Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Like Oil and Water.... Why Don't I Learn

Part of the challenge of parenting a large family is that no two kids are exactly alike -- and when you have kids that are all adopted and they have different gene pools as well as mental health issues and organic brain damage and attachment issues -- then it is a more complicated puzzle.

There are people who suggest that my family is like the Duggers and I just chuckle to myself. Nope, NOTHING like that.

Salinda and I don't do well together. We are opposites. I am a determined "bigger the mountain better the climb" kind of person. I love a challenge and when people suggest i can't do something it makes me more determined to do it. I am competitive and forceful and confident and I don't take no for an answer.

Salinda is a perfectionist. She is overwhelmed by challenge, cowers in the face of it. Believes she can't do it and instead of trying, wilts up and hides. So when something goes wrong she is not like I would be. If I had an argument with my mother, I would decide to prove her wrong and bust my butt doing whatever she thought I couldn't do. If she has a challenge she falls apart and lies in bed with her covers over her head.

So when she and I get into it and I keep pushing, hoping to motivate her, it has an opposite affect. It makes her give up and see no hope.

So as the adult, I have to change my strategy and coax her back into a reasonable state of mind and give her a redo. I messed up by not being cooperative when she needed me yesterday and it has sent her spiralling. She messed up by screaming at me and cussing me out. We need to hit replay and do it again.

So I'm cancelling my plans for the rest of the afternoon. I should know better than to get into a control battle with her and escalate her into a frenzy when she's stressed. And so I pay the price. And it's my job as a parent to control what I can control -- which is me. And I didn't do that.

I just wish I could remember all this stuff at the initial moment and not take that first step. There was a moment when this would have all been avoided if I could have done the right thing yesterday. So now I will go fix it.

My stubbornness doesn't do me any more favors than hers does.

But it gets tiring having to be the adult all the time. ;-)

She will fight me on it, but I'm up for the battle. She has no idea how successful she can be or how determined I am to prove that she can.

Bigger the mountain, better the climb. ;-)


FAScinated said...

You make me proud to be your friend, woman.

Corrine said...

Good luck, and nice to have all your patience and determination!!!

Angela said...

I think I'd like that as a cross stich pillow "It gets tiring having to be the adult all the time"!