Attention Please

One aspect of taking care of daughters that really sends my head for a tailspin is the fact that they feel that they know everything, have a solid plan and if you dare deviate from their mind you become an alien instead of loving, concerned parent.

My oldest will take one word and immediately tune out of the conversation. So if you chose to throw around a label, you better be careful that she doesn’t think you are putting her down or else incur her wrath of dismissal, anger or the slamming of a door.

What’s the challenge currently facing the family? Outside of the let down of holidays, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on other than living high on emotion and less upon reasoning ability. She’ll talk to me in the car about subjects she’s normally reserved for my wife- and then when my wife attempts to talk to her about those same subjects, it becomes a back and forth passive/ aggressive power contest. The only thing I can think of her need for more one on one attention.

An example of the confusion will be she’s come up with a new hair tie idea for girls with curly hair. She wanted to buy two products that she needs to make these hair ties- right before I took her to therapy. It didn’t matter to her that the wind chill made the air feel like Siberia. She wanted what she wanted right in the moment- and if I dare turn her down, I don’t love or support her idea.

Since she needed a pick me up after therapy, we went around the city looking for those items. If it meant getting her out of an angry state into one of more playful exuberance, than so be it. Overall the two items didn’t run me more than a few dollars. In the car she stated that she was hurt that in therapy her therapist labeled her based on one of her choices she’s been making for life- without really tuning in to the entirety of the message.

It’s interesting that as she grows older she wants to control more of the way the conversation is shaped. My wife and I believe it’s better to ask questions and make her really think about her thoughts and ideas. When she isn’t able to form a complete thought, she shuts down and thinks we are making her feel dumb. We are not. If you want to tackle issues head on, I think you should ponder and weigh the pros and cons rather than willy nilly going in with all of your guts- because there are many times that those tough decisions can have irrevocable consequences.

We have another day of therapy on the horizon, so maybe some of these matters will clear themselves up. You just wish that you could steer kids in the right direction, instead of them insisting on going down a rocky mountain without a clear path in mind. I am paying attention- I am happy that she trust me enough to engage in deeper conversations- and I hope she realizes I’m always open for two good ears for listening.

Can’t you tell the school vacation week is oh so much fun?


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