There is no doubt being a successful parent and raising loving productive members of society is not for the faint of heart. I marvel at jobs well done and I marvel at beautiful relationships between parent and child. I marvel at my own parents who successfully raised and nurtured 3 of us and nobody ended up in prison. I have been blessed to have had a wonderful relationship with my parents and as an adult we are friends. I enjoy the people they are and all they have learned along the way and have shared with me. I have gained a different perspective of my parents than when I was a child. Of course when we are children we have the idea that we know it all and although our parents have walked a lot longer on the road of life for some reason we think we are wiser. I can remember balking at discipline and crying out at the unfairness of it all with curfew. Looking back I am grateful. I am grateful that my parents cared enough to want me home by a certain time. I am grateful that my parents cared enough to want to know my friends. I am also grateful that in spite of rules my parents gave me trust. They were not what we call today “helicopter parents.” They kept a certain distance and allowed me to learn, to make mistakes and to grow. Children require discipline, love and a sense of freedom.
Unfortunately, relationships are complex and often not easy. Sometimes conflict is the state of affairs between parents and adult children. I have seen grown friends cringe and tremble with worry regarding a parent’s visit. I have witnessed a regression of my savvy friends to a dependant child like state in the presence of parental figures. I feel sadness when I witness distance and hostility between those who we hope would love each other the most. Parents make mistakes as most have learned from old patterns and the way they were raised themselves. It is unfortunate that parenting is often not viewed as a serious undertaking akin to getting a drivers license. When we get our license, there is a test and should we fail, we have to try again. Same should be said for parenting. When parents cannot address their own stuff, it is often laid on the shoulders of the child and makes for a cauldron of resentment.
It is a beautiful sight to behold to watch the love and mutual respect between parent and child. To be able to sit, enjoy and converse with our parents is one of the best gifts we could be given. One could only hope we would be so blessed as to have that in our own lives.