Monday, May 05, 2008

Breaking My Heart

No matter how great a job you think you are doing as a parent, there comes a moment every now and then that just breaks your heart … a moment when your failings as a parent are not only highlighted, and brought to your attention, but are thrown back at you and smack you right in the face. Maybe even chipping a tooth or two. I had one of those moments this morning.

Brayden, who I love more than the drops of water in the ocean and the grains of sand on the beach ….. drives me absolutely batshit crazy sometimes. She and I are SO much alike that it’s no wonder we know all the buttons to push to drive one another right over the edge.

She has this really annoying (in my opinion) habit of suddenly developing whatever illness or ailment that anyone else in the family might have. A few weeks ago Kellen was having trouble getting a loose tooth out and having some pain … suddenly Brayden had a sore tooth as well. If Kendrie needs tylenol for any reason, suddenly Brayden has a headache and needs tylenol as well. If anyone falls down and scrapes a knee, she'll suddenly remember an old (healing quite nicely, thank you) injury that absolutely MUST have a bandaid right now. Quite frankly, it makes me nuts.

This morning, Blaine was saying that his throat is sore (from allergies, we think) and wouldn’t you know it, not two seconds later Brayden was talking with a raspy chain-smoker voice and holding her hand dramatically over her throat and complaining about how much it hurt.

(eye rolling)

She was mad at me this morning because what she wanted to wear wasn’t clean. Then, she wouldn’t get her jacket when it was time to go. Then, as we were walking to school, her jacket was too hot. And her backpack was too heavy. She started dragging her feet and when I told her to stop (because is there any sound in the world more annoying than kids shuffling their shoes along the pavement?) she told me it wasn’t her fault that her new shoes were too big. I reminded her that we need to start her book report tonight and she informed me that it is my fault she hasn’t finished the book because I haven’t read it with her. Then when I reminded her to come to the car quickly after school today because we have piano lessons, she told me it wasn’t her fault that sometimes the teacher keeps her late. And she asked me to go buy her new colored pencils and when I told her she could make do for the last three weeks of the school year with the pencils she has, she told me it wasn’t her fault they were getting worn out.

Every comment I made, she had a rebuke. Every question I asked, she had a snotty retort. Every request that she made was made with arrogance and the assumption that I was clearly put on this earth to do her bidding, but heaven forbid I ask her to take responsibility for anything. Ever.

About this time, I reached my limit and I said in a loud, exasperated voice, making the appropriate arm and hand gestures to indicate my full level of annoyance “Yes, Brayden, I know, NOTHING is ever your fault!” Which of course made her mad, so that when we arrived at school she stomped off to her classroom without even telling me goodbye.

Gosh, I love the pre-teen years.

Ok, now, some background information:

Twice a year (I think) the kids’ new school has a special assembly program where students are “Knighted”. Each elementary teacher can select two (I think) students from her class to receive this honor. Friday morning during assembly, a real-live knight from some real-live knight organization or association or whatever comes to the school. He talks about honor and respect and personal responsibility, and what it takes to earn “knight-dom” and the honor that comes with it. Then, he calls the selected students up in front of the entire school to “knight” them ceremoniously. The kids get a medal and a certificate and there are dozens and dozens of parents there with cameras and video recorders. And the kids who have been knighted in years past are encouraged to bring their medals, also.

It’s actually a pretty big deal at this school, and most of the teachers don’t tell the students ahead of time who has been chosen, so the suspense and excitement of that morning reaches a really high peak during the ceremony, with lots of clapping and cheering. I saw the last knight ceremony and the guy was fabulous – completely playing up the honor and importance of it, and making the kids who receive it feel fantastic.

So, back to this morning. I had received an e-mail from Kellen’s teacher last week that he was selected to be knighted on Friday. I was a little surprised, considering he’s only been at this school four months, but pleased nonetheless. He has no idea that it’s coming (so please, if you read this, don’t let it slip to him) but I think he’ll be pretty excited about it.

This morning, when I walked Kendrie to her room, her teacher pulled me to the side and whispered the good news that Kendrie is also being knighted this Friday.

