Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Old Man Trapped In a Young Man's Body

I usually say this in regards to my husband. :) Steven loves to work with the older generation and has many interests in common with them as well... but this time I am talking about Isaiah.

Isaiah is a lot like his daddy in mannerisms and personality so I shouldn't be surprised that my son would rather spend time hanging out with adults rather than kids... but I see this as a delimma, and one that I am having trouble figuring out.

Isaiah is a sweet, sweet boy. He puts up with me so much. First borns really should be disposable because we are always doing our experimental parenting on them. The poor boy probably feels like he gets a bad rap most of the time, but in spite of all our experiments he's got alot of great attributes.

He is now almost 9 years old and he's intelligent and sensitive and caring and mature for his age I think, but he's also kinda nosy and likes to be in the know concerning everybody's business and happenings. He also often wants to join in on conversations between adults and joke around with them and I just don't see that working out.

There is a difference between learning to interact with an adult and being an adult. I want all my kids to know how to easily and appropriately converse with grown ups, but I don't want them to think that they are on the same peer level as them. I'm a sarcastic gal and have many adult friends with which I enjoy a good tease and laugh. Isaiah finds this so entertaining that he will often try to either join in or give it a try on his own... and to me it always comes across as a disrespectful little kid.

That coupled with the problem that he just has to know what's going on all the time makes for some frustrating moments. I guess a lot of it is that the boy just seems to be in my space a lot. If I am talking to an adult he is there listening in. If I'm on the phone he has a myriad of questons for me when I hang up. If I'm typing an email a lot of times it's amazing how he ends up right behind my shoulder. So when I finally get a real living adult to communicate with face to face I'm ready to be without his presence for a moment... and I often shoo him away... which he hates.

I need to teach my children proper conversational etiquette. Flat out I need to teach them how not to be a nosy busybody - which can be hard because I'm sure I have moments where I model the busybody lifestyle pretty well.

It's just at times a hard to distinguish, fine line that seperates a mature, interactive child from a borderline disrespectful busybody. I want my kids to feel comfortable around adults but still realize that they aren't one yet... and there are many times that adults just need to be with adults.

So I've written this long rambling post and I have no solution to this delimma to present to you really. I will still frustrate and annoy Isaiah by shooing him away from the adults from time to time and I think that is ok and maybe good for him despite the long drawn out puppy-dog face he gives me when I do. I will still encourage him to speak to adults at times too and hope that I don't confuse him as to when and why it's ok some times and not others.

Man, teaching social skills to children is much harder than I anticipated, especially when as an adult I'm not even sure I've got a good grasp of them myself.

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