I think most parents want to be the best parent they can to their child, and as with anything parental, we can take it to extremes. Take a look at my bookcase for one example. I must have ten books on the subject of child rearing, and ok, kill me, I have actually read them. All of them pretty much say the same thing (and your Grandmas advise is the best), which is LISTEN to your kids. Nothing in there about making them listen to us, just a great deal of typing about listening to them.
Ok, great. I am on board with this. If listening is one of the most important skill a parent can have… then I’ll listen with both ears, nose and freckles if need be.
I’m a listener!
Except those doctors in those books never had any children – most certainly not boys. Because if they had, then they would have put in an exit clause about us having to listen to our kids tell us about things where we’d rather stick needles in our eyes than listen, like World of Warcraft. And this is OK.
“Brian, how was your day?”
“Mom. the former prince of Lordaeron was Arthas Menethil.”
“That’s nice dear what country is that city in?”
“It’s the Warcraft universe mom!”
[Suddenly I feel a bout of ADD coming on in my own head: focus Catherine focus]
[I begin to do my grocery list in my head]
“You know, well there are, you know. There are these ummm Badges of Justice that bosses in Heroic dungeons, and ….Mom??”
“Uhh huh son I am listening.”
[oh dear God I am going to hell for lying to my kid]
“No you aren’t!!”
“Yes, you were telling me about Wave of Warcraft.”
“World of Warcraft MOM.”
“Yes, I know”
“I was telling you about ummmmm the badges are bind-on-pickup and can’t be traded or sold. Access to Heroic difficulty requires Revered reputation level …”
[It is at this point I feel like that scene in Finding Nemo where Marlin says to Squirt the turtle: “It’s like he’s trying to speak to me, I know it. Look, you’re really cute, but I can’t understand what you’re saying. Say the first thing again!” ]
“Yes Brian, you were telling me about the Wave of Warcraft game thingy.”
“Oh never mind!”
Then he turns away and there is no further conversation until he is hungry or needs money.
One of the books say, “Understanding what your child is communicating or even what they are not communicating is crucial to assessing where your child is emotionally at any given time. Silence can send as loud a message as an outburst. Parents must ask themselves, what did our child talk about in the past and why isn’t he or she talking about it anymore? What particular topics prompt our child to shut down?”
Simple. He bought World of Warcraft.
Put that in your books and #@*&$*@^$(@#*@!
Until next time-