And as thrilled as I am for Kellen and Kendrie, a not-so-little part of my heart hurts for Brayden.

She doesn’t deserve to be knighted; I’m under no delusions that she’s being ripped off or anything. Although she LOVES her new school, she struggles more with grades and attitude than the other two. She talks a lot in class, she’s easily frustrated, she changes friends (I hate you! I love you! You’re my BFF! Don’t ever talk to me again!) like any normal eleven year old girl. And, there was that pesky suspension that I’m still not telling the internet about. So I understand why she’s not being chosen for the same honor as the other two.

But all I could think of were the hurtful, frustrated words I said to her this morning, and how on Friday morning both her siblings will receive an award that she will never receive. Once you go to middle school, there are no more knightings. So the younger two are receiving this honor in record time, and she’ll never receive it at all.

And it struck me how my job as a parent is to bolster their self-esteem, and remind them of the very unique, individual gifts that make each of them special. To help them find constructive ways to work through their problems; to help them grow with respect and admiration and self-confidence, and to let them know how very much we love them no matter the awards they do, or do NOT, receive. And how this morning all I did was take my frustration out on an eleven year old girl ….

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t think it’s my job to shelter them from all of life’s disappointments. Sometimes they need to learn through the consequence of their actions, blah blah. But still, I *know* how left out she’s going to feel on Friday morning and instead of using this morning as a caring, loving, nurturing opportunity, to let her know how much I love her even when she’s having a bad morning, I snapped and was snarky and rolled my eyes at her.

God, I suck.

58 comments:

Trish in Leeburg, VA said...

Maybe you could have a special something for Brayden on Friday evening? Kinda like her very own knighting? Just to help her feel less left out. Just a thought. I would feel bad too, although I totally get that not everyone can get every honor all the time (and by no means do I think they should). But personally I would think it sucked if my sibs got a big honor and I didn't.
Anyway, I love reading your parenting pieces because it gives me glimpses of what I am going to face in years to come. Raegan is only 10months now, but I can already see her attitude shine through when she isn't getting her way. SO keep them tips coming!

Anonymous said...

I had a daughter like that.....oh wait....I WAS a daughter like that. I'm quite certain I can assure you that she will get her share of rewards. We all get there in our own way, on our own schedule, some with more bumps and bruises than others. This may not be her week to shine, but she'll have her own moments to be very proud of herself. I just know it!

M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

My question to you is, "why do you let Brayden bait you?" My only answer to my own punk was "bummer." I bit my tongue and rolled my eyes and stuck my head in the closet and swore like a pirate but she never "got" to me....well, better put, she never saw me look like she got to me. There were no slamming of doors or yelling from her...and we survived the teens...well, 19 in two weeks...and we're both intact to prove it.

We also had times when 2 kids got something and one was left out- bummer...but there will be a time when she gets hers and they won't...that's how it is- no matter what it hurts mom more than the kids! Believe it or not :)

Haley said...

I agree with Trish, perhaps some mother-daughter time will make Brayden feel special, too. Maybe you could get your nails done together; something fun that is just the two of you. As for this morning's events, you had no way of knowing what the day had in store. And, there is no reason to beat yourself up over today, just look to tomorrow and make it a better day.

Kristi said...

You don't suck. You are human.
I disagree with doing something special with just Brayden on Friday. That takes away from Kendrie and Kellen's big day. It's their day. It sucks that Brayden isn't getting knighted and I'm glad I'm not in your shoes on that one ;) But..... sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles. I hope she can be the bigger person and be happy for her brother and sister. Good luck to you on Friday!

Natalie said...

You don't suck. You're human!

mom25in5 said...

Hey!

I have one of those in my house too...11 and already a sulking teenager (is that even possible?!). If we don't BUY HIM EVERYTHING he's miserable... :)

Here's how we handle the "someone else got something you didn't" in a family of 5 - we make a big deal for the one (or 2...) who are getting the special thing - and remind the others of a time that they got to do something special. It's the closest we can come to "suck it up" and still be nice! We don't do something over the top special for the one who's left out...they will have their day in the sun and then someone else gets left out.

