Parenting is a slippery activity.
My predictable response to uncertainty is to dive into a book. Do a literature review, compare methods, extract any and all usable data, conduct focus groups (over cocktails, when possible) and develop a plan of action. It all started (for this topic) with Dr Spock and those “What to Expect” books, and progressed to “Queen Bees and Wannabes” and “How to Hug a Porcupine” (which I recommend). And no book can reduce the emotional toll of never being sure if you are getting it right.
What I really need is a logic model (see draft below) so I can evaluate my parenting and see if it is producing the desired outcomes & goals. This would be an even more useful tool if the desired goals would remain consistent from day-to-day.
My current goal is to survive school play tryouts.
For the most part, my daughter is easy. Gets good grades, helpful around the house, not too sassy, no outrageous behavior and so on. The exception is her ability to worry herself into a frenzy playing “What if”.
When I can detach, I call this “Worst Case Scenario: Middle-School Edition.” It actually has a lot of potential as a board game for adults. Relive your middle school nightmares with interesting modern twists like texting, IM and red bull.
The current “what if” scenario is focused on the school play tryouts for “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” A solid week of anxiety, practicing, weeping and stomping and the audition is not until Monday. Yesterday the director revealed that there are only 6 parts for the 40 kids auditioning and no chorus spots to tuck the rejects into. The odds are not in her favor.
On the upside, after years of this anxiety/worry behavior, I know that at least she recovers almost immediately from rejection. All Pre and no Post.