Parenting~ allowing your children figure things out on their own.

I am the mother of 2 beautiful, smart, hard working daughters. Both are in their early 20’s both have graduated from college.  Both have their own places~ Emily my oldest who is 24.  Has a job she loves and a very modern apartment in a big city.  She has always been very disciplined.   Erin just got a job in the same state she where she graduated and has an apartment and loves living in the big city too.

Growing up the girl’s father and I always insisted they finish what they start even if they didn’t like it.  Erin played softball one season~ but she finished the season.  Erin also played soccer and swam, then figured out in middle school that she was a pretty good runner so she did track and then cross country.  Emily also played soccer, and swam but did track in middle school.  Emily swam in HS and a couple of years in college.  I believe that sports helped the girls deal with failure at times.  But there were other times when they were forced to use problem solving skills.  Emily spent a semester abroad  in Greece on her return trip.  She got to Athens only to discover the airline which she had her returned flight booked for had declared bankruptcy so she didn’t have a return flight home.  I didn’t have my phone with me so she was unable to reach me.  She did have my partner’s number but chose not to use it.  Her father doesn’t have a phone.  It was a pretty rotten thing to have to figure out but with a little ingenuity she was able to get to London and was able to catch her last flight.

Erin also had an opportunity to learn how to problem solve.  Erin borrowed my van to a bunch of her girlfriends about 1 hour and 1/2 to a concert.  On the way there they got a flat tire.  She had triple AAA but it was during rush hour and was told it would be a little while.  She was not happy and kept calling me asking what she should do.  She wanted to leave the van someplace but told me she was afraid of getting raped.  I advised her to breathe and slow down and told her the chances of her getting raped were pretty low especially if the girls all stuck together.  Her sister Emily was furious with me for making her figure it out on her own.  She had my van there wasn’t a lot I could do for her.  Erin did get it figured out and didn’t get raped.

Through both of those experiences ~ my girls were able to gain self confidence  and figured out they are much more capable.  There is a sense of accomplishment.

When I was 16 I ran away with a bunch of protesters.  I flew to NYC to protest with them.  I called my mom once I got there she bought me a ticket to come home.  But by the time I was ready to come home I  had cancelled and rescheduled my ticket many times (this was back in the 1980s)  I took a cab to the airport I had just a little bit of cash left  but enough to pay for the cab but that only left we with about $2.00.I went to the ticket counter and discovered because my ticket had been cancelled and reschedule so many times it was cancelled for good.  I remember I started crying.  The people behind the counter were wonderful and a stranger sat next to me while I waited while they tried to figure things out.  She gave me a few dollars and told me to buy myself some breakfast.  I guess the kindness of strangers played a big part in that adventure.   The airline did figure it out~ and this was around Thanksgiving too and I was able to get back home.  I think it was my early adventures that helped me decide that starting over 1,000 miles from where I was living was possible.

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