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Messages By: whiterose91607

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April 4, 2008, 1:01 pm CDT

perfectionist moms

I speak not just as someone who has experienced a perfectionist mom, but as someone who is still in a quite active situation.  I'm only halfway through college, so I'm in transition between being dependent on my parents and learning to support myself. 

 

I had a perfectly happy childhood--I could pursue and succeed at my own hobbies, I was naturally successful in school, and through that freedom I could choose to respect and connect with my parents.  Aside from displaying a strong will, I came off essentially as a "perfect child."  Then I started to grow up.  The bar continued to rise, and I was still, in the background, expected to achieve everything on my own.  I had difficulties transitioning into middle school, which became evident in my grades and my attitude to homework.  But when faced with this, my mom simply stated that we all knew I could do better.  I would face consequences if my grades were below a certain level (*disclaimer* there were no physical threats or anything legally questionable; i was faced with the typical no-tv, no-computer, no-friends-over, etc.).  The point was made.  I didn't want to face consequences regardless of what they were, so I made it my mission to show my best.  Within a year, I was making straight A's.  And all the while, the bar continued to rise.  By the end of high school, I would push myself beyond physical limits to be academically successful, because that's what it took to keep my hobbies.  Any problems I came across were a result of something I was doing wrong and needed to fix.  My most passionate activities (namely theatre) were not predictable enough to be a worthy career, in my mom's opinion.  Everything that I was starting to decide on my own was wrong somehow.

 

I'm honestly scared for Annie in particular, after some of what she said on the show.  "I'm always nervous" is a phrase that I've lived with for at least six years now.  Early this year, I was diagnosed with panic/anxiety disorder, and my counselor recommends that I get evaluated for ADHD.  Perfectionism is an issue I have to battle with in my own minset every day.  A parent who wants their child to live up to an image they have set forth doesn't just not allow for stumbling blocks that require real help.  Sometimes they can create them.  And once that child is out on their own those issues become a lot harder to combat.  I know, because I'm living it right now.

 
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April 10, 2008, 12:56 pm CDT

writing job

Robert's deluding himself about more than just the publishing process.  I consider myself a writer--I've had pieces published in school magazines.  Yes, it's small-time stuff, but I'm a full-time student with a double major and two jobs.  I don't currently have any time for the ideas that I think have the potential to be books.  So those projects might take longer than expected.  I still have to support myself, and I'll have to help support my marriage when I get there, because I don't expect to be suddenly rich any time soon.  If the book is meant to get published, it will happen.  You just have to be patient enough to balance it with the rest of your life.
 
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May 3, 2008, 1:58 pm CDT

"he's just not a morning person"

tough, buddy.  i'm not a morning person either, but i'm a full-time student AND i hold a job (and my parents do NOT pay everything for me).  sometimes ya just hafta suck it up! 
 
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September 28, 2008, 6:25 pm CDT

the kids' perspective

i understand that i don't have the experience or perspective of a parent, but as a college student, i've seen the whole range of effects that come from parenting extremes.  there are ways of showing your kids that you care and you want to be present in their lives without smothering them.  true, those kind of tactics can win their voluntary trust and affection, but at what cost when they set out to be independent?  i wouldn't even call my parents 'helicopter parents', and yet when i left for a school two hours away, i was already freaking out about everything from managing my finances to finding/paying for housing when i stayed for a summer job.  i don't feel abused in any way, but i was not prepared for everything i would have to take on during and beyond college.  i'm now having to learn all those skills on my own, while also battling anxiety/panic and adult adhd.  i have probably taken many risks, out of ignorance.  luckily, i haven't come off badly for it, though the idea still scares me.

 

i don't remember who said it, but if you have taught your kids well when they were younger, they have every right to earn your trust when they're older.  other countries have community guidelines for such cases already in place--signs are posted all over the london underground that only children under the age of twelve must be accompanied by an adult.  LITTLE steps can be taken as kids grow up that teach them independence without letting them run wild or forcing them to fend for themselves.  just don't assume that because your kids happen to go along with more short-leashed tactics, that means everything's going to be perfect with them.  if the little scrapes aren't allowed at some point, it will require deeper hurts to learn the same lessons.

 

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