Parenting is a challenge regardless of how old your children are. My wife and I have an empty nest and the challenges are still there even if taking care of our children’s daily needs isn’t necessary anymore. Luckily one son and his wife live nearby and we have easy access to him, his wife and 3 of our grandchildren. One daughter and her significant other are also close so we can get together on occasion and have a few laughs together. Another daughter lives about 2-3 hours away and that has posed a challenge or two getting together and spending time with her, her significant other and our youngest grandchild. The biggest challenge is coming soon however, because another son is moving from our area in Pennsylvania to Colorado.
All our kids are special and wonderful and each offered various challenges while growing up. Our son Patrick who is moving to Denver soon, was quite a handful when he was younger. Let’s just say as his step-dad he confounded and confused me at times along with frustrating me but he has turned out to be a wonderful adult and I will miss him dearly. Watching our children live their lives as best as they can is exciting, wonderful and frustrating all at the same time. Having a child move to another state far,far away will be a new experience and I think we are going to handle the challenge just fine (I hope and pray).
My wife and I have faith and confidence in all our adult children and know they will always do the best they can for themselves, their significant others and their children. We respect them as adults and have also been honest about the fact that no matter how old they are they will always be our kids. They also know we respect them and they know we are willing to help them anyway we can when needed. I strongly believe that along with love, respecting your adult children is one of the most important things a parent can do. They are on their own life journeys and while letting go isn’t easy these journeys are their’s to make.
Another important item when dealing with grown children that my wife and I forget on occasion is, don’t give advice unless you’re directly asked for advice. My parents practiced that with me. I was free to ask for advice and received advice but ultimately the decision was mine and mine alone to make. This also probably shows you have respect and confidence in your children.
Welcoming your grown child’s significant other into the family is also always a great idea. After all, your child chose them to have a relationship with so your child cares for this person deeply. Hopefully our kids significant others know they are always welcome at our home and family gatherings. I know on occasion I may not have always gotten along with my daughter’s boyfriends but as adults my daughters have chosen men they love and believe in so I trust their judgement and accept them into the family. Likewise our married son has a great wife and Patrick’s partner Frank has a great sense of humor and is a very welcome addition to our family.
Anyhow, we know we can always text, IM or call our kids whenever we like. We assume holiday traditions on Thanksgiving and Christmas will continue as time and money allow. So I guess quite a few of these parenting tips my wife and I already practice. Yes, Patrick’s move will present some unknown challenges but I believe with love, respect and faith we will all survive just fine. Good luck Patrick and Frank, Cindy and I love youse, enjoy your journey. Cindy and I will always be there for you.
Thanks for reading my blog today. A little more personal than usual but blogging is therapeutic at least for me. I appreciate the fact you took time out of your day to read my blather. By the way, youse is a Philly word the plural of your.