1. wilprim
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    wilprim Member

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    Role of a Parent

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by wilprim, Feb 24, 2012.

    So I have been visiting my family for the past few days for the first time in a while. The first thing I notice is the way parents stick with the controlling attitude over their kids, even with me. I am 21 years old, sure it isn't that old, but I think it is old enough for my parents to accept that I have my own life. When i come home, I feel like I am in high school again. My dad will come into my room in the morning, start picking things up that are scattered about the floor, and start telling me what I should and shouldn't do for the day; this is really annoying. But despite the fact that I hate when they do this, it does brings up an interesting question to me; is it a parents role to always feel as the guide in their kids lives, regardless of the kids age? Does the parent in them stay constant from the time you are born to when you have a beard?
     
  2. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Once a parent, always a parent. Indulge us - smile, nod, and quietly go your own way.
     
  3. UrbanBanshee
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    UrbanBanshee Member

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    I know exactly what you mean. I'm 23 and my Dad still treats me like a kid a lot. Strange thing is when I need help and ask for it he won't give it because I need to 'be an adult' but when I don't ask I get bossed around.

    I think it has something to to with the way we perceive people. At a certain point we seem to imprint what we see someone as, and even if they change or grow up our perception doesn't change the same way. Even if a kid becomes and adult somewhere in the parent's mind there is still the little kid who cried on their first day of school, or who used to climb trees.

    It all depends on the parent though. A parent who has always been controlling won't change just because their kids grow up and a parent who made their kid take care of themselves won't just change and suddenly be there when they are an adult. Both children and thier parents are people and though being a parent is a role, the type of parent they are depends on the type of person. Also just because a kid grows up doesn't change the simple fact that your parents will always be your parents. Whether they continue to act on that role or not.
     
  4. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it's a good thing when parents continue with their role even once their children are all grown up.

    I'm currently staying with my parents again and sometimes they act like I never even left (I originally moved out a few months after I turned 18). When I have days off during the week my father will often ask me if I should be in school, at which point I'll remind him that I left school several years ago. Or they'll tell me not to touch something hot or that I shouldn't stay up too late - and my mother frequently cleans my room when I'm out despite the fact I've a lock on my door. I also get panicked phone calls early in the morning if I've been at the bar the night before and not come home. :rolleyes:
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Be aware of this: You grew up and gained something - freedom, independence, the right to make your own decisions. But your parents lost something - the child they loved and nurtured. Don't be angry with them for trying to hang on to something that meant so much to them. It will take time for them to come to grips with the fact that you are an adult.

    Here's a trick: Give them grandchildren. They'll have kids to lavish their love on, and they'll realize that you're a grownup and will pretty much leave you alone.
     
  6. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Definitely. For them it doesn't matter how old you are, you will always be their child, that they need to take care of. They just don't see you as a grown up, even though they know you are. I have been living on my own for like 15 years and then I had to move back home to my mom for a period after coming back from living abroad, and it was like turning into a kid again! :D No matter how old I get she still think she need to take care of me, which can be a little frustrating when it feels like they think you're at the mental age of 5 and doesn't know anything about the world. :D but I know now that they don't do it to be mean, they just see you as their child and they always will. As you say, even though you were 65 and your parents really old I still think they would treat you like their kid, and really disliking the fact that you have to take care of them.
     
  7. munkyphile
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    munkyphile Member

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    I can't say I've had the same experience. My parents were always a bit lax, my dad was always busy with military stuff, and my mom's always been a bit off in her own little world. Don't get me wrong, they're very supportive and if I have a problem, I can always call either of them for some sound advice and lord knows they'd help me out of a pinch if i needed it, but they've always been very pleased with my independence. Visiting my folks has always meant sitting around playing D&D and drinking beers until we all crash out-- we wake up whenever in the morning and proceed to go about our own ways til evening-- which has always been sort of an unspoken 'family time' where we play some sort of game, drink, and be generally sociable with each other.

    I think maybe they have just always had a comfortable feeling of successfully raising their daughter to be a functional, independent adult. Or I just missed out on some serious parenting...
     
  8. Gonissa
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    Gonissa Contributing Member

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    Aww...:( Actually, it's probably just the way your family works. Some families are more chill than others. If everyone in your family is happy with how it goes, I guess it works then.

    Nah, I think parents are always "parenty" because it's a good way to get the kid to move out of the house. :D
     
  9. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    My parents were insanely controlling growing up, but now that I'm older, my relationship has actually shifted to one that's a lot closer to friends/confidants than a parent/child thing. Especially with my mom...it's not something I ever expected to happen, but it's pretty cool.
     
  10. Cosmic Latte
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    Cosmic Latte Member

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    Isn't that the truth? And when you begin dealing with your more elderly parents' issues, as I do with my in-laws, you still smile and sigh at their directives (even if those directives get a little odd with the onset of dementia), ask them if they've eaten anything yet today, make sure they've taken their pills, and find the house keys they lost two days ago sitting on the counter by the kitchen sink where they can't see them because they refuse to go to the eye doctor's. We still indulge them and care for them no matter how old they get. It's good advise.

    Wilprim: you're only 21? What a fun age. Don't worry; parents only get more interesting the older they get. I don't think they ever do let us "grow up" the way we think they should let us, but we do, anyway. How nice that your parents are still so concerned about you. It must be frustrating for you at times, but I think the sentiment they show is sweet.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    as a 'guide' to some extent, yes, bit only if requested, or it seems necessary... but not in an interfering way, unless the 'child' is on a clearly self-destructive path...

    sorry, i don't understand what you mean by the underlined part...

    i'm a mother of 7, grandmother of 19 [at last count] and have always said [and meant] that as parents, we're not supposed to be raising kids our entire lives... we should raise them to be able to not need us as adults... good parenting to me means we let go of our children and let them make their own mistakes, as we did ours... and just let them know that we'll always be there for them when/if they need us, but otherwise remain out of sight, sound, and mind...
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I have two adult children, and I know better than to try to micromanage them.

    Both of them had periods after they went out into the world that they needed to stay with me for a while. While under my roof there were some "house rules" they were expected to follow, but nothing too strict. Nothing I wouldn't require of any adult housemate. Each stayed long enough to get back on their feet, then left again, better prepared to deal with setbacks.

    But my style has always been to teach self-reliance, and a large part of that was by example. I never set rules for them I wouldn't follow myself. Also, I never talked down to my kids.

    As for my relationship with my mother (my father was out of the picture since months after I was born), we had some rocky times, but she doesn't try to control me. We generally interact as two adults rather than as mother and son.
     
  13. mugen shiyo
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    mugen shiyo Contributing Member

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    In general, you stay under someones roof you ten to get exposed to how they want to do things no matter who they are, but, minstrel, I thought this was the best explanation I've ever heard. Well said. Except for those parents who were not so kind and caring...
     

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