In the world of parenting there is no handbook, no instructions manual, no blue prints, no black and white hard copies of how to parent. Indeed, that’s a given. As parents, we want to give our children gifts of love and safety. We nurture with our unconditional selves to these tender beings we love so deeply. As they grow, our guidance and security are much needed in their cultivating awarenesses for future successes. They grow older and we let go of some responsibilities of raising young children and adopt other responsibilities to accommodate for budding young adults. As our children grow into adulthood (let’s consider adulthood being the age of 21), where do our responsibilities end? How do they end? Do they end?
All around I see whole families with adult children living with their parents and/or financially depending on their parents. I know people in their 50’s who still depend on their parents for full financial support. Some of these adult children don’t even have jobs or skills or are in pursuit of schooling wether vocational or academic. A number of those adult children I know even when educated have no life skills, everything has always been done for them. These children dictate the household and seem to be completely, outright praised for it. Waited on, given financial and material freedoms and having no regard for cost or value of exuberant gifts given. Maybe, the parents think the feeding of unearned privilege will give their children the preparation it takes to be independent and successful, I guess. I can’t figure that one out, it really confuses me. I do not want to come across as seeming sarcastic but really I try to understand the logic behind this type of parenting.
In my experience as a mother I adore giving to my daughter, it feels satisfying to provide her comforts a parent may give their child. I do admit, I have in the past and still currently indulge my budding adult daughter with a smartphone, a car, auto insurance and healthy foods. As I become introspective about my giving to her in this fashion, I question my giving of these essentials as teetering on too much. Too much giving of financial privilege is the common thread I find in my over giving parenting style. The difference about my parenting which stands out from parenting practices I see around me is I wait and observe the behaviors of my child and let her make her mistakes if I foresee them coming. Also, as she became a young teen, instinct drove me to make her take charge of a number of unusual tasks and responsibilities for such a young person. She became the sole administrator to all school enrollment registration paperwork, writing the checks made payable to her high school for yearbooks, student services fees, and her student-athlete fees, making her own doctors appointments, approaching her coaches and teachers with inquiries of lack of playing time on the court or poor marks in the classroom, finding her own driver’s education training programs, getting new tires put on her car, paying for all of her own gas, and now paying the rent for her own apartment.
I am not saying that I am the greatest parent in history, nor, that this parenting style is going to work for all families but it worked for mine. I am just a whole hearted believer in keeping ones children accountable for their own actions, behaviors, and age appropriate financial responsibilities. To over indulge children with lack of responsibilities and lack of consequences can be detrimental to the future successes of the entire family. Honestly, I love my daughter beyond words and I want to see her have the greatest success she can dream for herself. My love for her has influenced me to guide her to become self sufficient, efficient, and confident in adulthood. Major bonus for raising my child with giving her many adult responsibilities as she was a teen…she is a self sufficient, efficient, independent, confident 19 year old woman who has taken her reins and is now galloping into an incredibly successful responsible adulthood.