Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More bragging on my daughter -- and reflections thereupon (you knew there had to be more)

So I chanced to open a bulk email from the middle school principal, as I rarely do, and there I saw results of some competition.  Without bragging too hard, it turns out that Natalie has overachieved in another domain, doing something that is in line with the 90th percentile of high school juniors and seniors nationwide.  While she was in 7th grade.  And coming in the top 3% of a competitive hoard of kids her age.

And we perhaps didn't recognize quite how exceptional her results were when she achieved them. Though we did praise her, to be sure.

Then again, there is a danger that we overfocus on praising her academic results.  We certainly do not want her thinking that our love is dependent on them.  Finding time and means to communicate well with ones teenagers is not simple, it's a universal problem, and it's compounded in households like our own where one of the kids has a technical "special need," whereas the other is just special in the same way that all of us are.

And, as I've posted here recently, I'm well aware that Natalie works really hard, sometimes verging on too hard, to excel, at times I fear to the detriment of her social life.  But even there, I have to be careful not to project my own insecurity onto her.  I think that when I was younger, I somehow perceived that "popularity" was important, so I worked hard on that front as well, to have bunches of friends. And sometimes I'd do stupid shit to be friends with lots of folx, just to outperform in that domain as well.  Whatevs.  It's all good.

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