easy child got on the honor roll and difficult child and I had a big blowout fight

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Californiablonde, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    So I got an automated phone call from my son's school on Saturday night telling me he made the honor roll and I am invited to a special assembly on Tuesday. We were all out in the livingroom watching a movie when I received the call, and I very nonchalantly told SO about the assembly. I made sure not to over do it. I didn't brag. I didn't compare my kids to one another. All I did was mention to him that I would be taking an hour off of work on Tuesday to go to the assembly.

    Suddendly difficult child flew into a hissy fit. She told me it was SO obvious I was disappointed in her because she will never be as smart as easy child, blah blah blah, and even went as far as to tell me that I mentioned the assembly on purpose just to make her feel bad. I have no idea how she could possibly accuse me of trying to hurt her feelings. I go out of my way never to compare my kids to each other. Yes, there are plenty of times I think inside my head, "Can't difficult child be like easy child and just go to school and do what she's told?" But I never, ever say it to her out loud.

    I told her that maybe one day she could get on the honor roll too if she started going to school on a regular basis. All that did was make it worse. She told me that it was a joke to ever think someone as stupid as her could ever make the honor roll, and I knew it. She accused me of being condescending when that was the last thing I wanted to do. I was trying to give her hope. She was yelling and screaming and trying to make me feel guilty for being proud of easy child.

    I got so upset with her that I went on one of my bipolar support groups on my cell phone to vent. I explained how difficult child was going off on me about easy child making the honor roll. She was sitting next to me on the couch, supposedly watching the movie. Well she wasn't. She actually leaned over and read part of what I wrote to the group. She then accused me of talking smack about her in front of a bunch of strangers. She said I was the worst mother she has ever seen to be talking s*** about her very own daughter. She accused me of telling the group I was disappointed in her, which I never even came close to saying.

    She then told me she was going to go on facebook and put me on blast for being such a horrible parent. I reminded her that we are friends, so I will see anything bad she writes about me. She told me that was the point. She wanted me to feel as bad about myself as I was making her feel. I told her I wasn't trying to talk bad about her, but that our fight upset me and I was seeking support. She then told me that if I wanted to talk about her, I should be talking to family members only and not strangers on the internet. I tried my hardest to make her see my point of view, but to no avail. She ruined the night for me. I no longer wanted to watch the movie and I went to bed early. So am I supposed to never mention easy child's accomplishments in front of her anymore? Should I be feeling guilty for having a proud parent moment? Next time should I just keep my mouth shut? I really feel like difficult child is throwing me under the bus but I feel guilty.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think I know what set your difficult child off and it really isn't that she is angry at you or her sibling. If I got it right, she is angry at herself and feeling very inferior. And your comment set off something close to her surface. Like your difficult child, I had so many learning disabilities and mental health issues that I did poorly in school, although I had the IQ to have done well, if I hadn't had so many other issues in the way. My younger sister always did fairly well plus she had a lot of friends and my brother was a genius. I don't think he ever got any grade from kindergarten to his sixth year of college that wasn't an "A." I am not exaggerating. I was the only one in my family not to graduate from college. Heck, I barely made one semester at a two year college. This made me feel stupid, even though I wasn't, and very poorly about myself. When I heard about the accomplishments of my brother and sister, I felt like jumping off a cliff, literally. In high school I was very depressed.

    My parents learned to talk about my brother and sister's school kudos away from me. I used to throw fits, similar to those that the kids on this site do, even in high school. Because of that, my parents certainly didn't want to incite me to do that as I absolutely could not calm down or be stopped once I'd amped up. I'm not telling you to do what my parents did; I'm taking a guess as to why she was so sensitive about what you said. You hadn't put her down at all, but, in her mind, SHE put HERSELF down and it made her feel badly about herself and then it spiraled out of control.

    Just something to think about...and certainly you did nothing wrong.

    I
     
  3. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    We have been arguing about this nonstop since Saturday. easy child reminded me of the assembly last night and she went off on me again. I went to the assembly today as promised, but I am not going to say another word about it. easy child actually had an even higher GPA last year than this year. He was all straight A's with a 4.0. This year he has four A's and two B's. Last year easy child bragged to everybody about his accomplishments. He really was proud of himself. For some reason it didn't seem to affect difficult child like it does this year. At least she never let on that she was upset back then. Maybe she does feel a little guilty so she's taking it out on me. It just burns me up because I have always been extra careful not to compare my kids to one another. That's the kind of BS their father does. Last year he told difficult child she has no chance of being a success in life, unlike easy child who was going to go far. That really hurt her, and I don't blame her at all for being upset at HIM. But she needs to vent her anger towards the people that deserve it and leave me alone. This morning I texted her before school to ask if she was on the bus. When she told me that she made it on the bus and was on her way to school, I texted her back and told her I was proud of her. I hope that at least accounts for something, and tonight she leaves the drama behind.
     
