In light of the latest college scandal, I'd like to take a moment and consider the kids that were involved. In many cases, the kids were unaware that the parents went to such extremes to help them.
Consider for a moment, when we plow a way for our kids, the potential outcomes they may face. These kids are now suffering from embarrassment and social criticism. Shame that they did not get into college on their own, shame from the jokes posted on social media, insecurity about their identity, potential hopelessness that anyone thinks they are capable of handling life on their own. Not to mention the penalties and delays in their education because of the parent's interference.
Now before we get too judgmental and wag our fingers at other parents, let's take a moment and ask ourselves, when have we been guilty over-functioning for our kids?
Every time we do, we are missing the opportunities to prepare them for adulthood. Have you contacted a coach about your child's play time? A teacher for a bad grade? Have you run your child's missing homework to school for them?
When we do, we are not keeping the long term picture in the forefront of our minds.
Consider if you are doing these things to train your child for adulthood or to relieve some of your own discomforts?
Consider what we are modeling for our kids when we do these things.
Now, I am not saying to withhold empathy for the natural consequences that they experience. What I am saying is to use those moments, to support your child towards critical thinking and problem-solving.
By responding, "Wow, you forgot your gym sneakers for the third time and you have detention, that's got to sting". You are empathizing with their situation. By directing them later in the conversation to consider, "how will you remember in the future to pack your sneakers"? You are challenging them to solve the problem and training them towards adulthood.
What are your thoughts on this topic?