By Annie Lane
Dear readers: Thank you for all your responses to “Letting go is hard to do”. We definitely have wonderful parents among our readership. Here are two of my favorite letters.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Letting Go Is Hard to Do”, which worried about the choices her daughter might make in college after seeing a questionable bank transaction.
I am also the mom of a college student. We have had a joint account since my son was in his last year of high school.
I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t allow our common checking accounts to be a way to peek into her world. Believe me, it is very difficult not to watch, especially when I am transferring money to his account. If her spending information comes up, I look away and put my hand on it so I can’t see.
It’s a confidence not to be seen, not to say that I never told him that I had in place. He’s very independent, and if I had questioned it he would have started to distrust me. There is always a way for teenagers to get around roadblocks; this is called withdrawing money from the account and spending it that way or buying a Visa gift card with the money.
It becomes easier as they get older not to look. I encourage you to think about why you should consider how she spends her money. My son hasn’t been an angel for a good four to five years. But he trusts me now, and when the really hard / big things come up, he comes to me to comfort and guide me, and to allay his fears. Let go of the string a little more and when your bird takes flight, you will be rewarded with trust and honesty. – Money and trust
Dear Annie: I want to be as polite as possible in this response to the mom who is concerned that her 18 year old daughter is essentially an 18 year old girl in college.
With all due respect, Let Go – because you seem like a great mom and seem to have a great bond with your daughter – maybe let go of the ‘gift from God’ talk. Stop thinking about what your religion teaches about birth control and just ask your child if she is okay and let her know that you are there to talk.
She may not be as interested in what God and the leaders of your faith community think about her sex life as you are. Meanwhile, here on Earth, you are both humans who love you. Lead with this.
In terms of sex addiction and so-called addictive behaviors, that is, the symptoms of a disease called addiction, which are not “behaviors” in an addict but rather compulsions, again, be honest. Talk about it head on. Don’t minimize it if you are really worried.
And if you’re not, let her live her life and keep your opinions to yourself. You can either have a close, honest, and real relationship or have a mixture of hope, denial, and religious idealism. But the half-heartedness of trying to have both almost guarantees that the first will be lost, which would be a shame.
Keep your life between you and God, her life between you and her, and trust God to know how to handle the rest. God is too busy caring for billions of souls to really care about birth control and sex toys. Take the lead of God. – Dad of a teenager too
“Ask me anything: a year of dear advice Annie“Is out now!” Annie Lane’s first book – with his favorite columns on love, friendship, family, and etiquette – is available in paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Way to [email protected].
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