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Teen Health 411

Parenting On Demand

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As the late blog posts may suggest, for the last week my schedule has been completely wonky and it took me a few days to figure out why! My oldest daughter is applying to college, competing for scholarships, taking several Advanced Placement (AP) classes, working, as well as trying to have a social life and support her friends, who are working just as hard as she is!

How this messes with my schedule is that her stress level is leading to many unusual, short-term requests for my time:
  • Can you take this to the post office? It is open until 5:00;
  • Will you please look up the word limit for ... is it 1,200 or 2,500?
  • Would you please bring flowers for ... to the front desk tomorrow at 2:40 PM?
  • I need to bring ... to school by Friday;
  • Will you make my favorite dinner Thursday?
  • Will you please make me a cup of tea?
  • Do you have time to prepare an envelope for ...?
  • Will we have time tomorrow to see the glass pumpkins at the Art Center?
It is not like any of these requests are out-of-line, but they are different, mostly on short notice and are easy ways to support one of my favorite young women, at a difficult time in her life. Occasionally I have bristled and mumbled about entitlement, but mostly I am aware that she is struggling to keep many balls in the air, and needs my support.

The weirdest part of this change in our relationship, is that it is all part of the transition to parenting a college-age student - I call in parenting on demand - and involves a parent being available, to provide whatever is needed, when requested. I will take a deep breath and let you know how it goes!

Photo by dotbenjamin

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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