Monday, January 14, 2013

Paradigm Shift

You know how when your kids are little, all they really want is for you to play with them? And a lot of the time you really just want to sit down and read a book, or watch TV or have a glass of wine, or whatever else floats your boat.  And there are times when you talk about this with other people - the fact that sometimes you just don't want to play another round of Chutes and Ladders, or color any more pages in that coloring book, or brush another Barbie's hair that isn't even real hair anyway.

Then, people with kids older than yours get a faraway look in their eyes and give you the ever popular speech to 'Enjoy yours kids now, because it all goes by so fast and before you know it, they no longer think playing with you is the coolest thing on the planet.'  And you're all 'Whatever, I just want two minutes to go to the bathroom by myself without someone barging in and asking me to put their Barbie's shoes back on or build them a house out of the four legos in their hand, one of which is that weird flat rectangle thing that's useful for exactly nothing."  I'm telling you though, those people with the kids older than yours - they know what they're talking about.

To this day, I stand by my pronouncement that one of my greatest days as a parent was the day when the kids could get up and fix themselves a bowl of cereal without waking me up.  Violet was an early riser who woke up by 6 AM.  Every. Single. Day. So, sleeping in until the sun made an appearance seemed like quite the luxury at the time.  The thing is though, that after they get old enough to fix that bowl of cereal and are a little independent and self sufficient, they just keep on growing and changing, and becoming people who really prefer to do things that don't involve spending time with you.

We passed that point of no return with 14 year old Violet quite some time ago.  Ever since she was about 13, she would much rather video chat and text with her friends than spend any significant quality time as a family.  Any suggestions of family time are met with sighs and eye rolls and pronouncements of 'I don't feel like it' or 'I don't really want to do that.'  And, if you get on your parental high horse and declare that WE are GOING to spend time as a family and YOU are GOING to like it, that results in whatever activity you were planning to do for fun being met with a sullen attitude and looks of 'OMG, I would rather be ANYWHERE but here, these people are lame.' Which means that exactly no one has any actual fun on your fun family outing.  Good times, that.  I thought that I had a little longer before 11 year old Lily joined the 'family time is officially lame' bandwagon.  Alas, it appears I was mistaken.  

Last night, Lily was cleaning her room and I told her that when she was done I would play a game with her.  There was a time that family game night ranked high on Lily's list of Fun Things To Do and any invitations to play a game were met with much enthusiasm.  Apparently, it isn't as high on her fun list these days because my suggestion was met this time with a 'Thanks, but I'd rather watch this show that will be on TV soon.'  We won't even get in to the fact that it was a repeat of a show that she's seen more times than I can count.

Ouch, man.  This parenting gig can be brutal.


  1. Just look ahead - at least the grandkids will let you play with them (at least for a few years)

    1. I can't even BEGIN to think about way. Lol, thanks for stopping by.

  2. My kids are 14-22. There will come a time when they want to spend time with you again. Not as much and not in the same way, but it will happen. I've found that the promise of good food goes a long way. As in, "Let's go out to dinner at your favorite place." Also, letting them bring a friend helps. So does letting them choose the activity. But there are lots of times they just don't want to participate. I remind myself that it's part of how they become the independent adult they need to be. It helps a little. They aren't rejecting you; they are learning to be on their own. There's a difference. I promise.

    Good luck with the growing pains. Stopping by from SITS.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! It's not really that I think they're rejecting me, it's more a sadness over the fact that my 'babies' are getting so old. I struggle with how old they are relative to how old I am, I don't feel ready for them to be flapping their wings in an attempt to leave my nest, yet. That happens when you have your first baby at 19, I suppose.


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