This quote in particular stuck with me “Seriously? You micro-manage the literal crap out of every thing your child does from his gluten intake to his soccer cleats, but THIS you stay out of?”
I micro-manage a lot of what my kids do. I don’t helicopter parent but I do micro manage them and I am completely ok with it. They may not be, but they do not live in a democracy – David and I set the rules, the room for negotiation exist but it is small and we do ultimately have the last say.
As some of you may know Cameron does well in life in general at the moment. He is smart, he is sporty, he gets on well with his peers. He has it all going for him. For the most part he has always been pretty ok with it all and not let it go to his head but last year he made a few statements that were more than confidence, they were arrogant. They were statements were he felt better than another person and where he had participated in a conversation that expressed similar sentiments. I called him out on this, because you know I don’t mind micro managing and calling my kid out when he is being an asshole.
Think back, for a moment, when you were 13. Imagine being popular, smart, academic and good at pretty much everything you do? Maybe you were that kid or maybe you wanted to be that kid. Either way at 13 when life is on your side, it is very hard to not be a little arrogant or to feel like you are a little bit better than everyone else. At 13 you don’t have the hindsight to know high school doesn’t matter in the bigger picture or that being arrogant is not a positive attribute. All you know is how cool you are perceived by your peers.
This can also spiral out of control if you, as the parent, don’t keep control of things. A popular kid yields a lot of power on the playground, a power that they don’t always know how to use correctly. Recently comments were made by my son that reminded me of that. Once again he was saying things I didn’t like, statements that were borderline arrogance, once again I micro-managed, helicopter parented it until he knew that confidence is an admirable quality but arrogance not so much.
While my son has a lot going for him, he is by no means an angel. I am not blind to the crappy attitude every now and then. I know when he is being a bit of a brat and I know he is often wrong.
It is our job, as parents, to call our kids out on this behaviour and to make sure they correct it, learn from it an say sorry if they need to.
It is not only the kids who come from troubled backgrounds who are bullies or turn into the big-headed jocks – sometimes it is the good kids who just weren’t guided enough (or micro-managed enough). You job as a parent doesn’t stop when your child hits his teenage years, that is when the life lessons really start being taught and as parents we have to stay on our toes and make sure we teach them.
Parenting teens people, its not all selfies and sunshine.