There is nothing more exciting for kids than returning to school after the summer break. I could see the widespread enthusiasm for the new school year yesterday when I helped my son move back to college and then take him to dinner during which we had a nice revealing conversation. Why are they so excited about returning to school? Is it the love of learning or meeting their cool friends again? Or, perhaps the end of long boring summer months especially this one when there was no chance of finding a good summer job because of dismal economic condition? While these are all pertinent, I think more importantly, kids are so happy about returning to college simply because they want to get away from their parents, especially us the overprotective, over- concerned, over-whining, Iranian parents, at least, that is how they characterize us.
Do we take out parental responsibilities too seriously? I think we often do. We believe the biggest challenge we are facing is how to deal with our kids and how to raise them the way we think is right. Don’t relax; such a monumental task is not getting any easier or less demanding when your kids grow up. The challenge of “good parenting” is always with us, what changes however, is the nature of the issues and their needs that we have to deal with.
I want to pose two questions; one of them is a kind of dumb question because I know the answer to it; are we over-concerned parents? And if so why? The second one, however, is the one to which I seek your inputs; what kind of impacts such over-parenting might have on our kids, especially on their future career and success in their education. Do we think that we are making them better off by trying to interfere in every aspect of their life? Why are we so apprehensive that they may not be able to do things right so they need our supervision every aspect of every decision they make? How can we balance between their happiness and their material success? Is there a tradeoff between these two?