Learning to relate to my increasingly independent child

AJ and Kelly together outside in front of a barn
When AJ first came to live with me he was five years old, and I was a pre-k teacher bursting at the seams with ideas to interact with kids his age. We played with chalk, blew bubbles, brought shaving cream into the shower, painted with water, built legos, and watched the few shows I introduced to him – mainly Wild Kratts because well, it’s the golden standard of kid TV.

As our lives began to evolve, AJ matured and grew and I quit teaching, I woke up one day and realized AJ and I really did not do a whole lot together anymore.

He would be downstairs watching some Disney show I could not even stand listening to (perhaps a future blog on our struggle with kids shows) and I would be up in my room reading or watching sports. Occasionally he would ask me to play a nerf war or pokemon game and I would either begrudgingly agree and do my best to fake enjoyment or suggest something like catch outside which had like a 50% success rate.

Aside from a few games of catch, a couple of walks, and our scheduled sports, we no longer enjoyed the same things.

I totally understand that as time passes kids become more independent and want to do less with their parents. However I felt we had grown apart too much and wanted to find ways to bring us back together.

In this blog series I will share three of the ways I have found to rebuild our shared interests and capitalize on the time AJ and I spend together. Here’s a little preview of what’s to come, stay tuned!

Look for more opportunities to say ‘yes’ – Not only will your kid think you’re cool for finally saying yes! But you can look for opportunities to use those yes moments to turn average moments into great ones!

Make spending time with you a “special” event! – Do you have any rules that can be bent if it means togetherness? Thinking he got away with something is a sure way to make memories of being together more fun.

Be purposeful in choosing the books you read together.  – Selecting books that can spark conversations when you least expect it has been my favorite way to reconnect with my kiddo.

Read part 2 here!

Read part 3 here!


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