Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Too Much Information

When I was in undergraduate school, I really did not take school seriously – especially in my freshman year. In fact, I took it for granted that this post-secondary education was somehow owed to me; but that’s another story…

So if I slept through a class, or skipped a class for whatever reason, my parents never knew about it. One reason that I never shared that piece of information was because I would have felt terribly guilty and it was easier (on me) to live by the “lie of omission.”

Not so, with my son. Last night he called and innocently mentioned that he had a really hard time getting to sleep on Monday night. When he finally drifted off (I think he said it was close to five AM), he slept right through his morning class. He was quick to add that it was no big deal, because he had already spoken to someone from the class and he had not missed any new assignments.

But wasn’t there a paper due for that class? Did you email it to the professor? Apologize for not being there to hand it in? “No, but I’m going to do that.”

If I had not suggested that, would he have waited to hand in the paper – which had actually been completed by the deadline – during tomorrow’s class?

More importantly, would it have made any difference? With his penchant for honesty, he chose to mention that he had missed a class. Did that give me the go-ahead to mention what I believed his next responsibility was? If the paper had been handed in at the next class, he might have lost credit because it was late -- but I have no doubt that I handed in my share of late college assignments.

Was I offering him some needed coaching? Or was I helicopter-parenting?

1 comment:

Barbara said...

that is something that I struggle with constantly with Matt. I like to consider myself as coaching him through things, but I know there are many times where it would be helecopter parenting. It's such a fine line in parenting kids who aren't neurotypical.