Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Stickin' like Velcro

Remember when our children were learning how to tie their shoes and we were all tempted to keep them in the Velcro ties because it was easy? Velcro is the easy way out, teaching them to do it themselves is hard work.

My friend who is an advisor for the honors college at Auburn posted an article on his Facebook that I shared. The NYT article is titled "Students, Welcome to College; Parents Go Home."

Not only did it get a lot of response on Facebook, but it also struck a cord with me. I've been struggling with the thoughts of Trey going to college next year, and how that will change the dynamics of our home. I know that we are going to miss him like crazy. I've got a great big 'ole lump in my throat while I am writing this. He is the noisiest, messiest, most time consuming, generous and loving member of our family. He will leave a big hole that will hurt.

I know that even though we are hurting, we will let him fly and that he will fly high with a suitcase full of life experiences that will help him succeed.

"Velcro Parents" (formerly known as Helicopter Parents), are the most influential factor in our life over the last ten years in regard to how we raise our boys.

After seeing the direct effects of such sticky parents on the immature and insecure students that walk the halls at Auburn University, usually with parents still attached, we know that it is not only the right thing to do, but it is also irresponsible for us to leave our children without the skills they need to succeed. The only way they learn those skills is by doing things for themselves.

I'm glad we make Trey and Foster responsible for their own actions, and responsible for their own work. We are here if they make mistakes, but only to guide them through with instructions on how to do things for themselves. The consequences for their actions belong to them.

I hope that responsibility sticks like Velcro.