Parenting is an art, not a science. As children age, parents are forced to come up with new strategies on the fly. It is a job that is often thankless but fulfilling—and it requires a lot of attention.
Knowing how, when, and if a child is ready to take a certain step is essential to keeping that child safe.
But what if the kid thinks they’re ready despite all the evidence to the contrary? One mom on social media is battling a sense of guilt after realizing her daughter might not be prepared for an obvious next step: college.
Mom: She’s Young, Naive, And Still Dependent
The daughter in question is sixteen. Due to her late birthday, she’ll be graduating from high school in a year. While most kids leave for college at eighteen, she will be leaving at seventeen.
Or rather, she would be.
The mom explained that while her daughter is very intelligent, she is also “young and naïve in a lot of ways”.
The biggest concern seems to be her daughter’s lack of independence. She often calls her parents for help with the most basic of things.
The teenager doesn’t pay attention to her surroundings either, something that poses a major risk in college. Campuses can be dangerous, especially if she chooses to travel to a different state for school. Being all alone in a brand-new place makes things especially risky.
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It seems like the daughter is also easily manipulated. “More recently, I’ve also been concerned about her doing dangerous things or submitting to peer pressure from her ‘friends’,” the mom shared.
“I’ve met them, and they are not good kids.” Despite her mother’s advice, the daughter continues to go behind the mom’s back and spends time with those friends regardless.
The Parents Decided She Was Not Ready For College
All of these signs led the mom to a tough but perhaps necessary decision. After a lengthy discussion with her husband, the couple came to the conclusion that their daughter was not ready for college.
“For these reasons,” she explained, “…her father and I have decided that we are not going to let her go off to college as long as she’s a minor under our care… I am not trying to stifle her, but I do want her to be safe”.
This decision did not go over well. While the daughter was discussing college applications, the mom interrupted. “I told her not to bother. I explained that we weren’t letting her go until she’s old enough to make that decision for herself.”
The daughter started crying and yelling. She called her mom unreasonable and texted her aunt to beg for help.
The aunt is entirely on the daughter’s side, but the mom is holding firm.
The Decision Left Social Media Puzzled
Many users were confused about the parents’ decision. Delaying college for a year felt arbitrary to most.
Some even questioned why the daughter was so dependent. “Why isn’t she more independent?” One student asked.
“That’s usually the parents’ job to ensure that. I had a December birthday as well and started college at 17 and was fine. But my parents had also taught me how to make decisions and be independent.”
Most agreed that the mom was further infantilizing the daughter.
“College is what made me mature into the young adult I am now. What I can’t get over is the way you discuss her calling you and your husband as if it’s bothersome. I call my parents at least 2 times a day just to hear their voices because I love them, and I miss them. It sounds like you can barely even stand your daughter.”
She’ll Reap What She Sows
Users tried to warn the mom that continuing on this path would only serve to estrange the daughter. “[This is] a good way of ensuring your daughter doesn’t have anything to do with you once she does finally leave the house.”
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This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching. Source.
I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.
I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!
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