“I think the passion many people affect for children is merely a fashionable pose. I have a notion that children are all the better for not being burdened with too much parental love.” – W. Somerset Maugham
Someone needs to let out the secret… children are a pain in the ass… a lot!!
We have them, those that choose to, for a variety of reasons. Some of them good and a number of them for our benefit not theirs.
When a child is brought into this world by mature loving parents there is a great beginning. No guarantees about the future for anyone but it is a solid start.
The child is seen as an extension of self and someone to give to.
If the child is there to fulfill you and your life, make the relationship stick, or be there as cute display, be careful. That may turn out to slap you in the face.
As babies, parents dote on their children. They have hopes and dreams for them. They enjoy their growth and development. It’s all pleasant. Extended family share in the process. Doing for the child as they become more independent lessens and parents teach what they want their children to learn. The values the parents live are what their children see and follow when they are under parental control.
As teenagers the normal process is for the child to rebel. This can take many forms from mild disagreement to acting out violently. At times they can damage their lives for a long period of time or forever. Dangerous territory.
Now as adults, there is a whole plethora of impending problems.
Some can come as the adult child discards the values from childhood. In some families this can cause a wide fissure in the relationship.
As adults a child may marry someone the parents truly do not like and that will make the relationship very strained or non-existent.
There may be old wounds that never heal and keep being thrown in the parent’s face.
There can be sibling competition. If each child, feels the parent favors another child, you are doing great. As long as they all get a turn!
No family is without its’ issues, and no family is beyond help if they choose to work on it and take responsibility for their part in the drama.
It takes a grown up to be responsible and talk through their hurts, misunderstandings, and unloving behavior.
Problem is emotions get in the way and being grown up is not always possible.
Sometimes the parents take sides. If that happens the adult child knows who is on their side.
That can cause friction or even outright marital discord in a marriage.
When it comes down to the wire in family disputes the rule should be that we all care and try our best to resolve the problem and heal.
If it gets too out of hand or the feelings are too deep or reoccur with no resolution the situation will deteriorate.
In the end, the parents need to be together and care and yet live their lives no matter what.
In the face of a child’s or children’s misunderstandings or arguments or rejection the parents need to hold tight and help all parties move on.
It is always painful to go through all of the family upheaval but there is no escape as we are all individuals with our own interests and emotional needs. When it works family can be a fun time together and when it works the tough times are shared and made easier. At times the really tough times can force a family to join hands and pull together and show their love. That is too bad when that is what it takes, but for some that’s the way it is.
A really hard role is the in-law role when you have to bite your tongue a lot. You may have to do that as a parent as well, but it is not the same. The deep roots and history are not there with in-laws. It also makes the emotions stronger for good and not so good.
The real bottom line is your life is lived with a partner and not with a child so nourish that and it will pay off! If the marriage is not good the child will be the substitute and that is really not good!!
“A child has a way of extracting from each parent precisely those elements he most needs; and this usually comes about best in their special moments of solitary companionship; it is then that he has a chance to break into the special twoness of the parents.” – Lewis Mumford.
Do you have children? Why? As an adult child what family issues do you deal with?