Monday, 2 January 2012

It's been emotional

I have this problem. Or rather, one of my triplets has this problem.

I'm defining it entirely as a triplet problem, but it may be a sibling problem. I certainly cannot identify it as a home education problem; if I did, I would open the access for all the nay sayers to say HAH we were right all along! Children cannot socialise if they are prevented from going to school!

I must nip that line in the bud. Tiger, my lovely sensitive child, is extraordinarily socially tuned. She assesses social situations with finer radar than many adults. Adults tend to deny things, anyway, because they think they are being polite. That tactic blows her mind. Tiger watches their denials and hand wavings and oh it's nothings, and it fuses the connections between her eye and brain. Some time later she'll tell me what's really happened, in faltering language but with brutally honest assessment and crippling acumen, so if I was at all involved in the pretence, I sort of want to crawl away and hide.

Social perception then, that's not her problem (or it will be unless she learns to lie like the rest of us). Taking part in social situations is a little of her problem, because she is shy. Sometimes she is so shy I have a powerful instinct to clip her round the ear and shove her in the back, to push her towards a group of playing eleven-year olds. I would do that too, if I thought she would happily join in, rather than burst into tears with the shock.

I don't know where her reticence comes from, since papa is the public speaker and I'm the public nuisance, but it sets in motion these emotional tsunamis which are truly hard to deal with.

Her relationship with Shark, for starters. Shark is easy going, affable, and confident, if she can talk on her terms and you don't try and interrupt. Her breezy, outgoing nature means she's easy to connect with, and (so long as you like fish), easy to befriend.

Tiger - sibling sister who looks alike - must seem a bit like hard friendship work when there's not much time and there's a lot of playground to enjoy. Not surprisingly the tendency is for her to be brushed aside as the quiet one. Which knocks at Tiger's self-esteem and sets the jealousy wave in motion.

I haven't a solution for any of this friendship rivalry, except we spent two hours last night, after the exploding ocean of tears, talking the rain down. What it is to want friends, what it is to feel you're in competition for your friends, what responsibilities we have to family members and to ourselves, where friendship begins, and how it can end.

Tiger nearly brought me up to her level by the time exhaustion took over, and I'm made a more thoughtful person thanks to her.

But still, can't help dreading the day the boyfriend arrives.


Nora said...

It's probably a self esteem problem, don't you think? Maybe it needs some boosting.

Grit said...

hi nora, i am sure self-esteem is part of it... the fashion industry makes a killing from women regarding self-esteem throughout their lives, so maybe i should be glad the kids can explore it.

i also watch how being a triplet can be an intense experience; their world view is continuously monitored and calibrated by other people so very close to them; there is both a need for this close connection and a resentment at being so dependent on it. add then all the suspicions and jealousies (sounding a bit like a marriage, now).

but there are very few academic studies on triplets around to give insights. (don't suggest one! we made a decision from the off that we would not go there; that would be a real invasion, in which a blog would pale by comparison.)

kelly said...

We've had a some issues for my dd, as we've not found many home ed girls locally, at the moment the group is very boy heavy - which is great for the other three.

This is a complete turnaround from where we lived before, and there have been tears about not having friends....and it's so hard to see her get upset about it.

On a brighter note, only two weeks ago we found out that our farmer next door has a horse mad daughter a year older than mine, and they seem to get on well.

And I'm dreading boyfriends too...