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Moms with Teens Moms with Teens

Doing Too Much, Learning To Let Go ** Update ***

Posted by on Aug. 19, 2014 at 1:35 PM
  • 38 Replies

I am constantly having people tell me that I do too much for my daughter. Examples include running her violin to school if she forgets it, pulling out her clothes, packing her swim bag before a competition.  I do the things I do because I'm a control freak. When I pull out her clothes I know she's going to wear what I like. It eliminates a potential argument or disagreement. Also she and I both suffer from anxiety and if she were to forget something important at a swim meet she would have an attack and I would get equally upset. Not so much that she's upset but I would feel like I failed as a parent and everyone is judging me. Now that she's in middle school I'm being told I need to back off. I don't disagree with this but it's really hard. My mom was a very absentee parent. I can't help but want to be the complete opposite.

Has anyone else been accused of doing too much? How did you ween yourself?


*** Telling me that I need to stop and that it's my fault my daughter has anxiety is simply stating the obvious. I am aware that I need to stop. I am aware that what I'm doing could be hindering my daughter's development and growth. I'm not trying to validate my actions. I'm not looking for anyone to say. You are fine or keep up the good work. What I want is maybe some suggestions on how to STOP. ***

by on Aug. 19, 2014 at 1:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
atlmom2
by Susie on Aug. 19, 2014 at 1:46 PM

You need to stop and stop now.  I wonder if you brought on anxiety in your dd from your actions of ocd and the hovering.  She needs to learn to fail and not have something she forgot and that no one is perfect.  Arguments will happen and happen a lot between mothers and daughters.  I have 2 dd's myself. 

I might even suggest counseling for you.  I am not trying to be mean, just realistic. 

Maime13
by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I have had the same issues in all areas of my family. I too am a control freak with anxiety! But I have to agree, it's time to back off a bit.
Help her make a check list for competitions and then she can go through her bag and check off against the list to make sure she has what she needs. As for clothes, let her wear what she likes. I mean, you are buying the clothes so ulimately nothing she owns is totally heinous, right? The only time to exert control over clothing is if it's inappropriate for the occassion. Even weather isn't really a place to dig in. If she gets cold, she'll learn to dress warmer, etc.
I started charging my kids money if they forgot something and I needed to bring it to school. My time is important too and I am not an "errand boy". They got too relient on the fact that ole softy Mom would turn around and drive 20 mins one way to bring their folder or whatever. Again, this is another area where you can help her set up a system to make sure she has what she needs. Be that putting things by the front door before bed (as well as laying out clothes at that time) or creating a list. Help her to figure out what works best for her.

Sydel
by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Trust and believe I know what I'm doing isn't the healthiest. I know she needs to learn how to be independent. There is no argument there. And I know I need counseling. I'm on a waiting list. I'm not in anyway trying to justify what I do. I am simply expressing that I am aware of it and I know what needs to be done and it's difficult.

Quoting atlmom2:

You need to stop and stop now.  I wonder if you brought on anxiety in your dd from your actions of ocd and the hovering.  She needs to learn to fail and not have something she forgot and that no one is perfect.  Arguments will happen and happen a lot between mothers and daughters.  I have 2 dd's myself. 

I might even suggest counseling for you.  I am not trying to be mean, just realistic. 


atlmom2
by Susie on Aug. 19, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Talk to her and let her know this is the deal.  From now on I will never lay out your clothes or get your swim stuff together.  IF you forget something know that it is NOT the end of the world and she will deal. 

I always told my girls I would come bring something to school once a semester and for something very important.  That was it. If not they would deal. 

Let her know that failing at something is normal and needed for her to grow as a person. 

Sydel
by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 3:02 PM

I started with letting her know what needs to be done and encouraging her to do it. She has never complained about doing things. I just never really gave her the chance. But last night I found myself at midnight writing reminders in her school planner. Re-arranging her binder to match her school schedule, and switching out the sports bra she had packed for today's cross country meet. I also took everything out of her room and moved it down to the kitchen table. And switched the shoes she had pulled out.

