When Parents Put Too Much Stress on Their Kids: Why Sometimes Less Parenting Is More by Dawn Taylor

Parenting Teens
a month ago
When Parents Put Too Much Stress on Their Kids: Why Sometimes Less Parenting Is More

Sometimes I feel like a terrible parent. I have four kids and I love them all dearly. My two daughters are still at home, making their way through high school the best way they can. And sometimes I don’t help. Let me explain...

I do my best, I really try, but today I feel like an awful human and luckily I can identify what I’m doing wrong. Hopefully it’s not too late.

My daughters are as smart as can be, do well in school (both top of their classes) and participate in many school clubs and activities. They manage a lot. And they are killing it. Of course, I support them and I hope I have something to do with their drive to do well. But some days I fail. Today I said things that spun my daughter into an anxiety attack and I couldn’t take it back.

I was upset because I felt she didn’t work as hard on an assignment as I thought she could have. She had been helping a friend with his homework and I felt she neglected to put all of her effort into her own work. She took it as the assignment sucked and she was a failure.

Not too long ago when she was forgetful I had told her she was “slacking.” This has stuck with her and the truth is the only one slacking is me. I’m sure both my daughters feel pressure from me, even if my intentions are good.

I need to stop focusing on every little thing as being so potentially damaging to their futures. That’s me projecting my own feelings of failure (my own) and it’s not OK.

I intend to do better. I intend to offer guidance when they need me. I intend to let them decide if their assignments need tweaking. Of course, if they ask me to look over things, I will but I’ll offer gentle suggestions and remember they are learning and improving.

They are both brilliant writers and students, and my expectations are too high. They’ve got this. I am adding to their anxiety.

I need to take a small step back and be present, but not overbearing. I need to watch what I say because what might seem small to me could be huge to them. High school is so much more than academics. I need to be wary of sticking my nose in when it’s not warranted.

To my beautiful daughters, I’m sorry.

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Elisa All Schmitz 30Seconds
This is so well expressed, Dawn Taylor . I think many parents can relate to feeling awful from time to time about some perceived "parenting fail." We're all only human and doing the best we can. I hope our kids know that, no matter what. Your kids are amazing, so obviously you're doing a lot right. Mom guilt is real, so I get it, but don't be too hard on yourself. (I need to take that advice as well.)
Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP
Dawn, thank you for sharing this very personal tip. I have been there too. It is part of being a mom. We make mistakes. I know I have and sometimes still do. It is funny, if you didn’t get involved you would feel guilty that you don’t give enough and when you are supportive you feel awful too. I don’t know about you, but I never received the training on how best to be a mom. We love our children and we only want the best for them. Virtual hug coming at you!
Dawn Taylor
Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP thank you for making me feel less guilty. I know that many other parents struggle with this but as you know when you are in a less than stellar moment of parenting, it just feels awful. Mistakes just hurt so much more when we hurt those we love. Thank you again for acknowledging I am not alone. <3
Holly Budde
awe! this is so heartfelt. Don’t beat yourself up. We have all been there ! As Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP said kids don’t come w manuals. I’ve made plenty of mistake w my kids. Usually, just as you said, by saying something that they really took to heart or took differently than I ever intended. I’ve learned that if I say “hey I never meant that to be ... “. “I’m sorry “ or “I messed up “ they appreciate the fact that I am human and admitted I was wrong. Annnd ! It has sparked some great conversations. We are all vulnerable and it’s ok to show your kids that. You are NOT alone , trust me!!

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