My DD and I have nothing in common, and it is starting to become a problem(48 Posts)
DD is my first dc, she is 6yrs old. I also have a 3yr old DS.
DD has always been a bit 'other worldy' she is very bright, finds school a doddle, but enjoys it hugely. Think Luna Lovegood
She has been a dream of a child, never any sleeping, eating, behaviour issues (none lasting anyway)
The problem is that we have absolutely nothing in common. She likes computer games, pokemon (and all the facts, evolutions etc) and becomes a bit obsessed with things. I try to get involved a bit, but she only wants to talk about pokemon, read about pokemon, tell me about the computer game with pokemon etc. When I try to read her a bedtime story, she asks me to only read one page as she is genuinely not interested.
I try to take her out for individual treats and things, but I get the feeling she just doesn't want to spend time with me. She is starting to lose some friends too as she is so obsessed.
There have been other obsessions in the past, but with her being younger it didn't bother me.
How often does she go on the computer, and how much time would you estimate she spends playing the game each day?
I do sympathise as I remember finding it slightly harder to bond with my DS at around 4 than with my DD, so maybe know how you feel.
But I'd be reluctant to say (or think) that I had nothing in common with one of my children, especially when she's np problem to you
I think sometimes the parent just has to do most of the running - especially with six year olds.
Maybe you can gradually try to find a few other things she might find interesting to broaden her social horizons a little?
Thank you both for replying.
I restrict the Nintendo DS to in the car at weekends, and occasionally in the car during the week. We sometimes play the Wii all together, but I don't really count that.
She is a very insular child, and not very affectionate, and sometimes I get the feeling she doesn't like me very much! My husband is a little that way himself (although he does definitely like me ) so it could just be a family trait.
As a baby, she just felt like my little companion, not like my daughter,, unlike DS who is a wild little ball of squidgy cuddles and enthusiasm, and very much my child iyswim?
She is an individual with her own interests. When you read to her do you choose things you want to read because you enjoyed them as a child or do you choose things she will like? my 6 year old is a bit of a geek. He often asks to look at his encyclopedia or something together add his bedtime story.
ditto treats etc, what does she actuslly want to do? You don't need to have the danger interests to get on and have fun together. find a day out she will enjoy our something she actively wants to do and your enjoyment will come from watching her.
my 5 year old dd is dino mad. I couldn't care less but arranged a trip on our holiday to see a fossil she wanted to see, I spend time reading her many dino books, spend ages in the dinosaur bit of the museum instead of the bits in interested in. Because watching her learn and develop her interests is amazing.
I make it sound as though it is all her doing, which I don't think, I'm just trying to give a general idea of what the situation is.
She sounds a bit like my ds although he is younger. It is really hard but you have to try to think of things that they would like that are linked to both your interests. Eg space = a trip to the science museum. (sorry i dont know enough about pokemon to suggest something suitable).
limiting computer and antisocial activity time seems pretty crucial and forcing joint activities. we have recently joined the woodcraft folk as we attend with ds and can help him socialise. their activities are fun so he wants to join in and we can help him out of his shell.
it might be worth looking at the "superflex" (?) social books which teach social skills (we are younger so working through the incredible flexible you programme). some kids need help with social slills when academic stuff comes easily.
my ds always hated stories but has come to enjoy them so keep trying. maybe visit the library and choose together - maybe even one about pokemon to encourage interest?
good luck. it sounds hard. your dd sounds a bit like me and my poor mum gets fed up too!
I suppose I do try to introduce things I liked to do as a child, mainly because I also was a 6 year old girl and trying to think of things she may also like.
Things I have tried to interact with her over:
Sewing for her/her dolls
General hobbies - ballet, swimming etc
Agree with Indith. Have you tried to learn about Pokémon? My DS is an obsessive too. It was tractors and is now dinosaurs. I learnt everything about tractors and now I know all about dinosaurs. I couldn't be less interested in both topics. I guess I fake it and try and find something I am interested in on the topic.
With books - I would love mine to read about animals but suck it up and read continuous dinosaur books. Do you ask about Pokémon? Know about it? It is a way of getting the bond you mention. When DS and I discuss pachycephalosaurs and if they are tougher than T rex's etc etc it helps the relationship as they feel you are interested? For your DD pokemon is obviously fascinating, if she thinks you feel then same then she will want to discuss/spend time with you and she will feel more important IYKWIM. To be fair I have 2 DS's younger than yours so feel free to totally ignore me and I expect dinos are more interesting than pokemon!
Oh OP I don't have a real advice, but I did not want to run.
My dd who is 6 is Dr Who mad, I am not into it at all, but luckily this is something her and her dad and other family members can bond over.
