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Successful parenting is about rearing successful children. We all hope that one day our little chickens will fly the coop and flutter off into the world and be able to survive out there without too much intervention on our behalf.
Ok, I admit it, sometimes it is difficult to let go! There is a delicate balance between wanting to control every aspect of your children’s lives and letting them be completely independent. They say the last task that we should perform for our children is letting them go. I now realise that I absolutely suck at this! I am the all-enduring mother hen!
We have made it plain to both our children, that once they graduate from university financial support from us comes to a halt. That is what my parents did for me and I’m grateful for it. We also expected them to pay board to help out with the cost of food, rates and household maintenance when they lived at home. However, it was pointed out to us on several occasions that they were “the only ones living at home that pay board”. Well I say boo hoo to that!
I still want my children to be able to come to us for advice and I try not to be too judgmental when it comes to giving it out. There is nothing worse than the old “I told you that would happen” or “you should have listened to me”. But regardless of that, we can always be there to listen and give helpful hints but we can’t always fix their problems.
We want our children to make it on their own while understanding that we will always be there for them during the hard times– or when they just need to get something off their chest. We will also be there to help change a car battery, make them a chicken soup when they are sick and help them move house a zillion times.
There appears to be a transitional phase in going from being a parent to a child, to a parent of an adult. I think that there are definite signs once you arrive at this point in your life, when you can proudly say “my kids are all grown up”, and these signs are:
1. When you visit their place, they actually spend a few hours tidying up and changing the sheets on their bed before you arrive.
2. They invite you out for coffee or lunch and they actually pay!
3. They show interest in domestic chores like separating whites from colours in their laundry, ironing shirts, cooking a favourite meal and perfecting the sheet corners on their bed.
4. They cook you dinner from scratch. In other words not a frozen pizza, two minute noodles or nachos.
5. They shout you a drink at a Bar and actually enjoy your company.
6. They finally have their mobile phones on their own plans.
7. They pay back money they owe you within a reasonable time.
8. They say they are over nightclubbing/binge-drinking/rap music/one night stands/very short mini -skirts/sky-scraper shoes!
9. They pronounce they are only eating healthy from now on.
10. They get their own health insurance.
I am proud to say that we are finally at this phase in our lives and our son and daughter are financially independent of us and paying their own way in the world. When your son comes home with a thank you card and a couple of ‘scratchies’ for being a ‘good mum’ or your daughter shouts you a coffee when you are out shopping together, you think to yourself “I have been a successful parent”.
What do you think? Are your adult children on their way or got to the stage of being financially independent?
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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