Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Parental Frustration

My daughter will turn 15 next month. I can't believe it. The time has flown by. No matter what I do, I can't stop it.

She has become and is maturing into a lovely young lady. She does well in school, swims and plays piano and clarinet. She has started babysitting and is loving it and doing really well. She has nice friends, has a nice little social life and has become very interested in clothes and shopping. So far, not so much on the boys and I am definitely OK with that.

She is capable, mature, independent, resourceful, thoughtful of others, loyal, honest, hilarious and too sarcastic for her own good. In addition to loving her more than life itself, I really like her.


The most important quality I have tried to convey is kindness. I must say that most of the time she is quite kind and compassionate. I have tried hard to show her how to turn the other cheek, give people the benefit of the doubt, stand up for herself and be true to herself while being diplomatic and caring, seeing two sides to every story, etc. etc. - all without her becoming a doormat herself.

But she's almost 15. She is making more and more of her own decisions everyday. What clothes to wear, what shows to watch, what movies to see. I am right there, trying to guide her, but also trying to give her the space she needs to experiment and maybe even fall.

So today, at the othodontist appt, she is mean and rude on purpose to the dental hygenist. Because she's mad they pointed out she needs to keep wearing the elastics and it will be one more month until the braces off. My heart justs breaks. That she would choose to be mean to this girl. This young lady who is trying to be nice and gets cut off by a selfish kid.

I know she's still a kid. Kids will be kids. I know she's frustrated and tired of the braces. But what about personal responsibility, or at the very least, sucking it up? It's got to start sometime. Just because Mommy's letting you speak for yourself, it's not freedom to be rude.

It's because it's a choice. That my daughter, after all these years, would choose to act that way on purpose. That she chose that behaviour over all others. I find it so disheartening. Did I show her nothing? Did I model that? Was she not listening at all? Have I failed? Is this her true self emerging?

I know I'm being a little dramatic. I was just hurt. To be honest, a little embarrassed and ashamed.

I just want so much for her. I know she's trying to figure herself out and how to handle herself in all sorts of situations. The world can be so harsh. I just want her to be able to do her share of the goodness. To want to be good and kind. To know that it's important.

Because nice matters. It really does.

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