I have two children in college. It’s proud, stressful, wonderful and exciting all in one giant jelly roll.
As a parent, I try so hard to be reasonable. Guide without hovering, accept without enabling and listen without judging. And I’m perfect at it you know. Ha!
If I had to offer any sort of insight, I’d say the hardest part of parenting teens and young adults is to listen without judging.
Sure, there were so many times I interrupted, jumped to conclusions and ended the conversation with my edict or impartation, only to shut down the real opportunity. It wasn’t until I learned to shut the hell up and listen, don’t freak out and then talk through some options that my relationship with the kids changed. They began to trust me, I began to trust them. They began to listen and so did I. It was a recipe for a win-win growing relationship with these young adults I was raising.
But what really gets my knickers in a wad is when “well-meaning” others judge my kids with absolutely no frigging clue. They see, hear or assume one little part and paint a whole out of it. Excuse me, but you don’t know. You don’t have kids in college. You have no idea how much stress it is cheering, supporting and agonizing over the scores of quarter one. You have no idea, so please either join the cheering, or shut up!
Let’s face it people. I was a mess my first semester, hell, my first year of college. Why now are children all of a sudden supposed to be all together adult, professional and know exactly what they are supposed to do? Shit, I’m 40-something (yes, heavy on the something) and I think I finally know what I’m supposed to do.
So please, I ask you. If you have sage advice and kind input, bring it. But if you are just sitting off and judging, in the words of the sweetest neighbor ever, “NO THANK YOU Love.” Please, be patient, wings are in development and you might be really surprised at how far they fly. Please just join me in the cheering section.