I'm Not in The Mood for The 'Tude, Dude!

Do kids always have to be outgoingly polite, smiley, willing to engage with others and happy to have strangers poke at their bellies or pinch their cheeks? Would you be so happy if this was done to you? I know I wouldn't.

But for some reason (which does faintly annoy me) there are a couple of people I am in acquaintance with (school gates etc - not bezzie mates or anything) but when they see my son, the one I'm thinking of in particular, always tries to engage my son in some conversation and rub his cheek. (He does have cute chubby cheeks!)

Some days he plays ball and smiles back and goes along with it. Some days he buries his head in my leg and pretends to be shy so he doesn't have to talk to the woman. But if he does this, she says "OOh - in a mood are we?" or at me "Is he tired?" - in one of those faux sympathetic side head tilts that is supposed to come across as 'I know what it's like' but seems to come across as patronising.

Well - the answer is, "No, he's not in a mood, and No, he's not tired!" He just can't always be bothered with making small talk like everyone else on the planet! He doesn't HAVE to engage with everyone who decides to throw themselves into his eyesight. He has the prerogative to ignore or pretend not to hear like we all do at times! Just because he is two - does that mean he doesn't have the right to not like someone? Why does society seem to expect that all kids think that anything they say to them will be met with fascination, a smile, or a conversation?

...and before you wonder if my lad has 'social problems' he doesn't! Both my kids are pleasant, outgoing, confident children. I am teaching them to have faith in themselves, but also to be mindful of other people. As a result, they are growing up to be very kind, sensitive children who do care for other people and as a result, are very popular within their peers. (Well - this is more true for my 7YO as she is at school and has developed more social skills given her age).

If I speak to someone's child in public - especially one whom I don't know, if I do not get a positive response, I don't take it personally. If they bury their head in their mother, I just say something like "Bye then!" and go about my business. I certainly don't act like the child not wanting to engage with me is a character flaw in them!

What does everyone else think? Do you allow your kids to just 'be?' and allow other kids to too?

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1 comment:

  1. Good stuff!thank you very much for this. I will send my wife a link...


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