Why is my daughter so annoyed with me?

My kids not wanting me to take their pic.
My kids not wanting me to take their pic.
Mom and me in the early 90s.
Mom and me in the early 90s. I lost her to COVID in January this year.
My baby girl years ago.
A beach day with my daughter.
A beach day with my daughter.

What are your thoughts about adult kids being annoyed with you? Is it deserved or is it growing pains?

Do you think when people close to us are going through rough times, it’s easy for them to take it out on those closest to them?

Vacation with a twist

When have you experienced the good and bad at the same time?

Backyard beach adventure

My daughter and me in the backyard of a house we used to rent in Laguna Beach.

We rented a house in Laguna Beach to escape the high temperatures of Palm Springs in the summertime. We rented with another family from Memorial weekend to Labor day, splitting the summer in half.

The family who owned the house were school teachers. They took off to Alaska each summer as rangers.

I was worried the first time I visited the house. The backyard dropped off into a canyon. There were railroad ties between the lawn and a cliff. Having a two-year old son, I was worried the yard was too dangerous.

The owner laughed and said she raised three boys in that house and there was never an issue.

Me and my son at the beach in Laguna.

I’ll never forget the first time we rented the house. We told our son we were going to the beach. He grabbed a shovel and bucket and said, “Let’s go!” He was headed to the edge of the lawn and railroad ties, where there was a view of the ocean.

“No!” I stopped him. “We have to drive to the beach.”

Later that summer, I couldn’t find the T.V. remote control. My husband worked in Palm Springs during the weekdays and I was alone with my son except for weekends.

I was six months pregnant with my daughter at the time.

“It’s down there!” my son said pointing to the cliff dropping to the canyon.

“What?” I asked.

“I threw it down there,” my son said, pointing.

I strapped him in his stroller before I ventured into the canyon. I made my way over the railroad ties, clinging onto shrubs for dear life, as I scrambled along the steep incline. Needless to say I was a wreck by the time I made it back up the steep cliff into the backyard. No, I didn’t find the remote.

My son seemed fascinated watching me from the safety of his stroller.

I pushed my son in his stroller into the house, unbuckled him and collapsed on the sofa.

My son joined me on the sofa and fetched the remote control from under a throw pillow.

“Here it is!” he said.

My kids at the Laguna Beach house, sitting on the hearth wearing sofa arm protectors as hats.

To this day, I have no clue why my son told me he threw the remote control into the canyon. I’m sure he was entertained watching me as I held onto branches and bushes to not tumble down the cliff.

What unexpected things have your kids done to make your life exciting?

Parents cashing in on kids

kids on a rock
Laguna Beach picture of my kids from around 2001.

My daughter shared an article with me that she thought I’d find interesting for my blog. It’s from Teen Vogue — which she said is not behind a paywall — and has more interesting articles than fashion like “What’s hot for summer.”

In “Influencer Parents and The Kids Who Had Their Childhood Made Into Content” by FORTESA LATIFI, I learned about parents who cashed in on their kids on social media.

Here’s an excerpt:

Claire, whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, has never known a life that doesn’t include a camera being pointed in her direction. The first time she went viral, she was a toddler. When the family’s channel started to rake in the views, Claire says both her parents left their jobs because the revenue from the YouTube channel was enough to support the family and to land them a nicer house and new car. “That’s not fair that I have to support everyone,” she said. “I try not to be resentful but I kind of [am].” Once, she told her dad she didn’t want to do YouTube videos anymore and he told her they would have to move out of their house and her parents would have to go back to work, leaving no money for “nice things.”

When the family is together, the YouTube channel is what they talk about. Claire says her father has told her he may be her father, but he’s also her boss. “It’s a lot of pressure,” she said. When Claire turns 18 and can move out on her own, she’s considering going no-contact with her parents. Once she doesn’t live with them anymore, she plans to speak out publicly about being the star of a YouTube channel. She’ll even use her real name. Claire wants people to know how her childhood was overshadowed by social media stardom that she didn’t choose.  And she wants her parents to know: “nothing they do now is going to take back the years of work I had to put in.” 

https://www.teenvogue.com/story/influencer-parents-children-social-media-impact

It would be easy to judge these parents as monsters. But, I am thankful Instagram and TikTok did NOT exist when my kids were young. Wait, I’ll retract my statement and call it exploitation of children. I guess that’s being judgmental, right?

I had Facebook when my kids were growing up and my pages were an embarrassing brag-site of my amazing, marvelous kids! It’s nauseating to look back on.

As my daughter got older, her friends would bully or tease her about awkward tween years’ photos I posted. She asked me to NOT post anything about her without permission. I mostly followed her wishes. Maybe slipping up a few times.

Although I look negatively at parents who use their children as cash cows, like I said, I’m glad it wasn’t something I had an option to do. Unlike TV and movie parents, there are no protections for kids who are content on their parents’ social media sites. The article goes into detail about how contracts with TV and movies have protections for children and they get money put into a trust.

By the way, I also didn’t think it was right for swim parents to put pressure on their swim kids to earn college scholarships. I had a weekly column about swim parenting HERE. Too much pressure, period. However, if a scholarship did happen, that’s icing on the cake of all the valuable lessons and friendships gained through sports.

I look at the harm social media has done to our kids who grew up with it. Suicide, depression, anxiety and eating disorders are running rampant. I wonder how these teens are doing who were used as influencers since toddlerhood?

I have a weekly zoom call where we talk about all sorts of current subjects. We are a variety of ages, religions and a spectrum of political persuasions. One of the topics we’ll talk about next week is social media and our youth. Here’s A LINK to a Surgeon General’s Advisory from the Department of Health and Human Services that I received from the group yesterday. In the article is a pdf from the Surgeon General.

