An important way for us parents to understand how our adult children turned out is to examine first the part we played. Ours, before theirs. One we can control. Then, learn and improve thereon.
Some parents do too much for their adult children. And some do too little or don’t do enough. Two extremes. A case of “sparing help” vs. “spoiling the child.”
The call is always for balance.
Antonio, now a senior citizen, never held a job all his life. He’s always given allowances by his prosperous mother. Even while married and raising four children, Antonio asked for everything from his Mom, from basic expenses to kids’ tuitions or car gasoline.
As a result, Antonio never found reason to be self-supportive and responsible even for his own family. He’s always in a state of limbo. Even at old age, still a “baby being fed. Antonio’s days as a perpetual freeloader have not been corrected.
Does his Mom’s giving him so much help destroy his motivation to help himself?
Parenting psychologist, Dr. Jane Adams, writes:
“Parents who give too much do so out of their own needs, not their children’s. They give out of unmet desires for love, attention, or self esteem; they give to compensate for early deprivation (in either generation); they give to change their adult children’s behavior or fill up the emptiness inside.”
At times, we parents must rescue ourselves first! While we cannot rescue our adult children from the dysfunctions and troubles of their own making, we do need to save ourselves from the habit of trying to rescue them all the time.
Otherwise, our “adultolescent” children will never be able to manage appropriate to their age and life stage without us. Time for growing up … and not to wait too long before it becomes too late.