This happens frequently with this many kids - and you don't suck. I think Brayden will probably be the first to admit she doesn't deserve this award, and that's what you need to prop her up about. She'll be more ticked at herself about that one fact then that her siblings got it and she didn't.

We face this situation almost daily with a child who has Type 1 diabetes and who gets the bulk of attention all the time. You've been there, you remember the times that one gets more...you didn't suck then, and you don't now.

Hugs & love,

Kim

They're-sleeping-whoohoo! Mom to;

Daniel-13
Scott-11
Bryan-9
Sarah-8
Dana-8

Brandi said...

My Alysia sounds just like Brayden and she's only 8!! You are a great mother, you dont suck! I think that maybe Friday evening you guys can discuss the things that are great about all of your children. Lots of ice cream would be good too :) & maybe a lil trip by Sonic for yourself! Treats always bring families closer lol!!

Donna said...

You so do NOT suck!!!! For me this is the hardest part of parenting--letting them realize that they will not always succeed, that they will not always get what the other guy gets. I hate it when it is my kid, even if it is partly or wholly his fault (not much better when some of your kids are on the happy end as well). But our kids have to know that we can be annoyed as hell with them and still love them. That we can yell sometimes and still love them. That they can fail and we will still love them. If we never yelled and forgave or asked forgiveness, how would they know it was OK to argue with their future spouse and not have to fear an immediate divorce? How would they learn that we can disagree, loudly at times, and still be there for each other when it counts?

It's gonna hurt that she doesn't get knighted. And I don't know what I would say to my own child in the same situation. I think you and Blaine will know just what to do when the moment arrives. Sucky reality for those of us who like to have our game plans in hand long before they are needed, but how you react will probably depend a lot on how she reacts. Maybe she will be a lot more grown up than you expect. Maybe she won't. But I would let her reaction lead yours, rather than trying to head off what you expect might be her reaction. Does that even make sense?? Good luck with the whole thing and congrats to Kellen and Kendrie!

Jill B. said...

Kristie

You are a great mom. You are too hard on yourself. I love reading your blog posts about parenting and other issues.

I think you are between a rock and a hard place with your daughter. It is much easier to be fair at home than at school. Teachers do have favorite kids in their classes.

My oldest daughter is extremely bright yet her elementary teachers thought she was a little difficult and surly. All changed for her in middle school. Teachers are less interested in the child's personality and demeanour in class and more concerned with academics. My daughter is more acepted by her teachers this year than ever before.

Mom on the Run
www.writingmylifeoneblogatatime.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

The very fact that you feel heartbroken over it proves you DON'T suck as a mom. A crappy mother probably wouldn't care. For what my opinion is worth, I think you're a great mother, way better than I am and I only have one kid to deal with! Your feelings are normal, and the fact that the whole thing bothers you proves that you care and are a GREAT mom.

Melissa

Ann said...

I agree with the comment that Brayden will shine in her own way, on her own schedule. Remember, Brayden not getting knighted is not the result of anything you did. I also agree that I would let the other kids have their day on Friday and not try and make something up for Brayden. It might be an eye opener for Brayden, it might not, but she is old enough to know that what she doesn't get on Friday is a result of her own actions. It's tough out there and Brayden appears to have the toughness to get through life, in her own way, on her own terms. She'll be fine.

You rock as a mom and don't ever think otherwise.
Ann

Grandma J said...

Don't beat yourself up, you didn't do anything wrong. Our hearts break for our kids, but life is getting knighted. Rewarding Brayden or doing something special for her right isn't right. Not everyone gets knighted and it's special that Kendrie and Kellen will have that honor. I think what really bothers you is the tantrum you threw!! HA! I'm joking of course. It's tough being a mom.

Grandma J said...

Hey, by the way, how cool is it to be the mom of two friggin knighted kids at once? I bet you are the only one!

Anonymous said...

Dear Kristie,

You are one of most wonderful, perfect and still human mothers I know.

