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Hard Lesson Learned from a Broken Hearted Helicopter Parent

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Replies to: Hard Lesson Learned from a Broken Hearted Helicopter Parent

  • sbgal2011sbgal2011 Registered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
    It's good to know I'm not the only in this boat. I will continue to post periodically on how he is doing. @Dustyfeathers , thanks for sharing your story. The Life Coach perspective is something I had not considered, but it rings true. I'm going to keep that in mind as I continue to guide my adult children.
  • shoot4moonshoot4moon Registered User Posts: 1,276 Senior Member
    I think that you should print out and reread bjkmom's post daily. I totally empathize. D1 was/is super smart, but also had "application" issues. I knew that she had and was being medicated for ADHD. At the time, I saw some of these issues as lack of motivation, and they made me out of my tree crazy. Like you, I helicoptered (is that a verb?) like crazy throughout K12. It's a tough choice - do we helicopter to allow their brains to catch up with their peers, or do we let them fail and reduce their options when they do mature. Forgive yourself. I am sure that you made the very best decision that you could at the time, and (if you are like me) obsessed over it while making those decisions. We were accidentally fortunate in that she overheard me venting to my husband one day in sophomore year about how mad it made me, and she looked so crushed that I verbally committed to stopping, as I realized that I was losing the relationship in pursuit of "a good college." It is SO EASY to have your eye on that "prize" and lose the big picture! Simultaneously, she visited some colleges, and a fire was lit. SHE asked "what can I do to get in" and we elected to hire an outsider to "coach" her on the steps to get "there." It was tough - the coach was chosen without personal recommendations, and turned out to be weak. As an educator specializing in special needs, I could have done a much better job. IF it wasn't my child. My tongue was so sore from biting it. That said, our relationship improved dramatically. She was successful in college, and is working in her field now, but it could have just as easily gone your son's way. At this point, in my opinion, I think you should consider (1) apologizing for pressuring and pushing him toward your dream (he needs to hear this) (2) Reiterate to him that you think he is smart and capable and able to forge his own path (3) Focus on building a warm and supportive relationship with him regardless of what relatively menial(being honest) job he chooses first and (4) let his brain mature. He is clearly not a straight path kid, and that's just fine!!! You have learned your lesson - he is one that needs to be in control of his own destiny, even though he has not proved his good sense to date. If he does decide to go to a community college, I would encourage him using the community college counselling services early on. You did the best you could with the information you had. Hindsight is always 20/20. Hang in there!!!
  • websensationwebsensation Registered User Posts: 2,052 Senior Member
    edited September 2018
    OP, keep in mind that some people do not try hard in academic settings, but work very hard in other settings. I could never study hard in school setting and got by barely to get degrees and understand concepts good enough to get C+s or Bs, but was able to work very hard with dedication in business world. The fact your kid is working hard shows he is not a lazy kid. Getting good grades is not for everyone.

    I thank my mom who signed all permission slips to skip school. Lol
  • emk2000emk2000 Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    edited October 2018
    Just want to add that community college is a good option for other types of students as well. I did super well in high school. I had such big goals and thought anything was possible. I was so happy to get a top scholarship at UC Davis, into their environmental and ag college which is one of the best in the country. It became my identity and I was obsessed with it before going. Then I got there. When my life didn't immediately meet my expectations, I lost it. I became unhealthily depressed and left quickly. I knew I was giving up an incredible opportunity, but that I simply wasn't ready. Even as a top student in high school I should've considered local options and community colleges too. I was so focused on the ideals and dreams of my college experience that I didn't look at the reality of my living situation. It was simply too much of a shock too fast. Luckily I still have a clean transcript ready for me to excel at a local school, but I must say it's hard to not think about the life I could've had and the opportunities I gave up.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,736 Senior Member
    edited December 2018
    Thanks for the update. This is great news!
    I'm sure it was harrowing and stressful. But it does help -- and shows a path for others.
    Next step: confirming the great strides, no backsliding :)
  • gardenstategalgardenstategal Registered User Posts: 5,060 Senior Member
    Good for him, @sbgal2011 ! Life isn't a race - sounds like he's getting the hang of it!
  • SweetSoulMusicSweetSoulMusic Registered User Posts: 15 Junior Member
    Thank you for the update!
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 12,563 Senior Member
    @mamom that's a great story. My S is in a very similar place in life, and loving it.

    @sbgal2011 that's great news, thanks for coming back with the update!
  • sbgal2011sbgal2011 Registered User Posts: 289 Junior Member
    @Dustyfeathers That's great news! The organization you mentioned sounds wonderful, I wish more communities had those.

    @mamom So glad he found something he loves! That's the most important thing. If they love it, they will stick to it.


    I don't think I mentioned that my DS changed his major. That was another factor for his success. He loves his new major and enjoys his classes.

    Thanks for the kind words, hopefully DS will continue to stay on track!1
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