The biggest obstacle to your child’s independence.
“The person who hated it the most was my mom.”
What was this dastardly “it” my student was talking about?
Parents encourage their adult children to give up!
Let me set this up properly. I currently give a large portion of my time to working with university students. Because everyone bombs an assignment or two, I like to give extra credit. Not everyone passes every assignment. You don’t get participation trophies in college.
Oh, the outrage when half the class fails their first paper. Instead I offer extra readings and reports.
The largest chunk of extra credit a student can earn is the media fast. Worth an entire grade, a student can voluntarily choose to check out off all forms of digital for a month. No social media. (Surprisingly easy). No Netflix, or youtube (surprisingly hard.) Their phones are phones. For one month, that’s it. Included in this ban is a ban on all texting. The reasons are many, but increasingly the research is showing how digital addition is hurting everyone. From texting while driving to killing our sleep, the facts are clear.
The students accuse me in their minds as “being vindictive.” How that’s possible when the assignment is extra credit is beyond me. But then, every semester, a number of students try. Most succeed.
While the results are amazing, (and a post for another day), one common theme is emerging.
Texting is the hardest to give up. And buried in that learning is that families, particularly MOMS, are the most unwilling for their now grown adult child, to participate.
Parents encourage their adult children to give up. Did you catch that? Give up!
Not because the young person isn’t doing well. not because its not good to break this digital addiction we’ve allowed our kids to develop. Rather, because mom, not the child, can not cut the umbilical chord. They want to text their beloved child multiple times a day, sharing small nuggets of life.
The biggest obstacle to the independence of the child is now you. and Me. Young adults are ready to cut the cable. The ship has sailed but the ones who aren’t letting go of the moorings are not the now grown adults. The parents.
The biggest obstacle to young adult independence is me and its you.
3 suggestions for the reluctant releaser…
- Only contact your child on weekends. if they reach out to you, answer. But if they don’t, leave them alone for a few days.
- Answer questions with questions.
- Ignore their texts. Teach them you aren’t available 24/7.
What’s your experience? Has texting stunted the independence of people you know?
Thanks for sharing this article around on the web!
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