Why Does Right Feel Wrong?
I’m a mom to two teens, two elementary aged kids and a set of toddler twins. While none of the kids except maybe the twins will admit it . . . they are each others best friends.
Sure, all four that go off to school have friends. Quite a few actually. They get together and hang out occasionally. The thing is, they don’t feel a huge need to do so. The boys had a mutual friend spend the night last night, and they had fun. . .but it was the first sleepover of the summer, and no one had been complaining for lack of sleepover time.
We don’t have to ask the teens to leave their phones in their pockets for dinner. They just are not that attached to them. Dakotateen will go on an occasional texting kick, but it is never excessive (and yes, I check-I’m not in denial). I don’t have to collect phones before bed.
The kids are just really, pretty decent kids.
They hang out with us a lot. They hang out with each other all day. They are not, in general, fighting their way through summer. It is nice having them all around.
This is a good thing, right?
And yet, somehow I feel like maybe I have made them less social because I’ve not spent all of their early childhoods running them from event to playdate to extra class to another playdate. Should my teens be fielding phone calls all hours of the day or night?
I’ve pretty much offered them a laid back childhood. They all participate in Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts and they have been encouraged to play in one sport at a time. We try to engage their interests.
And so, why do I feel mildly guilty that they want to hang out at home. . .with each other, rather than bugging me to drive them all over town to visit buddies. Why is it that the very thing that has been cultivated–family togetherness–feel so odd?
I probably am bringing up ghosts of my own nursery. With a family dynamic of two working parents, and never a super close sibling relationship, I had to spend most of my summers at home, when I would have preferred a gajillion activities and endless playdates.
I guess I should be glad that my kids like me, and think our home is a comfortable place to be. And I should be doubly glad that they all actually like each other (actions speak louder than words!).
Chime in! What parenting challenges have you second guessing yourself?