Parenting

Jul 23
How This Overprotective Mom Allowed Her Daughter to Go to a Music Festival By: Sheryl Gould

 

 

 

This weekend, my daughter asked to go to a four day music festival, and immediately my mind went to the dark side.

 

I felt sick. I’d wished we’d scheduled a weekend getaway so this wouldn’t have been an issue.

When I think music festivals I think drugs, alcohol and mosh pits where you can get trampled to death.

I imagine my daughter walking through crowds of  intoxicated people, gawking guys, marijuana and alcohol being passed around.

I worry about her getting drunk or high, or someone slipping her something. I imagine her getting split up from her friends and her phone not working.

 

She reminds me that she’ll be 18 next month, and could legally live on her own. Being reminded of this fact is always a sobering dose of reality and an excellent point.

 

My daughter’s smart, but in my mind I have images of her surrounded by strangers and becoming one of those news stories. A drunk girl never to be seen again.

Maybe this is a crazy overreaction. After all, this is a totally normal request for someone her age, and she is my THIRD teenager! But when I’m in this fearful place it’s hard to shake the anxiety I’m feeling.

 

I remember all the stupid and reckless choices I made when I was her age. Maybe the mere fact that I’m alive to tell about it is the very reason I’m so neurotic, or maybe it’s all of the stories that we’re bombarded with on the news, but it doesn’t matter, the fear is real.

 

My knee jerk reaction was to say no immediately, but then that didn’t feel right.

I totally struggle with teenage drinking and I know parents have different opinions. I get that most kids don’t wait until their twenty-one and honestly I think it’s an unrealistic expectation to think they will.

I also know it’s normal for kids this age to experiment.

 

I regret freaking out when my oldest daughter came home for the first time intoxicated. After that, she didn’t feel like she could open up and talk to me for quite a while.

 

I never want to do that again. I want my daughter to know that she can always talk openly with me about these things. I don’t want her to hesitate or be afraid to call me if she or a friend’s in trouble.

 

But then I hear about a parent that isn’t letting her kids go, and I begin to doubt my decision, “Am I being irresponsible if I say yes?”

 

I decided to talk to my husband to get some reassurance, but he was feeling as hesitant and wishy-washy as I was.

It was then that I was reminded of a truth that has grounded me as a parent: Fear is never a good enough reason to say no.

 

Fear is never a good enough reason to say no.Click To Tweet

 

Sometimes I feel like fear is a ball and chain that I drag around as a parent hoping to keep anything bad from ever happening to my kids.

 

I can feel anxious about almost anything when it comes to trying to keep my kids safe. Fear is suffocating and so much of the time I give it way too much power.

 

The truth is, my fear has never kept bad things from happening. There is so much that I can’t control as a parent and I really hate that this is true.

 

I decided to take a deep breath and believe that my fear is not as real as I give it credit for.

 

I decided to replace my fear with a principle that helps me – I took responsibility for what I could control.

 

The truth is, my fear has never kept bad things from happening. There is so much that I can’t control as a parent and I really hate that this is true.

 

We decided what our expectations were and shared them with her. We were clear that we weren’t okay with her drinking. We asked her what she would do to ensure that she didn’t lose her friends and what she would do if she did.

 

We talked about drugs and alcohol and the possibility of someone slipping her something. She rolled her eyes and said, “Come on, you say this all the time!” (I don’t care what she says, I don’t think I can ever say these things too many times).

 

We told her that if she drank, she wasn’t allowed to go back the following day.

 

Saying all these things felt good. Surprisingly she didn’t argue and she agreed.

 

Maybe it was just me, but I couldn’t help feeling that she felt a sense of freedom and knew how much we cared.

 

Sometimes I feel like fear is a ball and chain that I drag around as a parent hoping to keep anything bad from ever happening to my kids.Click To Tweet

 

Raising teenagers is hard. It isn’t easy figuring out how to navigate alcohol and all the other stuff that we’d rather not have to deal with.

 

There’s no right answers; no crystal ball to ensure that whatever decisions we make are the correct ones.

 

We do our best.

 

Last night she came home after the concert beaming, she was covered with mud up to her knees due to all the Chicago rains recently. She didn’t even care, “Mom it was the coolest thing ever. I had an absolute blast. It was amazing. I’m so glad I got to go.”

 

I was reminded of how precious, carefree and fleeting the teen years can be. Do you remember how you felt? I do.

 

I want her to experience these years fully, to spread her wings unrestrained by fear and to feel on top of the world. Don’t you sometimes wish you could go back?

 

I’m so proud of her that she made good decisions and I’m so proud of myself that I didn’t allow my fear to rob me and her of all the good stuff.

 

At times, I’ve allowed my fear to hurt my relationships and rob me of joy.

 

I’m grateful that I’ve learned to do things differently. Letting go, leaning in and trusting life is so much richer and it’s what I want my relationships to be all about. It’s how I want to live my life and help my kids to do the same.

 

should I let me teen go to a music festival

 

 

Sheryl Gould

Hi! I'm Sheryl and I'm so glad you're here!

Are you tired of having the same arguments with your adolescent son or daughter? Scared that you’re failing as a mom? At your wit’s end and not sure what to do?

I can help. I’ve coached moms for over 12 years to become conscious, calmer and more connected parents. And I know the difference it makes when you get support and learn new ways of relating. It changes everything!

Hi! I'm Sheryl and I'm so glad you're here!

Are you tired of having the same arguments with your adolescent son or daughter? Scared that you’re failing as a mom? At your wit’s end and not sure what to do?

I can help. I’ve coached moms for over 12 years to become conscious, calmer and more connected parents. And I know the difference it makes when you get support and learn new ways of relating. It changes everything!

Categories: Parenting

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Hi. I’m Sheryl.

Welcome to my heart, my story, and my love for Moms of Tweens and Teens.

My passion and mission for MOTTS was born out of my personal journey – a journey that took me from a place of being fearful to show others the real me, to a place of slowly opening my heart to being authentic; a place of shame wanting to hide my challenges and struggles to experiencing the grace and love of being known and accepted; a place of not knowing what to do, to a place of experiencing the healing, wisdom, and transformation that comes from being a part of a community of women who are willing to share their hearts and allow themselves to be seen and known.

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