Sunday, April 11, 2010

Super Sunday Series - Disappointment

Welcome back to the Super Sunday Series - where I speak to all topics gifted and how they relate to your child's well-being.  Please click on the tab above if you want to discover more about the Series and its topics.

Here it is, the END of Super Sunday, and I'm just now writing my post.  Truth be told, I had no plans to write today because I wasn't able to properly research a topic this week.  

Then, VOILA!  A topic presented itself in a shining display this morning.  Disappointment.  How does your gifted child handle it?  

Mine?  Not well, most of the time.  Today was exceedingly not well.  Last night was the Spring Gala for Oldest and Youngest's school.  Really good time.  Raises a boatload of money, and we always come home with some "big win" for the family.  Last year it was a custom made dining room table (which is gorgeous and can extend 3 extra feet), this year it was a shower curtain with Oldest's class pretending to be monkeys ironed all over it.  We knew both girls would be super excited about it.  

Then, disaster.  Every year the art teacher does centerpieces that include each child's face - 275 kids.  She has the elementary kids help with their own and with the early education kids (birth to 6).  Oldest made her own this year and then a friend made Youngest's and matched their outfits.  Oldest was so proud and couldn't wait for us to bring them home last night.  

Well.  THAT PUPPY Lilly got hold of Oldest's "person" this morning and chewed half her face off and a leg off before I got to her.  

I realized that it was fixable, but sadly, not before Oldest woke up.  

She was devastated.  And I'm talking SO devastated, it's giving rise to a Super Sunday Series entry.  She's come so far, that sometimes I forget how destroyed she can get when something really traumatic happens to her.  

In her defense, I understand why she was so upset.  She worked so hard on "herself," and to have the puppy eat it was just devastating!  


She was so over the top about it, for so long, and with so much absolute refusal to JUST.  STOP.  that it almost got ugly.

Screaming at her sister to get away from her when she walked up to say "Can I hug you to  make you all better?"  

Walking, literally bent over at the waist on the way into church so that everyone at church could see how devastated she was.

Multiple statements of "it's ruined, it will never be better, I'm ruined because it's ruined, etc"  

Just painful, painful behavior.  And I was very, very sympathetic.  Until I wasn't.  Which was at the time that I pulled her from church, took her downstairs, sat her in a chair and said, "OK. Get all of your ugly, painful feelings out right now.  We're not going back up until you do.  Then if you persist in acting the way you have been for the last HOUR, you and I are going to have a very serious problem on our hands (which is code for " you'll be in big trouble, lady").  

So she got it all out, we shared a hug, she pulled herself together, we all had a great day.  

I don't want to change her.  I don't want to expect her to be a different child than she is.  But I don't think I'm being unreasonable to say that I want her to handle disappointment much better than this.  Really, even 30 minutes of bellyaching at home would have been manageable.  It's this NEED of hers to broadcast disappointment publicly that makes me crazy sometimes.  

This morning, she had actually starting getting over it, then the moment we hit the church parking lot, she started up again.  She seems to have a need to prove to anyone she sees that she's as disappointed as she is.  And if we lean in and say "Cool it, get a hold of yourself," she will work all that much harder to show us she can't get hold of herself.  Often to the point where she gets in trouble.  And she came very close today.

Am I the only one with a child who does this?  What can I say or do to help her manage this better?  I do not know.  

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