Should I Be Upset About This...?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by DaisyFace, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Before the holidays...there was a thread about difficult children selling/trading their gifts...

    Now here I am, with a situation that is almost like that.

    A few years ago, difficult child was taking music lessons. She hated it. Hated practising. Complained all the time. So we stopped paying for lessons and stopped renting the instrument (a viola).

    After lessons stopped, difficult child decided that she LOVED it - and we were mean for taking the lessons away. After she received some birthday money, she bought herself a student-quality viola and began playing in her spare time. OK - no problem.

    This summer, she developed a crush on a guy who plays guitar - so difficult child decided that she must also have a guitar (even though she doesn't know how to play). husband gave her some advice on buying a nice guitar, but difficult child didn't listen to him...and instead she convinced a friend to give her an old rusty guitar that she was not using. Then difficult child was frustrated that the rusty guitar was not working insisted on buying some new strings for it....which didn't now she wants even better strings PLUS

    she decided that the real problem is that she needs an electric guitar. So she's been trying to figure out how to buy an electric guitar for very little money.

    THEN she decided she really needs an electric keyboard....and where can she get one of those for no money? And Mom and Dad are mean because we are not helping her find a keyboard.

    Which brings us to Christmas - difficult child decided that what she wanted more than anything in the world was a violin.

    Really? A violin? Well....I wasn't about to buy her a violin. She doesn't know how to play violin - and there are a lot of other things she needed first....a new winter coat, for example. But difficult child was insistent: violin. She told me she really wanted to learn to play violin and it goes so well with her viola and yadda, yadda, yadda - this re-kindled interest in string instruments seemed like such a positive thing...I decided that maybe this was a thing I should be supporting.

    So I spent a pretty penny on a brand-new violin.

    And here we are, less than two weeks after Christmas - and difficult child has announced that now that she has a violin...she can sell those other instruments..or better yet - trade for a used electric guitar...'cause that's really the instrument she wants - violin is just a hobby that she can teach herself...

    and...oh by the way...she already has a deal made with this girl she barely knows at she will be trading the viola and the old guitar tomorrow...but it's a really good

    I feel like SUCH an idiot.

    I would not have bought the violin if I had realized that...a) she had no intention of actually persuing violin...and b) that she would use the new violin as a justification for trading in the viola (which is the only instrument she actually learned how to play)...

    but husband feels that I am upset about nothing. If difficult child wants to sell her stuff - it's hers to sell.

    I just feel like *I* am the one who got *played*. It's too soon for this to have been a random deal. I think the trade was arranged before Christmas...

  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I understand how you feel. If she was looking to trade the violin that you just bought for her I would probably feel the way that you feel and would not allow her to trade it away. But, since she bought the viola with her own money and the guitar that she got was given to her, I would say to just let it go.
  3. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    The difference between difficult child and Onyxx?

    Onyxx wouldn't have told us!!!

    Seriously speaking, I'd be peeved, too. But... I'd say let it go. It's hardly easy to do, but you have too much other stuff to worry about!!!

    (Although - maybe... The other girl's Mom may not be so thrilled... Let difficult child find that out LOL!!!)
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Thanks, Bunny--

    That's what husband says, too.

    I don't know what I was expecting....I guess I keep hoping for something...more....I don't know......"Wholesome"...I guess.

    Going back and starting up with lessons for string instruments seems "wholesome" - making deals over used instruments at school just doesn't.
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, I agree... Reserve energy for a more important battle.
  6. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Oh, you'll LOVE the way we found out. Yesterday was the first day back from school...and difficult child casually mentions that now that she has a violin, she hardly ever touches those other instruments any more (yeah, it's been all of ten days...)...and so she was thinking know....maybe selling the guitar and the viola...and what did I think?

    I told her that she shouldn't sell the viola -

    which set her off completely. She began telling me how she's already got at least six offers already and she has to take the instruments to school tomorrow because *everyone* wants to look them over and besides, R is bringing her electric guitar and it's a really good trade...

    So clearly, it was already a done deal - but she needed a way to explain why she'd be loading up a viola and a guitar to take to school tomorrow.
  7. zaftigmama

    zaftigmama New Member

    I don't know as much about this as other people do--my kids are little still. But from my point of view, this doesn't seem so bad. If she were trading the violin you just bought her, yes, I'd be furious. But she bought the viola with her own money and the other stuff--the crappy guitar, etc--she's finding a way to get these things without harassing you or stealing. What she's doing is kinda short sighted and dumb, but so's a lot of other kid stuff...
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Your initial post reminded me of those Robert Mundch (spelling...Iforgot how to spell his last name) books. FIrst they want one thing then beg for anohter and then there comes a bunch of adventures as the items escalate. Kind of like a dr suess book too....

    Not making light but it just hit me that real life can seem so story like at times...

    I would be bugged too but I am glad you are willing to vent it out... in the big picture, yeah, she is not doing anything terrible, just annoying in a way.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Well, I have two initial thoughts:

    1) I would be upset about the deception and manipulative behaviour.
    2) When I give a gift, it becomes the recipient's property to do with as she pleases. If I think that I will be upset by how that person treats the gift, then I don't give it. I only give something that I can part from with a clear mind and heart.

    How I would handle it?

