Monday, July 22, 2013

Parenting within the speed limit

I was recently stopped by a police officer for speeding.  This kind of recklessness is not typical for me.  But there was a greater, cosmic, reason for me to be breaking rules.  I was on a rescue mission involving  my young adult.  She had a problem and wanted me to be there. I was in helicopter parent mode and there was some temporary insanity involved.   I was not subject to the laws of reason or limit.

I needed to be stopped.
I had time to think while I waited for my ticket.  Why is parenting a young adult so hard? 
The police officer was kind, polite, and twentysomething. The irony was not lost on me. 
Maybe parenting a young adult is hard because they are adults now. My daughter WANTED me to be there.  She didn't NEED for me to be there. In fact she had driven herself to our meeting place and was on time, no speeding involved.
As parents we have a great responsibility to provide a strong foundation. We "train them in the way they should go." But once they get to a certain point, it becomes their journey. We can advise them, but whether they want our advice or take our advice is really up to them. 
Both of my daughters are now fully engaged in their second education.  Life.  Life will teach them some valuable hard lessons. 
Will they consult with me about their life lessons? Sometimes, if I don't talk too much or push too hard or rush in to rescue. 
Wisdom isn't given it is earned.
My daughter asked me to join her, not to fix the problem.  Big difference.
Of course I thanked the twentysomething police officer when he gave me my ticket. It only cost me $149 to learn to slow down and discontinue my rescue missions.  This past week I paid my fine and was informed that I am on 90 days probation.  Basically if I don't do anything stupid, the whole speeding thing will be forgiven and forgotten.  I hope I don't screw it up.
My name is Dr. Lisa, and I am a recovering helicopter parent.. I am gaining wisdom and exercising caution during the next 90 days. One day at a time.
What parenting trap has slowed you down lately?


  1. Lisa, I'd like to add more words of wisdom to this, but I think you said it all. Great insight!

  2. Thanks Dee Dee. By the way, go super slow on Boulevard by Danforth- just saying.

  3. Great post, Lisa! Young adult children, if we are lucky, can transition into friends.

    1. Hopeful for that transition, I enjoy their company!

  4. Love the analogy. What a great visual - forced to slow down and everybody survived!

    1. One day at a time- there have been several potential parent traps since I wrote this, but slowing down has definitely helped :)