Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Why this parenting gig is hard . . .

I've blogged over the years about my three kidlets (who aren't really kidlets anymore). Two of them are legally adults, which to some out there would mean that life as a parent is easier. There are aspects of parenting that have gotten easier, but others' not so much.

It's easy to step in on your child's behalf when they are small and there is something going on that you know is way too big for them to handle. When your child is an "adult," that call is a much tougher one to make. Yesterday, after witnessing a lot of angst from Artist Girl, I stepped in on her behalf and I'm glad I did so.

Of course, I didn't step in without talking it over with her first and showing her the e-mail that I had typed up. Last night I worried about sending that e-mail because it had to do with her enrollment at the cosmetology school she is attending. It was starting to feel to me that this school was more interested in getting her tuition than in teaching her the skills she needs in order to get a cosmetology license.

I researched online yesterday afternoon and was able to obtain e-mail addresses of the president of her school as well as the national director of the program. In my e-mail to both people, I outlined the concerns that Artist Girl was having and directly stated what would be the best remedy. I also pointed out that AG is not on any financial aid and had to take out loans in substantial amounts of money (a portion of which I am responsible for because she only qualified for about 2/3rds of her tuition through loans).

When AG went to school today, she was called into the Dean's Office. They discussed the e-mail that I sent and made the switch in her program that I requested. It was the same remedy that AG had requested a month ago, but was told it could not happen!

A month ago, I had asked AG if she wanted me to do anything and she had said that she could handle it on her own. I felt it was important for me to trust that she could handle it on her own. She did handle it by talking to the Dean a month ago, but as I said, they would not agree to the switch in her schedule. When I talked to her yesterday, I was faced with a kid who was very down on herself because nothing had changed and I know she probably felt very defeated.

This is where parenting can be so tough, balancing letting your kids having their independence versus knowing when you still need to step in when they need help. I still think I made the right decision a month ago to let her try to take care of the situation at her school. Yesterday, I asked her permission to step in on her behalf and am relieved that we were able to get it resolved. (I am also pleased that I didn't have to do anything beyond sending an e-mail - but would have if I needed to and which I alluded to in the e-mail. Don't make me go all mama bear on you!)


Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You're definitely right that it gets harder as they get older--the stakes are so much higher.

Margaret said...

I think this stage is HARDER--mine are almost 24(on Friday) and 20. I want to go back to their younger, less stressful, less expensive stages! Good for you for offering to step in and then doing so only when it was approved by your daughter. It's a shame that it took your intervention to get any action. Sad really. Young people deserve better!!

Clix said...

It makes me almost angry that they were not willing to do what she asked, and then when you asked, they were. That frustrates me. It just seems unfair.

ms-teacher said...

@Clix - it makes me very angry that they didn't listen to her.