Dear Doc is a segment dedicated to answering questions that MKC users have about the unique challenges they face as part of a military family. If you have a question for DOC, use the Contact Us form and let us know what you would like DOC to answer for you. Like the question from I'm Not a Baby below.
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I'm Not a Baby
Dear DOC - My mom deployed to Afghanistan for eight months. While she was gone, I lived with my Aunt Bella. I had to do more chores and take on more responsibilities. I really didn’t like it, BUT I also got to do more things because my aunt really trusted me. Now my mom never lets me drive the car, stay up late, or decide for myself if I need to do homework. I’m just getting more and more upset. I even ended up yelling at my mom. How can I get her to stop treating me like a little kid? - I’M NOT A BABY
DEAR I’M NOT A BABY,
I want to applaud you for taking a step toward asking for what you need rather than staying in a miserable situation. It sounds like you and your mom need to help each other adjust to your new life together. She naturally went back to the old way of doing things, and obviously, that isn’t working for you. I imagine it isn’t easy to approach your mom given that she is feeling stressed – and nobody wants to get into a big fight with their parent. You can keep it all inside, you can gripe and argue, OR you can try a new way to tackle the problem. Stay calm and find some creative ways to tell your mom what you’re thinking. Ask a trusted adult (like your Aunt Bella) to help you if you don’t think you can do it alone. Ask your mom to have one of those “no one gets in trouble” kind of family meetings and you can invite Aunt Bella (your trusted adult) to act as a referee, or moderator. Your Aunt Bella can also help explain to your mom how things were different while she was gone. For instance, you can talk to your mom about your grades. If she sees that your grades are staying up, she may feel more comfortable about letting you manage your school responsibilities on your own. She may even compromise and let you drive short distances, with the possibility of driving more later. You may not agree upon a perfect solution for you, but I’m guessing that it can get better.