Monday, February 1, 2010

It can't all be Sunshine and Puppy Dogs

It does not bode well to me that my 8 yr old daughter and I already have semi-epic clashes. We are two forces of will, but when we are at odds--watch out.

I love my girl. She's dynamic, independent and brilliant. She is also stubborn, intractable and devious. She'll get an idea in her head and nothing will shake it. While that superpower can be used for good, she doesn't always apply it like that.

And the thing that worries me most, sometimes she'll say things like she's stupid, ugly or worthless. And it's difficult to shake her from these funks when they set in.

This isn't about her being obedient. She doesn't have to do everything I say the way I say it. But she is giving her school teacher fits, and both her teacher and I are at our wits' end as to what to do about her.

Kindergarten was great. She loved it. But ever since first grade, she's decided if she doesn't want to do something she shouldn't have to do it. Nothing could be further from the truth, but my stubborn little girl is winning this battle. Now more than half way through third grade, the only reason she's passing anything is a combination of adult tenacity and her superior test scoring.

Girls are a mystery to me. And I am one. This daughter of mine confounds me more than most. She has a younger sister--sweet, loving, enthusiastic about school and success. That's not to say I expect her always to be that way. But I don't want her to follow in her stubborn older sister's footsteps.

It wouldn't upset me so much if I didn't love her to the ends of the earth and back. When raising children, you don't get to give up when it gets hard. You can't let up because you're out of options. So I'm going to keep plugging along. And I never stop looking for ideas on how to get through to her and help her to find her place in this world.

1 comment:

The Evil Step-mom said...

That is a tough situation. My brother was the same way. My Mom finally took him to Kennedy Kreiger and had his tested and he has ADD and ODD (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). If he doesn't want to do something he doesn't. It was very difficult for my Mom because he was always in trouble at school for not paying attention or not doing his homework, however, he was smart and always passed his tests and he always knew the answers to the teachers questions (which made the teachers even madder). My Mom got read a bunch of books about ODD and ADD and she said it really helped her understand and raise my brother better so there were less fights. Even if you daughter doesn't have those disorders, you might benefit on reading up on them.