Wednesday, December 29, 2010

life goes on... holiday's or not

so i had therapy last night with my main therapist and told her about the joint session with 'A' and how bad it went. apparently i wasn't the only one who thought it went bad, because 'A's' therapist called my therapist to tell her how bad it went. the whole situation was silly and it blew up out of proportion. it reminded me of my recent issue with service work, where i wrote an article for my newsletter and now i have a censorship committee that will review the work before it is sent to print. i used the words 'vagina' and 'sex' to discuss predatory behavior. and really someone did not like it. that is what it boils down to. well the other day i was parenting my daughter. my other therapist said to use the word parenting not discipline that would make it easier for me to handle, because i don't want to be a disciplinarian. so when 'A' got home from school on the last day before Christmas break this is what happened

'Mom i just found out i have 2 assignments due today in AP History.' i said
'Well then i guess you better get on it.' so she goes back to her room. a little while later she came to me and said 'Mom i have a 76 in the class without this work.' and i said 'What will you have if you do the work?' she said 'The teacher said it would bring my grade up to a B.' i said then it would be worth trying to get part of it in.' a while later as i was coming by her room she said 'mom i can't figure this out' she was very distressed. she said the answers were supposed to be in the book but they weren't so i said 'Honey i wish i could help you but i just can't. why don't you google howard zinn and the questions this is what happens when you wait till the last minute to try and get your homework done. so you have to think outside the book.'

 see 'A' only missed 2 class periods, both times were when she had to do work for JROTC, one was a blood drive and the other was an out of state trip. and these assignments were online so there was no reason for her not to know they were due. she just chose to not look up for any missing assignments, instead she played on facebook. now her teacher was giving her a chance to get her grade up and i simply told her she should try. 

then she came to me when i was getting ready for an appointment and said 'Mom this is just too hard i just want to take a C.' and that is when i said 'Well i guess you should also consider weather or not you want to do swimming in the spring because if extra curricular activities are getting in the way of you getting your homework done then you won't be doing any in the spring.' so she huffed off and got her assignment done. so she says. then a little bit later wes came home and she said something to him and went over and grabbed the phone and called her therapist. then she got off the phone and said 'Mom 'T' wants to talk to you tomorrow for a few minutes before my therapy. OK 

So i saw my other therapist and told him i thought i was going to get balled out by her therapist for disciplining her. i told him what happened and he said "don't call it 'discipline', it is not 'discipline', it is called 'parenting'." and he assured me it would be fine and that a good therapist would not triangulate a situation between a parent and child. yeah right.

So the session could have gone better, it lasted 2 hours and it was exactly that. 'A' called 'T' to tell on mommy, mommy went in to talk to 'T' and 'T' said at this point we let the kids decide for themselves what kind of grade they choose to get. that if she were in middle school that is where we provide the little push but at 17 it is too late to threaten the kids with discipline if they don't get a good grade in school. i said i wasn't disciplining her i was parenting her. and she said no, and took out her notes, and said you told her if she didn't get her grade up she wouldn't be able to swim in the spring. Uh yeah, i did. that is discipline she said a natural consequence would be a lower grade. no not true if she got low grades in college they would tell her she could not participate in swimming also. it is the right consequence.

so then 'A' was brought in and i felt ganged up on. yeah it didn't go well. i held my ground. i was a little shaken up but the therapist insisted to my daughter that this was not going to be a deal where mommy made her mad, she calls 'T' and 'T' tells mommy 'bad mommy' even though that is exactly what happened.

so then after Christmas 'A' said she needed a prom dress, just like the phone issue i said 'what are you willing to do to earn it.' so finally she goes, 'OK mom make me a list, what can i do to earn money' so with wes and his family there we made up this list, you know like wash out the van; 10 bucks. 3 loads of laundry, wash, dry, fold and put away 8 bucks, wash the blinds 10 bucks. things like that the little nitty gritties that i put off doing. feeling like i was being very lenient with the list i handed it to wes to edit. this was the negotiating part between him and i. so he changed the wash to 5 bucks. and a few other things he lowered the price on. i said 'your such a slave driver.' we were joking, we were laughing. and we handed her this list. she took one look at it and said 'My therapist needs to approve this list.' yeah.

so we told her look you don't have to do any of it if you don't want to. in fact it was a pick and choose list. if she wanted to earn her money doing nothing but laundry then so be it. ah, such is life. bless her heart. and i am not acting out on my behaviors today. this is what it is. she doesn't like that i am feeling better and parenting her. 

so i will keep updates on progress. the point is it is not about me. she will be leaving home in may. i won't be there to give her guidance. she will figure it out on her own, the easy way or the hard way. it is up to her. but while she is here, i call the shots.

today's thought; "Many people are living in an emotional jail without recognizing it."- Virginia Satir


Jess Mistress of Mischief said...

I used to use my therapist to prove I was ok and right too. That's what happens when I'm in the wrong attitude. I begin to build a case against instead of just realizing I'm unwilling to do something.

Secret: I still sometimes do start to try to "get people on my side" to feel ok about what I do. I'm still wrong in the head and attitude in so many ways. I wish that the people around me weren't such a reflection of what I still do to be ok with the world. Can't seem to do it without a lot of gathering forces against others to fight it. :)

Glad the program continues to work on me in this way, shows me just how wrong I am.

You are a good reflection for me today Suzie, just going with what you believe whole heartedly.

Busy Bee Suz said...

It really can be tough being a much going on in her life and her brain too.
Sounds like she feels as though it is all of you against her...instead of all of you being a team for her.
I hope things get better.
Take care,

Syd said...

I can tell you that there would have been no negotiating with my parents. I was expected to help out and to get good grades. I did both. I have turned out okay, I think. What you did was parenting. She is under your roof so she plays by your rules.

Brian Miller said...

without expectations kids believe the world will bow to their whims...and one day they will find that it does expectations leans more toward neglect than love...

Shadow said...

i know at some stage we have to stop pushing, helping, whatever it is called to get our kids to achieve. but dammit it's hard. i love how you summed it up in the last line though... "it is up to her. but while she is here, i call the shots." i have to agree with you whole-heartedly.