Magic Eight Ball, What Do I Do?
"The impulsivity has always been an issue and sometimes it can be hard to tell which is her being a kid, a human, a teen, and which is the symptom of bipolar disorder."
Lizz earned forty dollars at three PM on Sunday afternoon and by six PM on Sunday afternoon was almost broke. We talked. I insisted she put some in an account. We argued. I thought we had agreed, finally, to her spending a small amount shopping with a friend and leaving the rest home for an account. She took the full amount and spent most of it on makeup and other beauty products.
This isn't the first time spending has been a problem. The constant 'borrowing from Peter to pay Paul' outlook. We used to have a weekly allowance 'til it became like negotiations at the U.N. I have a real hard time with this part. The impulsivity has always been an issue and sometimes it can be hard to tell which is her being a kid, a human, a teen, and which is the symptom of bipolar disorder. As a teen, we know the behaviors and how they can also be swayed by the lifestyles of those close to them. Her friends' family does things differently than we do and expect different things from their kid than I do of Lizz. Some of it, I refuse to accept in my life. Manipulation and lying are the biggest issues. I raised two others and know it isn't a requirement for childhood. She is responsible for her behaviors and their outcome regardless.
Lying, the concept of 'It's easier to get forgiveness than permission,' has always stuck in my craw. It is often overlooked, or even seen as a cute character trait. Manipulation is a form of lying. It is dishonest intentions and motivating goals. We even try to hide our intentions from ourselves, not just those we are manipulating, when controlling a situation through being disingenuous.
The issue isn't so much the money or what she bought. The problems lies in the manner it was done, and what it means in the context of her life. I know from personal experience and from others with this disorder that spending and other, sometimes dangerous, impulsive behavior is common. It frightens me. The thought of my child going through such emotional turmoil and the resulting physical and mental damage will keep me awake at nights. We know we can't control another humans behavior and choices, but I also know as a parent I have an obligation to show her other paths that may be less damaging to her life. When an adult, people aren't going to care that she has bipolar disorder, as harsh as that sounds.
Why the … won't she just take my advice and direction?
OK, OK, go ahead.
How much of it is out of her control? How much is simply a child being a child? How much of it is environmental issues from family history? I just don't know and struggle with these questions.
I let her know in no uncertain terms how angry I became without attacking her person. I was furious and even needed time away from her, so I let her know that, too. She stayed in her room for a bit giving me space which allowed me to calm down some. The remainder of the money was placed in my room. Then I had a cup of coffee and escaped into social networking and humor for a little while.
Sometimes finding the answers is so hard. Maybe a magic eight ball would help.
“Try again later”