Monday, March 05, 2007

Getting Across a POsitive Message

My daughter and I talk on MSN. I know that seems weird, but she usually will tell me more if we are both online than she ever will if we are in person.

She is determined that life is never going to get any better for her. She has had trouble finding her niche in her new school all year and her only conslusion is that she has to transfer. I have been trying to get her to see that deciding that there is no hope means that there is no hope. That "if you think you can and you think you can't, you're right."

But I'm not sure with my temperment that I will ever be able to understand her persistent negativity. Not only is she by nature less than optimistic and dismal, but she's 14. An age nobody ever wants to be again once they pass it.

Her conclusion is that because I won't let her transfer to a school almost 20 miles from here with no bus service that I don't care about her predicament. I try to explain that just because I won't let her make this change 3 months before school is out, doesn't mean I don't feel for her.

So, I keep plugging away, letting the drama unfold before me, hoping that she'll build character through adversity and hoping that I can be patient as she tells me all about it, day after day.


Heather said...

Claudia, At least your daughter is talking to you. Sometimes the stuff that makes a teen so unhappy seems trivial. In 3 months she'll have forgotten it completely, and you know it, but to her it's real. My mother did such a poor job of pretending to listen to me that I quit talking to her altogether. I left home in high school to live with an inappropriate boyfriend. Some of my peers did better with their parental relationships, and I envied them that. Being a teen is not much fun, no matter what the peabrain speaker at the graduation ceremony always says about these being the "best years of your life". Some things that you could say and have them be true: "I can see how you would be worried/upset about that". " I care about you, dear kid, but I truly think this will blow over, try to calm yourself, and give a couple of days" , " I know being a teen is stressful, hang in there-the 20's are much better, and the 30's and 40's ROCK." What ever you say, it means you are listening, and that is precious. My sister and I still say "lettuce" and we know what we mean! My Mom would be "listening" to us pour our heart out about something and then she'd say, "Lettuce! That's what I forgot at the store!" Heather

Mom in MN said...

Oh, Claudia, we just went through the same thing -- my 14 year old was having a tough year, and finally I did let her transfer. It is much more inconvenient and hasn't been a "magic" solution, but it is better sometimes. Her ideal thought is to go to a Boarding School because she thinks people would be nicer there. And if they weren't, she'd be stuck there evenings and weekends as well. It's so HARD to convince them that they will survive this period in their life!!!