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Listen To Your Kids

, , , , , , | Related | December 14, 2020

My spouse, son, and I have flown from the east coast to attend an extended family gathering. The day of the gathering is big and energetic, and we all have fun catching up with each other.

Around eight pm, my son comes to me and asks if he can go back to our hotel room, and since he looks tired and I saw him talking and playing with the others all day, I let him. I inform my spouse that I am taking our son back and I think nothing more of it.

My dad thinks otherwise, however, and comes to me the next day.

Dad: “Where were you and [Son] yesterday? I only saw [Spouse] at the gathering.”

Me: “We were there. I was talking with our relatives and [Son] was playing with his cousins.”

Dad: “You sure? I tried looking for you at ten and you were nowhere to be found.”

Me: “Oh, we were in our room by then. I think he came to me around eight and asked if he could go back, so I went with him.”

Dad: “Why didn’t you stay longer? You know we only see everyone else every few years, right?”

Me: “Yes, but [Son] was tired. He was playing and talking a lot yesterday and was clearly at his limit.”

Dad: “He’s too young to be saying he’s too tired! You should have made him stay until everyone else was done!”

Me: “Yeah, but [Spouse] didn’t return until midnight. I really don’t think [Son] would have made it until then.”

Dad: “[Son] is going to be lazy if you keep coddling him like this!”

My dad walked away after that. The funny thing is that I’ve been very attentive to my son’s desire to stay at gatherings as my parents always stayed long after everyone else left and my siblings and I were beyond tired and irritated while our parents chatted. I just don’t want my son to become discouraged from going to social gatherings like I was for a while.