When my son was about 16 he did his best to let me know he had had enough ...
Enough of me constantly checking on his classwork through the satanic program that allows parents of high school students to check in on their student's daily assignments, homework and test scores.
I refused to give up.
Will was different in his approach to schoolwork than were his two older sisters.
He really didn't care that much about acing quizzes, doing extra credit, pleasing the teacher or generally doing all the things that make public school situations work well.
Don't get me wrong: Will is super smart (mom brag, sorry).
But he didn't like to have a bunch of people checking in on him all the time, especially yours truly.
He tried in every way he could to let me know I was overstepping my bounds, but I simply refused to listen.
I refused to trust him.
I balked at him watching TV when I knew (because I checked that darn homework tracker!) that he was missing assignments.
I relentlessly asked him about upcoming quizzes.
I hounded him about getting his required number of practice minutes done each week before his violin sectional.
Finally, since I was blind to his request to let him start to learn to manage his own life, he started to blow.
Eventually he called in his dad, I think.
Fighting ensued between my husband and me.
Finally Chuck blew, too, and said to me with the most serious eyes: "If you don't stop this, you are going to crush his soul."
Complete quite in the home ...
I don't think I talked to either of them for 48 hours, mainly because I was so ashamed of myself.
But this was the wake-up call I needed. I did not want to crush my son's soul. I just wanted him to get all his work done.
Never did it dawn on me that perhaps he was choosing NOT to get his work done BECAUSE I was breathing down his neck.
Never did it dawn on me that the only real way he was going to learn to be his own man was if I stepped back and allowed him the freedom to become himself.
But Chuck's words made something dawn ...
And so I stepped back. I stopped checking the online homework obsession creator. I let Will manage his own academic life.
And guess what?
He soared. And is still soaring.
Said to me later that year: "Mom, you got out of my sh$! and I got my sh$@ together."
Big smile. (Sometimes when your kid swears, it is a really, really good thing.)
Is it time for you to get out of any part of your becoming-an-adult-child's sh$! so that they can do the hard, but life critical work of getting their own sh$& together?
You can do it. Trust me.