We tend to say this word a lot around our house. Probably because it breaks the tension when there is a sense of discontent. It’s been two days since both children have returned to the house, and typical personality traits have quickly come to the surface.
It’s clear that the health of one is better than the health of another. Not necessarily from a physical standpoint- more from a commitment and attachment standpoint. My wife noticed yesterday that there seems to be a struggle for power and control with the one daughter who seems to want what the other daughter has- and yet she doesn’t want to take the steps necessary to gain the closeness she desires with us as parents.
Instead of following directions, she’ll purposely do her own thing. When she doesn’t want to face a situation that could be stressful, she’ll give up or act like she’s not capable of getting her own clothes, taking a shower, finding an appropriate snack, keeping her room clean, doing her homework, and so on down the line. Meanwhile she watches our other daughter gain the opportunity to go over friends houses, enjoy the comforts of texting on her cell phone, being able to use the computer, and basically giving and accepting love and affection and back and forth communication.
She knows what she wants, but doesn’t want to put the work in to get it. She believes it should just be naturally handed to her. It’s such a shame that the world doesn’t work in quite that same manner.
I didn’t have my first car until the summer before I left for college. I spent 2 1/2 years saving up money from my deejaying on the weekends and my part time cafeteria job to buy a 1973 Dodge Dart Sweeper for $1,400. I paid for the car in full and paid for a year’s worth of insurance. It had 55,000 miles on it and I ended up using it for my full 4 years of college. I remember taking one of my math classmates from Lowell to the Cape and back for $50. But I never expected my parents to just give me a car or pay for one totally on my own because I just wanted it or I deserved it.
Seriously, I worry that her adulthood is going to be even more of a struggle than her childhood. Will my youngest just give up on a job because her boss looked at her the wrong way? How will she be able to find a nice, charming partner who will love and care for her if she doesn’t know how to be appropriate to her parents? You can’t shape or change the people you interact with regularly- you either accept them as they are or you learn to change how you view their opinions and the way they treat you.
We’ve talked to her many times about the fact that if she’s truly unhappy- she has to make the moves. No one else is going to change the circumstances or her environment- unless she wants zero control for the rest of her life.
Surely I am, and I know my wife is. We will throw more of our attention on to anyone who treats us with respect, is real about their feelings and willing to be productive to work as a family. I can’t reward negative attention any more.