unbalanced intelligence

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Posted by: | Posted on: November 25, 2013

They Worship You

Most kids worship their parents.  Not as in a parents are God sense, but in that delightful kind of cartoon hero-worship.  Its easy to forget that when kids reach the tweens and pre-teens.

…or when they are potty training.

When I was potty training Yeah!, I was exasperated that despite the fact that she KNEW what to do…she didn’t do it.  My aunt said “She’s not doing it to make you mad.  She loves you. She thinks you are wonderful.  She doesn’t want to disappoint you”.  She raised the most loving sensitive son that I have ever met, despite the fact that I remember how frustrated that she was when she was potty training.  (Which, is why I was so affected by her advice).  That perspective may have saved my daughter’s life….figuratively.

One client of mine had a daughter that she was struggling with.  Everything was a battle. But they came to me about school work, specifically reading.  When we worked together she was a joyful little girl.  When her mom came, she was full of angst.  What came out is that she was being scolded for her performance, despite the fact that she was honestly working as hard as she could with the tools she had. I had complete empathy for the situation. I gave the advice of my aunt: “She’s not doing it to make you mad.  She loves you. She thinks you are wonderful. She doesn’t want to disappoint you.”  Then I added, “She feels that you are so wonderful, that she could never be like you.  She’s afraid that you think she’s dumb.”  While I worked on increasing the tools she had at her disposal, her mom worked at being her partner: offering books on tape as a stop gap until her reading skills caught up with her intelligence.

Think about your favorite hero.  Mine was Ender Wiggins from Ender’s Game. (I know…I’m a nerd)  I wanted to be like him….or at least be his friend.  And if Ender Wiggins thought that I was stupid, or mean — or horror of horrors — disappointed in me, I would just about fall apart.  Of course, he’s just a character in a book.  If he was here on earth, like my DAD…well that would be paramount to saying that I’m not worthy to be alive.  So this sweet little tween felt her mother didn’t think she was worthy to be alive.  Mom quickly adjusted, and worked out parent-child contracts about her behavior, and became her big fan regarding her school work. This was paramount to having your hero come down from his or her pedestal to say that you were their best friend. The change was fundamental, and led to increased success in school and better relationship with her mom.

So consider using your child’s worship of you to turn around and pat them on the back.  Be the superhero that says that you are there to be their defender in times of need.  And step into the shadows when they become a teen and *may* not want you to show up at school.

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