Monday, January 9, 2012

Helicopter Mom Is Invading Daughter's Airspace

Dear Tazi-Kat:

I am 16 years old, and my Mom is driving me crazy! I realize this is a common complaint, but I am seriously flipping out over the way she treats me. She seems to think I am still a little girl, and not a practically grown woman.

Ever since I was a very young child, I have done my best to be independent. My father tells me that when I was a toddler, my Mom would try to dress me and I would get undressed just so I could dress myself all over again. As a kid, my Mom would try to "help" me with my homework by doing it all for me. Book reports, science projects, you name it; Mom wasn't happy unless she had a hand in it. It got so bad that I had to complain to my teachers about it, who told my Mom that her "hands-on approach" would start to lower my grades if she kept at it.

I love my Mom, and I know she only wants the best for me, but things need to change! This Christmas, I opened my gifts to find (among other
cool things) a package of girls' white cotton underpants from Sears. Tazi-Kat, I have been wearing Flirtitudes since I was 12, which I have had to buy when I am at the mall with my friends since my Mom thinks they are "slut wear". The only reason she doesn't throw out my bras and panties when she does the laundry (which I try to do myself, when I beat her to it) is because my Dad stepped in and drew the line.

Tazi-Kat, do you have any suggestions on how to get my Mom to ease up on me? I am a straight-A student, play three sports in school, and am in a youth group at church. It's not like I'm doing drugs and sleeping around or working a street corner when she is not looking! I am starting to look into colleges, and schools on the other side of the country are starting to look very, very attractive to me.


Dear (S)mothered:

Paws-up for the creative signature! Now, onto your issue. You do not mention it in your letter, so I must ask: Are you an only child? It sounds to me like your mother is investing all of her time, talent, and mothering ability into you because you are her legacy - all that she will leave behind when she leaves this world. If she has no other children, you are her magnum opus - her greatest achievement; which could explain her hesitancy to let you express your independence.

I looked online to research Flirtitudes, and discovered it is the J.C. Penney brand of undergarments for young women, and is the furthest thing from "slut wear" that you can find (next to white cotton panties from Sears, of course). As a cat, I keep my ears open, even when my eyes are shut, and have heard that many young women like pretty panties because wearing them makes them feel pretty and confident; both of which are wonderful traits for young women to possess, so your Flirtitudes get my Tazi-Kat stamp of approval. Please inform your mother of this fact!

As for your Mom's need to control every aspect of your life, right down to your undergarments, perhaps you could ask your Dad to intervene on your behalf a little more often? As your mother's husband, your Dad should present a united front with your Mom on the issues at hand; but that does not mean that he cannot privately disagree; discuss; and cajole her into allowing you more freedom as a sign of her trust, which is something you appear to have earned.

In a few years you will be going off to college; so for now, as you work towards improving your relationship with your mother, try to base your college search on programs that best meet your academic needs, career goals, and personality; and not on how far from your mother's grasp the school will put you.


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