Feb. 27, 2023

Ask Amy: How Much Micromanaging Is Too Much?

When do we lay down the law as parents and when do we let our teens make their own choices, especially when we feel the decision they're making will affect their future?

How do we know when to control the choices our teens make and when to let them make their own mistakes?

A listener asked:

"Moms of teenagers, how do you stop trying to micromanage their worlds? My daughter is no longer interested in an extracurricular activity she’s done for years. I'm trying to talk her into continuing but she’s pushing back. It’s hard to know when it’s okay to let them decide what things they want to do as opposed to the things you think are good for them to do."

Amy explains that it's okay to micromanage your teens sometimes, as long as you choose your battles– which means everything can't be a battle. Making sure kids sign up for standardized testing might be a place where you micromanage– but that might also mean letting that their desperate need for a haircut go without mention.

Making mistakes and learning from them is part of the work of becoming an adult. As hard as it can be to watch our kids make choices with which we might disagree, when we can let those ramifications play out, we're helping our teens grow.

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