “Can’t you say anything else about her?”

“Nothing to say. She was okay.”

Sigh. “Okay, what did you have next?”


“Oh, you were looking forward to that! How was it?”

5. “Okay.”

“Just okay? What did the teacher have you do?”

“Our first project is boring.”

“What is it?”

“Making business cards.”

“For who?”

Puzzled look. “For him.”

“No, I mean for what business?”

“For him. He does photography or something.”

“But do you think you’ll like that class?”

6. “Yeah.”

Sigh. When he was in primary school, I had other mothers to go to. One, in particular, has a very verbal son, who was one of my son’s frequent playmates. Whenever I saw her, she would fill me in on all sorts of things that had happened in school: which classmates got in trouble, what projects they were doing, and so forth. Not a word from mine.

Deep breath and try again: “Okay, what lesson did you have next?”


“And then?”

“Mentor hour.” A mentor is like a cross between a homeroom teacher and a guidance counselor.

“What did she tell you?”

7. “Nothing important.”

“If it wasn’t anything important, she wouldn’t have bothered telling you anything. She must have had something to say.”

“She didn’t. It was really short and then she let us go.” (Notice that this was his longest statement in the entire conversation.)

At this point, I gave up. Pulling teeth.

The thing is: he does talk occasionally, if something really unusual or funny happens in school, but I have to just wait till he decides he’s ready. And I have trouble with that; I want to know everything!

So those are my son’s seven most frequent sentences. Unless you count the complicated instructions, exclamations and curses I hear him saying when he’s playing one of his on-line computer games with his friends. It’s like he’s a different person then: one who can formulate complete sentences. I’d like to converse with that person some day…

10 comments on “7 things my son says

  1. Rhonda @wine-y wife
    August 29, 2013

    I have an 8 year old who is the exact same way. I was hoping he’d grow out of it, but based on this, I won’t count on it. Good Luck!

  2. Adeline Oon
    August 30, 2013

    I can relate! My 13 year old son answers exactly how yours does. I think it’s really just their character – self-absorbed and more of a homebody. They just won’t talk unless very necessary. Sigh!

  3. Rachel Heller
    August 30, 2013

    It’s reassuring to hear that mine’s not the only one!

  4. Caroline
    August 30, 2013

    Don’t forget Rachel that women use around 20,000 words a day, whilst men use about 5,000. You may just be seeing this in action! 🙂

  5. Keri Kight
    August 30, 2013

    This sounds completely normal for a teenage boy, which I know is not what you wanted to hear. I’m pretty sure I had similar responses when I his age, except I would talk about something if it did interest me.

    • Rachel Heller
      August 30, 2013

      I know: it’s normal. But so frustrating! Thanks for commenting!

  6. Delia @ Blog Formatting
    September 1, 2013

    I have to say I am lucky as I have girls and they are a chatterbox! Oh well, they are younger, not teens yet, so it’ll probably change soon 🙂 Don’t worry be happy, Rachel!

  7. Rachel Heller
    September 1, 2013

    Yes, my daughter (now 20) talks a lot too, and so do some boys, but I guess most are like mine. I’m not worried, just frustrated sometimes. Yesterday I peeled him away from the computer and took him shopping for school supplies and we had a good talk about all sorts of things. Thanks for the encouragement!

  8. Salma
    September 1, 2013

    I can laugh at this now, but I’m sure I’ll feel just as frustrated when my two and four year old are teenagers and decide to no longer communicate with their parents! This post seems to be a little view of the future. Hopefully it’ll get better as he gets older.

    • Rachel Heller
      September 2, 2013

      I hope so. And, really, I expect so. And it isn’t inevitable; yours could turn out talkative, and you’ll be wishing they’d shut up!

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This entry was posted on August 29, 2013 by in Family, Uncategorized and tagged , .
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