You may be as proud of yourself as you are of your three great kids - knighted or not.

Many blessings to the whole family.

In loving light,

Eva

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I can relate. My daughter is 12 and in her first year of middle school. Nothing is her fault. It is always my fault. No matter what, she makes up a reason why something is my fault. Last minute shopping for a project due is my fault also, and she must have new supplies all the time to get a good grade. It's tough. My sixteen year old son is so different.

Deb from NY

Anonymous said...

You are not alone...many of us (including me) have a daughter (or son) who tests our limits...and you are EXACTLY right...it is those that are most like us that drive us batty!!!
I know you feel terrible about your morning conversation...I have been there. All I can say is that tomorrow will be better.
Meg
Milford,CT

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie,
I know I'm more of a "lurker" than an internet friend but this post really hit home. I have a 12 year old daughter and somehow, my sweet little girl has left the building! We just took a SS class where we watched and discussed a video by Kevin Leman called Running the Rapids - Parenting Adolescents. I highly recommend it. It had lots of good info and he is funny too (just wish I'd seen it years ago when my sons were younger!) We all make lots of mistakes, but you also do lots right. Stop beating yourself up because she is acting just like a normal pre-teen. Our job is to learn how to respond when they pull these antics.
Linda in NJ

Stacie from MN said...

I know exactly how you feel! My 12year old and Brayden could be twins! I am normally not a yeller, but that boys will push me & push me until I end up screaming at him, and then I feel terrible for losing it with him since I am supposed to be the adult.

Sally said...

You are a great MOM!!! I swear Brayden and my daughter are cut from the same cloth!!! I am so tired of all of whining....and the whole colored pencil thing hit home!!!

Congrats on the two that are getting knighted...what an honor!!

You don't suck....

Jeanette, with assvice from GA said...

Assvice Alert:

Doing something for Brayden on Friday night? Don't agree...takes away from Kellen and Kendrie's achievement.

Next week-have a Mom and Brayden date and tell her, or write her a letter, about all the things she is GOOD at, what you love about her. Maybe get Kellen and Kendrie to write somethings they like about her too.

She may roll her eyes, but you will feel better about yourself! :)

Jessica said...

I have a feeling tickets to a Hannah Montana concert would more than make up for any snappy comment :) If you don't have that kind of power, though, I agree a little ice cream and mom time just might make Brayden feel special and make YOU feel better. (Not that I have teenagers or anything - my daughter is almost 1, so I'm relishing the ability to put her in her crib when she gets out of sorts and taking notes for when caging my child is no longer considered appropriate).

Two Kids and a Husband said...

I think that what you said and did is completely normal...your child sounds exactly like my 6 year old daughter. Everything has an answer, she whines like no ones business, everything is an injustice to her, and she likes being sick too... All of these things drive me over the edge daily. Parenting is a huge challenge on the best of days. I can honestly say that I don't think she will hold a grudge against you... even though the 'world is against' you as an eleven year old... she is old enough to knwo that she is being difficult and she knows the reaction it will get...kinda like pms you KNOW you are being an ass but you don't give a crap because if you feel crusty then everyone should feel crusty right along with you!

don't fret you are doing a wonderful job. And she will hopefully be happy for her siblings and understand why she isn't being chosen...

Julie

Renee said...

I acted just like Brayden and my sister received all of the Student of the Year awards. It sucks but Brayden has so many talents.... I feel your pain, Kristie. It makes me sad for Brayden, too but happy for Kendrie and Kellen! Sorry....

The Running Girl said...

Parenting isn't easy, but we just have to do the best we can. I sometimes feel guilty because I feel like I put more pressure on my daughter to make better grades, be more responsible, etc. than I do my son. Don't beat yourself up too much. I'm sure you'll find a way to make Brayden feel special.

Marisa said...

You are a GREAT Mother and if I do not comment before Sunday, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY !!!

The thrills of pre-teen - teenage years are just beginning. Better break out the power of patience and a bottle of amaretto !!!

Congrats on your KNIGHT and KNIGHTETTE !! Brayden will be fine.

