I’ve written a lot about one of the top mistakes we see the best-intentioned parents make over and over again:
Doing stuff for their kid that their kid is capable of doing for themselves, notably being the one to push them to be on top of school.
You’re probably in this camp if, for example, you…
…make to-do lists for your kid,
…sit with them/look over their shoulder as they do their homework,
…check their school platform and grades most days,
…email teachers on their behalf,
….constantly ask 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.
Here’s the thing: as long as you’re doing these things, they’ll stay stuck. Real, positive change and growth happens when you step back. It’s hard, it can feel counterintuitive, and it’s absolutely essential to their autonomy, confidence and ability to self-motivate. This is why one of the first things we do with our families is making sure the teen is clear that Mom/Dad will step back in exchange for them stepping up.
Most teens are THRILLED with this. They often don’t really believe us at first (‘you don’t know my Mom, she can’t not nag me about school’) but then when they see you, their parent, keeping their word and giving them space as they learn to take more and more responsibility, that’s where the magic starts to happen.
I’m going to let one of our teens share his thoughts on this. When I asked Connor, 14, what advice he has for parents of struggling students, here’s what he said:
“I’d say if they start Komo, let them go. My mom did and it gives another booster that once they start to do this and see you’re not nagging them anymore, it motivates in a way, like ‘they’re not nagging so something must be working.’
So if you lay off them which my Mom did which helped me, gave me more confidence, like she’s trusting me more, she’s not nagging about school every minute of every day. So – lay off them and give them some confidence.”
Check out Connor’s full story here (the snippet above is at the end, time stamp 28”33).
If you wish you could lay off and watch your kid become more self-sufficient, let’s talk and get clear on how exactly to make this happen. Book a 15-minute clarity call with my team here; you’ll fill us in on your situation, we’ll let you know if and how we can help (and if not, hopefully we can at least point you in the right direction).
To laying off and giving your kid confidence 🙂
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