Currently my family and I are partial owners of a two family home that we share with my mother. I know that some of you read that first line and thought “she must be crazy. That’s a recipe for disaster”. Trust me, I see where it definitely could be, but I also see the bigger picture and it’s a beautiful one (if you tilt your head to the side and maybe squint a little). No, but really, for me the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages. For one, our boys get to grow up in a multigenerational home where they can see their grandma everyday. Not to mention, when families put their resources together the results can be quite advantageous for all parties involved. And lastly, my hubby was all about creating this merger, and let me tell you, if your husband agrees to living that close to his in-laws, then that is definitely something special.
So after 10 years of marriage and living in an apartment with just our family, we decided that a family home was the way to go. Thus far, the experience has been very enjoyable and interesting for the most part but it has also been very eye opening for me as it relates to my thoughts about parenting.
Now that I live so closely to my own mother what I have realized is that there is a shift in the relationship between a parent and child once that child is no longer a child. It’s a shift that my own mother is slowly beginning to realize and one that I hope that I can recognize and adapt to once to my children become adults.
When your children are little, it is the responsibility of a parent to pour all the skills, morals, values and lessons into your child(ren) so that they may be able to thrive in the world as they grow and live a purposeful adult life. You teach them things that nurture the social, emotional,cognitive, physical, and spiritual aspects of their development. You give them all the tools you think they will need.
Once your child becomes an adult and especially once they become a parent, the role of a “parent” looks a bit different. A parent who believes that they have given their child all the necessary skills should also feel confident enough to let go and allow their now adult-child to put all those life skills into action.
This realization can be somewhat difficult as it can be hard to come to terms with the fact that your little one is not so little after all. And I’m sure it is equally difficult to see your adult-child struggle, or fall while trying to figure things out on their own. However, it is a very necessary step.
Always stepping in when your child is in the middle of a situation runs a risk of creating a dependent being who can’t fend for themselves or even more detrimental to the parent child relationship it can create a combative adult who is always try to defend their title as a grown-up.
I realize that I still have little ones who need me for a lot and even that is becoming less and less with my middle schooler. I truly don’t know what it will feel like for me once my boys don’t need me as much. I don’t know if I will become a “helicopter’ mom or if I will be willing to let them go. I hope it’s the latter as I know that this is what will benefit them most. Well, I guess it’s a good thing that I blog and record moments like this. Perhaps once my boys are older and I seem to forget to let go I can look back at my own words and remember that it’s time to cut the apron strings (or at least snip them a bit).
Talk to you soon – Serene
Share with me: What ways do you encourage your children to be more independent? And in what ways are you resisting the need to let go?