A Mystery to You -- and Others
Sometimes you don’t even understand your child’s behaviors. You can’t figure out why your daughter behaves in such an inconsistent, self-sabotaging way. How can she be prepared for a test the night before, only to forget everything when she takes it the next day?
Your mother certainly doesn’t understand. When you ask for help, her refrain is: "All he needs is discipline. You remember what I would do if you ever did that?" You do remember, and you shudder. You’re glad your mom isn’t in charge anymore.
Words such as structure, supervision, and persistence don’t begin to describe the task you have to tackle every day. Your job is greater than you ever expected and more taxing than anyone knows. Some days you just want to give up.
But you don’t, because it’s not in you to do that. You ask, "How long will this take?" It reminds me of the Supremes song, "You Can’t Hurry Love." It’s especially true of the extraordinary kind of love parents give. You have to hang in there with your child, loving him in the face of adversity and the nasty comments you get from people you might otherwise like and admire.
It is hard to listen to some of the things people say about your child. You have to be careful how you respond, because you are trying to build bridges, not burn them. Still, it is tempting -- and perhaps healthy -- to do a little burning now and then for the sake of your child.