We recently used the analogy below with some of our parents re: the dangers of overstepping, and it landed so I’m sharing it here!
Imagine this – your teen decides they want to participate in a bike race. You’re helping them train for it. You lend them your e-bike, you set up a training and pacing schedule for them, and you participate in their practice rides so you can help with their pace.
Fast forward to race day. Your teen is not allowed to use the e-bike they’ve been training with. They’re using a regular bike that they’ve never trained with before. You’re also not allowed to ride with them to help keep their pace on track.
They finish the race in tears. They had no idea how hard it would actually be. They weren’t prepared for it. They didn’t do well at all.
The parent in this scenario had the best intentions and didn’t think for a second that this is the worst way to “help” their kid.
If you’re doing any of the following, it might be time to take a step back…
…making to-do lists for your kid,
…sitting with them/looking over their shoulder as they do their homework,
…checking their school platform and grades more days than not,
…emailing teachers on their behalf,
….consistently asking if they’re on top of their work, what the status is with their assignments, if they turned in their overdue work, are they ready for their test coming up etc.
Now – to be clear – you’re doing these things because you’re an awesome parent. You care. You want them to succeed.
The caveat is that as long as you’re still doing these things, they’ll continue to rely on you, and they’ll continue to stay stuck and not be able to succeed on their own.
The “TL;DR” version: doing things for them instead of helping them learn to do it themselves keeps them dependent on you. You stepping back is required for them to step up.
Cheers to helping them succeed as a confident and independent human,
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