When I was about eleven I decided that I was going to focus on making friends instead of my schoolwork. Since Pre-K my mother had me attend certain classes in the higher grade because I was “gifted,” which didn’t do me any favors socially. Being so separated from my peers was incredibly alienating as an already-awkward kid. Eventually, my parents had me switch schools after third grade to experience some sort of social normalcy. Unfortunately, I was bullied immediately as a newcomer. I just didn’t belong.
Middle school was an opportunity for a new start, and I let my grades slide in favor of screwing around with friends. It drove my mother insane. One day she waved an assignment in my face in frustration. It was marked with something like a 77. “WHAT HAPPENED TO THE OLD ADA???” She screamed and screamed. She wouldn’t shut up about how great I used to be and what a failure I had turned into. To this day the words haunt me, and self-doubt plagues me in a very real way.
While I forgive my mother for her parenting mistakes, I still get pretty furious when I see examples of parents treating their kids similarly. And unfortunately, there’s no shortage of posts on the internet that highlight instances like these. If you’re ready to ball up your firsts or scowl with disgust, these parents are here to help you out.