Life is ever evolving/changing and with that change, roles change, we all get older even our children and grandchildren.
One of the things IMO that can strain the relationship between parents and kids or even grand's is the failure to accept and honor that our kids or grand's become "adults" and they (just like we did) move forward in life.
Yes, they will always be our child, or grandchild but we must learn to respect that they are not children any longer.
Too often, parents still want to direct the decisions of their children or grand's as they did when they were very small.
I believe this is one of the reasons so many families drift apart. It becomes too stressful to be "too close" because there is a constant struggle for the adult children to get across to the parent that while they love them and respect them, there has to be a healthy boundary in respecting the fact that they are in fact no longer "a child".
I also have seen parents become hurt or jealous because they are not the center focus of a child or grandchild's life. After all "they" when smaller were the center focus of our life and in some cases we still want it to be that way!
As said above, they develop their own "life" and that comes with demands on their time and responsibilities (just like we had) for "their" family or even if they are single, they develop other relationships outside the once close knit family unit.
Recently, I had a conversation with someone who was so distraught and in tears over the fact that her daughter (a single professional Attorney) was not coming home (over two-hundred miles) to celebrate her Birthday. She told her Mom she had a large case to prepare for and some of her close friends and colleagues had planned a dinner theater evening to celebrate her BD...that the timing was not good and she was not coming home for her BD but rather would see her Mom the following week.
Her Mom was crushed to the point of what I would call almost debilitating depression!
I listened, then offered her this thought....
To consider the joy in knowing that her daughter had a successful career and had the desire to be well prepared for her case by staying on task even on her BD weekend......to consider how blessed her daughter was to have friends and co-workers who cared enough about her to want to do something special for her BD.
But more this point. I had this same feeling when my own daughter began to do things with friends or co-workers and it was not always Mom/daughter hang out time......
I too felt the sting...then I looked at it from a different perspective. If I continued to be the center of her life, if she had no friends, no family or anyone else in her life that she had developed a close relationship with other than "Me"...... what would it be like for "her" once I passed from this life?...........
How hard - no friends to lift her up, no one to hold her and be there to help her rebound and get back to life.....
Consider it a blessing and the way things should be when your kids move forward...
Cherish the time they do have to be with you. Have healthy boundaries respecting them as adults, offer an opinion only if asked...try to look back and remember how you felt at their age when your parents reacted in a negative way to how you were living your life, became jealous or got their shorts in a knot. Ask yourself did their attitude make you "want" to be around them a lot?....... nuff said....
So, anyone who has moved to be near kids, or considering it..........perhaps these thoughts will be helpful food for thought.......
Comments for Thoughts to Retirees who Move to be near Kids
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