Have people in your life who don’t exactly warm up to your kids? Who spend the barest minimum in their company, eye the scattered Lego blocks and constant running around with a look on their face that says: no. Just no.
While it might seem hard to believe people you care about, especially those in your family, can be less than thrilled to see your children or spend time with them, it’s something you’ll have to come to terms with. Here are a few possible reasons behind the behavior and what you can do about it:
- Not everyone loves kids. And the reason doesn’t have to personal. Some people, especially those who opted out of the baby market, who made a choice not to have children, might simply wish to keep your kids at arm’s length because it’s better for them that way. It’s not selfishness, it could simply be a form of self-preservation.
So don’t automatically assume it’s a case of your kids being not good or pretty or cute enough. Don’t think it’s all about you.
- Your friend/family is sick. Is your friend depressed or sick? This could be one reason why they aren’t emotionally invested in your kids. Depression can suck away at a person’s defenses, social graces and ability to connect with other people. Depression could be like a wet, cold blanket thrown over that person and until that blanket lifts, s/he won’t be able to build the kind of warm and intimate relationship with the kids that you hope for.
So don’t let expectations rule you. If your friend or family is sick, that doesn’t mean they’re shutting you and your children out. Maybe it’ll get better in time. Maybe it won’t. What you should remember is this: that person didn’t set out to hurt you or your kids. So take it in stride.
- Not enough time. Maybe your family or friend simply hasn’t spent enough time in the company of your kids. This is often the case with long-distance pals and family.
So give it time. Give the person time. If they spend more time with your kids, then surely that their relationship would get better too.
- They don’t get along with you. In some cases, it could be entirely personal. Maybe you never got along with your father. Maybe there are still plenty of unresolved issues in your family. But that doesn’t mean your father and your kids need to have the same kind of relationship.
He might not see eye to eye on things with you, but if you think he and your kids could make a go for it, could build a steady, solid relationship, the kind you never had with him, let it happen. Don’t automatically assume that because you two don’t get along that they won’t as well.
- They don’t care. Some people simply don’t care. So why should you? If someone doesn’t like your kids, and you think you’ve done enough or given the relationship enough time, then that’s that. No need to worry about whether it’s you or your kids. Accept it and move on. Sometimes you’ve just got to accept not everybody is open to the idea of kids—with their level of neediness, their love—and you forcing it down their throat won’t make it any better.
In the end, what you can do is to take things in stride. No one will love your kids as fiercely as you do. And maybe that’s the point. You’re the only one who can be there for them 100%. It doesn’t matter if no one else will be.