Friday, July 8, 2011

Why kids arent like model airplanes


Maddie has been a bit of a challenge for me.

For those of you who don't know Maddie she is my middle daughter.  She is 14 going on 40.  She is sweet and smart and loving but she is also strong willed and a pain in the neck particularly when she  doesn't get what she wants.

And she wants a lot.

Most of the challenge is due to the fact that she is growing up entirely too quickly.  To date she has had approximately 4 boyfriends, (one was kind of teeny, so he only rounds up to one).

My sister tells me that I shouldn't worry that things aren't that different from when we grew up.

Not true.  When we grew up we stayed in the basement watched Dr Who and the Prisoner on TV and built model airplanes.  (didn't we???)

Well I did anyway.

I can build an messerschmidt with the best of them. Unfortunately putting together a kid isn't like putting together a plastic plane.

Kids don't come with instructions,  (in case I am wrong and there actually are instructions, someone could shoot me over a copy it would be much appreciated.)

So you are left winging it.  and with a child who is verbally far more nimble than you this can be very challenging.

So in summary this is my parenting style.

Listen carefully
Don't say anything for as long as humanly possible.
Start talking, look at fiancee out of the corner of your eye to see if you are doing OK.
    (a) If not doing OK, backpedal
    (b) If doing OK press on
    (c) In any case do not acknowledge that you got help from fiancee.

If you say accede to her demands, you're home free.

If you say no deal with either pleading, then anger, then weeping

try to remember that anger is real, weeping is (usually) fake

reassess backpedaling

accept the fact that she probably got what she wanted  in the first place.

move on to next crisis.

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