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Backroads

When should parenting end (or at least change?)

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I know you didn't say it. It was said by someone in authority to a bunch of people. I also recognize that I wasn't there and didn't get the whole context. But, based on the one line, I can just imagine how I would would feel if my kids were in the "good" category. Wow, what did I do wrong to have raised "good" kids and can't have HF trust? Hitting at one's pride by building the pride up of another isn't a good thing, in my book. But, that's just me on an internet forum with no authority.

I agree, you had to be there to understand or feel the intent behind the remark.

What I do know is that many many many people bring up what the Area Authority said even all these years later. If can't remember exactly but my kids were still at home. So probably about 10 or so years ago. I just heard it again a few weeks ago when I was talking about kids with a wonderful woman who's oldest is a teenager in high school, getting good grades and not giving his parents the headaches of drug addiction, premarital sex, etc.

I don't know anyone who was there and heard it who was offended. Instead they related quite well. There aren't any perfect kids, there aren't any perfect parents either for that matter. :)

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Never :). The amount of physical care just lessens.

I've had the chance to live away from my parents 2,000 miles away for 8 months for school. The first semester I talked to my mom every couple days on facebook or on the phone. The second semester I called her usually everyday. It's not that I was incredibly homesick, or needed advice. It was that I was bored walking home from class and I know my mom cares:)

Going home after those 8 months was a strange experince for me. I went to go see some old friends and I was nervous about what to say to my parents. Do I ask permission? Do I just leave? Do i tell them? I didn't want them to think I wasn't respecting their rules, but I also wasn't used to being taken care of. I went with my mom to the thrift store, and my mom put my jeans in her pile during check out...it was just strange for me since I've been financial independent since last Fall. I felt out of place being home, because being taken care of was something I wasn't used to.

Now that I'm back to school my mom and I have skyped, called, and fb chatted every day..well one of the 3. Maybe I don't get homesick because the first person I talk to about an interesting class or theory i've learned is my mom. But, her parenting style's changed.

My parents have always been pretty leniant. I never really asked permission in high school, I just told them and they'd comment on what I was doing. I was never grounded or punished. Just talked to about certain actions.

Maybe I do less stupid thnigs..I don't know haha. The only 'parenting' type thing I plan on talking to my parents about is insurance claims for a doctors appointment check up I need for a procedure I had. Other than that, I talk to my parents like I'd talk to a close friend. Maybe that method doesn't work for everyone, and some college students need there parents advice more then others. But, It works for me:)

Haha. I love my mom:) She's great.

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But I just don't understand the idea of being the primary caregiver when the kids well into their twenties. What if a parent thinks she is just taking the raising slow, dies suddenly, and has adult children that aren't quite ready for society?

There comes a time when children need to be independent. But, that doesn't mean they can't go to their parents for advice or help. I'm honored when my adult children ask me for advice. I'm also happy to help.

My youngest daughter married at 18. She is now 21, expecting her first child, and her husband is deployed to Afghanistan. Everything is new to her: being on her own, dealing with insurance, having her water pipes break with their new home, dealing with a miscarriage while husband was in training before he was deployed. If I or my husband are not there to offer support, who is? Her friends? Yes, she could go to friends, but we're family. And I want our relationship to be such that she knows she can always come to us for advice, support, or help. Now, this does not mean that I step in and do everything for her. I'm more of a listening ear. I was there at the hospital when she had her D&C after her miscarriage. Her hubby was away for his military training and could not be there with her. He had a 3 day leave about three months later, and was able to come home for a quick break. Voile, she is pregnant again. She is having problems with this pregnancy too, and again no husband at home to help her deal with all the issues. And this time he is all the way in Afghanistan, and only has intermittent contact through email or regular mail with her. He also most likely will not be there for the birth of their child. The baby is due about two weeks before he's scheduled to be home. You bet I'm going to be there for her.

As to the other issue when a parent takes care of everything, and then should die: I have a friend with two adult sons. One son is in his 30's, the other mid 20's. They both live at home with mom. The dad died several years ago. The "boys" have never held jobs, been on their own, etc. She does everything for them. The "boys" never graduated from high school. They never learned the discipline to get themselves out of bed, out the door to school, or to finish any homework. If she should die, financially, I don't know what these "boys" will do. This will be a case of sink or swim. And, the apron strings needed to be cut long ago.

