Fall Back Mode
By: Mia L. Hazlett
This parenting thing gets real tricky when your kid hits high school, as my oldest did this year. I marvel at the young woman she has become. Not to forget my youngest, quite the milestone for her this year as she has entered middle school. As much as I want to keep my babies, babies, I have to stand back and somehow get my head around the fact my oldest will be a legal adult in three years.
I’m trying to breathe through this time in my parenting, but it’s difficult. I’ve always been their advocate and protector. But now I need to be their safety net. I need to let them stumble, fall, and screw things up for themselves. The severity of their screw up will determine whether or not I step in or allow them to experience the consequences or pain associated with their misstep.
You see, the other day when my oldest checked her class schedule, one of her classes had been dropped and they added a second English class. It made no sense. She was upset. I was trying to figure out which day I would leave work early to rectify the problem. Luckily I didn’t tell her my plan and Mother Syndrome (you know, you’re planning on who you are going to cuss out at the school and see a sock on the floor, go put it in the laundry room, run a load of clothes and whatever you were thinking about has been replaced with ten other thoughts), kicked in.
My plan to confront the school heads was thwarted the next day when she told me what SHE was going to do about her messed up schedule. Working in higher education, I tend to come across the helicopter parents who have successfully kept their babies, their babies. In my head I’m always thinking what an epic fail they are. When I returned home from work and talked with her, she told me she spoke with her teacher and they advised her what to do. Before night’s end, the problem had been rectified and she received her corrected schedule.
I learned from this. Through my years of advocating for them, I’ve taught them how to advocate for themselves. Now I have to let them actually do it. I can still be mama bear, but I much rather let them make their mistakes and learn from them under my roof, than have that kid in college calling me because they can’t figure out how to put a class schedule together.
It’s time to fall back and let them practice what they’ve been taught.
Copyright © 2016 Mia L. Hazlett