Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Parenting Dilemma Number 376

We are in the lift lobby, and a friendly neighbor tries to engage Sophie in conversation. My daughter turns away and ignores him and I am embarrassed. Afterwards I ask "Sophie, why didn't you want to talk to Uncle XYZ? He's nice" And Sophie says "Don't like him"

Now, natural parenting philosophy say you are supposed to respect your children's choices, and allow them to develop their intuition. In this age of child molesters and so on, we are advised that we should allow our children to trust their instincts to refuse to talk to strangers or people that they don't know very well, without trying to justify their refusal. This is supposed to protect your children against being preyed upon by perverts.

But I dig a bit deeper and ask "Sophie why don't you like Uncle XYZ?" and Sophie clearly says (in Chinese) "Because when Mama talks to him, then I can't play with Mama any more. Mama ignores me." Which sort of sucks because she's right. I am really not sure how to argue with that logic?

I wonder if it is a working parent sort of thing, or whether my kid would be just as possessive of my attention and time even if I was a full time parent.

What do I do? Force her into a polite response that she clearly doesn't feel? Make excuses for her (ALL parenting books tell you not to do that)? Ignore this kind of anti-social behaviour?

Nobody said being a parent was easy.

2 comments:

Fioleta said...

Let me know when you figure out the answer to that one.

S* said...

At the moment I am trying to spend more time with Sophie to try to make sure that she doesn't feel left out now that Alex is here. But there are NO easy answers I think !