If you have young kids and who appear to be tethered to you with Velcro, and the situation has exacerbated over the past year, read on.
I woke up yesterday, turn to my left, and there’s my seven-year-old son. Today he’s sleeping with my wife. Often times, he’ll sneak in without any warning… that little stinker!
It’s been like this for two weeks—after a one-month quarantine. His alternative in-person classroom schedule is about to return to five (Half days) a week, a fact which also may play a role.
Friends of ours who have not one but three children (God bless them) are witnessing their kids cry out for quality time with one or both parents… every single day of the week.
It feels like a regression has taken place among all the families in which we share time. Everybody’s kid wants to spend more time with his or her parents.
During our one-month quarantine, we pressed our son to play on his own, which was frustrating at times and it boiled over into arguments. We’re not perfect parents by any means but a core tenant my wife and I share is promoting autonomy. Sometimes it’s healthy for a has to figure things out by himself.
However, Covid has reversed the tide and our son expects to be the center of attention. That’s not healthy, but we know it is going to happen on some level because he’s an only child. But today he’s an ‘always-on’ only child.
We are likely a year away from normalcy, i.e. mask-free and full-school days. It begs the question… how can parents responsibly manage the situation?
This author doesn’t have an easy answer, despite being an involved parent and having penned a book about fatherhood. I’m stumped. My gut tells me we should schedule more activities in the short term—sports, in-person activities, but those options are limited given Covid.
A sleep-away camp the Summer after next… in 2022 perhaps?
Assigning a designated time every single day that our child has to play on his own?
If you’re a parent, I’m curious to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below or email me at FatherApprentice@gmail.com. Over the next month, I’ll share feedback (anonymously) and speak to several family therapists and follow up with some suggested solutions.
Let’s hope in the long term our lives do not turn out like the parents in the movie, Step Brothers.