I’m Anxious, Let Me Do It – Part 1

Can Parents Be Too Involved?

Although I have been traveling quite a bit this past year, I have rarely met anyone I know in airports. Yesterday, though, was different. I recognized a friend of my wife’s, and we talked about what we were up to. When I told him about my writing project, he chuckled a bit and asked: “Do you have a few minutes? I’ve got a good story.”

He told me about a family he knows who shared with him their system for assuring student success. “The parents get all of the information possible in the beginning of the grading period and put all due dates of everything into a GANNT chart.” A GANNT chart is a great tool for breaking down tasks into smaller tasks and is a system I use with clients. So far so good.

“But,” he tells me: “The student isn’t involved at all in the scheduling. The parents do it all for him. So I asked them why, and they told me that he’s too lazy and won’t take the time.”

I tell my friend that this is something a lot of parents have gotten themselves into: helping turning into doing for them.

My friend says: “But he’s a sophomore.”

“I’m not surprised. A lot of parents have trouble letting go.”

He says: “But he’s in college.  He’s a sophomore in college.”

Me: “Oh…”

Then I realized...it's not a middle school student

This is a trend that has been happening more and more these days: parents having a very tough time letting go of their responsibility to organize, remind, and motivate. Unless there is some significant disability, I think most of us would agree that the second year in college would be a time when parents should be completely out of the loop.  Stay tuned for part 2 on my thoughts about this.