Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sign of Light

In light of our recent challenges with J, DB send me a short note this afternoon :
"You are making J feel like she can never make a mistake, you need to prove and demonstrate to her through actions that you will forgive her when she does make a mistake.. her recent behavior is her way of testing a self fulfilling prophecy"
That is possibly the best summary of everything that describes the dynamic between J and I. On the one hand I want to be the mother who is always available, is able to walk in her shoes and understand the importance of balance. To that end, her schedule is fairly light, the supervision is on an as needed basis and I never talk down to her or be disrespectful. On the other hand, I do have a high bar in terms of my expectations from her - I want her to be a very genuine person, have the capacity for empathy and be brave.  It turns out that meeting these standards is significantly harder than making good grades. So DB is right that I expect her to be perfect (as a human being) and not make mistakes. It would be much easier for her if I was holding her feet to the fire over bad grades. In fact, my lack of interest in her grades is somewhat frustrating to her being that she is not able to parley her As to gain my favor - or use them as a pass for bad behavior
As a remedy to the situation, I have set free J from the stranglehold of expectation. I told her today that it was her choice to meet my expectations from her or not. If she chose to repeat mistakes or withhold information from me, there might be consequences that would not be in my power to save her from. No matter what decision she made, I would still do everything I was doing for her as a mother and love her just as much.

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