Lead with an apology

How do I give advice to a child that is having the same problem fitting in that I do? 

There was a huge amount of conflict at basketball practice yesterday; the result of a week of feedback that she’s being bossy, and when she gets that feedback, she’s being rude. 

Yesterday, I had a meeting with a lady that I had made angry because she kept ignoring the problem I was asking her to solve and saying “my team just did what they were told”.  Okay.  That’s great.  But, what you were told was clearly wrong.  When I got that blunt, she didn’t like it.  Didn’t matter that my original goal was an agreement that “hey, that doesn’t make sense (which she freely admitted).  I think we should change it.”

Both resulted in the same outcome; having to talk to somebody that’s mad and/or defensive.  My advice?  Lead with an apology.  Worked for me yesterday and I told that story to Sydney so she could see that it worked yesterday.  Since she was staring off into the corner of the ceiling, she could have been listening to my story…or she might have been saying the pledge of allegiance over and over in her head.  Who knows. 

But, that doesn’t keep it from being sound advice given.  Whether she can take it or not is up to her.  The really sad thing is how long it took me to learn that lesson so I could give that advice.  No one will more freely acknowledge that there is a reason this child was matched with this adult or that a higher power had something to do with it.  I’ve said it before; she and I could not be more alike if we were genetically related.

My other piece of advice?  Deal with it while you are young because a reputation of “doesn’t play well with others” doesn’t end with childhood and can ruin a career, no matter how smart you are.


Remember yesterday, I was talking about getting out among people?  Well, seems like this weekend, we’re gonna make up for it.  Tonight, I’ll be keeping score at the basketball game.  After that, we are having dinner with Rob’s best friend and his wife.  And, tomorrow, we’re taking LD to lunch. 

The thought of it all makes me quesy.

But, knowing that I am one bad smell away from being a cave dwelling hermit, and not wanting that to progress, actually getting out and among people is the only possible solution.  No matter how much it hurts. 

And, all because I’m afraid they’ll judge something I say or do.  I’ve let myself get so paranoid.  I’ve let a few people tell me so often that what I do is not right and not good enough that I’m starting to believe it.  I don’t sit at table with other people judging whether they have broccoli in their teeth.  But, I sure as heck will judge myself and be embarassed if it happens to me.  Too much inner judgment is a very bad thing.  Too much looking inside and not enough looking outside is a very very bad thing.


And, speaking of doing things with other people, I got six more blocks made for Barb and my “I spy” quilts. 


41 left to go.  Most important lesson learned so far?  Let go of matching.  Donation quilt.  Will not be judged.

Ooooh, just realized how close that sounds to the preceding section. 

It’s Friday.  I am tired.  I am glad this week is ending and I hope to balance some of this “among the people” time with a good old fashioned nap. 

Be well.  Have fun.  Be nice to somebody.  Get out among, even if you just talk to one person. 



Laura said...

That's advice I can use (and I'm 500, so you helped me even if your daughter didn't listen. I like the part where you said that too much inner judgement is a very bad thing.

Laura said...

Oops. I'm 50, not 500.

Elizabeth said...

That chicken (or is it a rooster?) is the best I Spy block ever! Your blocks so far are pretty awesome.

Social situations: blech. I have no advice because I feel the same way. For me, the hardest part is just getting out the door. Hang in there, though, because I will be rooting for you. And don't feel like you have to be social because it is socially acceptable. If it doesn't make your life rich and full, or at least a little bit better, why go through all the agony?

As for having a child who is exactly like you, I have one of those. In some ways it makes parenting easier because I know how to leverage him. But it is harder because I know exactly how he feels and what he thinks and I don't know how to get rid of some of the negative things because I struggle with getting rid of those same negative things.

Anyway, I think you do a really good job of rolling with it. You are very self-aware and your goal is to help Sydney, so that's a win right there. Keep up the good work.

xo -E

Becky said...

Don't be so hard on yourself. Believe me, you are very easy to love! Try it for yourself! Take a deep breath and let it roll.
Love you, Becky

Michelle said...

I see myself in your 'hermit' tendencies. If it wasn't for my husband, I probably wouldn't go anywhere except to work. I used to, all the time, go places by myself, but with the world becoming a scarier place, and my getting older, (I'm 550...Oh, I mean 55) ;) I just tend to stick right close to home. I'm happy here.

As for dealing with people, I'm not good at it, but I'll tell you what my husband does. He is a Service Manager at a car dealership. He deals with unhappy, happy, pleasant, unpleasant, angry, and just plain RUDE people all the time. He does not ever want to become like them. When he has a problem, whether he is upset about something, or just needs advice, he says his leadoff line is, 'Hello, my name is *** ****, I have a problem, and I was hoping you could help me with it.' He believes that sets the mood and makes them both comfortable. He claims it works. I'm not arguing with him, and I believe him, because I let him deal with the things that need dealt with.

I admire your parenting skills, and whether you believe it or not, I believe you and Rob are doing a wonderful job at raising Sydney. I have no doubts she will be a winner in life!

qltmom9 said...

Sometimes people are just too sensitive, but bravo to you for being caring about their feelings and teaching Sydney to do the same.


Ciindy said...

I had that same conversation with my 14yrold this week. It doesn't matter who is right or wrong, sometimes you just have to take the high road and be the one to apologize. (My words were "suck it up and put on your big boy pants") He moaned and groaned but made the apology and realized that it was the better thing to do. Hang in there, 14 year olds are "interesting"...it gets better.

Megan said...

Lane - I'm a hermit by nature, although, like you, I understand the merits of making an effort to 'stay in contact' with others. My approach, though, is to take it gradually: three social events in one weekend would be too too much! I'd much rather one event per weekend for three weekends in a row.

I'm enjoying watching progress on your I Spy quilt. So far, I can say that I've got two of the fabrics in my stash. I'll be interested to see how many more we share.

Sydney, Australia

Carla said...

Good Advice on how to handle someone that you've made mad.
I too have had an issue of feeling judged if I say something stupid or had food in my teeth kinda thing.
Guess what I've learned as I've gotten older and I'm very sure I'm older than you... I got to listening to what the crowd was saying and it was something I was gonna say but I thought they'd say man that lady is weird or stupid. So it's gotten easier to talk to people or in a crowd. I still get really really nervous but I figure what the Hell this is me take me or leave me. Most people leave me LOl not really.
Have an Awesome Day!