Avoiding senseless disappointment

My friend is in the middle of a difficult transition with a child who is moving past adolescence into adulthood; the ride has been bumpy.  Her daughter is not “progressing” along the adult-ing track on par with her Mom’s expectations.


Convinced that her daughter is brilliant (and she is), and capable (and she is) my friend is disappointed in her daughter’s lack luster academic performance.  This has become a real buzz kill in their relationship because mom is OBSESSED with getting this kid “back on track”.  


After months of listening to this mommy angst it occurred to me that I didn’t really understand what “back on track” meant.  She explained, “She needs a 4.0, more internships, and networking (including joining a sorority).”


“But she just finished her first semester with a 3.4.  That seems like a pretty good start.  And she is working a part time job at a whopping 30 hours per week!  Aren’t sororities expensive and finances a challenge?  And what are you thinking she needs to intern doing - she hasn’t even declared a major yet, has she?”


And honest to goodness her reply was this, “You are just confusing the facts with the mission.  The mission is success and she is not showing the promise I believe she possesses.”


Confusing the facts with the mission?  Seriously?


I fear my friend, who loves her child and desperately desires a close relationship, is sowing seeds of regret and resentment that may just sabotage this relationship in ways that will break my friend’s heart.  But my friend did not ask my opinion and I tried to remember my place.  So I stopped with my Socratic methodology of passive-aggressive questioning and LET.  IT.  GO.