Are You a Drama Mama? Know When to Back Off
By Cynthia Hanson
Are you a drama mama? Know when to back off! Your child has a fight with a friend. She’s in tears; you’re furious and ready to defend her. But should you? In this age of helicopter parenting, it’s hard not to step in when you see your child in a social dilemma. But that’s not always the answer.
“In recent years, I’ve seen a trend of mothers confronting other mothers — by phone or email, or in person — to resolve their kids’ social issues; I call it ‘Mama Drama,’” says Joyce Marter, a psychotherapist and the owner of Urban Balance LLC in Chicago. “It’s problematic on several levels: It not only crosses boundaries, but also prevents kids from developing coping skills and learning that it’s not a perfect world where everybody always gets along and gets included.”
Laurie Zelinger, a child psychologist and the author of Please Explain Anxiety to Me! Simple Biology and Solutions for Children and Parents, agrees. “Social slights occur and recur throughout life,” she says. “You lived through them, so your child deserves the opportunity to live through them too.”
Here are some common kid dramas your child may face, and how to help her survive them — without being a drama mama.
Drama: Your second-grader is hurt because she didn’t get invited to a classmate’s birthday party.