Over the weekend, I had a wonderful evening with two couples I love dearly. Both are worried about their grown children: one about a daughter who has fallen prey to an addiction which threatens to destroy her young family and the other frets that they have given too much to their children who now have unrealistic expectations about what the world owes them.
For obvious reasons, I am loathe to offer opinions about parenting matters but I did remind them that their adult children have the right to make their own mistakes and live with the consequences. I understand their worry and fear for their children, but it would be tragic if their feelings of inadequacy overwhelmed them.
I vividly recall the moment I realized that my parents were culpable only of doing their best. Some of my complaints were well justified, but I finally understood that they had done their utmost. Were they too demanding? Yes. Did I get the affirmation I craved? No. Big deal. I’m far from perfect, why expect perfection from them?
If you’re a parent, go easy on yourself. At the very least, you’re providing therapists across the nation with a very nice income!