Kelley said...

I have two things to say....

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
and
WELCOME TO THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WHAT'S TO COME (THE TEENS)

I will probably (no definitely) sound very harse in what I'm about to say but, prize or no prize, reward or no reward, knight or no knight, you are going to want to nip that stuff in the bud as quickly as possible. I have an almost 15 year old son and we had a terrible bout with NEGATIVISM in the highest form when he was about 11. I'm telling you, if you don't cease it now, it will drive you all FREAKING NUTS!!! And though I totally "get" your feeling the way you're feeling because of what is about to happen, this is a great time to turn it into a huge lesson for her. In the meantime, OF COURSE, be ready to share with her all of the things that she does well to go along with the list of what she can work on. Oh....and it might not hurt to have a list of what her brother and sister DON'T do well. I mean, just to soften the blow.

KD said...

Don't doubt yourself, Kristie. One human moment can't be undone by the great ones: the birthday letters you write for her, the costumes, the family vacations, the scrapbooks you make for her, the birthday parties, etc., etc. This week (okay, this month) I've been ready to string my 10 year old up by her toenails. We'd have to be doped up to be June Cleaver with them all the time - it's just not realistic to think it'll happen. She'll have her good weeks too, whether they come in elementary shcool or middle school. It all evens out. She knows you love her!

Tammy said...

Na, your just human. Congrats to Kendrie and Kellen! Brayden will be fine, I'm sure she'll know why she was'nt picked. Don't be so hard on yourself, you just have to learn how to not let her know she's gettting to you! Hugs from Fort Worth!

utahsweeney said...

Good heart-felt post here. I think you've gotten enough advice (and I don't have any pre-teen daughters), so I just wanted to say thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

You do not suck. You have also just shown your daughter that nobody is perfect and that even as parents, we can screw up. I have a son just like that and there have been times where at the end of the day, I have him sitting on my lap and I am apologizing to him for the way that I reacted because of what he was doing and explain to him that no matter what, I love him and that sometimes moms get frustrated too but that it is not right to take it out on him. (Even though it was his fault !! But I don't tell him that part)

Mel - Canada

Anonymous said...

The good news is - it's only Tuesday! You have plenty of time to help her feel better, and as crummy as you feel, at least you realized it - a lot of parents don't even give their parenting that much thought.

Maybe you & her could go out on Thursday and you could tell her what's going to happen (as long as you can trust her not to tell the others) and you could use that time to talk with her and let her know that you remember how hard it is to be an 11 year old girl, and how much you love her and are proud of her. That might give her the opportunity to express her hurt and disappointment in private to you and then be able to hold it together and actually be happy (or at least put on a good front!) for her siblings on Friday. If it were me in Brayden's shoes, I would appreciate some advance warning!

I don't know, just an idea. And don't beat yourself up to hard, we all do it, but we don't all learn from it.

Hang in there,
Alayna

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to give you another perspective on this situation. When I was growing up, I was the daughter that got straight A's and awards more frequently than my sister (who got in trouble occasionally at school). Instead of celebrating my acheivements, my mom gave extra attention to my sister to make her 'feel better'. And, though I now understand her 'logic' since I have 2 of my own, I certainly didn't back then. I truly felt like I had done something wrong and that my hard work didn't matter. just something to think about...

Kari in KY

Anonymous said...

Boy do I know where you are. I have an 11 year old girl as well and she gives me a lot of the same attitude you get from Brayden. I try my best to make their (hers and her younger brother) mornings pleasant but there are days when she moves slower than molasses and it drives me nuts! I hate the days when the last thing I say is in a rushed tone, or worse. I fret about it all day at work. Good luck with her feelings on Friday - maybe some special time with you and Blaine will make her feel better.
Diane in Cincinnati

Anonymous said...

Isn't parenting hard! My daughter age 17 feels like I'm the worst because we make her have a curfew which has saved her butt a few times. Trying to get through to them that accountability and right from wrong, and the impression people have of you from the group you hang with is so important.
For Brayden, why not have a special day to celebrate moving on to middle school.
Yes, somedays, more frequent lately I've felt like hitting my head against the wall and screaming "why is it so wrong to say no, don't other parents say no?" Maybe, it's because we were brought up in a world that had more morals that today.
Good Luck.

