Was it only yesterday that your kiddo was a bundle of energy who needed your support while they took their first steps? It’s just a matter of time that they’ll leave the nest and set up their own home after finding their soulmate.
Still, the fact that their growing up is inevitable doesn’t make the changes any easier to accept. If you think you still have a ways to go before they’re all grown up — think again. Here are the not-so-obvious signs that your child is becoming an independent person…
1. You have to beg them to accompany you on an errand Bribing them with an ice cream cone, a handful of sweets or chocolates after dinner used to do the trick. Now, no matter how hard you plead, junior won’t budge unless you threaten to cut gadget time.
2. “I can do it” is their reply when you offer help They refuse your offer to pack their bags or lunch box because “I’m older and can take care of myself!” By the way, junior will get angry once they realise you’ve been touching their belongings.
But when you are a tween with an ever growing wish list of stuff you want to covet, forgoing recess is a small price to pay in exchange for material joy — and bragging rights.
3. They’ll rather go to school on their own Even when you drop them off at school, they would rather have you stop a couple of metres away from the school gate, so that they’ll walk in on their own.
4. Junior’s teaching you how to use your smart devices In the time it takes for you to finish reading the instruction manual, they’d have already solved your problems ― with Google’s help. By the way, even though they’ve already shown you how to solve the problem several times, you still don’t get it. Now, if only they have the same enthusiasm for their studies.
5. Your kiddo’s been saving up their pocket money secretly Sacrificing eating at recess to save their pocket money is a real test of any student’s willpower, especially when recess food looks so tempting. However, when you are a tween with an ever-growing wish list of stuff you covet, forgoing recess is a small price to pay for cool stuff — and bragging rights. At least you can be proud that your spiel about saving for a rainy day didn’t fall on deaf ears.
6. You can no longer stop your young ’un’s tears can kisses, hugs and plasters As your little one grows up, their problems may also grow in complexity. While kisses and hugs used to stop any crying, it won’t help when they’re in the throes of a painful break-up or being bullied. Chances are, there’s nothing much you can do, except to hope that their pain will dull over time.
7. They’ll rather confide in their friends You used to be their confidant and their “bestie”, but now you’re no match for their new “girlfriend” or “bro”. Getting them to say anything more than an “uh”, “mmm” or “okay” is a real struggle, never mind getting them to spill the beans about school. But don’t give up! Keep talking because you want them to know you’ll always be there for them when they need you.
8. They start spending more time hanging out with friends When you used to be your kiddo’s only friend, they suddenly have a social calendar filled with activities and outings with friends. And that usually means they’ll need a little more pocket money, too.
Chances are, there’s nothing much you can do, except to hope that their pain will dull over time.
9. They’re so over twinning with you You look at families dressed up in similar outfits with envy, knowing that your style-conscious mini-me won’t agree to it ever again. In fact, in their books, being caught in the same outfit as anyone else is a capital offence, punishable by a decline in Instagram followers.
10. The tables have turned ― you now “follow” your child, not vice versa One day, your offspring will demand to manage their own social media accounts. And if you don’t give in, they may probably create an account you don’t know about. So, you resort to threatening your child to accept you as a “friend” or their “follower”, in order to keep tabs on them. And when you’re in the mood, you cyberstalk their friends.
11. Sleeping in later Junior has started to adopt the lifestyle of a bat, sleeping during the day and staying up late into the night. Incidentally, you’ll have better odds of winning the lottery than rousing them before noon on weekends.
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