I thought I had nailed parenting. My son and I laughed and played together great. Then he began to grow up. Slowly I realized that my way of playing was too tame for him. He didn’t want to sit and read books like my daughter did; he wanted to play video games that made me nauseous. He wasn’t interested in shopping with me; he loathes Target. We couldn’t snuggle and watch movies, because blankets make him hot!
When he was about 5, I realized I didn’t find his butt and fart jokes amusing. Then when he was 7, he realized that dad had the answers to all things sports not me. And when he turned 10, I realized that our bond was starting to suffer because we just didn’t know what to do with each other. He doesn’t like hugs because my “boobs are in the way,” I don’t like his room because it just smells like dirty feet! My baby boy was drifting farther away from me because we just weren’t interested in the same things.
It hit me that I hadn’t had a decent conversation with him in a long time. Quality mother/son time was non-existent because we had no idea how to just be together. Talk about feeling all the mom guilt! So, I decided to make a change. I had heard him mention he needed to start running to help with his endurance for basketball. So, I grabbed my running shoes, and we’ve been running ever since. Let’s be clear… I hate to run. Can’t stand it. I’d rather play in traffic. But, my love for him runs far deeper than my discomfort.
We run together twice a week, just me and him. Turns out, he still loves butt and fart jokes, but in between the jokes is a whole new world of conversation. He’s asking life questions and actually telling me about his day past the obligatory, “It was good!” We have inside jokes, and while I’m still not the parent he comes to with sports questions, the door is open and the foundation is set for so much more!
So if you are having trouble connecting to one of your kids, maybe you’re not the girly girl and your daughter is. Perhaps you have boys and have no idea how to play Fortnite! Find something no matter how small and make it yours.
Maybe throw in a butt or fart joke! Here’s one to break the ice: Why did Piglet look in the toilet? To see Pooh!”