Q: I'm having such a hard time staying out of my son's situation. He and his girlfriend just moved into an apartment, but can barely pay rent. They have an 8-month-old, a little dog, and just got a tiny kitten. They lived with us for about a year but got tired of us "helping" or "telling us how to do things."
I'm sorry, I've had three kids, so I do know more about babies. I think about what could go wrong all the time. I give a lot of money to my son to help with everything.
He is starting a new job soon, but not sure if he will stick with it. How can I help without controlling and worrying so much?
Help Me Help Them
A: Of course you know more about babies! You had three! A parent of a 1-year-old knows more than a parent of a newborn, too, but that doesn't give the more veteran parent leverage to butt in for all of eternity. Despite "what could go wrong all the time."
With your firstborn, you had zero experience as a parent. The best way to help your son is never to forget this fact, and please, please back off this couple
By your account you've given this couple months of in-home training (whether they wanted it or not). Now let them use it.
That is a lot to ask, understandably, when you haven't seen persuasive signs your son will be able to take care of himself. But you are part of an entrenched cycle that perpetuates this problem. He wobbles, you rush in to the rescue, he never learns to stand firmly on his own — or gets crucial assurance from Mom that he's capable of it.
To help him now you have to stop helping him.
That also means you need a better way to manage your anxiety than fussing. Add something to your schedule that makes constructive use of your energy — a hobby, a volunteer gig, yoga or other exercise, therapy.
The one exception to the stop-butting-in rule is if your grandchild is at risk of serious harm. In that case, get qualified help.