The latest news features a 30 year old man being sued by his parents because they have tried evicting him and he won’t leave.
When my oldest son was in his early twenties and decided he didn’t want to work, amongst other things, I told him he had 3 months to pack his shit and get out. He choose to leave immediately and ended up being homeless for 9 months. He recently told me that was the best thing I did because he learned real fast being homeless was not the life he wanted.
My youngest son recently moved back in with me after graduating from college. He told me he has nightmares that he will still be living with me when he is thirty. He is currently 24. I told him don’t worry, I can guarantee you won’t be living with me when you’re that age because I won’t allow it.
Now I don’t know how the parents of this particular 30 year old raised him so I am not going to point any fingers.
What I do know is most parents nowadays befriend their children instead of parenting them. Yeah I get parents hate to watch their offspring fail or be unhappy or not have everything their little hearts desire. However life is a roller coaster of ups, downs, lows and highs, failures and successes. And if children are coddled throughout their lives then how will they ever learn to move through challenges, unexpected turns, losses, and disappointment? Most importantly how will they learn to take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming others?
In the case of this 30 year old I believe he is a spoiled brat who is taking advantage of a situation. He isn’t pursuing a career due to being a father, and claims he is a good father, yet he lost visitation rights. And is blaming the child’s mother. Yeah ok. Really makes me feel sorry for him. NOT!!!
Here’s a bit of advice for parents everywhere. Coddling and being a friend to your kids early in their lives, will only develop irresponsible, entitled and narcissistic adults. And there isn’t enough Advil in the world to cure the headaches you will surely face.
Offering a hand is one thing. But it is not a sin to step back, sometimes WAY back and let your children struggle through consequences resulting from their actions.
By no means am I a perfect parent. No parent is. But children have their own friends and need us to instill values, institute boundaries and discipline with love. Yes your kids will hate you. Comes with the territory. Yes your kids will rebel. Part of learning independence. And yes your kids will whine and scream and act uncivilized throughout the teen years. Disclaimer alert…that’s what they are supposed to do.
So if you have kids, know as a parent you will face battles, you will not be liked and you will lose your patience which will turn you into a hysterical screaming mimi. All par for the course.
But keep in mind, parents are to guide, to provide a loving home and discipline. Parents are not meant to be enslaved by the consequences of your child’s actions, especially when that child has become a 30 year old adult who has not taken responsibility for his choices resulting in becoming a deadbeat.
So if you are a parent be just that and not a friend. Believe me, there will come a day when you and your child can have that type of relationship. But first you need to establish a foundation where your children can develop into responsible, productive , emotionally mature and happy adults. And that means saying ‘no,’ being embarrassed by torrential tantrums inflicted from your child in public and not being considered the ‘cool’ mom or dad. Parenting is not about winning a popularity contest. Robert A Heinlein says it best, “Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.” It will only cause trouble in the end.