8 Things to Stop Doing for Your Kids Before They Turn 18    Disclaimer: Please note that the content of this blog is geared toward teens without disabilities or health conditions that may impair their ability to be independent.    “Adulting” ain’t easy, but no one ever learned how to manage adult responsibilities if their parents did everything for them. While all parents want their kids’ lives to be comfortable, there’s a difference between being supportive and being a “snowplow parent” or “lawnmower parent” who removes so many obstacles from their kid’s lives that they never develop basic life skills for independence.      It’s natural to want to help your children succeed, but how can parents provide support without hampering their kids’ growth?  Here are 8 things to stop doing before your kid turns 18:    1. Scheduling their appointments   An important milestone for independence is being able to recognize when appointments need to be made: oil changes, physicals, haircuts, taxes, dental screenings, etc. Talk to your teen about knowing when these types of appointments are necessary, but allow them to be the one who makes the calls, sets appointments, and adds them to their calendar.    2. Being their personal chef   While many people joke about the typical college student living off of   ramen and beer   ,  the truth is that nutrition plays an important role in your kid’s development through college and adulthood. As they enter this stage of life, they need to know how to grocery shop and prepare a variety of healthy meals for when you’re not there to cook.    3. Fighting their battles   There are going to be times where your kid is treated unfairly in school,   in relationships  , and in the   workplace   .  Remember that your role is to teach your child how to set and enforce boundaries. It’s tough, but they’ll never learn how to stand up for themselves if you fight their battles for them. Don’t call their employer to complain about their snarky supervisor or yell at their friend for flaking on their plans; teach your kid about   healthy ways to resolve conflicts     and let them work through them on their own.    4. Acting as an alarm clock   There are a variety of appropriate alarm clocks out there: smartphones, nightlight alarm combos, or even those old school radio clocks with the red flashing numbers. Whatever alarm your kid uses is fine, as long as it doesn’t have two eyes and a pulse. Your kid won’t be able to rely on you to be their snooze button once they’re out of the house, so allow them to adjust to other ways of being responsible and waking up on time.    5. Doing their assignments   Doing your kid’s assignments should be a big no-no at any age, but a  New York Times  poll showed that 11% of parents wrote college essays for their kids and 16% wrote all or part of their kid’s job application(s). Not only does this put a “false face” on your child’s work, but it sends the message to your kid that you don’t think they’re smart or skilled enough to succeed on their own. This can damage your child’s self-esteem and self-efficacy, making them question their capabilities.   6. Tracking their deadlines   Even in the era of convenient online calendars, many parents constantly remind their kids of important deadlines for projects, events, or applications. Unfortunately, when parents act as their child’s “concierge calendar,” their kid can’t develop scheduling and time management skills which are critical for their career and personal lives.    Afraid it’s too late to stop doing it all for your kids? Click here for a free 15 minute consultation to learn how our specialists can help.       

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      7. Managing their money   Most schools don’t spend a lot of time on financial education, so it’s critical that parents work to instill basic financial skills. Talk to your teen about credit cards, predatory loans, savings, investments, paying bills, and how to create and manage a budget. Help them set up a checking account and introduce them to online banking tools. Give them a small bill to practice paying, such as $10 a month to contribute to the family’s phone plan. Let them know that you’re always there to answer questions, but don’t offer to manage their money for them.   Wondering if your teen is ready for their first job?    Click here        8. Fretting failures   As you allow your kid more responsibility, accept that they’re going to screw up here and there. Resist the urge to clean up their messes and prevent them from experiencing consequences. Failure is an effective learning tool, and every missed deadline, bank overdraft, broken heart, or rejected application is an opportunity for your kid to adapt, build resiliency, and learn how to roll with the punches of adult life.    Need extra support?      Preparing your kids for independence       is tough, especially if your kid is nearing adulthood and you’ve been doing most things for them up until this point. Even if that’s the case, it’s not too late! Our specialists can teach you how to gradually increase your kid’s responsibilities and empower them to become a master of “adulting.”      
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       *Please note: since the publishing of this blog, Variations Psychology has narrowed its focus to diagnostic testing and psychological evaluations. Our Doctors can evaluate whether you or your loved one have a diagnosis and guide you through the next steps in achieving your mental health or academic goals. While Variations does not offer counseling, our diagnostic evaluations allow us to refer patients to specialists who are best equipped to meet their needs. In addition,     this link       can guide you through a directory of therapists, psychiatrists, treatment centers, and support groups in your area.        Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
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              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
       References:   How Parents Are Robbing Their Children of Adulthood (2019).  The New York Times.  Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/16/style/snowplow-parenting-scandal.html  Shinn, M.M. (2018). 5 Tips for Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children.  Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/5-tips-for-raising-emotionally-intelligent-children   Shinn. M.M. (2019). How Do I Talk to My Teens About Drugs and Alcohol?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/how-do-i-talk-to-my-teen-about-drugs-and-alcohol   Shinn. M.M. (2019). My Teen is Dating – What Do I Do?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/my-teen-is-dating-what-do-i-do   Shinn. M.M. (2018). Should I Let My Teen Get a Job? 10 Things Parents Should Know.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/should-i-let-my-teen-get-a-job-10-things-parents-should-know   Shinn. M.M. (2018). Why Can’t I Say No?! The Woman’s Holiday Guide to People-Pleasing.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womans-holiday-guide-to-stop-people-pleasing   Shinn, M.M. (2018). 6 Tips to Prepare for your Teen’s Independence.   Psychologically Speaking . [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from  https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/6-tips-to-prepare-for-your-teens-independence   Young Adulthood in America: Children are Grown but Parenting Doesn’t Stop (2019).  The New York Times . Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/13/upshot/parenting-new-norms-grown-children-extremes.html?module=inline   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn. M.M. (2019). 8 Things to Stop Doing for Your Kids Before They Turn 18.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/8-things-to-stop-doing-for-your-kids-before-they-turn-18

8 Things to Stop Doing for Your Kids Before They Turn 18

In the wake of the college admissions scandal, everyone’s talking about “snowplow,” “lawnmower,” or “drone” parents who prevent their kids from learning from failure. To avoid too much “snowplowing” in your parenting style, check out our blog on 8 things to stop doing for your kids before they turn 10.