I am so frustrated. And I do not know what to do. My abilities as a parent are 100% failing me. And I feel like a bird on a wire. I am precariously perched on a small ledge and if I shift too far one way or the other, the fall has the potential of devastating consequences. However, I am attempting to remain stalwart and strong, albeit ready to take flight.
Ari has tried many activities....T-ball, tennis, tae kwan do, swimming, and now Brownies. T-ball was a nightmare. And is when we discovered activities that has her focusing more on individuality rather than a full team is better for her psyche. She can do team approach somewhat, however the counselor warned that she feels responsible for a loss if she feels she made the slightest mistake. Okay, no "team" sports. She tried tae kwan do over the summer the other year and was excellent at it. J signed her up for the remainder of the year and quite frankly, ended up pushing her too hard and she stopped wanting to go. Talk of tournaments and a rigorous 3 times a week schedule was too much for her. Tennis was a 6 week program at school. She made it two weeks. Swimming is the only thing that has stuck for her and she is quite good. It challenges her and yet allows her to interact with other kids at the same level.
And then she wanted to join Brownies this year. She was so excited, couldn't wait to get her sash and earn badges. And here we are, the second week in a row, that she doesn't want to go. She states she has no fun at Brownies and the meetings are too long. I let her skip last week as many of the girls do not attend each and every meeting. However, the December and January meetings were canceled due to weather. She's sold the cookies and had fun. But she says she's done now. So, in a fit of anger, I told her if she didn't go today (touring the fire dept at which she's been too before) then after she gets her cookies, she's done. It's not fair to the other participants if she isn't willing to give her best towards it.
I'm on the fence about forcing my children to attend something they signed up for. Part of me dictates that if you sign up for something you follow it through. The other part of me knows how she is and that it will be a disaster if we force her. I don't know what lesson to teach. That you follow through or that it's okay to quit? Can I teach her both? That if you try something and don't like it, try something else and keep trying until you find your "thing?" Or that you sign the line (and mom & dad invest $ into), you keep going whether you like it or not.
She sits here now asking me to play Pokemon with her. I cannot and will not. This is the time that she is to be at Brownies and I will not be spending the time playing a game with her. Not sure which lesson I'm teaching at this point, but it feels right. Of course, it has led to her crying and hitting herself, screaming "I'm so stupid" and "I"m no good at anything." I feel desperate to fix her. To tell her she is worthy and have her completely believe me. I don't know how to best help my child today. I am struggling and frustrated. My patience feels as if it's nearing empty and I do not not how to replenish it. I am so tired of the struggle and I do not know what to do next to best help her. Is this just her personality? Or is something else going on? I know she will always struggle with perfectionism, worries, and self-esteem. I just want her to be the best Ari that she can be, that's my job as her mother. Right now, I am at a loss at how to do so.