Carolyn Hax: Gifted teen calls sister’s relationship ‘a threat to her music’

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Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyne: I have two daughters. “A” is 16 years old, he is in his first year of high school. “B” is 15 years old, a freshman. B showed a gift for music from a young age. We encouraged her donation and she works incredibly hard. When B was in middle school, it exceeded the resources we had in our town. B was accepted into a performing arts high school on a partial scholarship, but that required a move to a new city. My husband and I got permission to work remotely from the new city, A attends a public high school, B is in performing arts school. B is absolutely thriving at his new school.

At a concert, A met a boy in section B and they started dating. B has the kind of focus and intensity that many gifted people possess, making them truly wonderful with their gift, but not always able to see the big picture. B sees this relationship as a threat to his music and wants A to break up with him and date someone at his own school. Has refused. A and B are now constantly engaging in verbal spats, and it is becoming very difficult to deal with. My husband ignores them and says they are “doing teenage things.” I think this goes way beyond normal teenage arguments and there are some very hurt feelings involved. I want to talk to the girls about it separately and together. My husband refuses to do it, but also won’t stop me if I try. Do I talk to them or just let it play out?

Tell us: What’s your favorite Carolyn Hax column about becoming an adult?

Parent: Firmly to B: “You can’t tell other people who they can date. Not your brother, not anyone. You don’t have to like it, but it’s up to you.

Nip the bud of this self-centered thought immediately. B already feels the power to move an entire family to serve his interests. This happens sometimes, and perhaps for good reasons, but it nevertheless introduces an urgent need for balance when opportunities present themselves organically, lest your household fall under the tyranny of its “gift.” This is one of those opportunities. Tell the tail not to wag that dog.

To A, the only thing anyone can talk about is: “I’ve made it clear to B that it’s none of his business, and my advice to you now – and my request – is to not engage when it goes beyond your business. » And: “Stay out of his too. No return. » (Taking full account of adolescent tastes.)

· You really need to step back and evaluate how you treat and view your children in general. You’ve allowed one daughter’s needs to determine many choices about what your entire family does – which, given her gifts, is not in itself a bad thing, but which means you need to make sure that you show it to your other child. you like it too. Instead, you go out of your way to justify your youngest daughter’s incredibly inappropriate response to this situation as just part of her talent. It looks like your eldest daughter took all this in stride. If you want her to willingly spend time with you in a decade or so, you need to view her as someone as important as your musician.

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