Jodi in Roselle Park, NJ said...

I don't think you suck in the least. I think the fact that you even recognize that perhaps you handled the situation in a way less than you might have liked, is what makes you totally NOT suck.

lizinsumner said...

You don't suck....because if you do, then we all do! My son is 14 - and he has sarcasm and the disrespectful tone of voice down to a science. And sometimes I get torqued - so torqued that I might say something that's less than totally supportive. I make sure that I only attack the behavior, and not him personally, but still - jeeesh! It can be tough - believe me, I know. He's a good kid - but there are still times that I'm tempted to duct-tape his mouth shut! (which would also, by the way, save me a HUGE amount of money in groceries). Hang in there - you're doing great. And, if it gets really, really bad - we could trade kids!! You take Jake, and I'll take Brayden....yeah, that's the ticket!!

Mamasita said...

I can't think of anything that has not already been said, so I will just let you know what parts I agree with.

I agree that you may want to give her advance warning so that there is not a scene or disappointment at school. You can use that time to talk about how she feels about the situation. It may even open up some other dialog.

I also agree that you should not do a psuedo "good job" party or reward for Brayden. I think it may make her feel worse, actually. However, I would be careful in how you word the congrats to the K's. 'I'm so happy for you' would sound much different than an 'I'm so proud of you' to a teen/pre-teen girl that is already having some struggles.

I would possibly also (later)schedule a "date night" with each kid separately, taking turns having some one on one time with each. I would have Blaine to the same. We have done this quite often and it is amazing the things we learn when we can solely focus on each other.

Good luck! And you totally do NOT suck!!

URBAN BLONDE said...

I know you're probably busy sewing suits of armor right now for Friday but I just want to say, I know what you are dealing with, been there, done that, have a closetfull of T-shirts.

My kids may now be university age but we've been through similar experiences in the past. My son and I are so alike he's always known how to push my buttons (and to be honest I knew how to push his, hehe) Both kids have been honoured at different times in their life and rarely at the same time. That's life, sometimes it just ain't fair.

I feel for Brayden, it's just hard for Brayden now at the very hormonal transitional age she is at. I just shudder thinking about all that stuff my daughter went through.

Instead of trying to "equal it out" or downplay the other's how about taking just Brayden out for some Mom and me time. Like a walk for just the two of you, where she can feel special and you can stop blaming yourself!

You're a great MOM never doubt that!

Blondie
PS Happy Mother's Day in advance

CAT said...

Hey Kristie,

It is heartbreaking isn't it!

I have two teenage girls, 16 and 18 and it certainly can be tough. I totally agree with Kelley (comment above) about nipping it in the bud. If you don't do it now it will just get more difficult. Just sit her down when you are both calm and explain to her that her behaviour and comments are unacceptable and if it continues there will be consequences. And then you need to figure out what those consequences are. My youngest daughter is always smiling, very happy, people love her but when she is upset she is UGLY, so what I uesd to do was when she would explode into her rants I would calmly (even though I wanted to throttle her) tell her that she could go to her room and come out when she was in a better mood. It would work, she would storm off to her room and reappear when the tantrum passed, usually quickly because there was no reaction to it. Trust me, those episodes became far and few between.

I was thinking that perhaps you could ask Brayden to help you plan something for her brother and sister for their special day. Talk to her and let her know that she will have many special days to come and that you would really like her help planning something special for Kellen and Kendrie. She would probably feel like she has been given a very special task.

Take care, being a mother is the hardest job in the world and where I stand you are doing a fabulous job!

Have a great day,

Cathy

Miscellaneous From Missy said...

So do I (suck that is) as a parent of a teenager. Sometimes. Okay, most of the time.

You're not alone in your frustration and your love and the realization (after the fact) that you could have done something...okay, lots of things...better.

