Question From Adrienne: How should I respond to my son’s need for constant attention and his abundance of questions? I feel like I am taken hostage at times by his demands. I feel guilty that I am not interested in what he is saying 100% of the time and that I get snappy or abrupt with him after awhile.
I wonder if you might be an introvert and your son an extravert? It could be that your son really thrives on attention and doing and going while you can do some of that, you need to have time for quiet solitude, to go internal. Many times introverted moms are pushed out of their comfort zones and have to be extraverted more than they are used to and it can make them feel more pushed, beyond their calm point.
Also, introverts need more time to process things. So, if your child puts you “on the spot” with questions, you can easily feel overwhelmed and tired by the demand to come up with answers.
I suggest ensuring that times of solitude each day – 30 minutes to 60 minutes just for yourself – become part of your daily routine. Explain to your son that you will have times when the two of you will be together and other times when it will be just for each of you to do your own thing. You can set a timer for him so he knows when he can seek you out again.
When he asks you questions there may be some that you can answer right away, but never feel like you can’t say, “you know, I need to think about that one some more. I’ll let you know my thoughts about it by lunch time.”
A great book that tells you more about your mothering style based on your personality type is called Mother Styles by Janet Penley. It’s really insightful!