Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Arrggh! Perfectionism meets Teenage Hormones!

This morning is not shaping up too well. My ten year old daughter is upstairs in her room sobbing her eyes out because she didn't get a glowing critique on a piece of creative writing.  She has a tendency to mix the tense mid paragraph going from present perfect to past perfect. Additionally she failed to meet the assignement's real purpose, to create a character and tell us about her. 

My almost eleven year old is sobbing in her room and I am really to bang my head against the wall. I told her that I am not her personal cheering squad and will push her harder as she gets older. Mediocrity will not do. Mediocrity will not get her anywhere in this world. Look where mediocrity has led this country. Hard work and sacrifice by our forfathers built this amazing country. And mediocrity is tearing it down.

(A few minutes later) I just realized that she has no goals. Nothing she is working towards. She is just floating along without any plan on where she wants to go. Her best friend is working towards being an olympic swimmer. Boy, that kid works hard. Ever seen a ten year old girl with sixpack abs? I have. Even more amazing that she does all this on a diet not containing any dairy, eggs, or nuts since she is allergic (anaphylacts).  She is currently in the top 2% in her age group in the country! My daughter on the other hand seems to, at some point, have given up.  Her allergies have taken away so much we all grew soft on her. Being highly intelligent and not having to work very hard in many regards added to the problem. Things just kinda come to her. In many ways I really admire my daughter. Of course I love both my kids but my daughter is someone truly amazing.  Now we need to find a way to channel this and I have to find a way to guide her.

Her current assignement, not meant for anyone's eyes but her own, is to write in her private journal what her goals and dreams are for herself.  It's time to be still, to be contemplative and look within.

For both of us.

7 comments:

Arby said...

Mom. She's 11. A ten-year-old with six-pack abs and Olympic dreams is the exception to the rule, not the rule.

Marlis said...

LOL, you are so right, Arby. But a goal, and it doesn't even have to be as lofty as being an Olympic swimmer is important. Any goal. Since she has no classmates she doesn't experience any competitive spirit. I am not sure that's such a good thing. Her friend knows what she wants and is working towards it. My daughter wants to get through the lessons so she can play on the PS3 or hang on the computer researching books etc.

A Homeschool Story said...

Ah, but the freedom of being is child is wonderful. No speeches, just a reminder. Did you know that Rudolf Steiner did not learn to read and write until he was 12? I'm done, promise!

And...I wanted to present you with The Stylish Blogger Award. The rules: you accept and write seven things about you and pass it on if you wish, to other blogs.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_gWjgO8PiUkA/TQDROrUkNhI/AAAAAAAAAws/XSH86et6BLI/s1600/stylishblogger.png

Have a lovely day!

Angela

Marlis said...

Thank you Angela, I am afraid I'd go mental if I had been Rudolf's mom. LOL. Thanks for the stylish blogger award. I guess, I can't pass it on to you, huh?

GCK Mom said...

I just came across your blog and have to say that I love it!
I do however want to emphasize what others have said "she's 11". My 13 yo has changes her mind about her future profession almost as often as she changes her clothes! Kids need time to be kids and really most people don't know for "sure" what they want to be even in college! I know more people than not that have degrees in areas that are FAR from the fields they are working in. Let her roam and expose her to as much as possible and she will eventually find a nitch that fits her.
BTW - I get the perfectionist aggravations as well - I am a stereotypical Virgo and often get really frustrated with the what seems like a lack of motivation within my daughter, but I just take deep breaths and remember that they are children and NEED to stay children as long as we can let them!
Thanks for sharing!
G

GCK Mom said...

I just came across your blog and have to say that I love it!
I do however want to emphasize what others have said "she's 11". My 13 yo has changes her mind about her future profession almost as often as she changes her clothes! Kids need time to be kids and really most people don't know for "sure" what they want to be even in college! I know more people than not that have degrees in areas that are FAR from the fields they are working in. Let her roam and expose her to as much as possible and she will eventually find a nitch that fits her.
BTW - I get the perfectionist aggravations as well - I am a stereotypical Virgo and often get really frustrated with the what seems like a lack of motivation within my daughter, but I just take deep breaths and remember that they are children and NEED to stay children as long as we can let them!
Thanks for sharing!
G

Marlis said...

thanks for your kind post GCK Mom. I think goals are important. I certainly am not expecting her to make life decisions at this point but something small, even a goal for the week or the month is good!