Boogie made two resolutions this year. So far, she has been much better about keeping them than I thought she would be.
Her resolutions were to work harder at math and be more patient with her stepsister.
I have to admit, when I see her sitting at the kitchen table studying her math and doing homework with no prompting from me, I'm impressed. Math is the only subject she really has to work at and her efforts are paying off. The subject has been a real struggle for her for the last couple of years, but this year I think something clicked and all the pieces are falling into place. It doesn't intimidate her like it did before. And, her determination to learn it, no matter how frustrated she gets, is inspiring. I could take a clue or two from her about determination.
At the beginning of the school year, she was still struggling with understanding math concepts and her homework grades showed it. I tried to help, but I think I confused her more than I helped. Math has not always been my strongest subject, and attempting to try to explain something I also struggle with was a lose/lose proposition. Since she had to figure it out on her own, I do believe she probably understands it better than if I had tried to explain things to her. She did bring home a few less-than-stellar grades, which I didn't make a huge deal about because she beat herself up about them on her own.
"A C, eh?" I said when she showed me her homework. "Well, at least it's not an F or a D."
"Yeah. I know. Do you know what a C stands for?" she responded.
"Yup. I do. Do you?"
"Yup. ' coulda done better,'" she said.
Exactly. And she did do better.
The second resolution has been a success so far, too. Boogie is 12, her stepsister just turned 7. The age difference can be frustrating for her. Her stepsister, Lil' Sis, is absolutely enamored of her. She follows Boogie around everywhere and wants to do everything she does. There is some copycatting going on, too, which can at times be flattering and other times aggravating. Boogie isn't used to having a shadow everywhere she goes. At first it frustrated and aggravated her. I would even say it made her angry at times, and she would retreat to her room, slam the door and tell Lil' Sis to just let her alone.
Ahh, memories. Reminds me of my sister and me. Pick. Pick. Pick. Torment. Torment. Torment.
But not once since she made that resolution to be nicer has she sought the quiet solace of her room. I've seen her grit her teeth a few times and mentally count to 10 (or 100, depending on the level of annoyance), but she has yet to lose her patience.
I think she decided to make that resolution after we had a little heart-to-heart discussion about the way she was treating Lil' Sis. She wasn't always being patient or kind. I explained to her that, yes, I know little sisters can be incredibly annoying and get in the way, but, she was doing it only because she looked up to her and loved her and just wanted to be around her.
Sure, sometimes the aggravating and tormenting is done purposely, but the way she responds to it is completely up to her, I told her. No one but she can control how she feels and how she responds to some else's actions.
I think she got it. Life has been peaceful and the abused bedroom door is relieved.