Last night I was invited to a small and lovely dinner party – four women, two of whom I knew (myself and the host) and two others who were new to my acquaintance.
As we sat around the candle lit table sharing food and conversation our thoughts often touched upon our grown children. We all told stories from our own experience about the phase of parenting where children are crossing over from childhood to the adult realm and I realized that although each tale had unique details there were many places of common ground.
This time in child’s life can be any and all of the the following; exciting, confusing, motivating, paralyzing, terrifying, exhilarating and more. The choices, the responsibilities, the freedom; all of these things can (depending on the person or the day in question) make young men and women see themselves as increasingly powerful in their own lives or unmanageably overwhelmed by their future.
Every child has to go through this rebirth of sorts and each one of them will face it in his or her own way. At times we as parents must watch as the emerging butterfly struggles and strains to shed the chrysalis. Sometimes our children will ask for our help and sometimes it is the last thing they want from us. It is my belief, however, that we parents must continue at this time to be a vigilant, patient presence for our children, helping them protect their spirits most of all by reminding them often that the only true measure of success is joy.
Please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email: email@example.com and look for new posts every week starting in January 2012
Tags: adult children, growing up, parenting