What thoughts do you have about parents using kids as influencers on social media? What thoughts do you have about the affects of social media on our youth?

Have lemons? Make lemonade!

A cup of lemonade I bought on our morning walk. I did take one sip, before I took the photo. I have to say it wasn’t a generous serving!

We have friendly neighbors who apparently have an abundance of fresh lemons. Note to self: I need to plant a lemon tree! In Palm Springs we had 15 citrus trees and we have none here.

On our morning walk, we passed the friendly neighbor’s house spotting a young boy sitting outside, alone at a folding table, with a hand painted sign, “Lemonade.”

We asked how long he’d be there and he said another hour and a half. It was 6:30 a.m. I wonder how early he set up his stand?

“We’ll be back after our walk,” my husband promised.

This is a grandchild of our neighbors. We first met them when their grandkids were visiting at Christmas the year we moved in. They had a lemonade stand then, and we thought it was so sweet. It brought back memories of my childhood when we had a Kool-aid stand.

We haven’t seen these neighbors since December 2020 until sometime in April this year when we were out for a walk. We stopped and talked and talked about our kids, who all live in California. They told us about their grandkids and asked if we wanted to go to church with them. The husband promised us his homemade limoncello.

Again we haven’t seen them around. I believe the husband works a lot throughout the country and is rarely home.

Then last week, the day before we left for Mexico, we saw him in his garage.

He said, “Wait!”

He ran to get us two bottles of limoncello. We declined, but he said, “Please take them. I don’t drink, but I like to make it.”

This morning after our walk, I returned to the lemonade stand.

“You’re certainly out early,” I said.

“I try to do my best,” the young boy answered.

“What are you going to do with all this money?” I asked.

“Half goes to charity. I’m not sure yet what I’ll do with the rest.”

I gave him money for two lemonades. He asked what color cups I wanted and poured me a few inches of lemonade in each cup.

It gave me a bit of joy to see a child working his lemonade stand. It’s a rare sight indeed.

What are your memories of lemonade stands growing up? Do you see them today?

The Letter

My toddler daughter at Aliso Beach in Laguna, California.

My daughter called and asked me about a letter from her best friend that I never gave her. I had forgotten all about it. But wouldn’t you know, my husband on a separate phone call with her, brought it up.

“Why would your dad say anything about the letter?” I asked instantly upset.

“Mom, I’m 27 years old. I can handle it.”

At the time of the letter, my daughter was 13 years old. My daughter and her best friend had been together since birth. We (my friend and I) helped each other out with our second children by taking turns having them together several times a week. That gave one of us time to clean, shop or sleep! The older siblings were in half-day preschool.

I homeschooled our daughter sixth through eighth grade when our son began high school. Our daughter’s best friend was at a public middle school and we agreed to pick her up once a week while her mom was at work.

The plan was to have a craft or art project each Wednesday. Sometimes my daughter wanted to hang out with her best friend and not have a designated project. I thought everything was peachy when my friend said she had a letter to drop off from her daughter to mine.

She told me to read the letter before I gave it to my daughter. I was shocked. My daughter’s best friend was ending their friendship and said she was promised an art project on Wednesdays. She hoped my daughter would understand if they saw each other that she wouldn’t speak to her. She was never speaking to her again. I can’t remember exactly what else was in the letter, but it was mean and there was no way I’d let my daughter read that letter and be hurt.

I threw the letter away.

Of course my daughter wanted to know why Wednesdays were off and why she wasn’t going to her best friend’s house on Saturday, or having her over to our house.

I explained as best I could that her friend was going through some troubling times and to be patient and things would go back to normal. There were three major upheavals in the girl’s life that she was struggling through that I won’t share. But they were major and beyond what I thought my daughter needed to learn about at the time. I do think this rejection from her best friend without explanation has affected my daughter’s relationships today.

Their friendship was never the same again, although later in life they became civil.

Question. Would you have given the letter to your daughter or thrown it away like I did? Why or why not?

The food fight

The cottage we rented for years in Laguna Beach.

Did you see the news about a food fight at a baseball game? It was the Phillies “dollar dog night” that got totally out of hand with hot dogs thrown throughout the stadium. When I saw that, I flashed on a memory from when my kids were young.

One of the great things we did for our children was sign them up for Junior Lifeguards in Laguna Beach in the summer. It was quite a project. Laguna residents got to sign up first. It was fierce competition to get a spot. I’d drive down the night before registration opened for non-residents and stay in a hotel. Once I took my daughter with me. We got up at 5 a.m. and sat in front of the parks and rec building in beach chairs and sleeping bags. We were about fourth in line.

The line grew long by 8 a.m. and people walking by said “Woah! What concert are you waiting to buy tickets for?”

My son is in the second row to the bottom, third from right.

At Junior Guards the kids would run on the beach, learn about the different beaches and coves, swim through the blow hole and out in the ocean. They had all sorts of competitive games they’d play on the beach, too. They’d be exhausted when I’d pick them up at the end of the day.

The final day of Junior Guards was a picnic at Heisler Park. We’d all contribute something for the feast. I was shocked to find out the picnic ended in a free-for-all food fight! It was a disaster with the kids in their white Junior Guard t-shirts smeared with mustard, ketchup and potato salad. The park was a disaster!

Needless to say, I was not happy that my kids participated in it. But talk about chagrin! My son informed me my adorable young perfect daughter started it!

My hoodlum daughter is in the second row to the bottom with a big braid over her shoulder. My son is two rows directly above her.

What have your children done that surprised you — good or bad?