So how much do you let your child struggle?

<p>I'm just curious because of my own situation. My D is a rising senior in college and she is my only child, but sometimes I feel guilty for trying to "teach" her some life's lessons. While it can be my first instinct to "rescue" when there is a problem, I may then pull back to let her feel the consequence of her decisions, but then when I do that, sometime $&@! happens that really could have been avoided had I stepped in. Where does one draw the line in the sand?</p>

<p>I step in when my D will be making a decision that my wife will make me fix later on. If I am never going to have to get involved go do what you want but if you are going to come back to me and my lovely wife will not be able to "actions have consequences" so dear D live with it I tell my D in advance (if I know) and she generally rethinks her plan. It is real easy to have a great plan when someone else is paying.
Right now it is grad school. No more money from dad/mom changed the thought process. Still wants to go but now has to consider the financial end of the plan.</p>

<p>I evaluate and determine if the worst case scenario is going to cost me money. For example, if D had not attended a 5 week summer class this June, then I think she would have been behind in her academic major (class was a prereq and required for all sorts of future courses); the extra semester down the road would have been $$. I am all for life lessons but in this case, I explained my position so she would not tromp off to a summer job or languish at home.<br>
For friend/boyfriend/social issues: I try to give her some time to come up with solutions. One issue came up this Spring and by the time she called me, she had done all sorts of footwork and research, which really impressed me.
So, milkandsugar, I try to figure out the consequences -- if not putting your clothing in the dryer on time results in mildewed clothing, then she can fix that. if not submitting a request for a course substitution on time could result in an extra semester of college, then I step in and nag and explain.
I want D to graduate from college and will rescue with textbook money, rides to school, field trip costs, lab fees, a better meal plan, and such. But if her hair, which she had dyed with magenta streaks last week for $90, looks awful -- well, she can figure out how to fix that with her money.</p>

<p>What are the "struggles" you are having to deal with? For my kids...if it impacted MY money (e.g. graduating on time from college) or health issues for my kids, I would speak up. If it were a boyfriend, hair issue, or something like that which was a personal choice but not harmful, I would just button up.</p>

<p>For me its health and safety more than money. I interfere if the living situation or plan is dangerous. I would not let my child starve or only eat unhealthy food because he did not budget correctly, I will pay to fix breaks on car and will pay for any medication no matter the cost. They can take a taxi if in a dangerous place and need to get away. I have paid for a new phone when one is lost because it falls under the safety category. I have paid for an air conditioner in the heat of summer.
I will also step in when I think he is being taken advantage of financially because of his age for my college age kid but not for my newly graduated.
If it were a legal matter I would insist on being involved even if over 18 and would hire a lawyer (my choice).
Absolutely nothing with grades or classes or jobs or friends or housing or travel plans except where noted above.</p>

<p>Health and safety. D is already out of grad school and each year the advice and aid has dwindled until now. At this point I honestly can't remember the last time I interfered. We chat and discuss problems like friends and I only give advice when asked.</p>

<p>If it is something that I think may turn out to to their (or our) detriment in the future DH and I definitely give our opinion/ advice.</p>

<p>Sometimes I feel I am nagging, then she suprises me and has taken care of something that I had anticipated, she wouldnt. Then there are times that I dont jump in because she demonstrated maturity and then she drops the ball. The last one was as mom4college mentioned and that was she was suppose to take classes this summer so that she could graduate on time and not cost me any extra money. I nagged and nagged. She had a lot of miscommunication with me and with the school. By time everything was straightened out, it was too late to register for the classes. Even though she told me in March that she ws taking classes this summer, she waited til last minute to be proactive about it.
As far a health, i make sure she has new glasses, contacts, sees the dentist, but as far as follow-up, she doesnt. She doesnt take the time for these important things, yet she will make sure she orders her concert tickets. I feel bad for feeling as I do. But I need for her to learn that her choices do have consequence. She is a good child, has managed her schoolwork and a job well, but its thses things that I find irritating.</p>