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You're a good mom. It's her that's the problem...she is overly sensitive because she feels inferior (of course I don't know for sure, but it's a guess). And don't forget that, although you don't say what her father says, her father is a jerk and does say it and it makes her feel bad, even when she isn't with him.

    Honestly, if my parents would have said they were proud of anything I had done I would have been very grateful. They never did, but you do. Don't take it personally. I know it's hard, but I really don't think it's about you at all. Too bad her idiot father doesn't realize how terribly hopeless predictions like his make a child feel. I am sorry you had to go through this, but you really ARE doing a good job with your daughter. I had a lot of her same problems and I would have been so happy to have had a mother who cared that much for me. I'm sure she knows how much you care and is just frustrated with life and herself and, on top of that, she is a hormonal teenager. Ugh!!!
     
  5. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    I have this issue. All 5 of my children have very high IQs but the oldest 2 are lead poisoned and the 2 youngest are dyslexic. difficult child is the only one with no LDs. I have had to watch myself over the years and I sometimes wonder how my lack of cheerleading for difficult child's early accomplishments led to his issues. When he was selected for the Intel group at school (it takes about 5% of a grade), I didn't celebrate. When he became a National Merit commended student, we didn't party. Actually, when I became one my parents didn't even congratulate me because "it would hurt your sister." Ironically, I think my sister is smarter than I am but she doesn't have the ability to channel her intellect.

    easy child just got his ACT scores and they were abysmal. difficult child had a perfect 36 in English. easy child, whose verbal IQ is identical to difficult child's, got a 20.

    I am trying to push baby boy, who's in 9th grade, while not hurting easy child, who's a senior. easy child and oldest boy are both smart enough to do college but oldest boy dropped off and easy child won't even apply. daughter's lead issues involve her math skills so she's becoming an elementary Special Education teacher.

    Congrats on easy child's accomplishment. Here, the honor roll is a joke. One year, 2/3ds of difficult child's class made it - he didn't. He failed math but got a 5 on the AP test for the class!
     
  6. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    It could be that she remembers her father saying that she will never succeed, unlike easy child, and she hears you saying that easy child made the honor roll ands it reminds her of what her father said. She could be feeling guilty because she knows she a smart kid, but her anxiety and her ulcers get in her way of achieving the success that easy child does.

    I'm going to say something and I'm going to shout. Ready? YOU DID NOTHING WRONG!!!!!! You mentioned an achievement that easy child earned and, while I agree that you should not brag or carry on about it, you should let him know that you're proud of him. There are going to be times in difficult child's life when people around her are praised for one thing or another and she has to learn how to deal with that.

    Or is this because she's not the center of attention? That just occurred to me. If you're praising and thinking about easy child, your not thinking about her. Just a thought.
     
  7. svengandhi

    svengandhi Well-Known Member

    Actually, Bunny makes a lot of sense. All kids have to learn to deal with others being praised. I admit I didn't handle it correctly with my kids, but I'm trying. easy child for instance is a phenomenal driver. He's had a full license since January and he's really much better than oldest boy, who's been driving since 2007. Heck, he's better than I am. He also gets to the station on time when it's his turn to pick me up after work, whereas H always keeps me waiting. I make a point to praise his driving skills. Of course, now he thinks I want him to be a bus driver for a living!

    Your easy child deserves to be praised and his family should join in it. I don't believe in empty praise because kids see though it but there has to be something difficult child does better than easy child, besides whine and complain (LOL!) and she should be praised and encouraged.
     
  8. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    Exactly!
     
  9. Californiablonde

    Californiablonde Well-Known Member

    difficult child has a beautiful singing voice and easy child is pretty much tone deaf. I am always telling difficult child she has a great voice and she should try out for choir. She tells me her singing sucks, and I'm just saying she sounds good because I am her mother. Totally not true! easy child sometimes breaks out into song, and I don't say anything. He is totally off key most of the time so I keep my mouth shut and just let him enjoy singing. difficult child should know that I'm not telling her lies, but she refuses to believe it or give herself credit for anything. The kids are going to see their dad this weekend, and I am going to text him beforehand. I know the first thing easy child will do when he sees him is tell him about making the honor roll. I wouldn't put it past their dad to make some snarky comment to difficult child about her not going to school and asking her why she can't be more school oriented like easy child. That's the last thing she needs to hear right now, so I am going to tell him to kindly tell easy child he is proud of him, but then keep his mouth shut and not say anything negative to difficult child. Hopefully he listens!
     
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