I'm 42 years old with 3 children, the oldest of whom just turned 12 and is a girl. The younger two are boys not quite 3 and 2 years old (11 mos. apart) who are smack dab in the middle of the terrible two's.
So my oldest was princess of the house and center of our universe until she was 9 years old, but she longed for a sibling so this was a mostly positive change. I think because of her age, that I'm distracted with younger ones, and that kids (and parents) communicate differently than I'm used to, in the last decade, I'm having a hard time connecting with her...and knowing what to do.
She's sweet, loves her brothers, is an A student, contrbutes around the house. But she tends to want to tell me what to do, like she's the parent. She criticizes me, for many things but especially my unfamilarity wth things like computers and texting. Usuallu won't let me finish a sentence, back talks...I do send her to her room if it's real bad, but usually we end up arguing til I have to tend to someone else in the house and she escapes to her room on her own.
Our biggest problem is getting together with her friends. I've literally been telling her for 2 or 3 years now that if she makes plans with her friends, I have to confirm those with the other parent. She fights me on this until I get the parents' cel phone number last minute, and often the plans fall through and she is mad at me.
I don't get how things work today, exactly. When I was her age I would ride my bike up to 5 miles to my friend's house on a Sat. We did plan that ourselves, but it was different because all my friends' parents were married and lived in one place, had the weekends off from work, and at least the mom was home all day. We didn't spend every playdate going somewhere exciting, we just hung around talking in each other's rooms, went for walks around the neighborhood and in the woods, sometimes meeting up with other kids. The biggest planning we had to do was if we were invited over for dinner, and that was just a phone call.
I feel so unconnected to these parents who since kindergarten would just do a drop and go playdate. My daughter is what I've heard called a digital native, while I'm a digital immigrant, and I feel like new technologies aren't just tools to enhance our lives but have actually made socializing a parental nghtmare.
Am I alone in this?