Someone recently asked me about controlling mothers — in other words, why are so many that way? There can be many causes, but the most likely one is a false belief (on the part of the mother) that a parent can and should control more than he or she really can. Mothers, especially, often feel like they should make everything all better for their child. With the minor problems that very young children typically encounter, this is often possible. But as children evolve into young adults and eventually adults, no such thing is possible. The young adult is every bit as much the individual as the mother herself. On an emotional level, many mothers report feeling that, “I should still be able to fix everything for my child.” Leaving aside the fact that your child is no longer even a child, this is simply unrealistic. Adults are confronted with many different choices and possibilities, primarily because of their increased capacity for cognition. Thinking is an adult’s primary responsibility and nobody can do it for him (or her). Controlling mothers who are thought to “mean well” are actually ignoring this fact, and in the process they don’t end up with more control, either. They end up with greater resentment from their loved ones and a whole lot of unnecessary stress.