I mentioned that my daughter is a humanities girl.  So, after four long years of hard sciences, she is finally able to take a  science class without labs.  Enter psychology- soft science.  Have any of your kids taken psych? Yeah…good times.

After about two weeks of psychology my daughter had already obtained a few theories.  We sat at dinner one evening, and I asked her about her day.  She went through her classes, so far so good in Calculus, AP Comp Gov was really interesting as they talked about the Singapore economy and she’s just read the Crazy Rich trilogy, etc.  Then she got to psychology.  “Hmmm. I don’t know if I should say this.” She said.  Now, the minute someone says a statement like that, I have to know what the statement is.  I will not sleep if I don’t know what the next thought is.  So I pestered her.  Finally, she relented.

“Well” she began, the look of concentration evident in her expression, “You know what you’re biggest failing as a parent is?”

My first thought was, I don’t have any failings as a parent.  I’m perfect.  But to be fair I asked, “No.  What is my biggest failing as a parent?”

“You’re too nurturing.”

I see.  My biggest flaw as a parent is that I’m too nurturing.

I let that sink in for a minute.  I am not known for being warm and cuddly.  When something goes wrong my favorite phrase is “Suck it up Buttercup.” When daughter was in sixth grade she played soccer.  During one game she took a particularly hard hit, went flying and really scraped her face up.  Instead of running onto the field to hug her I gave her a big smile and a thumbs up from the bleachers. When the game was over I took to making sure everything was clean and bought ointment. Practical.  Not overly nurturing.

“How am I too nurturing?” I asked.

“Well” she started.  “If I tell you this, you might stop.”

I just looked at her.

“Ok.  You make my breakfast every morning.  If I’m running late you make my bed for me.  Really, I should be doing these things for myself”

I looked at her again.  “You know, I can stop doing these things for you…I mean, if it’s damaging you as a person and all…”

She looked exasperated.  “See.  That’s why I didn’t want to say anything.  I knew you would get all ‘I’ll stop taking care of you’ and I don’t want that.  I like when you take care of me.”

I smirked. “But is it going to damage you forever?”

“Well” she began “It might eventually effect my relationships.  I might have expectations that my future partner will nurture me and that might not be realistic” and she went off on exactly the things you expect a teenager to say after they’ve had twelve high school level periods in psychology.

So Parents…  We can’t win. No matter what we do, our kids are going to find faults.  They are going to pick apart all our actions and reactions towards them. We will always be too much, or not enough.

Here’s my parenting advice.  There’s nothing we can do or see or read that will make us perfect parents.  Just use your best judgement and try your hardest.  And try not to overanalyze.  They’re going to find something wrong no matter what we do.

 

 

 

64 thoughts on “Psych….

  1. I’m not sure that is called nurturing. I am guilty of being too ‘mothering.’

    I stopped making my daughters bed when she was five. She would walk into my room before school, and see the bed made, and everything tidied up to embrace the day.

    It was just what I did to start the day, so she must have liked what she saw because she would go to her room and do the same. She makes her bed before I do now.

    We learned to cook together, so we take turns making brunch. She is capable of running this house better than me most days and I like it. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have no doubt my daughter can do all these things. She’s way more capable than I am. But I didn’t realize I was ruining her chance of future relationships by being too amazing!!!😉

      Liked by 3 people

  2. A few years ago, they gave THE TALK at my daughter’s elementary school one day. We had already discussed said subject matter, but I was curious to see what interesting info she would present to me when I picked up from school. I didn’t even have to ask. She plopped in her seat, slammed the door, and said in the most annoyed of tones, “Well we had the talk today and I have cramps.”

    She was 8. She didn’t have cramps. But she was certain that she did based on her analysis of the day. I couldn’t help but laugh.

    They will always take something from those classes that they can apply to their own lives. I have always said that I could look on WebMD and prove that I have prostate cancer based on the symptoms. All I need now I a prostate to go with it. 😉

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s so funny that you said this. When I related this story to my friends, one of them said it’s a good thing she’s not going to medical school…a few days
      Later my daughter twinged her foot. After she spent some time on web md I thought she was going to say the only option was amputation….

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 😂 So true!! I’m convinced that our children won’t fully understand us until they’re at least 45, have kids of their own, and at least a few aches and pains. But as imperfect human beings we can never do everything right. And, we’ve had to grow and learn too. I wouldn’t have made all the same choices in raising my daughter now as I did nearly 30 years ago when she was born. I was much younger then. We all grow and gain wisdom as the years go by. But most of us did the best we could with the best intentions I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I can totally relate to this one as our daughter just graduated from college with a degree in Psychology. We, of course, are so proud of her but…her favorite saying now in our family discussions is, “Well, I AM the one with the psych degree.” LOL We just have to do the best we can and hope for good results.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Seriously…we went apple picking yesterday. 90 minute drive home….she talked about difference between socio, psycho and empaths….and she said statistically there should be 5 sociopaths in her grade and she’s trying to figure out who is…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This made me cringe. I was a psych major. I analyzed my poor parents to death! Thank God they were so loving and patient with me. Ugh. Boy did I think I was smart! I know it’s a normal stage, but it must have been super annoying ! To be honest, it’s taken many, many years to stop that bad habit and it still comes up at times. Forgive me when I over-analyze!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The minute I read that she was taking psych I had a feeling it was coming. When she actually talked about your “failure” as a parent I thought wow, and she isn’t walking with a limp? Seriously, why do they teach that to teenagers, it is bad enough when your college freshman comes home for the holidays spouting it as if they are now the experts. So mom, this may affect my relationships in the future, don’t stop doing it, but just to let you know that if it happens I am laying it on your doorstep. If it wasn’t so funny it would be sad.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. it’s all about perspective. You took it great though. Didn’t get all like OMG, and troubled. BTW, even I agree with your daughter. Also, just want to mention here that I love my parents and love that they took care of me. “Over nurturing”, just like you. (though I would not have used the exact same term)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This made me laugh! Your daughter is adorable. And no, Parents can’t win. Lol.
    I’m surprised that was even discussed in psychology. Usually it’s very scientific and the history of basic theories. They don’t often discuss parents except in regard to BF Skinner putting his daughter in a box. (That always creeped me out.) Kids do think they are experts on human behavior after one psychology class. It’s rather funny. Once they become parents themselves they’ll forget all about the class and rely on common sense.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it sounds like it. I love how she internalized the lessons and felt comfortable sharing her thoughts with you. I recall one of my sons telling me he was glad I never put him a box growing up. Lol And the other son thought Pavlov’s study was pretty cool. I then asked him if I should Ring a bell as a stimulus for him to clean his room. Haha Needless to say he didn’t find that funny. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. So true…….it’s hard to parent. And no matter what we do, someone can always find a negative. I suspect you’re not going to let this take up too much of your headspace. I get the impression she’s not too concerned.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well I don’t really see anything wrong with making your daughter’s bed, as long as she has appropriate chores of some type elsewhere in the house. I’ve been unable to teach my kids to make their beds, and since I don’t have time, the beds are always unmade. This makes me feel like a failure as a housekeeper but … keeping a nice tidy house really isn’t on my bucket list. My kids have to wash dishes and take care of their pets.

    As others have said, unfortunately, criticizing your parents’ errors is a developmental stage. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. And it’s not like this was the first time she criticized me!! 😉 she’s actually quite responsible and independent…that’s why 8 thought it was so funny!

      Like

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