We’re not quite to this stage of parenting yet…but it’s a gentle reminder to cherish the clingyness and hovering while it last.
By into you, I mean overly affectionate or lovey dovey. As the mother of a nine-year-old with ADHD & Autism, I am used to my son not telling outwardly that he loves me or giving me hugs. As it would with any mother, of course, it hurts, but I have learned over the years that there are other ways he shows his love.
As he has gotten older, we have grown apart in some ways and well, I could tell that sometimes he just wasn’t feeling my presence.
There were little things at first, and I have a feeling he just wasn’t sure how to tell me. Eventually, I caught on, and let him have his own space. Since doing so, he has come around a little more, but it’s still hard when your child grows up and begins to distance themselves from you.
To spare you the same shock and awe I went through, here are a few ways that you can tell that your kid just isn’t into you anymore.
1. They prefer other people over you.
Well if this isn’t a tale tale sign, I don’t know what is. There was nothing Andrew did that blatantly told this, besides the fact that he would sigh, whenever I would suggest he and I do something. He would usually follow it up with, no “I’d rather go hang out with Nana”. What kid prefers to hang out with their grandmother over their mother?Mine, that’s who.
2. No hugs (or kisses-maybe a hi-five if you’re lucky).
There was a time that he wouldn’t let go of me. And this was after he spent his first several years not showing affection at all. So I may have gotten a good two years of the normal happy “I want to be up under mom” little boy that I always wanted before it stopped.
Oh well. At least he tells me bye on the way out the door.
3. They go straight to their room and don’t bother passing “GO” (or saying hello).
He’s at the age where he is spending more and more time in his room. He doesn’t have a television or computer in there, so he plays with his Lego’s. He constantly reminds me (and his little sisters) that he needs his privacy so he can “de-stress”. Which I am perfectly okay with, but I wasn’t expecting it to happen at nine-years-old.
4. The Eye-Roll
Yo…this is so not cool. And I promise every time it happens I want to lose it.
5. They don’t want to be seen with you.
I saved this one for last simply because it happens. I never thought it would. When I would see people make comments like “oh well, Bobby doesn’t want me to walk him into school anymore so I won’t embarass him”, I would think-“nope that will NEVER be me. I’m cool, my kids totally adore me”. Then one day it happened.
And I was crushed.
I know without a doubt my son loves me. That will never be a worry of mine. It’s the feeling that he doesn’t need me like he used to that’s hard to deal with.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.