Remember that moment when you first held your baby and you were overwhelmed by love, joy, hope and aspirations for that child? I experienced that as well, but the one thought that was so clearly formed in my mind was this: “I only have 18 years with you.” And, that’s when the over-parenting began.
I knew, from the moment of each child’s birth, I would do everything in my power to care for and nurture each of my children. How that transpired over the years was, at times, perceived by my children as overbearing, too involved, nosy, repetitive, and, of course, unnecessary. But, like any good mom, I persevered.
My intent was honorable; I wanted my kids to learn from the mistakes I had made at their age (why repeat history, right?) and fill their heads with important information (life lessons) that would be useful someday.
But the reality is that we learn best when we learn on our own and owning their education was a top priority for me. So, when it came time for them to go to college, I let go of a lot of control and they, in turn, took on more and more of the responsibility of caring for themselves and being in charge of their own futures.
Over-parenting is Easy; Hands-off is the Hard Part
As they prepared to go to college, it was hard. Not so much for them, but for me. I over-stepped at times and they would say “Mom, I’ve got this” or, sometimes more emphatically, “I know. I’ll do it.” They perfected the “eye-roll” but along the way, they picked up on what needed to be done — and when they didn’t, they learned valuable lessons about people and relationships, as well as time and money management. But maybe I learned the greatest lesson. Sometime, less is more.
Enjoy more parent articles from Smart College Visit in our Parent-to-Parent section.