Pathways Blog

Resources 4 College Success

Providing Support Like a Mattress

Oct 9, 2012

After several years of thinking that we needed a new mattress and putting the needs of the kids in front of our needs, we finally got a new mattress several weeks ago but it didn’t work out so we did a “comfort exchange”. The new mattress is considered firm but it has a zone in the middle (the back area) that provides extra support and softer zones at the head and the feet. Support where you need it!

Raising Teens is just like the support our new mattress gives. Sometimes you need to be firm, sometimes you need to be soft. I wish raising adolescents could be as clear cut as the zones on the mattress. I think you have to take lots of factors into consideration when deciding when and how to give support

You want adolescents to grow up to be productive adults capable of making it on their own. Several studies show that parent involvement is the #1 reason that children succeed and trying things on their own is how they will truly learn. However, how long do you sit and talk to them about a problem and when do you tell them to “suck it up” and move on. How long do you stand by and let them continue to make mistakes and when do you step in to help. I’ve found that each child is different so that given the same situation, my reaction will be different depending on the child. In the end, I just go with what feels like the right thing to do.

Yet, Is this fair? Just like there are different types of support on the mattress, each child has different needs for support.  As they grow and change, the type of support also changes. However,  is it fair to not be consistent and not treat each child equally? Let me know your thoughts.