“Don’t fix it. Fix it. Listen and don’t give advice. Give advice. Don’t tell me what to do. Wait, what should I do?” I am now the parent of a young adult in college. I thought I was doing well as I started the above when my teen was in the 10th grade but, apparently, I need to take a closer look at this very new, ever changing, college student. “You’re always giving advice and sometimes I just want you to listen. You’re always trying to fix it.” I was told.
And it’s true. My nature is to fix. I am the problem solver and the peacemaker. I am the bridge. I am the counselor. I am really good at just listening to others but, as a parent I listen with the intent to SOLVE and ADVISE and I now realize I need to listen with permission to advise or more importantly, ask if it’s not clear afterwards, “Are you just venting and need my listening ear?” And if so, I need to use words like, “I understand. Or wow, what do you think you should do? Or give it some time, you will figure it out.” One must refrain from their stories of what they did in those situations because you have been told, “they just want to vent or just need you to listen” and remember how you, too, need to just vent or just need a listening ear. You, too, don’t always want to hear someone’s story, need advice, or need it to be fixed. You just want to get it out of your head. TRUST your young adult to figure it out or come back to you for advice or, brace yourself, to find the solution from someone else.
Someone else? Yes. Now this is the time to talk to your young adult (or remind them) about making sure the resources they use are credible resources! This is for articles on google, influencers on YouTube need to be questioned and so does their sources, and to seek professional help (a teacher that teaches the subject or campus counselors). Perhaps, a pastor or even an older sibling or relative they trust. Yes. Your young adult may be able to talk to your brother or your sister about an issue and not you, the parent. My sister was my main source during my teen years and young adult years. She was much older than I was and had been through similar things in which my mom had not.
If you haven’t prepared yourself, you should prepare your mind to know that you will not always be the end all be all, the main source to your child. They grow up. In my belief system, they belong to the Creator ultimately and are not to be controlled but, are to be guided and eventually, left to sail their own ship. I don’t get to pick the ship, design the ship, and pick passengers or destination. I am just on call to assist and to check on. And you learn to enjoy that role. Keyword…learn.