Edited by classylady

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I have no beef with parenting that becomes more of an advisor/friend position with room for occassional "mommy/daddy, the world is mean to me so please bake me cookies and bring me my blanky" moment.

I just can't comprehend much good coming from treating a thrity-year-old like a 5-year-old all the time.

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I’ve read in several different places that people are becoming ‘adults’ at older and older ages, one major reason is that the need to become an adult is not as apparent as it was in the past. There’s also the problem of experience, as classylady pointed out, when a person, mainly a woman, goes from home, where her parents did everything, then to the arms of a spouse, where he now does everything, it can be a shock, when you realize you don’t know how to do something essential, like how to balance your budget.

When I asked a co-worker, on her twenty-first birthday, “How do you feel being an adult?” she said, “Expensive”. As, she said, that now she had to pay for things that previously her parents paid for.

There are a lot of things that as a child is provided for you but as an adult you need to provide for yourself, like a home, food, health insurance, car insurance, cell phone, taxes. I could go on, but even you try your best to teach your child the realities of life, sometimes you just need to experience something yourself to really understand that, “No, I can’t have it all.”

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(None of the 'don'ts' below are 'can'ts'. All are choices based on their own philosophy & experiences. There's lots of stuff many parents, according to their own philosophies would love to do, but can't.).

Some parents pay for college. Some don't.

Some help with homework. Some don't.

Some mentor. Some shove outta the nest.

Some help with downpayments. Some don't.

Some buy cars at 16. Some don't.

Some allow children (under 18) to work. Some don't.

Some teach gradually increasing responsibility. Some don't.

<grin> And the list goes on and on and on.

Decisions made in families are all very different, although they usually come from the same place : Loving and wanting the best for their kids.

Every scenario above (do & do not) turns out productive capable adults, as well as the incapable, the selfish, the mooch, etc. Theres just no "one right way" to do things, kwim?

As far as your coworker?

I would suggest that there are MANY possible reasons why your coworker is handling her adult kids' finances.

- Kids are incapable (never taught & neither parents nor kids have insisted)

- Mom enjoys it, although kids are totally capable, so they 'let' her

- Kids are special needs

- Kids are deployed

- Mom is a control freak

- Its her car they're borrowing

- Temporary circumstance (divorce, unemployment, etc.)

- Again... List goes on. Family circumstance and politicking gets complicated.

Just as a case in point... My brother has his MBA. Our DAD does his taxes. My brother is totally capable of doing his own taxes (faster, even). But my dad loves doing taxes. It makes him feel useful, competent, helpful, frugal... On TOP of the fact that he just digs doing taxes.

I'm sure my dad's co workers think my brother is a dweeb.

Really, its just that he loves our dad.

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One of the best things my father ever did for me was, as a teenager, he expected me to do things that I've never done before. I had to return things to a grocery store, drive a large truck a long distance, babysit overnight, change a tire etc. He'd tell me how to do it, and give me the advice needed to stay safe. I would say "I can't do that!" and he'd say "yes you can, now go do it." I would do it and I'd realize that I was an able, competent individual.

If he'd done everything for me, I would never have been able to do those things on my own once an adult. I would panic and find someone to do it for me, to the hardship of everyone around me.

So, I suppose I view the teenage years as the time for teenagers to push for independence and parents to give them measured doses of it (not all fun responsibility, either).

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I remember my dad attempting to teach my sister and I how to change a tire - what a disaster! It took me AND my sister, both, standing and bouncing on that thingamajiggy lever to losen the tire lug nuts - we still were unsuccessful in getting those off! Never attempted to change a tire since and thank God I've never had to - and never will since DH is only a phone call away, or a taxi in worse case scenario.

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I remember my dad attempting to teach my sister and I how to change a tire - what a disaster! It took me AND my sister, both, standing and bouncing on that thingamajiggy lever to losen the tire lug nuts - we still were unsuccessful in getting those off! Never attempted to change a tire since and thank God I've never had to - and never will since DH is only a phone call away, or a taxi in worse case scenario.

The last time I blew a tire my husband came and got me. The time before that, I happened to be at Scout Camp. I actually do know how to change a tire, but wound up getting some robust young Scouts to do it for me.

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I remember when I got my first car as a teenager and it was a stick. I had never driven a stick before. So my dad took me out to teach me. I thought we were going across the street to the high school parking lot. Oh no....straight out into traffic. I learned how to do it quick though. I had to.

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