Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Who Is She?

Photo Collage of Kalisha for "Getting It Right - Occasionally"
Kalisha Watching A Colts Game
My daughter, Kalisha, is a lot of different people rolled into one. Not in a 'split personality' kind of way, but in an age kind of way. I never know exactly what age she is from day to day. She can be a little girl that needs comforting, an adolescent that refuses to see things from another point of view, an obstinate teenager, a concerned and caring adult, or all of these depending on the situation.

She will agree with anything I ask her to do. "Kalisha, take that laundry basket to your room when you go upstairs."

"Okay, I will."

Then she doesn't do it. I have 4 other children, so it's not like this is something new, but her not doing it is different. She isn't defiant, she just doesn't think about the request, if that makes any sense. She agrees because she doesn't want to upset me, I guess (believe me when I say it takes more than a laundry basket to upset me). The problem is that she will agree with just about anything I say or suggest. Here is an absurd example:

"Kalisha, I really don't like the colors of the leaves in the fall. I like it better when they are green."
"Yeah, me too."
"But, the reds and oranges and yellows really are pretty, I guess."
"Yes, they are."
I tell her I don't want her to agree with everything I say. "You have a right to your own opinions; you don't have to think exactly like I do."
"No, I don't."
Then she smiles at that answer, because she knows she just did it again.

Sometimes we practice. I will make a statement and ask her to think about how she really feels before she answers. If she really does agree, it is okay to say so, but if she doesn't agree, that is okay, too. This is a hard lesson for her to grasp for several reasons. She wants to please me and others; she is a very concrete thinker, and many times she doesn't know how she feels about something, so agreeing is the easiest route.

This can and has gotten her into many unhealthy situations....so we continue to practice. I will post the story of her being with someone while they were stealing something from a store.....next time!


  1. Yep, i experience that with Max. Thanks for sharing!
    Valerie wondersandmarvels-wonderfull.blogspot.com

  2. This is really interesting, Gloria. We have exactly the opposite experience with our son FF. Because he wants to be so fiercely independent, he frequently (although not always)disagrees with most of what we say or suggest. Sometimes he'll even agree to the very same suggestion if it comes from someone other than his parents. Like Kalisha, though, he'll often nod and say he understands something just so that he doesn't have to engage in that topic or with that person anymore. Sometimes it's because he's internally distracted. When I stop and ask if he really understands, he'll admit that he wasn't listening and was either distracted or just wants to move on. In a way, I guess, it's a socially acceptable coping strategy. :-)



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