<p>Depends on the definition of "struggle". There are things we hound him about (eg car maintenance, financial management, Drs appointments, etc) especially when his failing to follow through might cause more headache for us in the future. I have just finished nagging younger s to get his oil/filter changed before he goes back to school and to get an appt (might be too late) for a physical. If he wants his Rx refilled, he has to go. Hes stalled so long that he may not be able to get an appointment. Ditto on his dental appointment. I've told him enough times. Now he's just being stubborn. Grrr....</p>

<p>If it involves her health or my money, I have a say. Bad decisions can be made on her dime.</p>

<p>I think it is important to let kids fail. Otherwise how will they learn? Many parents here are stepping in to help when their money is involved. I disagree. If the kids do not graduate from college on time, don't pay for them. Let them not have a degree. That will teach them that they can't always depend on their parents to bail them out. They will become more responsible adults as a result. This is America. We love second acts here. The kids will come around after their struggles and somehow make it work. Don't nag and micromanage every aspect of their life. You can't do it forever. What will the kids do wen you are no longer managing every part of their lives, especially mundane things like doctors appointments and oil change for cars?</p>

<p>They learn from practice, experience and guidance. Just like being fored to practice 3+ hrs/day and hit 1000 balls/day and take notes on their lessons. That is micromanaging.</p>

<p>Which we all know is not good. That's why we need to let these kids fail. They may not succeed for a long time and suffer hard, but that will be for their own good.</p>

<p>What I am trying to say is this - if the kids are not passionate about changing the oil in their car, no amount of parental nagging will work in the long run.</p>

<p>Can't wait to hear the update on that one.</p>

<p>
[quote]
if the kids are not passionate about changing the oil in their car,

[/quote]
hahahaha. Right. :rolleyes: Your definition of passionate sure is a moving target around here. </p>

<p>Wait-- I forgot. You dont nag- you bribe. I see. So much more appropriate.</p>

<p>Why are you trying to pick a fight with me? I am not interested.</p>

<p>Ditto. Why are you trying to use CC as sport and to make a mockery with inconsistencies and nonsense. No one is interested.</p>

<p>I'm still learning. I generally try to think things through early and plant bugs in their ears so they can 1) get things accomplished and 2) feel like it's their idea. I have to say, I have pretty responsible sons, and most of the time they come through. </p>

<p>I think the most important thing is to pick your battles. I think if you're nagging and nagging and not getting results maybe the reason is that they've tuned you out because you've nagged and nagged too much, kwim? My kids know I don't make a threat if I'm not prepared to carry it out. Bottom line: I don't play. In the example cited, I would have told her in March that if this doesn't get done then she can pay for the extra semester of school. Seriously. And they'd know I meant it. If they needed help to get it accomplished, then all they have to do is ask (NOT at the last minute) and I'd likely help them, depending on whether I think this is something they could do/have done but they're just super-busy and it's easier for me to do it locally.</p>

<p>I learned a couple of hard lessons early how immasculating it is for sons to have Mommy get involved/overinvolved in issues. I definitely try to stay in the background in most situations. Not perfect, but I try.</p>

<p>YDS-
Agreed-- to a point. DS drives a car that we own. He will take it back to school. It needs an oil change before he takes it. Hopefully it doesnt need more. Maintenance is necessary to prolong the life of the car, and its not a new car. If he encounters a problem en route back to school, or while he is at school. its a bigger headache for all of us-- one tht I'd rather avoid if possible,</p>

<p>In that case, I'd find something that will motivate him. For my boys, it's money. I'd say: "Owning a car is a privilege that carries responsibilities. If you can't find 30 minutes to get the oil changed, then I'll let you start paying for your insurance and repairs that most assuredly will happen as a result of not getting the oil changed." Or I'd tell him that if he can't take care of the car properly, then he can leave it home and be carless next semester.</p>

<p>FYI, I burnt out an engine when I was 19 because of a lack of oil. Expensive lesson learned. Trust me, that never has happened again.</p>