Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On Each Other's Team

So Alyssa has this animosity toward her dad that I just don’t get.

Wait, let me take that back. I guess I do get it. I get that she feels like he gets on her about the smallest things and that he takes on a ‘mean’ voice the first time he tells her to do something, even if it’s something she’s never been asked to do before.

I’ve talked to him about this. I’ve reminded him that we can’t expect her to know things we haven’t taught her. We can’t get mad at her for not doing something we didn’t ask/tell her to do. And we have to remember that she’s twelve, she needs to be reminded to do things because, well, twelve year olds are intrinsically selfish and self-centered. If it doesn’t affect them, they’re not going to remember to do something. It is up to us to help them work on that selfishness, to help them see that the world isn’t all about them and that they need to look beyond their own wants and needs.

So yeah. Anyway...she’s sort of annoyed with him most of the time, even when he’s being his most pleasant.

When I was sick a couple of weeks ago, Alyssa was particularly protective of me. Anything Tom said was misconstrued by her as an insult to me or somehow offensive to me.

I wonder, sometimes, if her need to defend me against her dad comes from some deep down feeling in her that I don’t defend her against him enough. Hmmm, something to ponder.

But when she was arguing with him that weekend, I tried to weakly intervene, reminding her that we’re actually all on the same team. We’re all on the same side. I’m not sure she believed me but I tried.

And I continue to try. I hate that Alyssa and Tom aren’t closer. I hate that she feels like he picks on her, or like he babies Olivia. I hate that she doesn’t feel like she can talk to him the way she talks to me. I’m so, so glad she feels like she can talk to me and feels close to me but I want that for him too. I want him to take the time to get to know her for the amazing, smart, funny girl she is. I hate that he mostly sees the sullen twelve year old she can be. I feel like that’s the only side she shows him because it’s the only side he looks for.

It’s tough.

I will continue to remind them both that we’re on each other’s team. We’re all on the same side. We’re all Team Ordinary. It’s us against the world so they both better figure it out and get on board, is what I’m saying.

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