Tuesday, November 8, 2011

60 College Freshman reflect on their parents parenting

This semester I am teaching two Intro to Psychology classes. As we hit the Adolescent Development section last week, I asked my 60 mostly college freshman to complete these two statements: As a teenager, I'm glad my parents ......! and I wish my parents had......!  Their honesty and insight touched me and I thought I would share their statements with you. There is nothing more enlightening than hindsight and objectivity. Now more or less on their own in college, these students now responsible for themselves and their studies look back at their relationship with their parents and analyze what helped them in navigating this next stage, or what has hindered their success as independence beckons. I want to thank my college students for giving me an endless supply of ideas for future blogs. And now in their own words.

Part 1: I wish my parents:
  • Given me more trust when it came to my own decisions.
  • Given me more support when it came to my schoolwork before hand, instead of waiting until my teachers called or I got a bad report card.
  • Let me choose ANY of my choice colleges instead of the ones that were the most convenient for them.
  • Had tried harder to get me to study.
  • Hadn't texted me so much and asked so many questions.
  • Forced me to get a job earlier.
  • Checked that I actually had done my homework, not just believing I did.
  • Tried to provide solutions to my inadequacies rather than just criticized me for them.
  • Been more accepting of my lifestyle choices rather than tell me how to live, act, dress, etc.
  • Believed I was a good kid, because I am.
  • Been welcoming to anything I had to say instead of disagreeing and lecturing me.
  • Helped me more in high school.
  • Been less strict with me.
  • Had not asked SO MANY questions about everything.
  • Been more easy to talk too. 
  • Not been so overprotective.
  • Paid more attention to my achievements not just my mistakes.
  • Pushed me more in school.
  • Stopped my terrible procrastination.
  • Didn't always focus on that one bad grade.
  • Given me more independence so I was better at making decisions.
  • Understood that just because I was quiet sometimes didn't mean I wasn't happy.
  • Pushed me harder in sports and academics.
  • Let me come to them instead of them nagging me. 
  • Wished I could have disagreed with them without it turning into a fight.
  • Didn't shelter me so much and made me do more on my own.
  • Told me they were happy with me more often.
  • Helped me to be more emotionally independent.
  • Better prepared me for change.
  • Been less controlling.
  • Not been so confrontational and judgemental.
  • Not been so involved in my personal issues that I wanted to handle myself. 
  • Talked to me more often about sex.
  • Didn't write all my papers in high school. 
  • Not let me rely on them so much.
  • Shared with me about their own life, and didn't think I was a baby still.
Whew!!! Food for thought. Tomorrow-Part 2: The good stuff

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