Are you sure you can not find any other interests in common? Try and do a friendly Pokemon time out for a week and find a common interest for all the family?
I understand trying to think of things she may like BUT she may be totally different to you as a child. Accept and follow her lead?
x post - yes i think family traits get passed down.
maybe read a bit about asperger tendencies. it may be that she has tendencies in this direction and understanding those might make it easier on you. otherwise she may just be an introvert who likes her space.
Your list doesnt strike me as geeky enough if she is a pokemon/computer fan. how about lego? you could invent your own stories?
It's a very "girly" list. Why don't you just ask her what shed like to do?
Love those ideas SuckitandSee!
We do talk about pokemon, her father understands it better than I do, but she enjoys telling me about it. We got her several pokemon toys for Christmas which she loves.
We do things like go to the library/park/swimming etc all together, which she enjoys.
She asked to do ballet, she enjoys going, when I ask her if she wants to play ballet, she says "No thanks"
She says she wants to do Pony Club, when I ask if she wants to ride, she says "No thanks" can you see why I struggle!
With the reading, she can now read incredibly well, so I think she sees no need for me to read to her.
I suppose it could be girly, but it is also things DS loves to do.
I agree with zzzz the activities you mentioned seem to be quite girly girly when your daughter might be of a more scientific nature.
Try some construction kits model aeroplane making just try not to constrict ideas because of her gender.
Very girly list!
sounds a little as though you have an idealised idea of a mother daughter relationship. I'd suggest backing off a bit and letting her lead the way. lego etc as suggested sounds great, finds stuff that fits in with her interests.
relationships with children are difficult. We have so many ideas about what we want them to be that it is easy to forget that they are people with their own ideas and interests.
I to have found my relationship with my dd more difficult than worth my boys, my eldest is so cuddly though he is lego mad and I don't give 2 hoots about it. my dd didn't feel like my baby when born and I suffered from pnd for a long time. I've worked at our though and while she baffles me constantly I think we are getting there.
I didnt think the list was girly..... just maybe not very "tech". I remember wanting to try ballet and riding cos my friends did. but they werent for me. maybe she has found the same?
I don't push things with her, we have Lego (not interested) we have toy farms, train track, cars, making kits, play doh, hama beads, puzzles, board games etc,
She would rather play on computer games than any other thing. I'm happy to play on the Wii with her, I'm happy to read her pokemon books with her, do puzzles, anything, she just doesn't seem to want me to do anything with her.
I will try the pokemon ideas (baking, hama beads etc) and see if they lead on to any other ideas.
Had to reply. I actually posted a very similar post years ago on another parenting website when my dd was 8. I felt like I didnt really know her, we had little in common, and she didnt show me any affection.
I think her Dad has aspergers syndrome (he has sort of self-diagnosed himself), and she has a very similar personality to him. She tends to have very few obsessive interests, is a very clever kid, and hates emotional huggy stuff. We have never felt the need to have her diagnosed because if she does have it she is obviously very high functioning, manages well in school and seems to have plenty of friends.
I think I had to look at my own reactions to her, and start to appreciate her quirky, individual, intellectual approach to life. She identifies as an "oddball" and I now value this part of her personality a great deal. She is not a typical little girl. She would hate baking, craft, horseriding, etc. She loves computers, and is a massive pokemon fan too. I guess I'm just suggesting that you dont try to shape your daughter, but instead step back and appreciate her for who she is? I really understand that its hard, especially the lack of affection. But you have to remember she does love you, she's probably just not comfortable, or doesnt need to, express it.
Practical advice- we have spent years reading at bedtime from the various pokedex game guides that are available. Its dull for me but she has practically memorised the lot of them!
"We have never felt the need to have her diagnosed because if she does have it she is obviously very high functioning, manages well in school and seems to have plenty of friends"
Just to clarify, when you describe someone as "high functioning" with regards to autism/Aspergers this implies they have average or above average intelligence, NOT the severity of the autism. Someone presenting with "mild autism" might be described as having autistic traits rather than HFA or Aspergic.
That single sentence may answer your question.
IME 6 (like 9/10) is one if those ages where DCs have a jump in confidence. They are used to school, having friends, being able to read. Many can swim and ride a bike.
They don't simply go with the flow, they start wanting control of their lives, but they aren't quite old enough to understand what is and isn't wise to ask for. It's not unusual for six year olds to throw tantrums that would put a 2Y to shame.
I think you just have to relax and go with what she wants to do and I wouldn't be surprised if you find she gets easier to live with in the next couple of years.
(Then in Y5 you'll probably get more tension around more up freedoms, like being able to go to the shop on their own.)
Thank you all so much for the replies. It has given me a lot to think about and try to work on.
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