There are a whole lot of blogs out there with the name ‘Mom’ attached. One of the aspects of the actual blog is the ‘About me’ section where a large number of female bloggers begin by saying, “I’m a mother to…” That is because this is how we see ourselves. For the majority of Mom’s, our children are considered to be one of our greatest accomplishments in life. It’s as big of a deal as a big deal gets to carry a child for 9 months, give birth and begin the journey of parenthood. Mother’s will put up with a lot of negativity in life except when it comes to our children, we will hurt you if you hurt our children.
Tresa & Tiffany at Tif’s Graduation from GCSU
God blessed me with two children, both girls. They were born 8 years apart.They are both married, the youngest was married Jan. 20th of this year. The oldest has been married 15 years and is the mother to all of my grandchildren. She and my hard working son-in-law have 5 children together and share in the joys of his 2 oldest son’s, both grown.
Yesterday, I registered on a parenting website for bloggers and discovered their drop down selections stopped at college age children. Humph! I shot them a quick e-mail, got no response. I didn’t stop becoming a parent when my children passed a certain age. Parenting adult children is still PARENTING.
Parenting simply takes on a new dynamic when your children are grown. Define grown. The state at which your child becomes grown and when mine became grown may not be the exact same age. It is more of a state of mind than a date on the calendar. Adult children tend to seek advice which they genuinely want it as opposed to the challenged parents of teenagers trying to gently force advice and ideals onto our teens. I once saw a bumper sticker that read, “Parents of teens know why animals eat their young”. I thought that was funny. There is hope for parents of teenagers. It really does get better. There will come a day when your child will actually tell you how much they appreciate you trying to keep them alive during their teen years. All parents don’t have teenagers who are solely responsible for all their gray hair but statically in our country, it would seem that most homes do. I’m just saying, it gets better.
There are challenges of being a parent to adult children. The joys outweigh the challenges though. Probably the biggest challenge is not sticking your nose into your child’s business without being asked to. Now this covers a wide range of singular topics; their finances, their relationships with pretty much anyone including friends, spouses or even their in-laws and how they raise our grandchildren. Both of my girls seek my advice from time to time. It always makes me happy when they do. I love them and want to know that there are leading happy lives.
A friend told me years ago when her daughter became pregnant prior to marriage. She said that her husband wasn’t taking it well at all. He quit speaking to their daughter. That doesn’t help anything. We don’t stop loving our children when they do things we don’t approve of. They need us more right then, than ever! This is when you will revert back to the ‘never let’em see you sweat’ mentality you had when they were teenagers. A good leader doesn’t let on when they are griped with fear. You can have your breakdown later. My friend and her husband nearly got divorced over their difference in opinions about their daughter’s pregnancy. It all ended well though, the Dad learned a life lesson. The grandparents get to enjoy their granddaughter. If he had not come around with his way of thinking, it is entirely possible that his daughter could have shut him out of her life as a result of feeling condemned by her father. We have to think our decisions through to the end, not just immediate consequences.
Another friend once told me that he wished he had never taught his son’s to drink beer. He thought, at the time that he was making them be masculine. Now he feels responsible for what he perceives as their dependency on alcohol which has some negative effects in their lives. His sons are grown now. His challenges as a parent are still there but have taken on a whole new dynamic as you can imagine.
My point is this, parenting adult children is still parenting. The parent/child relationship takes on a whole new dynamic. It is a learning experience for both the parent and the adult child. We never stop loving our children when they make bad decisions. We just try to encourage them through the tough times and rejoice together in the good times.