Wednesday, September 03, 2014
So the way my brain works, (which I always assumed was how everyone's worked; I've since discovered this is not true) is I like to apply lots of angles to whatever I'm thinking about. I should try to explain. I like to connect things. Bring ideas together. See relationships.
On the weekend I read somewhere, I'm sorry I can't point you to where I read this, only tell you I read it somewhere in the vast pile of books on the go, magazines, and newspapers I dip into constantly. I read that some universities now have resilience training for their new students. Why? Because their parents have done everything for them and when they get to university on their own they are unable to cope with life without someone running interference for them.
All summer long we've been talking about how to deal with life's hurdles. We have a workbook, ages 6 to 12, and it explains what hurdles are, talks about how they might make you feel, and gives little assignments to help kids learn to cope with what life puts in front of them.
My oldest daughter has a couple of really good friends and she has always had at least one in her class at school. It's kind of a thing, isn't it, that they always give you one really good friend? I mean, I thought it was a thing. So I was quite surprised when she ran up to me at lunch and bravely told me nope, no friends in her class. And I mean none.
My first feelings, other than heartsickness for her, was that I was super mad at the school for doing this, and that they would have to fix it. I mean, why should she be left out? And it's pretty much a guarantee. When there is a group of three in a class and you aren't part of it, you are going to feel left out.
Thank goodness I'm mellowing in my old age, or perhaps it's the fact that I just didn't have enough time right then and there. I didn't go marching into the office. Okay I'm totally lying. I DID go marching to the principal's office, but he was busy and so I had to leave to drive another daughter to a lunchtime piano lesson (cause what's better than driving around, stuffing your sandwich in your mouth in a minivan over an abbreviated lunch hour?) and the plan was to come back and talk to (at?) principal after lunch.
The hour in the minivan gave me just enough time to cool my jets and I realized: if I go and do this, I am not helping daughter develop resilience. Funny, I had to act against every super strong instinct which made me feel like roaring like a mama bear - how could you do this, put her in a class alone while all of her friends are together - it still boils my blood to think about it. But that's what I explained last night (and at supper and again this morning). You're going to have this really good friend. In life. At work. Wherever. And then they will quit or leave or not like you anymore. And if you don't know how to cope, well, I didn't do my job very well.
Because my job as a mother, in this house anyways, it to help you learn resilience. It isn't to fight your battles for you.