My oldest is 10. He still gives me hugs and will even hold my hand, but he’s growing up so fast!
The first thing he wants to do when he gets home from school is text and facetime his friends. As soon as he hears his iPod ding, he goes running for it. He’ll lay on the floor, giggling, and texting away. I love watching him build relationships with his friends.
He gets a kick out of the fact that he comes up to my chin. He loves teasing me saying when he is 13 he is going to be taller than me, which honestly he probably will be. It’s not easy seeing your child transition from a kid to a teen. I mean, it is great to watch your son grow up to be a man, but it’s still not easy.
Parenting is hard – we are always faced with new situations and we have to figure out how to handle them as we go. I try to give my boys space but I still need to oversee what they are doing. I never want them to feel like I’m interrogating them and I really try to stay connected to them so they feel comfortable talking to me and opening up. Boy is it hard, but here’s a few ways I try to do this.
||1|| Talk about the little things. I hold conversations with my boys almost everyday about little things. How was school? What did you eat for lunch? Are you excited for your baseball game? By opening up lines of communication about little things, I’m hoping this will help when there’s bigger issues to tackle.
||2|| Listen. I’ve caught myself one too many times interrupting my boys or giving advice way too soon. This can be a conversation killer. Now I let them talk and I just listen. Kids want to be heard and I notice when I let them talk they open up more.
||3|| Stay calm. The first thing my boys will do if I overreact is shut down. Can you blame them? I try to take a deep breath before responding so that I don’t get upset. It’s important that my boys know that I’m on their side. I don’t want them to feel shy or embarrassed to tell me something. I check my emotions at the door and try to remain calm during our talk.
||4|| Find ways to strengthen our bond. If you read my blog, you know that I find it super important to spend one-on-one time with each child. The past few weeks, my oldest and I have been going up to the park to take a walk before school starts. I love this time with him. He really opens up about things in his life. I ask him a few questions and then just let him talk. Now that he’s getting older, I find it more important to sneak in this time with him.
||5|| Pay attention to what they are doing. Part of our job is overseeing what our kids are doing. It’s not spying, it’s parenting. As our kids grow, they are introduced to so many new things. They need their space, of course, but they also need someone to step in when necessary. And the best person for that job….is someone who loves them.
If you have a hard time getting your child to talk, movies and shows can open the door for those tricky, sometimes awkward (hello parents of tweens and teens!), conversations. Here’s a few shows on Netflix that can help explore a range of real-life issues with equal measures of humor, angst, and heart.
FOR THE LITTLE KIDS:
||1|| Sibling Rivalry Watch Ep. S1E1: Babee’s Room
Buzzbee and Rubee compete over who Babee (their new sibling) gets to room with. Mom and Dad must explain to Buzzbee and Rubee that Babee needs to grow up before she can share a room.
||2|| Responsibility Watch Ep. S1E1: Puppies & Guppies/ Sorry We’re Closed Today
Larry and Laura Carrot want to adopt puppies but quickly learn it takes responsibility in order to watch over and care for a pet of their own.
||3|| Following the Rules Watch Ep. S1E6: Stormy Weather/ Baba’s Adventure/ Rock Music
Mama tells Oona and Baba to stay close with a storm approaching. After ignoring her advice, Oona and Baba get stuck in a seagull nest during the heavy thunderstorms.
FOR THE BIG KIDS:
||4|| Self-Love Watch Ep. 113: Star
After Dulcinea feels like no one in the group needs her help, she tries to use a newly-discovered wishing star to show her worth — but fails — showing her that presence alone has lit up her friends’ lives all along.
||5|| Teamwork Watch Ep. 103: Smart is the New Cool
After McKeyla insists she works better alone, she learns that four is better than one when her friends jump in to help her rescue the Prince from a botched space mission.
||6|| Peer Pressure Watch Ep. 106: The Legend of El Explosivo
After getting grounded for sneaking off to Bobby Popko’s house, Jackson realizes he needs to stand up for what he knows is right and not give in to please his friends.
FOR THE TEENS:
||7|| Social Media FOMO Watch Ep. 102: Girl Meets Boy
Cory challenges his class to unplug from their phones for a week. When Riley and her crush Lucas sit down to talk face-to-face, personal stories bring them closer.
||8|| Self Improvement Watch Ep. 104: Kimmy Goes to the Doctor!
Kimmy quickly realizes that she can’t fix her problems by simply “Buhbreezing” them away – real change comes from the inside.
||9|| Body Image Watch Ep. 101: #BootyCall
According to the kids of Degrassi Community School, butts are the new boobs. But Shay’s realization that “brains are the new butts” can speak to a number of body image insecurities.
Parents you’ve got this!
Yes, seeing our kids grow up before our eyes is super scary especially when we are faced with hard parenting situations. But if we keep the lines of communication open with our kids, and not overreact, we will be just fine. We can do this!
Disclosure: As a member of the Netflix Stream Team, I received a Netflix subscription and a streaming device in return for posting Netflix updates and reviews. As always, all opinions are my own. Read Life Without Pink’s full disclosure here.