Life is a daily challenge when the only child you have communicates soley from the “negative”. As a parent you put on a happy face in order to convey enthusiasm at the things the world tells you should make us (and therefor your child) happy! – – But as I reflect more, and in my child’s 15th year, I believe my child is more like me, or like me as a child.
And, as such, looking in the mirror has been a bit painful for me, since well, for – her whole life!!! I now readily and intellectually grasp that my girl will say “no” first, and perhaps re-evaluate later, that she will say only that she hates things, people, events…mixed in with the occassional “loves” said events. Hyperbole and embellishment are her way of life.
This part, the communicative part was not my deal as a kid. I too was quiet and cautious, but when I spoke it wasn’t this all or nothing syndrome… my responses would have been much more measured than what I get from my teenager 🙂 I believe that we do have in common, this need to “peel away the negative” before finding the positive. And, while being a parent tells you to put a smiley face on everything – – this is not reality for everyone, and certainly not for my kid.
I now realize that this “peeling away” is a communication style as well as a way of being. However, this doesn’t make it any easier to adapt to. Wasn’t I a somber child who found joy in sports, the beach, girls and little else? Well, I’ve been dealt a somber child who finds joy in art, horses, and off beat literature. I am still practicing the gentle balance between guiding, letting her be and communicating in her peel away world.