The Things We Are Measured By


Teghan doesn’t have much patience. If she can’t figure a thing out in the first second that she tries, it will most likely get thrown across the room. But in spite of her impatience, she can also be surprisingly stubborn. This means that the scenario of trying, failing, and then throwing things may repeat itself all day long if she wants something bad enough.

If she makes a mistake she likes us to do it for her. Sometimes it’s as simple as tapping an app on our phone. Even if she has done it a million times, all it takes is one missed tap, and she doesn’t want to do it on her own anymore. Then in secret I will catch her “practicing.” It’s as if she is facing a constant battle between self-doubt and determination. Aren’t we all?

Her lack of awareness when it comes to social situations gets me out of a lot of typical parent/kid discussions. She has no conversation skills. She doesn’t know how to play with other people. This also means no hurt feelings, broken friendships, or competition with others.  She only competes with herself, and she has her own definition of winning.

I have seen her face light up when she figures something out for the first time. Maybe I am missing an opportunity here. I have been thinking about my own childhood (as I do), and how my accomplishments and failures affected me. And I think I am approaching this parenting topic all wrong. There is a lesson on winning and losing that I don’t think I am off the hook for after all.

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