So, the kid had a birthday party recently – a first – and he was really excited about it. He carefully wrote out his invitations and picked his guest list. He talked about little else in the days leading up to the party and it seemed, at least on the surface to be a very good thing.
The turn out was small, but I tend to judge the success of an event, not by the number of people there, but the quality of the interactions that take place. Herein lies the sticky wicket.
Small numbers I can handle, but a guest coming to a party in order to spend time with the other kids who came while excluding the kid? Who does this and at this young age. Snotty pre-teens? Too cool for anyone teenagers? Totally expected.
The kid would suggest something to do only to be met with resistance and at times an uncomfortable bit of exclusivity in the whispers among the party guests.
We’re not even going to talk about the fact that these kids could not settle into and stick with any one thing. Instead they’d flit from one thing to the next before rapidly losing interest. I get that I raise my children differently. Is it the (lack of) TV? Our insistence on the kids cultivating the ability to entertain themselves? Reading?
How do you resist the urge to tell your kid to not continue in a friendship with a certain person, even though the child is generally nice and on their own rather friendly? It’s not that they’re a bad friend (party behavior not-withstanding), it’s just that the all-encompassing focus by the kid on this one person seems increasingly to be one-sided and to the kid’s detriment.
But, perhaps most uncomfortably, if you had hoped that the public school would solve the issue of socialization, what do you do when even then it falls flat?
This, dear reader, is what they call a no-win proposition.