Parents Have to Respect Their Adult Children
A 90's baby's perspective on adolescent/adult parenting
Growing up is a part of life that not a single person can say they haven’t experienced. No matter you race or background, hometown or country; EVERYONE was young once. That means that even our parents were kids and teens too. They have gone through some of the common ups and downs that one goes through from childhood into their adults years. Even still, its seems they don’t understand their children as they become adults themselves.
For the most part, the relationship between parent and child is the same. I am the parent, you are the child, do as I say, THE END. That’s a really good way for it to be to an extent because all children and young adults need to be guided. They need to be told and shown what is right and what is wrong until that moral compass of theirs has developed on its own. But there comes several points in that relationship where that dynamic MUST go through changes. Parents need to see that their child is growing into themselves and discovering who they are. They need to see it, accept it, and adjust their parenting style accordingly.
Most parents of younger children will say that they want to have a healthy relationship with their child as an adult. Some of the same parents also struggle with changing the dynamic as the child gets older too. Its no mystery that times are different from when our parents were kids, and will continue to change with every generation. I often wonder if thats the reason for all the struggle when it comes to adjusting how parents treat their nearly adult children. I’ll use my personal experience just to give a little perspective.
So first, let me just start off by saying that I absolutely LOVE my mother, I wouldn’t trade her for anything. And I know my mom loves me right back. I am an only child and growing up it was just her and I most of the time. My parents weren’t together but I still managed to form something of a relationship with my dad. I remember my childhood being so fun. I remember all the things my mom would get me when I did well in school. I remember all the cool places she would take me. I remember all of the good times because there were so many of them! I don’t remember much of anything bad at all until the age of 14 or 15. Now I get that some of it was me, and by that I mean I get that I was a teenage female with hormones raging all over the place and trying to figure who I am about to be as a person. However, some of it was just my mother not adjusting her parenting style to something that fit both her and I. And some of it was just pure “I have made some mistakes and I don't want to make them to”.
My mother was very over protective during my teenage years well into my adults years (past 21). I always felt that I was never allowed to make certain mistakes as a teen because of how she would react and naturally that made wants to keep everything from her. But of course that didn’t mean that I still didn’t want to know about certain things, I just didn’t want to come to my mom about it. My mom was the type that would always say that I could come and talk to her about anything, but then after I would tell her something or maybe ask something, I would notice slight changes in what I could and couldn’t do. I envied how it seemed like some of my peers moms were “cool” and let them do certain things. And before you even think, none of these girls were “fast” or doing fast things and neither was I. I wanted to do things like go to school parties or dances, or go out with my friends often but I just didn’t get to often.
At 14/15 though, I still can’t say that things were “bad”. They weren’t. I just started to want some freedom, my mother didn’t give it and I started to rebel...typical. Getting to 17/18/19 was where things did get bumpy though. There is like this threshold that we as kids walked over where we felt like we should be making decisions for ourselves and be free. And most can say that its around that age that those feelings start to boil. Most are going off to college or work and really start coming into who they are as a person. That was me. I knew who I wanted to be but wasn’t sure how to get there. Still in need of guidance but didn’t want strict rules tying me down, I wasn’t a kid anymore. I was to my mother though. I wanted some privacy, but to her I was a child and didn’t need any privacy in her house. This led me to sneaky and do all sorts of things. I never felt I could be open and honest about what were supposed to be typical parts of growing up. And because I couldn’t be honest, she wasn’t getting the opportunity to guide me into making a better or more thought out decision about anything, big or small.
As an adult, I feel that I am completely capable and responsible for making my own decisions and for a while mom wanted control of that too. Its something that we still work on but things are much better than they use to be. She has had her parenting go through many changes. When children are becoming adults, they need to be given respect from their parents. All to often parents find it hard to do that. The respect thing is a one-way street by default. Parents need to learn how communicate differently with their children. Try going from telling them what to do to instead suggesting what they should try. It comes across differently and you’ll get a different type of response. You might even find that your child is coming back for more ADVICE which is what you want anyway.
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