As an addict involved in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program, I had to dig deep to find and embrace my inner Mormon. What follows is my journal from this point forward.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The standard of Praiseworthy

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.

1 comment:

  1. As one of her teachers (a private tutor nonetheless!), I see what you see. That girl really IS amazing. Unfortunately it takes motivation behind the brain power to take the genius to the level of "viable." She will turn out great, I'm sure.