NO: “She forgot her lunch money; I’ll just drop it at the school office.”
“He is going to miss the deadline, unless I take care of it.”
Most teens learn form a subtle form of trial and error. They are by developmental necessity risk-takers. Some of their risks will succeed, others will not. They will learn best when the consequences of their own risks, forgetfulness and procrastination are directly experienced, not blunted by a parent’s helpfulness.
Detach From Specific Outcome:
NO: “He just HAS to make varsity this fall.”
“If she doesn’t get into Duke, it will be the worst thing ever.”
Even if he does make varsity, very quickly that urgent priority will be replaced by yet another. And then another. Failure to get into any specific college is never the end of the world. In fact, very often students ending out at a second choice college come to feel that “things worked out for the best.” Parents should never project, or feel, that everything that matters hinges on a specific outcome.
Sarah C. Reese
Executive Director, Informed Educational Solutions