Monday, November 1, 2010

I now pronounce you ... an adult????

When you have children, you spend a lot of time trying to keep them safe.

Most of the time, that means trying to save them from themselves.

"The stove is HOT. Don't touch."

"Careful. You'll poke your eye out with that stick."

"Don't fight with your brother."

It can be taken to extremes, which is how the helicopter mom is born. The child is never allowed to make a decision or a move without the hovering parent.

I'm not that kind of parent. I firmly believe that children need to make mistakes and, therefore, learn from it. Sometimes, they actually have to touch the hot stove to figure it out.

Don't misunderstand me. I do fight battles for my kids. I am their champion and their biggest ally. But sometimes I have to look them right in the eye and say something along the lines of  "You made your bed; now lie in it."

My oldest son is ADHD and, as a youngster, always had a tendency to act without considering consequences. Not because he was malicious, but because he couldn't always generalize the rules. You could tell him not to eat the daisies, but that didn't mean he couldn't or wouldn't eat the roses.

And so I used these immortal words, over and over and over and over:

"Stop. Think. Choose."

He reminded me of this the other night at dinner. I was amused  at the memory.

I'm no longer amused.

Because in an amazing display of "Act like a moron and then put your head up your butt," my youngest son is at the intersection of "What were you thinking?" and "Are you freakin' kidding me?"

I'm not going to give details, but rest assured he had multiple opportunities to solve a small blunder and repeatedly --  REPEATEDLY -- failed to do so.

His abject stupidity stuns me, and  the results are that this small blunder has escalated into something that could destroy his world.

And while I will continue to offer counsel and some of the assistance necessary to attempt to resolve it,  it's time for Mr. "I'm 21 -- I'm an adult" to learn to navigate these troubled waters himself.

So today, I find that the best I have to offer is this:

"Wow. It sucks to be a grownup."


LceeL said...

Wow. I can just hear my Grandpa - "You made your own bed, now you lie in it."

I can't tell you how many, many times.

I'm sorry he's (apparently) going about learning that particular lesson that hard way. But then, most kids do. Like me.

Burgh Baby said...


I hate when kids force us to let them suffer.

Indigo said...

I think it's far more harder to be a parent of an adult. On the other hand I was saddled with these responsibilities at 16. I made the choice to leave home and learned quickly, it sucks being the adult.

songbird's crazy world said...

He's going to have to learn a hard lesson, I think. sorry.

The Captain's Daughter said...

No more true words have been spoken! Our youngest is about to find out what real consequences to his actions can be. Of course, I'm dying inside because he is my baby... But he's driven his life so far into the ditch that he is beyond my reach now. I continue to support, pray and hope that after the punishment is leveled upon him that the light bulb will FINALLY come on.

Sending you my love and hugs. I know what you're going through. Believe me!

Roger said...

Growing up sucks sometimes, but it is better than the alternative... I mean, imagine being stuck in high school for your whole life. *shudder*

MJ said...

I'm from the same school of thought that you are--I'm SO not the hovering type. That's how my parents were, and I think I turned out just fine. I also happen to be the kid who had to learn just about everything the hard way, and that freaking SUCKS, but you know what? I only screwed up royally once or twice before I learned to take care of things NOW rather than later.

Watching your kids go through the hard lessons sucks, but they're better for it in the long run. I feel for both of you. Growing up ssssssucks.

Jenni said...

One of the hardest things about being a parent is allowing your children to make their own choices and mistakes. Hopefully they learn from those mistakes, but if they're not allowed to make them and made to face the consequences of their own actions, they may never learn to be independent, self-supporting adults. It seems to me you've done a pretty good job in this department, Janet. I hope everything is soon right in your world.

Suzanne said...

I know the hardest thing to do when your kid is making a colossal mistake is to stand by and watch, but it honestly is the only way he'll learn.

This too shall pass, my friend.

Karen said...

It really does suck to be an adult, but it sucks even more to be a parent watching your children learn from mistakes.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

It sucks even more to be the PARENT of that adult.

Hugs babe.

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