Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wasn't helping

It's only been three days, and already my daughter is slowly crumbling under the stress of school, work and preparations for college...most of it self-induced. The fact that she's been PMS'ing for those same three days hasn't helped the situation any either.

My efforts to help calm her and assure her that this is just a temporary bump in the road failed miserably. I know she has more on her plate than she's used to, but my attempts at helping her take a step back and look at the whole picture more realistically just made her more upset. After about 20 minutes, she said she understood what I was trying to do but it wasn't helping and she asked me to leave the room. I wasn't hurt by her request. In fact I was glad she spoke up and asked for what she felt she needed at that moment.

The whole situation is more frustrating than anything, especially since her last attempt at working while in school only lasted two days before she became hysterical and quit. Her excuse that time was that they were making her stay past 9 pm on a school night and she couldn't keep doing that cuz she had homework, AP exams and finals to get through. I knew the homework line was bullshit since she has rarely ever brought homework home, she usually finds the time to get it done during school. As for studying for AP exams or finals, the only studying she did for either of those was for her Chemistry final and she didn't spend much time on that at all.

With a little time management and communication she can easily adapt to her current schedule, which for the most part is temporary. Her job only runs through November because it's a seasonal business and once she applies to the colleges, she just has to wait to hear back.

I know they are scheduling her for more hours than she told them she could work when she started there a couple of weeks ago, so I told her she should contact the person doing the schedule and remind them she has a limit on the hours she can work per week because of school. They agreed to those terms when they hired her, there's no reason she can't reiterate that to them again since they aren't following them.

Another thing she needs to do is accept that she is just a student and can't control how her teachers run their classes. She was complaining about them wasting her time this week and she wants to start learning. It's only been 3 days! What does she expect to learn?!? The first day is spent telling everyone what will be taught and what the teacher expects of their students. The next couple of days and possibly the next week are spent reviewing past material they've learned that they'll need for this year, an educational limbering up of the brain since they've been on summer break for three months. None of this is new to her, she didn't just start going to school as a senior in high school, yet each year she has this strange expectation it'll be different and she only frustrates herself (and me) by assuming otherwise.

As for the whole college process, she was stressing over how she didn't know all the colleges she was applying to yet and what their deadlines were. She's got it in her head that she
must apply to all of them and meet their early application deadlines, which are all in the next two months. I so wanted to tell her she had plenty of time to start looking up the deadline information and putting it into a spreadsheet while she was "busy" doing nothing but laying on the couch watching TV with her boyfriend all afternoon, but she was already too upset by that point and I didn't want to make things worse. Instead I told her that she doesn't need to apply early to every college. Just pick the top 3 she wants to go to and apply to the rest later. Heck, after some time has passed, she may not even want to bother applying to the rest at all.

Today we're talking again and now that she's not so emotional, we've worked together to outline some ideas for how to manage some of her stressors. She's going to research the college deadlines and I'll put them into a spreadsheet for her. She also did send an inter-office email to the woman that does scheduling to remind her of the schedule limits she gave when she applied for the job.

I guess for my part, when she is so emotional in the future, instead of kicking into that "my daughter's hurting, I need to fix things now" mode, I need to remember to ask her what it is she needs from me in that moment. Does she just want to vent, does she want to problem solve, etc. Live and learn.


Post a Comment

<< Home