    I wouldn't show any overt anger. Our difficult children seem to feed off it like a drug. Even if you're seething inside, don't let her see you sweat since that's part of her triumph in tricking you.
    I would change how I treat gift giving in the future. I wouldn't get her anything that's so meaningful to you that it exposes you to hurt. If getting her a musical instrument will get your hopes up that she's turning herself around and making positive choices, only to lead to more heartache when she doesn't - AGAIN - then I wouldn't do it. And I wouldn't do it for a very long time.

    For example: It's been more than 6 years since I've believed anything my difficult child has to say without concrete, independent evidence (i.e. the word of someone whose information cannot be influenced by difficult child, my own eyes, etc.) In that time he has told me the truth on several occasions. But I still don't believe him, because the breach of trust was so fundamental that I don't think it can ever be fixed. If it can, it will take a very. long. time. So...I changed my behaviour accordingly, so as not to expose myself to harm from his lying.

    It's a very hard thing, but putting aside our hopes and dreams for our difficult children and letting them live entirely with their actions and the consequences of them seems to be the best armour for our hearts. Strangely enough, it also seems to be incentive for them to shape up and start making an effort. When they see that Mom isn't living and breathing just for their every whim but has a life of her own in which they're not the central focus, they sometimes try to get back on our radar by behaving properly.

    Just my $0.02.
  10. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Yes, you are right. In the grand scheme of things (and compared to some things she has done in the past) this is really not a battle worth fighting.


    Yes - "short-sighted and dumb" is a good description


    LOL! You're right! And I didn't even realize how much of this (I want this - now I want that) had been going on before I typed it all out here. Maybe if I had typed it all out beforehand I would have seen that the violin was just another in a long line of instruments difficult child just *had* to have...could have saved me the trouble.


    I think you've hit the nail on the head! It's not the viola or the violin or even the money I spent on it - it's the lying and manipulation....AND the fact that I allowed myself to get s*cked in to yet another good story about how difficult child is headed in a positive direction.

    Just like with StepTo2's daughter - it's not about the's the deception.

    Because truthfully, if difficult child had come to me in, say, six months...and said the exact same thing about no longer playing the viola or guitar since she had the violin - I probably wouldn't have felt badly about it. I might have even encouraged her to sell it to a new student just getting started in string intruments.

    Just like if I had purchased a sweater as a gift - and it turned out that difficult child didn't like the color or the style...I could have returned it and not had a moment of upset.

    Instead...the whole thing just feels rotten.

    A few months ago, difficult child asked husband if she could have $$ to go buy DS a birthday gift. Well, husband was thrilled with this idea! He thought difficult child was being so thoughtful and generous wanting to buy a gift for her brother - he handed over the cash and dropped her off at the store. He was so proud...

    until he picked her up. difficult child had spent the money on herself. She had a shopping bag full of makeup, hair accessories, and jewelry.

    And yes, she did buy a gift for DS - she spent $0.99 on a bag of candy for him.

    husband was furious....and difficult child couldn't understand why. After all, she explained, she had searched the WHOLE STORE (Walmart) and there was NOT A THING that DS would have she bought some stuff for herself instead.

    husband would never have given her the money if he knew she was just going to spend it on makeup...
  11. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT had two clarinets...that she sold to get an electric guitar...which she couldn't she traded it for an old-school camera that she hated using...which she sold on ebay.

    If you give a difficult child a musical instrument...
  12. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    LOL! Sounds like the name of a children's book...
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Kinda sounds Robert Munch-ish... "If you give a mouse a muffin..." or something like that, is one of his books.

    But... difficult children and musical instruments... are either worst enemies... or best friends.
    Ditto, pets.
  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    OK - I will say it.

    And this behavior surprises you? Stop expecting more than you are ever going to get from your difficult child. Seriously, your life will get soooo much easier and happier if you just stop expecting difficult child to do X, Y or Z.

    I have said this many times on the site. My eye opener was when my difficult child looked at me and said, "Why are you always trying to change me. I like who I am the way I am." Well - I certainly was not trying to change her or turn her into something she was not. I was just trying to parent her and help her be the best she could be.


    I was trying to change her. I was trying to make her into what I thought she should be. That was when I picked up on the non-parenting technique and my life improved since then. And so did my difficult child. It was not instantaneous of course, but she was a better kid without parenting. I had no idea it would work, but it did. I never imagined that one as I dreamed of having children - for sure.
    She was about your difficult children age when I started it.

    Today I get no smart mouth responses, no annoying looks or eye rolls, she works full time, has her own apartment, pays her bills on time. I could not ask for more.

    OK - I could, but I will not. And she is happy so that is all that matters.
  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Yes - I have to work on this.

    And really, the fact that I am upset is really MY fault....because I am the one who got caught up in the story of pursuing the string instruments - and I thought I was being supportive.

    I guess that a big part of my problem is that I really REALLY wanto to believe my difficult child when she tells me something. I'm still learning that the "story" I hear is just a cover for something else.
  16. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I think it's very understandable that you want to be able to believe your daughter. Just another of the difficult "letting go"s involved in parenting a difficult child, I suppose.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    The trade for the electric guitar is now "on hold"....

    seems difficult child is starring in a movie instead.

    (Yeah, I don't know, either...)
  18. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I hope it's more Dawson's Creek than some of the stuff on YouTube...

    ...And no, I'm not surprised, either...
  19. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Dawson's Creek??? Oh, I seriously doubt it...
  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Hey, I can dream, can't I?!?!