But you know what? My mom said the same thing about her parenting, and I turned out okay. (I know, that's a matter of opinion.)

So we just need to learn from the realizations and keep going. Better than ever!

Anonymous said...

I know that I wrote a comment this morning, but apparently I never posted it!! This will be much shorter and to the point.

I feel bad for Brayden, too.. but Friday is a special day for Kellen and Kendrie and they deserve that special day.. they earned it!!

My son learned (the painful way - by being cut from the team) that he had to work hard to play travel baseball.. the day he got cut, I held him when he cried and listened to his disappointment. But when things calmed down, I used that opportunity to remind him that most of the time, there are consequences for our actions.. and not taking clinics or practicing had cost him his spot on the team. This year.. he made the team, but he worked for it. Valuable life lesson, I think.

We all feel sick when our children are hurt, but you are right, being hurt is part of life.

Brayden is obviously a smart and wonderful kid.. and she'll get what she needs to get from this experience. Congratulations to Kendrie and Kellen.. and good luck to you and Blaine - you'll say the right thing!! You are wonderful parents...

Mary B in Albany NY
(from the Caringbridge days)

Anonymous said...

You do NOT suck. You are human. :) On Friday, hug her, cry with her and let her know you love her. Then go bake something decadent!!

Kelly said...

Hmmm. Wow. I don't know what to say but I can say it is hormones on her part. Sounds a lot like I was at that age... :o(

Lissy said...

you don't suck, you're human. (as everyone else has put it.)
i know growing up - with 4 siblings, there were always times when someone got something and no one else did. it's a part of life and Brayden will understand it - probably not on Friday afternoon, but in time she will.

Jill B. said...

Hi Kristie

You mentioned that Brayden does not do as well in school as the other two. Do you think she may have focus problems?

Last year my 3rd grader teetered on the brink of going below grade level in reading and writing. She brought home many inclass assignments that she did not finish in school. Her teacher said she would zone out when instructions were read in class, and then not know what she had to do. We signed her up for a learning center after school, but she was unfocused there as well. Last summer we had her tested by an educational psychologist. She tested as ADHD with inattention/focus issues.

This year it is like night and day. She reads books without being prodded. She finishes inclass work at school and does her homework without being yelled at. Her math scores have increased as well.

I was never an advocate of ADHD meds until now. My daughter is a different child on the medicine.

Anyway, I wanted to share my experience with you.

Just remember everything your kids go through is a phase!

Mom on the Run
www.writingmylifeoneblogatatime.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should tell Brayden ahead of time? Of course, that's assuming she can keep a secret. It might be hard for her to deal with the big surprise in the auditorium...with the whole school present...including Mom....on the heels of a suspension.... I mean really do they both have to get it the same darn week????? :) Don't get me wrong...good for Kellen and Kendrie but.....my heart breaks for Brayden who is bound to feel left out....I mean it's 2 out of 3 getting an award......it's human nature to feel crappy about that.

Anonymous said...

I hate things like that b/c in my opinion, the kids selected are generally over represented by the school already and (not so) coincidentally) have parents heavily, really heavily, involved in volunteering. And knighted? That is ridiculous, these kids didn't like save a life or show bravery under fire. Not to mention I could see quite a few helicopter mothers in my area that would flip if such an honor were bestowed on kids that have only been there for 4 months. And to pick 2 from the same family, no less. Knowing a third also attends. Yeah, someone was thinking there (insert eyeroll). And I am not knocking volunteering at all, I believe some appreciation should be shown, just not in the form of these types of "contests" where innocent kids think they have an equal shot at winning, but really they don't.

I'm not taken anything away from K and K, as I am sure they are both wonderful kids that earn good grades and all, but I am just as sure B is an equally great kid. As likely most of the other kids are. In most decent areas, the vast majority of the kids are bright and dedicated/respectful students. So things like this are really popularity contests that turn a select few into celebrities for simply doing what is expected of them anyhow. It is silly.

Good luck on Friday and give B an extra hug and let her know she is valued as much as her sibs, as we all know she is.

Patty House said...

