When you are parenting little people you just want to love and protect them. As they grow older the problems get harder. Each child’s struggles are different. We as parents can relate to some of their pain, it could trigger our own past bad experiences. When I grew up by parents didn’t get too involved. I had some hard things come up, but I dealt with it as best as I could. Noone went to the parents, or the school to get involved, I’m grateful for that in some ways, but there wasn’t much guidance. Some empathy sure, but no real plan or clear steps as to how to handle this issue best.
Now I see so much hyper parenting. Parents that protect right into adulthood. Let the kids work it out! Don’t call the school to complain about a grade, don’t get involved in fights that your children are having with their friends… seriously I’ve heard of mothers going at it or giving each other the silent treatment over a fight between the kids. It’s tough not to step in, but the message is that you don’t have this, I will fix it, and then we complain they are entitled and don’t want to work hard.
My daughter got a low-grade last term that didn’t add up. She was so upset and I couldn’t have easily stepped in. Instead, we talked about it, I supported her in writing a clear and polite email stating all the facts. The teacher responded and thanked her for following up and she had made an error. It was great seeing her problem solve, take her own action and then get a positive response. It doesn’t always work out so well, but at least they tried. Validate the emotion, help them get back up after a difficult experience. We want to wrap them up and protect them, but it doesn’t teach anything. Learn to tolerate their distress, give empathy. Learn to tolerate your own stress and pause before jumping in to rescue them.
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