Sometimes you just gotta let go.

January 23, 2014

in Boys will be Boys, NaBloPoMo

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This picture would probably be hilarious if it wasn’t so true.
We baby our kids.
We fight their fights, do their laundry and make their protein shakes at 4:30am.
We make sure they have their homework, we pack their lunches, we write e-mails to their coaches (ones the kids should be writing, but we do it to save our kids the struggle of being responsible for themselves.)
At the end of the day we have to ask ourselves, are we really helping?
Probably not.
Unless you are going to be that Mom that will still be writing e-mails to your kids bosses when they are 27, you’re probably hindering them.
I/we are learning to let our youngest figure things out. Shortly after we got our kids, and it was evident that it was going to be a frequent occurrence, we made Frankie dig himself out of the messes he got himself into. Time and time again, that kid would step on a grenade he had thrown. And you know what? Today he is living on his own. He has a great job. He works hard and he is independent. Does he still step on those man made land mines? Yes. But after years of practice, he has taught himself how to deal with his self created messes and we rarely have to intervene. He makes his own choices, created his own life goal timeline and figures things out in a way that is suitable for himself.
We couldn’t be prouder.
Andrews different. His issues are ones he creates himself, but the difference in those issues are there because he pushes himself to excel. Example: Frankie would be in danger of failing a class and have to get X amount of work done to pass. Andrew gets caught up in not having enough time to get an A+. So we tend to help pick up the slack more for him than we would Frankie.
Is it right? Is it helpful?
No.
Both issues are self created. Both boys get themselves into jams, but we only look at one as a negative.
We are trying to fix that.
Are Andrews successes are really his successes if we are behind him doing damage control? The only way he is 100% accountable and can take ownership of his accomplishments is if he does it all himself.
Over the past two years we have gradually started weaning him off of his dependance on us. And this past six months, exceptionally so. It’s been a learning curve for all of us. We are always tempted to jump in and help him get to where he’s going, but we don’t.
Most of the time.
Yesterday he really mismanaged his time. He tends to rob Peter to pay Paul and it bit him in the ass. It would have been an easy fix to let him miss swim practice to get caught up. We normally would have let him skip if he had a tremendous amount of homework. School has always and will always, come first.
But he did this himself.
If we let him miss practice are we helping him or teaching him the wrong lesson?
I believe the later.
He’s made a commitment, on his own accord, to swim, to Skull Island and to Civil Air Patrol. He needs to figure out how to make all that work. And he needs to be okay with the outcome if he can’t make it work. We could easily let him miss swim and we could easily type his final draft daily journal that he has already hand written so he could go to Civil Air Patrol and pass his 2nd sergeants test.
But would that really be his own accomplishment?
No.
So he went to swim, missed Civil Air Patrol and stayed up until 10:30pm typing something that should have been typed at 4pm.
It wasn’t a pretty sight.
And today he got up at 4:30am to do it all over again. He’s exhausted. But he’s also motivated to get caught up and stay caught up.
Lesson learned.
But more importantly when he turns in that assignment he’s going to feel so much more pride and accomplishment for having fought through it.
It’s an ugly win, but it’s his win.

1 Deva January 23, 2014 at 6:20 pm

AMEN!

2 Sandi January 23, 2014 at 8:40 pm

Deva- I have to be honest, I almost hyperventilated when I saw your comment. I am a huge fan! I screamed like a little girl who just saw that Harry guy from One Direction (but I only screamed once because screaming more than that would have been embarrassing.) Thanks for 1) stopping by and 2) for writing with passion and humor about Hashimoto’s. You are awesome!

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