Thursday, November 5, 2009

Parental Counsel

There never was or ever will be a book or treatise on how to be a parent that fits all situations especially in an parent and adult child relationship.
How do you advise an adult child on the possible and even probable consequences of a choice when bravado or machismo or stubbornness or even desire is obscuring parental logic? It’s not easy and sometimes impossible to do so. The young need to experience the prideful glow of right choice and the disappointment via consequence of wrong choice. It’s the way they grow intellectually and the way they grow up and mature emotionally.
The difficulty for parents is when an adult child makes a decision that is inimical to the values of family, illegal, or the choice will put the adult child in harm's way that he or she cannot imagine because of their youthful enthusiasm and limited life experience.
A case in point and question comes from a Mother, a reader, of this blog.
Her son in his early twenties decides to join the army. He’s young and strong and with youthful strength there often comes the illusion of being invulnerable.
The parents believe that once committed and trained the young soldier will probably be sent to a war zone. A place no parent wants a child to go, no matter how old and mature or trained a young man or woman is. It’s a parent protection thing that often usurps the zeal of patriotism or even an altruistic desire for humanitarian service if the action puts the child in harms way.
There is no one answer to the Mother’s question on this issue. Do you encourage or discourage with reason the son’s choice?
Parents must answer that question as they see fit and handle it uniquely for their given situation. The only commonality between all parents of all cultures is the love of their children.
All parents can do is unconditionally love the child, offer good counsel and make sure their suggestions are not interpreted as demands and then let life take its course. It will anyway.

1 comment:

Gabi K said...

Ok... I took the time to translate it word by word and really think about all you said.

Gave me a big smile, when you mentioned the the young often feel "being invulnerable", it's exactely the word I used to use when they were in danger to hurt themselves / do something stupid.

Back to the subject. We discussed all options again and again. With the son, with the girl friend of the son, even the grandmother shared her thoughts.
But in the end, after all, it is as you said. It is his decision and we can only hope that our concerns are heard and included in the way he chooses to go.

Let life take its course. It will anyway.

Sometimes hard to do but probably the only way to live without becoming insane one day.

Thank you

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