Many parents contribute to their teen daughters’ stress and don’t even realize it.
Are you one of them?
If your daughter’s life is overscheduled right now, I’m afraid the answer is “YES!”
And that’s what I want to talk about in today’s third installment of my Let’s Talk Teens™ Month series.
I told you in last week’s post that this one might step on your toes, but again, we’re going to get through this together.
Let me begin by saying this: Mom, I know you would never intentionally cause your daughter to be stressed out.
So this isn’t about pointing fingers. This is about providing peace of mind—for both of you.
But I’ll come back to that later. For now, let’s focus on the problem.
Too Many Great Expectations?
One of the biggest complaints I hear from girls is that they’re T-I-R-E-D because their parents expect them to do too much. Like:
- Being good at sports
- Being involved in extracurricular activities (they may not even like)
- Getting good grades
All in an effort to earn a scholarship.
Pretty harmless right?
Why Your Good Intentions Aren’t Necessarily a Good Idea
There’s nothing wrong with trying to help your daughter earn a scholarship. The cost of college these days almost demands it.
But it becomes a problem when you expect her to juggle school work, getting good grades, being involved in extracurricular activities and playing sports at an elite level.
Especially if your daughter’s not even interested in participating.
When does she get to have a life?
That’s a question my friend had to answer right before this school year began and her daughter was about to start middle school.
She shared how excited she was that her local library was going to sponsor a FIRST LEGO League team and she couldn’t wait to sign her daughter up.
She knew this would be a great opportunity for her daughter to expand her STEM skills, pad her resume (for potential scholarships), and combine her childhood love of Legos with robotics.
And did I mention it was F-R-E-E?
Her daughter had spent the past three summers participating in a STEM camp (which she loved).
So, this was a win-win. Or so my friend thought.
Turns out her daughter wasn’t interested. At ALL.
In addition to that, her daughter was already looking forward to participating in 4-H once a month, and youth dance ministry at church once a week.
The FIRST LEGO League team would have required her daughter to practice twice a week.
And that doesn’t even take into account the new, increased, middle-school workload her daughter was facing.
My friend eventually realized that while her intentions were good, the answer to the question was simple: Her daughter would NOT get to have a life if she participated.
And her decision to not sign her up turned out to be the real “win-win.”
A Manageable Schedule + Peace of Mind = Priceless
In my friend’s quest to achieve a win-win by signing her daughter up for the FREE opportunity, the reality was it would have been a lose-lose for both of them if she did.
Her daughter would have been miserable participating in something she didn’t want to do, on top of juggling an already full schedule of activities plus school work.
And my friend would have run herself into the ground taking her daughter to ALL of her practices and meetings, on top of her son’s activities and her regular mom and wife duties.
The truth is they both would have been stressed out!
Click on the picture below to watch a video where I talk about this issue and share a tip that can help you prevent it from becoming a source of stress for your daughter (and you).
Take my advice and see if you and your daughter don’t begin to experience some peace of mind.
We both know how priceless that is.
So, is your daughter overscheduled and stressed out? You may never know if you don’t ask. Now’s a great time to find out!
Let me know how she responds by leaving your comments below.
And if your daughter’s answer is “Yes,” help her prioritize no more than two extracurricular activities she most wants to participate in and let that be good enough.
Then come back for next week’s post when I tackle what may be causing your daughter to rebel.