Well, if you suck, I suck and most of us suck! How can we NOT get frustrated at them and snap? I snap at my 5 year old (will be 6 Sunday) every single time I have to read with her. She can read...just wants to drive me crazy by acting like she can't.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I have had the same conversations with Derek, the kid has a freakin excuse for EVERYTHING!!! It is NEVER, EVER, EVER his fault! It is always a teachers or some other kid or something. so I feel ya. Oh and you could make Brayden feel better by telling her that her half brother, Derek, was never "Knighted" in all the years that he went to that school. Kindergarten thru 5th. He tried really, really hard too, so I grew to HATE that program. (as a matter of fact I am still kind of pissed about it because he really did try, and wanted it so bad, and after awhile you just run out of good reasons why he didnt get picked and you start to just get pissed for them)

M

ps ~ really, I have to hear about the suspension sometime, maybe when we go to the movies. (I probably have some stories of my own to tell you!)

Anonymous said...

oh and by the way you absolutely do not suck. You are a wonderful mom. We all feel like sucky parents sometimes, except for maybe the sucky ones!

M

rsmdianne said...

Kristie, you're a great mom. Funny you post this today. I have 3 kids at home, the youngest is the sweetest 9 yo girl, my 12 yo son can have his attitude, but he still wants me to tuck him in at night. And my 15 yo son is very motivated, wants to do it all and does everything he does, very well. But I also have a 17 year old daughter who is at a boarding school for troubled girls. Sending her away to school was about the hardest thing we've done, but just today came the realization that she doesn't want to complete the program there, and is just biding her time until she turns 18 in 2 months and can leave. Just like that, 8 months there and she doesn't see a need to change. Oh the stories we could tell, and we are good parents, we did all the right things, read the right books, enforced the right rules. Sorry to go on like this, but reading your post today it's so hard to see your child hurting and at least with mine, let down her guard enough to accept the help that's there.

Dagny said...

If you suck, I guess I suck too. Hey, I know. Let's not!

Put on your combat boots and get ready. I am halfway to a 14 year old and my boots are already worn out.

Good luck, enjoy the knighting ceremony and keep on loving Brayden. She may roll her eyes, but it will warm her heart too.

Anonymous said...

my husband plays the same, "you're sick so i must be sick" game, too. i'ts really funny when i start complaining about my cramps!

cathy
santa clara, ca

Anonymous said...

De-lurking here just to tell you it gets better! My daughters are now 20 and almost 23 (!) and not only did we survive the terrible tweens and teens (and there were some awful horrible times that I choose to forget), but we are a tightly knit three-some and stronger for what we went through. I understand *completely* that the one most like you is the one that pushes your buttons - one awful day my oldest daughter and I had a big argument and off she went to school, and me to work, with both of us still upset. I called the school office and asked to speak to her, to say 'I'm sorry we fought and I love you so much'. Yeah, she was in first grade at the time. :-/

Hang in there!

jane

Dani said...

oh dear. sucky mum days suck.

take heart in the thought that although some days you don't do the job the way you want to, there are more days when you get it right.

it's a hard job and the pay is crap but there are more rewards than punishments.

Dianna in Louisiana said...

That you care so much shows that you are an AWESOME mom Kristie.....

Brayden has the dubious task of being the eldest child, somewhat of a guinea pig. Though, she's fortunate enough to have a mom that sees her perceived parenting errors as a chance to reflect and over analyze (I do it too!) so that a solution can be found. Brayden is very, very blessed to have you as a mom as are Kendrie and Kellen. By the way, I totally agree that you and and Brayden should have some type of bonding girls night out.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I'm going to be different and say you did nothing wrong. Oh sure, you could have been Carol Brady or June Cleaver but Brayden was acting badly and you gave it right back. As for the knighting...I hate to say it, but that award was earned. And Brayden didn't earn it. If she is upset, that's a good chance for a little lesson about how Kellen and Kendrie worked hard, and if she too had worked hard she would have the award. It sounds like she hasn't earned a special evening, to be honest! Reward her when she does do something right, like a good grade or improved behavior.