It feels like you are hoping she will show LOVE for you by doing these things in the house. Is there a hint of emotional truth in that?
Yes, I must admit there is quite a bit of truth in that statement. My 7 year old is always asking to help me, she WANTS to please me by doing what I ask her to do. I wish my 15 year old had the same attitude. I know, I know . . . they’re not the same person. (Can’t stop me from secretly wishing it, though :).
I will have to adjust my thinking on this and as you say realize that she has to love me in HER way. I have to stop expecting her to show love the way I would show love.
And yes, your post has helped me realize that there ARE things she does that please me. It wasn’t until I read your post that the light bulb kind of went off. She brings up things she’s heard on the news, (I’m a news junkie), and I enjoy the questions she asks me about politics and religion. She likes to tell me about the Japanese animation shows she watches on You Tube. The more I think about it, the more I can see things she does in her own way to show love. I will have to work on managing my expectations for her.
Have you ever told her that you get anxious when things are not tidy? Have you ever told her that it would make you happy and proud for her to learn the life skills needed to take care of herself in the house?
No, I don’t think I’ve ever really explained it to her as something that gives me anxiety. Maybe if I explained to her she’d be more understanding.
I will say though just this morning I had a chance to talk to her about the dishes. I told her I am very proud that she is so responsible with her school work and I just wish she was as responsible when it came time to do the dishes. I asked her why when doing the dishes she always forgets something. I asked her if there was anything I could do to help her remember everything she needed to do. She said she didn’t know.
She didn’t know why she forgets and didn’t know what I could do to help her.
Well, I just told her that if she wants to drive a car next year she has to be more responsible with doing the dishes. I said, how can I trust you’ll be responsible enough to take care of a car if you can’t be responsible enough to do all of the dishes?
I said, I don’t expect you to be perfect and remember everything all of the time, but I do expect you to remember MOST of the time, the same way you remember to always do your homework.
She said okay. Hopefully that will be enough to motivate her to put more effort into doing the dishes.
Thanks for your post, livinglife. You’ve helped me realize a lot about myself and my daughter, things I’ve been pushing down and didn’t even realize. I was raised in a cult, and was kicked out when I was 18. When I was kicked out I had so support system and suffered a lot because my parents had not taught me a lot of basic life skills. As a result, I think I might be a little obsessed with making sure my children are able to take care of themselves. Okay, I admit it. I am obssesed.
Yes, I do want to feel close to my children. I never had a good relationship with my mother, and I never want to be the kind of woman she was - mean, cold, abusive. I'm afraid I may be trying to make up for the way my mother was.