Managing very different interests in half term

It can be hard to get children of different ages and interests to agree on anything in half term…



Trying to cater to children’s different interests can be a challenge, especially at half term. No-one wants to do the same thing and nine year olds are on a very different timetable to 14 and 16 year olds. Nine year olds want to do sport, eg swimming. Sport, eg, swimming is the very last thing 14 and 16 year olds want to do, particularly if they are feeling pre-menstrual.

Nine year olds want to talk [a lot] about the different types of games consoles that are available and all the different connecting cables and SD cards and other technical stuff that certain 54 year olds hear as just so much white noise because the bottom line is which one can you get cheapest, second hand on eBay and, better, do we know anyone who is getting rid of their’s for free.

Fourteen and 16 year olds want to force the parent who is captive in the house to watch endless videos of K-pop band members eating noodles. This has been an emotional week in the life of K-poppers. BTS, the first and most loved K-pop band in our house, gave their final concert of this tour. I know this because I went into daughter two’s bedroom and found her sobbing in a heap on the floor. She then forced me to listen to her read out, in a voice so cracked that I could barely make out what she was saying, the goodbye statements of every member of the band. “But they’ve got a new album out in days and are touring next year…” I said, trying to console daughter two who was writhing around in agony in a pool of tears, wearing her K-pop headband. It was no solace.

I went into daughter three’s room. She had been up early to stream the last concert. She was sitting in the dark waving the light sabre thing that she got at the BTS concert with tears streaming down her face. “What is wrong with them?”asked only son, who tends to regard this kind of behaviour with total disgust and feels he is far more mature than anyone in the house. So mature that he was not sure he would do Halloween this year.

Meanwhile, daughter one was home briefly for reading week, but then complained that she could not concentrate due to the general levels of hysteria and K-pop mania, for instance, one of the new bands has a song out about ‘jopping’ [jumping and popping]. People are jopping all over the place, and not in a good way. I suggested daughter two combine it with a bit of cleaning – “let’s call it mopping”. It didn’t go as planned.

After having a good night’s sleep and inspecting daughter two’s room for ‘stolen’ items from her room [and there were many…], daughter one was ready for a lift back to the station in what has become known as the disco bus. Daughter two was in the front doing some kind of dance. I looked around and daughter three was mirroring her. The whole car was shaking. Only son was on the DS, looking appalled.

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