Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Suggestions invited!

In just over 13 weeks' time, my baby boy will celebrate his 13th birthday.

Oh my gosh, where did those 13 years go???

Mu-u-um! I don't want my photo taken! No, I won't smile... And no, I don't want to put the light on, if it's a bit dark then you'll need a long exposure so the shot will be a bit blurry and might disguise me better!*

Earlier this year, I read an article by a mother who had set her son 13 challenges for him to meet before his 13th birthday. The idea really appealed to me (apart from anything else, just think of the scrapbook fodder in a project like this!) and so I started to think of possible challenges for The Boy. Some of those described in the article will definitely work well for us, perhaps with slight adaptation - for example, one challenge will be for The Boy to prepare a family meal to suit our varied tastes, making use of 13 ingredients; we're going to set him 13 household tasks to complete (mainly housework); he'll have to shop for a new outfit with a budget of £13...

We have a couple of other thoughts percolating away that may develop into full-blown challenges, but I'm sure you can think up some good ideas! Any suggestions? I want to involve the number 13 in each challenge somehow; it has to be something that a 12-year-old can safely and sensibly do on his own, and something that demonstrates his increasing maturity and 'readiness' to turn 13; each challenge has to be completed before 7th December, but some may be spread over several weeks if necessary (for example, the 13 household tasks won't need to be done in one go). Given those conditions, can you think of a good challenge I could add to our list? I'd love to hear about it! :)

PS I've warned The Boy that is he doesn't manage to complete all 13 challenges we'll have to cancel his birthday... ;)

* These may not have been The Boy's exact words...


Amy said...

Mmm, now this is very interesting.

What about -

13 books from 13 new authors?

13 favourite songs on the iPod?

A list of 13 things he'd like to do over the next year?

13 new songs on the French Horn?

Learning how to say 'Hello, I'm The Boy' in 13 different languages? Maybe that one is too easy? Add in an alternative.

That's about it for the minute - I'll be back if I can think of more.

Mary B said...

Mel this sounds a brilliant idea and I do love the look of discontent on The Boy's face

How about 13 pieces of art work of any kind.

Do a good turn for 13 different people

Scrappi Sandi said...

Great photo...would look good on the cover of a 'Turning 13' mini book! I'll have to have a think about some challenges....for now, how about a guest blog post featuring '13 reasons why my Mum is awesome'?! :D

Cheri said...

Is the boy game for this? If he is, it could be lots of fun. I was going to say 13 books but Amy beat me to it! How about a list of 13 awesome things about each family member... including himself!?

The Creative Beast said...

GOODNESS! They do grow up fast don't they?!? I love that you are giving The Boy 13 challenges - it's like a rite of passage into adulthood! The article was great, thanks for linking to it. I can see how it's inspiring you to generate some challenges for your soon-to-be 13 year old =-)

How about no computer game playing for 13 days? or is that too easy to not play for 13 days in a row? Maybe a 13 mile hike where he brings back 13 specimens he finds on his walk - they can be scrap-booked afterward!

I look forward to hearing what challenges you set for him Mel =-)

Kirsty.A said...

Donater 13 outgrown items to charity?
Love Mary's idea of 13 good turns
travel from (safe place) to (safe place) using 13 different modes of transport?
Organise a party for 13 friends?

Maria Ontiveros said...

Love the idea of 13 foreign phrases (maybe thank you, instead of an introduction); 13 donated items and a 13 mile hike.
I also like the rite of passage feeling this has, so I might suggest: coming up with a portfolio of 13 different possible careers; memorizing 13 bible verses that are significant to him; come up with a list of 13 life skills he should learn (ie pumping gas, writing a check, getting money from an ATM, etc.).
Can't wait to see your final list!

MellyBird said...

this is a brilliant idea!

- what about a time capsule with 13 things in it, that he can open in 13 years from now?

- think of a problem, goal, or dream and come up with 13 different solutions/outcomes. kind of like a "make your own adventure" type thing.

good luck!

Susanne said...

What a fun idea for him, and a great scrapping opportunity for you. 13 seems to be a lucky number after all.

Denise said...

What a fab idea, I'm still trying to think of something,if it were in my house it would definitely have to be football related! a great idea though x

Missus Wookie said...

First off - love the book choices behind The Boy. Your family have great taste :lol:

We had a list of things that the kids had to do to be 'grown up' and they gained one responsibility and one right each birthday. Thirteen was all about tools - a pocket knife (leatherman wave to be precise) was the goal for both of them. They had to show they could do thirteen skills - bike maintenance, change fuses etc. Some of the ones I'd thought of where out of date but getting money out of an ATM was one they were keen on.

We also had a list of books we wanted 'em to read - on marketing etc. But they didn't have to read them all by the time they were thirteen.

Love the idea of the time capsule, my kids love looking back at the interviews I did for many years, 'where do you think you'll be when you are xxx' etc.

ComfyMom~Stacey said...

13 random acts of kindness for strangers? list 13 things he likes about his sister? (depends on how they get along I suppose) or perhaps 13 pieces of advice he would give to her or a younger child?

Abi said...

What about reading thirteen books from the local library. 13 different genres/authors. He could mix up some fact and fiction. What about a little business project. Give him £5 and see if he can make it into at least £13.

Beverly said...

ahhh Rinda has already shared the one that popped straight into my mind that I thought would be perfect in your family...have him find 13 scriptures that truly touch his heart and have him share with the family how he sees himself using these in his life, I love life application when it comes to understanding God's purpose for the Word.

Louise said...

just catching up Mel and have to say that this is a super idea. Wish i'd thought of it for my eldests 13th this year. Great ideas that everyone has come up with to. Look forward to seeing how it goes! x