There are times when I feel so disconnected as a parent. I want to genuinely know how my kids are doing. I want to know who their friends are. What they talk about with their friends. What struggles they face. I want to be able to help them in any way I can but they have to talk with me about their lives. I know that they are only ages 9 and 7, but they should be able to tell me something that has been going on.
The other evening I asked my boy how his day at school was. He quickly said “good” and buried his head back into the computer screen. Can’t I get a few minutes of his time where he can tell me something…anything that happened at school that day. I asked if anything exciting happened and he just replied “nope,” almost annoyed that I was bothering him with the same mundane question day after day.
I recently decided to turn off the radio when I take the kids to school. It gives us about 10 minutes where we can just talk, rather than listening to the same overplayed song or some sports talk radio host not talk about sports. I think it has been helping because I actually have been getting more than the one-word response to my questions. They have nothing better to do in the car so we have to have a real conversation.
I wonder what else I can do to spur more conversation with the kids. While I am sitting contemplating all of this, Emily comes up to me and asks how my day at work was…I tersely reply, “fine.”