Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Are you Over-Parenting Your Teen?

I recently read a book that I could not put down.  It was recommended to me by a cute gal that I was seated next to at a luncheon.  The two of us got to talking and realized that we both loved to read and started recommending books to one another.  I recommended The Memory of Running to her (Have you finished it yet, Alyson?) and she recommended The Hunger Games to me.
I am telling you, The Hunger Games is amazing.  The book is by Suzanne Collins and has been marketed as young adult fiction, so it wasn’t something I would normally have even considered (although The Book Thief was also marketed that way and it is absolutely spectacular…).  The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy. 
Although I have already purchased the rest of the series, I haven’t started them yet because I still can’t get over The Hunger Games. 
It’s like I don’t want to move forward just yet.  I’m not quite ready to let the main characters, Katniss and Peeta, grow older or change.
But isn’t that the way we are as parents sometimes?  Our kids become teenagers, but we still fight all their battles for them.  We choose their clothing.  Make their hair appointments.  Schedule their volunteer service.
I have heard of parents who call college professors to argue about whether their baby deserved a “C” on the exam.  Storm the sorority house when their daughter gets cut during rush.  Call and wake their children up for class every morning. 
On a side note – I blame cell phones for a lot of this over-parenting.  When I walked out the door of my parent’s home, they couldn’t easily find me.  I think we both liked it that way!
Now, I know that the forgotten teens we serve at Community Partners of Dallas would absolutely LOVE a parent who cared enough to fight their battles – but that is not who I am thinking about today.  I’m thinking about parents who need to let go a little.
Let your teenagers and young adults make a mistake.  Make them accept the consequences.  If my mother hadn’t told me I’d have to start paying rent to live with her after college, I’d probably still be living there. 
And I never would have found work that I love.


  1. Great advise Paige
    Helicopter parents are not doing their kids a favor.
    It makes them think that they are incapable of dealing with lifes
    Hardships and breeds insecurity

  2. You are so right, Chup. It is going to be interesting to see what happens as these kids take over industry, government, etc.