AVOID THESE COMMON MIS-STEPS BEFORE SAYING ‘GOODBYE!’
Let’s face it: accepting that your little ones aren’t so little anymore can be tough. While navigating the cloudy waters of early adulthood with your teen may seem intimidating, you might be surprised at how significantly impactful the right set of tools and boundaries can be in assisting your family through life’s major transitions! In this article, discover some of the common mistakes many parents and guardians make before finally unpacking the last box of dorm room essentials:
Mistake #1: “My Anxiety Should Be Your Anxiety”
While often unintentionally, some parents and guardians who outwardly convey their distress and anxiety about their child’s transition into adulthood may be inducing their teen with a strong sense of anxiety as well.
How To Avoid: The best way to evade any kind of accidental translation of anxiety onto your young adult is to convey a sense of excitement and confidence about what their future holds! Instilling a sense of positive anticipation helps to ensure that your child can tackle any foreign or unfamiliar situation life may throw their way.
Mistake #2: “My Parental Role Remains The Same”
One of the monumental misconceptions that many parents and guardians often hold is concerning how their parental role in their children’s lives remains steadfast both before and after their transition into their college lives (and beyond)!
How To Avoid: Acknowledging, accepting, and exploring a new phase of parenthood can be a fruitful and rewarding time for the relationship between you and your child. Through establishing boundaries and healthy communication, the role of a parent should ideally transform from the familiar “hands-on” form of guidance to a form of guidance that is sought out by your teen.
Mistake #3: “They Won’t Know Where To Go For [BLANK]”
Though this perception could very well be accurate, the “no-no” parents and guardians regularly engage in stepping in to offer a quick fix – therefore inhibiting their child’s ability to problem solve once they’re out of the house.
How To Avoid: While “swooping in” and fixing a small problem your child faces may seem to be the most effective solution short-term, this form of “helicopter parenting” ultimately proves to be unsuccessful in equipping your teen with an effective skill set to complete the task in the future. Instead, pointing your child in the direction of applicable resources to tackle their dilemma can be the best solution for both of you!
Mistake #4: “My Child Won’t Talk To Me If I Don’t Call Them Everyday!”
Much like Mistake #3, this misconception can also be rooted in truth. Although it’s completely natural for a parent or guardian to desire communication with their adolescent to be as frequent as it once was, this belief may also be unrealistic
How To Avoid: While your teen may not be blowing up your phone with messages during the first month of living on their own – this is to be expected. By giving your teen the space they need to adjust on their own, you are able to communicate that you respect that they have entered a new phase of their life in a completely nonverbal way!
Mistake #5: “My Child Can Not Advocate For Themself, Therefore I Must Do It For Them”
Despite getting away with sending a strongly worded email to a troublesome teacher during your child’s high school years, college is a time for your teen to begin understanding what steps they need to take to be successful in an academic setting.
How To Avoid: In an instance of academic struggle or conflict, offer yourself to your child as an avenue to emotional support; listen, reflect and discuss the issue with your adolescent while offering guidance on how to communicate professionally so that they have the opportunity to engage in effective conflict resolution.
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