Well the Olympics have just finished and I am enjoying all of the Proctor & Gamble commercials on the mothers behind the athletes.  In most of the interviews, the athletes are thanking their families for support focusing in particular, the mom’s.

I am fascinated by a question that keeps popping up for me in these commercials.  What is the line between supporting and overbearing when guiding our kids?  Better yet…. Are YOU a SMOTHER?

 If any of you have caught the new sitcom “The Goldberg’s”, you will recognize this term that the kids on the show have labeled their own mother Beverly Goldberg.  We have heard of some of these traits that Beverly’s character portrays…interfering, helicoptering, grilling for info and just plain old “getting into their business” There has even been an episode on college recruiting and the lengths she goes to including speaking to the recruiters on behalf of her perfect child.  Are we guilty?   I will admit, I recognize myself in some of Beverly’s antics and my children will agree. 

 So what can we do as “recruiting mothers” to keep ourselves in check from going too far and teaching our children to be more independent and personally responsible?  Well, first and foremost, we must be educated on the recruiting process, have a clear idea of what is expected by the parent and the child in the process and know who is responsible for each component.  Secondly, as mom’s who are so connected to what are kids are feeling, sometimes before they do, we need to strengthen that intuition, so we can guide them…not bulldoze them, to making decisions that are true to their dreams and goals.  Lastly, RESTRAINT!!!!   Yes this is probably one of the toughest ideas to enforce.  It is the knowing that this is not the right time for a discussion on their performance, asking the embarrassing questions, raising your hand at a recruiting weekend when it is directed to the kids (husband is guilty of this one) or talking too much when the coaches call. 

 Whatever areas you need for restraint, make a list, keep it close as a reminder to what your limits are.  Oh, and May this is a good time to check in with your kid to see what they would like from you in support.   After all, wouldn’t you love to be one of the mom’s portrayed on the P& G commercial?


 Mary Beth


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