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Warning: This Mom Is Tired Of Listening

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]

“Uhhh huh”

[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!” ]

“Uhh huh.”

“MOM!”

“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-

C

http://www.aweekinthelifeofaredhead.com

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Do You Make This Mistake When You Talk To Kids

man reading outdoors in a bath
I wasn’t aware that boys have it so hard these days.  What was I thinking when I assumed most live an idyllic life until we shove them into a tie, place them behind a desk and tell them to quit day dreaming at the age of  . . .

At what age do men do that?

Let me know if you know.

Recently, however, I was made acutely aware of the tragic life boys lead by Brian’s best friend George.

One day last week he was being forced to swim and frolic in the pool with Brian and a group of kids.

They were pressured into laughing and having fun, and silly me, I decide to attempt a conversation with a 12-year old.  What was I thinking?

It went something like this:

“George, who is that man I saw you with at the grocery store?”

“When?”

“Last week – remember – we said hi.  You and Brian raced down the isle…”

“Oh yeah.”

(silence)

“And the man with you was…?…”

“Ummm … my uncle.”

“Is he here visiting from Fuji?”

(silence)

“Ummmm … yeah”

[This feels like I am pulling out his teeth one by one.]

“Is he your mother’s brother?”

(silence)

(silence)

(silence)

“George?”

“Yeah?”

“Is he your mother’s brother?”

“Ummmm … I don’t know.”

[Brian is now staring at me like I am the Spanish Inquisition.]

“Uhhh yeah … wait … yeah …. I think he is my mother’s brother… yeah … he is.”

“Is he nice?”

[Suddenly George stops and looks very serious and turns to face me.]

“NO!”

“HE IS MEAN!!”

[Here’s where my mothering lioness instinct kicks in as I sit up ready to go find someone to kill.]

“What?  Why?”

[My heart begins to race, as I adore this kid.]

“HE MAKES US  …. R E A D!!!!!”

“Read?”

[George rolls his eyes]

“Yeah, read books out loud every night!”

“Well that is just plain awful, the next thing you know he will be teaching you to cook.”

Horror crosses George’s face as he dives into the pool.

Until next time –

C

http://www.aweekinthelifeofaredhead.com

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