Our kids are pretty happy being dependent on us. Doesn’t a grilled cheese taste so much better when Mom makes it? So how do we start the nest-leaving process early and often? Guest: Mary Dell Harrington, co-author of the new book GROWN AND FLOWN.
Kids don't usually seek to lose their dependence on us as parents- and why should they? Doesn’t a grilled cheese taste so much better when Mom makes it?
So it’s up to us to teach our kids independence, and that means showing them how an ATM works sometime before they leave for college. How do we start the nest-leaving process early and often?
Our guest is Lisa Heffernan, co-creator of the parenting-older-kids website Grown and Flown. She and Lisa Heffernan are the co-authors of the new book Grown and Flown: How to Support Your Teen, Stay Close as a Family, and Raise Independent Adults.
Lisa says yes, we should start preparing our kids now to survive without us— but she’s not arguing for tough love as the only answer, whether our kids are three or twenty-three. “Being involved in your kid’s life does NOT make you a helicopter parent,” Lisa says. "It makes you a loving, supportive parent.”
It’s often harder, longer, and more complicated to make our kids do something than to just do it for them. But this week we’re going to find a moment, allow a bit of extra time, and walk our kids through a task they are eminently capable of doing for themselves. The pride they’ll feel— even if the results are imperfect— will be worth celebrating.
Here are links to some other writing on the topic that we discuss in this episode:
Melissa Deuter for Psychology Today: 5 Steps to Help Your Teen Leave the Nest
Rachel Martin for Your Teen Mag: The Perfect Present: Fostering Teen Independence
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