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    #132790 - 06/28/12 07:02 AM x
    master of none Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/08
    Posts: 2946
    h


    Edited by master of none (01/04/14 11:05 AM)

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    #132795 - 06/28/12 07:18 AM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: master of none]
    Iucounu Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/02/10
    Posts: 1457
    Why are you afraid of her success? Is it jealousy or some other feeling based on comparisons with yourself? When you talk to other parents, is it based on the fear of exclusion from the group? Is it based on fear that you won't be able to provide for her needs if she is a star, or that she won't need you so much as a parent?

    Is this really just a behavior pattern learned from your own parent(s)?

    I'm mostly just tagging this thread out of interest, and I don't have any expert advice, but I think you're taking the first step by being self-aware. You could try making specific efforts, planned in advance, to say specific things to encourage your daughter. It might get easier as you go on.

    Some of your comments may actually be having the effect of spurring your daughter on, if she wants to prove to you what she can do.
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    #132797 - 06/28/12 08:09 AM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: Iucounu]
    ColinsMum Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Originally Posted By: Iucounu
    Why are you afraid of her success? Is it jealousy or some other feeling based on comparisons with yourself? When you talk to other parents, is it based on the fear of exclusion from the group? Is it based on fear that you won't be able to provide for her needs if she is a star, or that she won't need you so much as a parent?

    Or are you afraid something bad will happen to her if/when she beats others? Did something bad happen to you?

    There are, actually, many reasonable fears in this area - but there are probably better strategies available than sabotage :-) I agree that being self-aware is hugely important, but I for one find that hard in these areas that are emotionally fraught.

    Some of my feelings about DS's success are pretty complicated, too, but as I try to articulate them into a succinct paragraph to see whether there are things in common with what you're saying, I fail... Parenting a very unusual kid is not easy, and neither is being one, and I find my feelings on parenting one get mixed up with leftover feelings about being one. I don't think I sabotage (him!) but I do other weird things. I find it very hard to trust his teachers and school, even though they've been great so far, and I'm sure this is because mine failed me, for example. When I talk to a teacher (e.g. at a candidate senior school) who just doesn't get him, I am infuriated, but also in an odd way I relax - this attitude I understand!
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    #132805 - 06/28/12 09:08 AM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: master of none]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Oh dear. I can certainly identify with THIS:

    I find my feelings on parenting one get mixed up with leftover feelings about being one.

    and

    ...in an odd way I relax - this attitude I understand!


    Yes. In my case, I have a conditioned response that being proud of one's accomplishments and attributing them to skill/practice/effort, and/or being confident is all fine.... as long as it is regarding 'average' ability or accomplishments, that is.

    Once it goes beyond that, it goes direcctly into the domain of-- well, being fat-headed and insufferably rude/arrogant. I guess that in this world-view, the exceptional musicians, atheletes, and chess players are all "someone else." wink Yes, some baggage on that score. No wonder I developed imposter syndrome in a big way and have trouble being assertive. This was my thanks to own mother, by the way.

    This was the only way that she had of relating my HG+ behaviors to her own world-view-- to frame this as "not real" aside from in my head, and to coach me to: a) fall short/fail, and b) doubt myself and keep my mouth shut. Otherwise I was anomolous to the point of being "does not compute," so it was easier for her to 'take me down a peg' (sabotage) so that I wouldn't do those things that made it hard for her to accept who/what I was.

    I am so fearful of doing that to my daughter, and I just CRINGE when I hear myself talk about her sometimes, because I cannot just make a complimentary observation about her to others. I have this pathological need to add "yeah, that part is terrific, but {this other thing she does is sure annoying/immature/dumb}." Just to make sure that they know she isn't insufferably arrogant and neither am I. frown


    This is complicated by resentment and, yes, even overt jealousy sometimes. Resentment because my DD's every success is evidence of how spectacularly my own parents failed to actually nurture me or give me what I needed as a gifted child, and sometimes, even toward DD who doesn't "appreciate" all that she has that I didn't. I'm also jealous of her. Maybe 'envious' is the better term, but when she turns into a passive, uninterested slug who doesn't care about any of the extraordinary opportunities she has... well, then I get pretty grumpy over it. She certainly lacks a lot of the drive and motivation that I had... which, yes, makes me even angrier at my own (long-gone) parents.


    Being self-aware is a very good start. I know that I've been able to avoid a lot of the subtle sabotage by simply addressing things OVERTLY with my DD.

    "Are you afraid that if you win _________, {friends} will feel bad? Be angry with you?"

    "It's okay to sometimes do less than your absolute best. There are lots of reasons to do that sometimes-- maybe you're just tired, or you don't want to win that day."

    I also ask a lot of questions about the social dynamics of success, to make sure that my DD isn't self-handicapping without being aware of it. This is very important with a HG+ girl, particularly in adolescence. It's all so very complicated for them.


    Complicated for us as parents, too. It's amazing to me how seductively 'comfy' those dysfunctional patterns are, when I find myself slipping into that "yeah, but" meme that I learned from my mother.

    I've never seen this overtly addressed in any books on GT parenting. The places that do discuss it tend to do so in the context of dysfunctional parenting related to substance abuse/mental illness. Relating to the negative patterns that we learn and not having a template for doing 'better' there, I mean.

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    #132844 - 06/28/12 12:52 PM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: master of none]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Hi MON - It's very beautiful that you have a vision of what you want to create.

    I'd recommend you start small, and work your way towards the full picture of what you want.

