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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Parents of adult children

Previously, I started a discussion about being a parent of married children - I had hoped for some discussion and comments to begin but failed to generate that so let me try again. Ha.

You know the saying: the apple doesn't fall from the tree - but is that necessarily true when another adage also seems to generally apply as well and that being: "opposite's attract". So where do our kids land when they fall from the tree while being attracted to someone with very opposite upbringing? Which side has the stronger pull and influence? Furthermore, how much "interference" do parents run when seeing their adult children attracted to the someone we don't think is best for their spiritual, physical, emotional, psychological and economic well being?

Recently I was involved in a discussion with several other parents about the cases that involve being estranged from their married children due to conflicts of philosophy over religion, politics and child raising. It is sad to know that many parents are estranged from their own adult children after a marriage occurs and especially when children are involved. I recall my conversation with a lawyer from Michigan who happened to sit beside me on our trip to Hawaii last March. This man - after reading over my shoulder while I edited my Surviving College Book - began to offer information about their situation with his eldest son. The son had married a shrew - according to the lawyer - who had been Sorority President, Physician, and terrible daughter in law who had no feelings for him or his wife. In fact, he blatantly stated that she hated him and his wife and would have nothing to do with them. He offered many examples... It was clear there was a communication breakdown of the worst degree. He and I talked about that situation for quite a while, analyzed some solutions together and came up rather empty handed. I felt bad for him and his wife....

So other parents watching these situations are made to feel afraid to say much of anything influential for fear of having this scenario happen to their family. So they "watch what they say" while ultimately forsaking any influence over the situations.

It's interesting that strangers will call "experts" for advice while avoiding advice from the very persons that lovingly raised them through the teen and college years...

It seems to me that watching what we say is never the answer because in effect we throw away the opportunity to pass on wisdom and life's experiences. And the result may be the same in the long run anyway -- inability to have meaningful relationships so why not take the risk and teach when possible??? Would love your comments.

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