Parenting needs to come with a rule book. I may have a few college degrees, but a secondary education doesn’t prepare you for teenage girls and raising responsible adults. I have a good handle on keeping them well-fed and healthy, and I routinely enforce a good nights sleep. But when it comes to stepping back to allow the girls to flounder, fail and find their own way – I suffer miserably.
Failure brings growth and lessons learned – but this momma is a control freak who wants to fix everything. I’ve already made mistakes interfering with sports and coaches when I should have stepped back and shut up. If there’s trouble at school, I tackle it head on. My theory has been that you can’t improve if you don’t know what the problem is.
Recently that stupid little voice in my head (that I have learned to despise) is wondering if my teenage daughter should be addressing these issues on her own. Instead of me asking if her homework is done, do I risk the fact that it is NOT done and let her get a poor grade? If she didn’t pay attention to what time practice was tomorrow, do I allow her to miss practice? When the tears are falling, do I go to the source or let her figure it out? I can intervene – but should I . . . The mama bear inside me screams HELL YES – but the small rational parenting portion of my brain truly knows the answer.
Why does it feel like I’m going through my teenage years again? So not fair.
I am fortunate to have remarkable, intelligent daughters who have made my life pretty easy so far. I hope the “sit back and let them figure it out” theory doesn’t get tested with major life-altering issues. My goal is to open communication and make sure they know that I am always here for an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on, and I am ALWAYS watching. Allowing them to make decisions, and mistakes, will be part of our future. I made my share of mistakes in the past and they shaped me into who I am today.
Please support me as I gradually unclench the claws of an obsessive, controlling mother, while never relinquishing my constant concern for my girls’ safety, growth, and happiness. But always know . . . Mama bear isn’t far away.