    One possible babystep might be the 'Active Recognitions' described in the 'Transforming your difficult child' books
    Originally Posted By: http://www.thesuccessfulparent.com/discipline/giving-recognition

    Active Recognition
    Active recognition can be compared to offering a verbal snapshot that notices the child's ordinary actions and moods. It is simply describing in detail what you see your child doing or feeling in any given moment. Some examples are as follows:

    "I see you are building a house with two windows, a door, and a chimney. It looks strong enough to avoid being blown down by a storm."

    "I noticed you were practicing your free throws outside for a long time. You seemed frustrated when you couldn't get the ball to drop in easily."

    In each of these examples there is recognition of what is being done - the activity itself and the child's involvement in it. In the second example the recognition extends to how the child is feeling during the course of the action. You'll notice that both statements are fairly detailed and are devoid of any sort of commentary or judgement. Both of these characteristics are very important. The detail lets the child know that you really are paying attention. If you said something more general such as "nice house" or "good free throws," the comments lose their punch. The details let the child know you are observing very carefully what he's doing. The added attention to the feeling or mood communicates deeper attentiveness and caring on your part, as well as understanding. The lack of commentary or judgement allows the statements to stand as they are, simply as recognition. The child feels both noticed and accepted.


    If I were in your shoes, I might set the timer on my watch to ring every 45 minutes. When I heard the timer, I would take 3 slow deep breaths, and then find my kid and try an 'Active Recognition.' Then I'd take 3 more deep breaths - like a deep breath sandwich. If my kid wasn't around, I'd go ahead and practice on who ever I could find, including myself. That might sound like this: 'Right now I'm sitting in front of the computer and writing a post. I'm feeling nervous that it might not be helpful, but in spite of my perfectionism, I'm plowing ahead anyway. I'm doing this excersize even though it feels really unnatural.'

    Love and More Love,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #132846 - 06/28/12 01:06 PM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: master of none]
    Evemomma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/17/12
    Posts: 451
    Great advice, Grinity. Another book that really speaks to how our words effect our kids is "Talk So Your Kids Will Listen and Listen So Your Kids Will Talk".

    My dh is beyond humble, often self-effacing. I have been concerned with our kids picking up on this fear of pride he has. I asked him to do this when he receives a compliment or accolade: smile and say "Thank You"...and not diatribe about the 20+ ways that the complimentor (my new word?) is sorely mistaken. Whether he gnaws his inner cheek raw is his on prerogative.

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    #132849 - 06/28/12 01:27 PM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: Evemomma]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Evemomma
    My dh is beyond humble, often self-effacing. I have been concerned with our kids picking up on this fear of pride he has. I asked him to do this when he receives a compliment or accolade: smile and say "Thank You"...and not diatribe about the 20+ ways that the complimentor (my new word?) is sorely mistaken. Whether he gnaws his inner cheek raw is his on prerogative.

    That's a tough one. We also had trouble with 'what to say when one makes a bad throw' - it got a bit elaborate.
    _________________________
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    #132853 - 06/28/12 02:14 PM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: HowlerKarma]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2638
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma

    This is complicated by resentment and, yes, even overt jealousy sometimes. Resentment because my DD's every success is evidence of how spectacularly my own parents failed to actually nurture me or give me what I needed as a gifted child, and sometimes, even toward DD who doesn't "appreciate" all that she has that I didn't. I'm also jealous of her. Maybe 'envious' is the better term, but when she turns into a passive, uninterested slug who doesn't care about any of the extraordinary opportunities she has... well, then I get pretty grumpy over it. She certainly lacks a lot of the drive and motivation that I had... which, yes, makes me even angrier at my own (long-gone) parents.


    I don't know the details of your family life, but if they provided for you and did not mistreat you, that should count for a lot. Parents thiry or fourty years ago loved their children, but I think they typically had a more laissez-faire approach, trusting the schools to educate their children and not thinking they needed to be always be supervising or stimulating them.

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    #132861 - 06/28/12 02:59 PM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: Bostonian]
    Grinity Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/13/05
    Posts: 7207
    Loc: Connecticut
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    if they provided for you and did not mistreat you, that should count for a lot.

    As far as I can tell, that does count for a lot, and yet the nature of a lot of us is to be completely filled with both gratefullness for the good and with regret for what 'might have been.' That way we have 'access' to all of the availible information. All the possible truths of the situation. Make sense?
    Love and More Love,
    Grinity
    _________________________
    Coaching available, at SchoolSuccessSolutions.com

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    #132862 - 06/28/12 03:00 PM Re: Parental Fear of Success [Re: master of none]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Agreed, Bostonian. My family life was borderling neglectful and chaotic, and my parents were too engrossed in their own problems to pay any attention to me, which is how they wanted it. They didn't want involvement in extracurriculars or awards ceremonies any more than they wanted conferences with teachers and behavioral interventions. KWIM? It's not unjustified resentment/bitterness, it's just not helpful or particularly healthy at this point in my life.

    I also have to guard against pushing DD to do things that I wanted to do (but couldn't) as a kid. When she fails to appreciate those things, I really have a hard time not feeling irritated, which isn't rational.

    On the bright side, there is no WAY that I am that bad a parent, no matter how horribly I might mess up the little things on occasion. So I do have that, and many parents don't. smile

    Great advice, Grinity!! Love that technique of active recognition!


    Edited by HowlerKarma (06/28/12 03:01 PM)
    Edit Reason: clarification of which post of Grinity's I meant
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