Friday, July 29, 2011

Parenting Challenge of the Moment

This is one of those challenges for which I don't think there's any actual solution apart from the passage of time. But I'll share it because it's on my mind, and if you have some advice, I'm all ears!

Miss Morgan is six, and is experiencing growing pains. Not the physical kind, though she is more prone than the others to aches and pains in her knees. And she does have several loose teeth going at the moment.

No, she has mental growing pains, poor thing. A common refrain from her lately is "Mom, I used to like this game, but it's just not that interesting to me any more!" And then she cries about it because it makes her sad.

She's no longer interested in some of the preschool learning websites that are all the rage with Sean these days (StarFall, PBS Kids, etc.). The books she used to enjoy aren't enjoyable. The games she used to play aren't as interesting.

And she's so SAD about this.

I hug her and explain that she is growing up, maturing, and that her interests are growing up, too. And she does have new interests. She likes some of the websites for older kids. She was reading one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books to herself yesterday. She is more into regular card games than Candyland.

Poor thing. I wonder if this transition is made more difficult by the fact that I'm having a hard time finding books and websites that are interesting to her that are also a good match for her reading level. Or maybe it's because she and Sean have been playing so much together lately, and she WANTS to play with him, but isn't super interested in the ways in which he wants to play. She goes along for a while, but then gets bored and sad. Maybe she's looking for a way to connect with him?

Or maybe it would be difficult no matter what. Growing up is hard to do!


Jennifer Snow said...

Well, you might consider helping her figure out a way to phrase the problem in a positive light. Maybe something like "if you're not enjoying just this one thing, maybe you can try looking for something new to enjoy".

I know Morgan sounds like she's rather conservative so seeking out new things on her own may not be 100% her cup of tea. But maybe it might help to get her involved in whatever process you use to look for new things for her to try, so she can be a little more self-directed without it being threatening. And, she just may find something interesting that you would never have considered.

Jennifer Snow said...

Ugh, that first paragraph sounds inane now that I re-read it. I meant more that maybe you can get her to add something to what she's currently doing rather than just stating the obvious.

Miranda Barzey said...

This reminds me of when we went to the Thai restaurant and Morgan said, "I just like to stick to what I know." Hard to do though when the thing you know is getting old.

Jim said...

While she may have max'd out the enjoyment from those things for the moment, they will remain part of her: (1) she will share them nostalgically with her friends when she is older, (2) she will share them with younger family members (siblings, cousins, etc.), and (3) one day, she may share her enjoyment of them with her own children. Meanwhile, as she gets older, those are memories that you two share together for decades to come.

Your post makes me really want to play Hi-Ho-Cherrey-O and my oldest is 23 years old now.