Quoting Maime13:

I have had the same issues in all areas of my family. I too am a control freak with anxiety! But I have to agree, it's time to back off a bit. Help her make a check list for competitions and then she can go through her bag and check off against the list to make sure she has what she needs. As for clothes, let her wear what she likes. I mean, you are buying the clothes so ulimately nothing she owns is totally heinous, right? The only time to exert control over clothing is if it's inappropriate for the occassion. Even weather isn't really a place to dig in. If she gets cold, she'll learn to dress warmer, etc.I started charging my kids money if they forgot something and I needed to bring it to school. My time is important too and I am not an "errand boy". They got too relient on the fact that ole softy Mom would turn around and drive 20 mins one way to bring their folder or whatever. Again, this is another area where you can help her set up a system to make sure she has what she needs. Be that putting things by the front door before bed (as well as laying out clothes at that time) or creating a list. Help her to figure out what works best for her.


Sydel
by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM

It's not her dependence that's the issue. It's my urge to do things for her. Last night she pulled out her own clothes. This morning I walked in her room and pulled out a different set. She wears uniforms! I have no idea what I felt the need to pull out a different set. She wore what she pulled out but wore the shoes I pulled out probably because I had hidden the ones she pulled out under the kitchen sink.. (Yes I know I'm a nut job) there was no argument.  Our morning went smooth. I feel really guilty though.

I told her coach that I'm working on backing off and to let me know when I need to back off. I also decided since my daughter is in middle school I should find more hobbies or activities for myself alone or myself and my younger DD to do so that I won't be so fixated on the older one.

Quoting atlmom2:

Talk to her and let her know this is the deal.  From now on I will never lay out your clothes or get your swim stuff together.  IF you forget something know that it is NOT the end of the world and she will deal. 

I always told my girls I would come bring something to school once a semester and for something very important.  That was it. If not they would deal. 

Let her know that failing at something is normal and needed for her to grow as a person. 


cybcm
by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 3:50 PM
How old is she?

Step away from her school planner, that's not yours, it is hers so she can learn how to plan herself and her school day and you are hindering her learning.

I would nit be the slightest bit interested in what other people think, instead I would be worried about the harm I am doing to her. It sounds like her anxiety is a learned behaviour. If she forgets her violin or something for swimming she needs to wear the consequences, she needs to plan her own school day and she needs to learn how to dress herself.
These are all life skills and you are taking away her ability to learn and develop them
Sydel
by Bronze Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 4:02 PM
1 mom liked this

She's 12 and I am very aware that it's probably my fault that she suffers from anxiety. I want to be better and STOP being so crazy. It's really easy for people to say just stop. But it's like an addiction or co-dependency. Since 4th grade I have always wrong inspirational quotes in her planner which was my only intention. But then I decided to fill in all her sporting events and appointments.  Once I saw what I had done in ink I felt very panicked and guilty. I don't really care what anyone else thinks per say. Like I said before I'm not looking for validation. I know how screwed up I am. I know I need to stop. It helps to talk about it. Hearing that it's not normal and can be harmful reinforces the need for me to step back.

Quoting cybcm: How old is she? Step away from her school planner, that's not yours, it is hers so she can learn how to plan herself and her school day and you are hindering her learning. I would nit be the slightest bit interested in what other people think, instead I would be worried about the harm I am doing to her. It sounds like her anxiety is a learned behaviour. If she forgets her violin or something for swimming she needs to wear the consequences, she needs to plan her own school day and she needs to learn how to dress herself. These are all life skills and you are taking away her ability to learn and develop them


atlmom2
by Susie on Aug. 19, 2014 at 4:51 PM

When you want to do something for her like writing in her planner or change her clothes, breathe and realize what you are doing isn't right.  Maybe decide you will go sit down, watch some tv, get on the computer or something to distract yourself from doing anything for your dd you shouldn't be doing. 

iwashere
by Member on Aug. 19, 2014 at 5:08 PM
1 mom liked this

Look, I'm a controller too. And it is so hard to step back - but honestly? Hello! You made the first step by realizing it was an issue. Good for you :)

Now you have to take it one step futher. I swear to you, when I first started to let go, I had to do breathing exercises - in, out, in, out. LOL. But I started a bit at a time. I wasn't nearly as, er, advanced as you are, but I did start small. I would step back each time I went to do something for my child and ask myself if it would hurt him to make his own way? Most of the time the answer was no. And from there is snowballed.

Now I will admit that the kid still doesn't cook anything other than breakfast foods. And I do enjoy doing some stuff for him still. But he is responsible for his own stuff and his own life. And I'm super proud of him for that. And I'm super proud of me too. Just start with one thing - like the planner and go from there. Before you know it, you will be a laid back super mama.

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