Thursday, March 12, 2015

Nipping narcissism with the 11-year-old (Try hard, my ass!)

I've read a couple articles about the recent study on narcissism and parenting.  Based on my discussion with N yesterday about her lack of preparation for written assessment, I think she will not be a narcissist.  Or if she is, I'm not the one responsible.

She was selected to take the written assessment test in January and over the past n weeks was given  fine arts tests that she was to answer and review in preparation for the district competition.  I sat with her when she answered them and then we looked up her responses online to check whether she was correct.  I didn't badger her to death to study because it is not my competition.  Last week's snow day moved the competition to yesterday.

On Monday night, I asked her if she wanted to study.  Nope.
On Tuesday night, I asked her if she wanted to study.  She studied for 5 minutes before bed, and that might be an overestimate on the time.

I drove her there and hung around for an hour and a half, trying to contain M and G's loudness to a dull roar in a poorly insulated cafeteria.

When she was finished, she brought the test with her (each student could take their test home).  When I looked it over, I saw that any number of questions were 1. identical to questions on the practice tests she took and 2. answered incorrectly.

I admit I was pissed, and not because I care whether she wins.  I was angry because ---

I had spent time picking her up from the initial written assessment test to see if she made the team.
I had spent time going over the practice tests and looking over answers with her.
I had driven her across the county to the competition and spent entirely too much time trying to entertain her brothers in a boring cafeteria.

I spent more time on her written assessment than she did.
And if I am going to spend time making something possible for my kids, I sure as heck expect them to at least try.
Oh wait, according to her she did try.  She studied the night before.  That big expanse of 5 minutes prior to bed surely made a huge difference.

I asked her how she will feel if she doesn't place in the competition, and she said, "Disappointed."
I asked her what will be going through her mind if she doesn't win, and she said, "I should have studied."

I told her I wasn't mad at her or disappointed, but frustrated because if you are going to do something competitively, it makes sense to actually try to do your best, and she hadn't done her best.

I hope to heaven she doesn't place.  A good swift kick in the pants by "life" would be useful.  

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