My daughter got accepted into the University of Utah. I suppose that's a big deal. I mean, I know it's not all that common anymore. But I just can't use the standards of the world as my measuring tape. The reality is, she could have gotten into here with her eyes closed. Which lately is how I feel she is doing things.
It is being suggested to me that I don't acknowledge her accomplishments much. I guess my ability to be not easily impressed is costing me some relationship time. Her boyfriend's family bought a huge cake and gave her a party for getting accepted. So they are the heroes and I am the heel. Of course, her boyfriend comes from a family of where nearly everyone had dropped out of high school. That's not an exaggeration nor even does it come with disrespect. It does make clear that they have a different standard of excellence than I have. They see my daughter as this shining beacon in their lives. I suppose I can't argue with this given their perspective.
My perspective is different. I very nearly failed out of high school. I failed out of college my first try. Yet, I managed to get in and graduate from the U of U with two kids and working a full time job. See, I am a goof-up. I am a person of mediocre achievements and I am an alumni of the U. I guess I never thought of getting into the U of U as some amazing achievement; I still don't.
I am glad she is going to college, but given her talents and natural abilities, I am not wowed by it. Add to this the fact that she is, again no exaggeration here, a genius. She was reading at a 12th grade level in the third grade. She exceeded her teacher's ability to teach her math in grade school. I had to find schooling that would challenge her. She entered high school with a goal of MIT. I did not set this goal. I did not pressure this goal. I did promise to all I could to help her get to this goal. Which I did until she told me I needed to back off. Which I did.
Now she is accepted to Utah. I am not saddened by this. But I am not wowed by it either. This has put me in a place of being perceived as a jerk by her and others. Add to this the fact that I almost need to beg her to go to young women's these days. And if the activity isn't just right, she bails. If I try to correct this I am accused of giving her a guilt complex. I can't offer any form of correction, no matter how kind it is offered without a conflict ensuing, the last response was so hurtful, I just had to leave for a while. I am told this is because she is unhappy with me for not praising her.
So now I am needing to change my approach and offer praise as is desired. Which means I need to begin by recalibrating my definition of what is praiseworthy. Maybe I expect too much.