You know those days when your five year old babbles on and on for 20 minutes straight about Pokemon? And all you want to do is scream, "Enough! I don't care about Pokemon! Why did your uncle ever introduce you to such stupid nonsense? Just go outside and play!"?
Ever been there?
When this happens I bite my tongue and just let him talk. And talk. And talk. For whatever reason, this right now is important to him. And he wants to share it with me.
A couple years ago a friend said something that really stuck with me. I was at her house, visiting and preparing plums for canning, while our kids played in the backyard. Her oldest daughter (how old is she? Preteen, teen?) came into the kitchen and told her mom she had something to tell her.
My friend didn't hesitate to excuse herself from our conversation, go in the other room with her daughter, and give her full attention.
When my friend came back she indicated that what her daughter wanted to talk about wasn't really all that important. "But," she said, "I need her to know that I'm willing to listen to what she has to say now so she'll know that I'm willing to listen anytime, especially when even more significant topics come up."
I want my boy to feel comfortable telling me about the things that are on his mind. I want to hear him talk about Pokemon, not because I give a flip about Pokemon, but because he's interested in Pokemon.
I want my children to know that I will listen to them anytime about anything.
Open communication and mutual respect are probably the biggest things that will help us all survive the teen years. And we're building the foundation for that now.
But I still might wish his uncle had never introduced him to Pokemon.