When my children were younger a quick band-aid or a kiss on the “boo-boo” would often stop the tears – now, that they’re older band-aids sadly no longer work. It takes many hours of conversations, compromise, patience and understanding. Let me ask you: To Meddle or Not To Meddle, That Is The Question.
To Meddle or Not to Meddle that is the question
My children are 15 & 9 years old. Long gone are the days of countless meltdowns, tantrums and endless boo-boo’s that need band-aids. Life was so much simpler then; less complicated, less stressful and I never thought I would say this but I miss those tantrums!
Now, we are facing teen drama which entails – back-stabbing friends, boys who break hearts, social media drama, grades, college tours and so much more! So I often ask myself: “To Meddle Or Not To Meddle, That Is The Question.” Personally, I can’t be a sideline parent, that’s not what I signed up for. I want to be in their lives full-time, front of the line, to help them make decisions that will help shape them into respectable members of society. Back to the question when do you meddle and when do you let them figure it out for themselves.
Open honest relationships
I have always had a very close-honest-open relationship with my children and in turn, they are open and honest with me. I’m not sure if it’s because my husband and I are young parents or if we just got super lucky. But, our kids are well… perfect. Haha – RIGHT?! Doesn’t every parent say that! WE like to say that “Our kids are perfect for us”! Because they are. We can read their faces, body language and just know when something is off with them (sometimes before they even do!). The kids seem to think we are super-human and have a sixth-sense because we know more than they’ve told us. I just call it our Mama/Papa Radar!!
When I meddle and when I don’t meddle
When my children vent and spill the beans about what’s going on in their lives. I take the time to listen until they’re done venting, and I first ask “how can I help or what can I do?” Often times they will say “I don’t know Mama – I just don’t know” That’s when I begin asking the age old questions – who, what, when, where, how, and why. That often gets more information and then I’m able to decide from there if I should meddle or not. 100% of the time I give my advice on how things should be handled and give my reasons on why I think it’s for the best. Then
I ask myself…
- How does this affect their future
- Is it a quick fix
- Will they lose sleep over this
- Will I lose sleep over this
- How will this impact their social life
- Does this impact their grades
- Does this impact their well-being and happiness
- Will we look back on this in 10 years and have regrets
- Can they fix this on their own
- Should they fix this on their own
So, to Meddle or Not to Meddle, that is STILL the question
If it’s some silly teen drama – I don’t typically get involved, but if it’s something that hurts them or makes them cry, then I meddle. It helps that I have great relationships with most of their friends and I help them figure things out. I take the time to sit down and help them through it. If it’s about school, grades, or even social media drama then I tend to meddle, or at the very least give my advice and let them figure it out. I feel like over the years, I have given them all the tools they need to make the right decisions and to problem solve to come up with solutions to help fix the problem on their own- whatever it may be.
My daughter felt like her Algebra II teacher just wasn’t a great fit. She was having a hard time learning from her, and her grades were suffering because of it and felt like she would benefit immensely from switching teachers. My daughter then scheduled a meeting on her own with her guidance counselor to see if she could switch teachers. They met and the guidance counselor agreed with her. My husband and I were only pulled into one of the meetings to make sure we were on board with her decision to switch classes after a semester. We were on board 100% and supported her through the transition. We definitely had a proud parent moment that day and gave ourselves a little pat on the back. Woot Woot! Cheers to another day of being a kick-ass parent!
When do you meddle? Do you ever find yourself asking to Meddle or Not to Meddle, that is the question?