Sunday, November 7, 2010

We return to our regular angsty programming

We did a few things really right with our kids when they were growing up, but we have also done a few things really, really wrong.

We never taught our elder child how to deal with failure or criticisim, constructive or otherwise. As a result, when she gets any type of negative feedback she reacts so strongly that she turns little issues into huge issues, and huge issues into NON-issues because she retreats and doesn't deal with them at all.

There are a couple of instances that should have clued me in, there was this time she obviously had something in her mouth (which turned out to be a butterscotch) and she denied it to the point of hysterics. Another time, she had a cold Mountain Dew in her room, but denied taking it, to the point of slamming doors and more hystrionics. There are other instances, but honestly, reprimanding her wasn't something that had to happen much, as she really is a great kid...she did well in school, she was respectful to her teachers and coaches, and she was a good athlete. She excelled at most things, so there wasn't much room for "instruction" so to speak, but I should have realized earlier and worked on that with her, but I was lazy and just ignored it for the most part.

But now, she is at a point in her life where she is not handling herself or her responsibilities very well, and I feel helpless. Trying to talk to her is very difficult because she is so very defensive and quickly blames me or her brain chemistry for her decisions or lack there of.

I now am forced to wait and see what she does with herself. It makes me sad that she is sad, but it makes me annoyed that in order for her to do the things that she is supposed to do needs to be happy. We all have crappy stuff, and we have to work through it. From what I know, she is not in school. She is not working. I am not sure how she is spending her days. In response, I turned off her cell phone and the car insurance. I am still paying her rent because I am the guarantor.

It sucks.


creative kerfuffle said...

holy shit batman. my eldest sounds much like yours (on all the good stuff and sadly on her inability to deal w/ issues). sometimes the hardest part of being a parent is the times when there isn't a damn thing we can do to help our kids. ugh. i'm thinking happy thoughts for you today.

Swistle said...

Sorry, lovey.

Tammie said...

im so so sorry. i hope she pulls herself out of this soon.

Anonymous said...

Damn kids.

Kate said...

I'm so sorry. There is nothing that I regret more than making my parents worry about me when I was still drinking. And the horrible things I said to them. Sigh.

But here's something else that my therapist told me a long time ago and it stuck. She said, "Your parents did the best they could with what they knew. AND (not but) it wasn't enough. You're an adult now. It's YOUR job to fill in the blanks."

Talk about taking responsibility for yourself. Was a good wake up call for me. Finally. Thank God.

kilax said...

I hope she figures things out. It does seem like some people need to go through a phase like that - kind of to grow up. Do you think that's the case?

Don't be hard on yourself! I went through a crazy phase even though I have awesome parents.

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