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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

Taking Back the Need to Control

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I am driving my daughter crazy! She's a high school senior ready to fly. And, I have no doubt she will do just that. The problem is with my every nagging reminder I make her feel as if she can't succeed without me.

"Did you turn in your schedule?"

"Did you remember to reply to that email?"

"Did you write the thank you note?"

"Did you talk to your teacher?"

Oh my gosh, just reading these questions help me see why she is so sick of me! But in thinking through what it is I want to change, nagging is not really the root. I think for us moms with a tendency to nag we have to go deeper to see why.

What is it we want?

If I'm totally honest, it is a lack of trust and the desire to control. No wonder she feels For me, it is the desire to control and to make sure everything gets done according to MY time table. But I can see how all of my questions are driving a wedge in our relationship and making it seem like I don't think she will survive out from under my watchful eye. I know she will, but I also know she is prone to procrastinate and sometimes overlook things. So I rationalize that I am not nagging or trying to control her circumstances, but simply preventing mistakes and sparing her from consequences. While that may be true, it is not ultimately for her best. It may actually be best for her to fail a time or two. After all, adversity is often the best teacher.

That is why this year I plan to take back the need to control. I know this will take work and biting my tongue, therefore, I've decided the most realistic way to succeed is for she and I to schedule a weekly "meeting." The meeting can serve as a way for me to remind her of important things while giving her the opportunity to share how I can best help (even if that means leaving her alone)!

I feel confident though that if I slip back into my nagging ways, she will let me know! (Funny, I am completely confident of that). In the end, our meetings should help relieve me of carrying the unnecessary stress of her to-do list and relieve her of the extra stress I put on her about it! A definite win-win for a stonger mother-daughter relationship, which is really my primary goal.

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