My tween niece enters our house with her family. She doesn’t look up. She doesn’t say hello. She’s a slave to her phone.
I pull out my phone and text her. Welcome 2 R home this evening. Good 2 C U. What’s up?
She texts back. Hey, Uncle Jon. I’m good.
We continue like this all night. Now it’s a game.
Are U thirsty? Want something 2 drink?
And at the end of the evening, C U later. Good night. We never open our mouths.
Would I have preferred to tell her to put down her stinking phone, to actually talk with her? Certainly.
Was that an option? Not really. Not without shutting her down, making her feel unwelcome. We connected on her terms.
What do you do to be with kids you love on their level? When do you insist they do things your way? What works best?
In two weeks I’ll give a free Kidorable Umbrella to whoever makes my favorite comment.