How many times we hear parents complaining about their children getting out of control? their kids exhausting them? A lot of times, especially if you are a parent!
I mean it is quite often that we get across mothers expressing their concerns about their rebellious daughters, or fathers groaning their son’s irresponsibility, or just adults objecting teenager’s lifestyle, behavior, attitude and decisions. And it is also quite common that we perfectly understand their worries/ discontentment and we quickly blame it on adolescence and puberty like it is a disease or mental illness that children suffer from for a period of time until they become adult. Though, and according to science, adolescence is a normal transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood, and it is a predictable stage in which teenagers or adolescents are expected to show disorientation during their self-discovery journey. In other words, and in a normal approach, children make their way to adulthood through adolescence.
However, it is less common to hear about children stating that they are witnessing a role reversal by dealing with their “adolescent” parents and being the adults in the family. I am not talking about adult children taking care of their old parents during the last years of their lives, I mean this an obvious responsibility and the least you can do for the person who gave you birth, raised you and made sure you have a decent life (or tried to…). I am here talking about children having to deal with the behavior of their childish-parents, children that have to listen to their moms talking about their love stories, oh that’s so sweet, trust me: it’s not that sweet when the beloved one is not your father. What about a father who takes his children’s opinion about his girlfriends, that are basically their age or even younger, a father who is proud that he pleases, to his daughter’s friends or even son’s girlfriends… A mom who races time and tries to look younger, prettier and sexier than her own teenage daughters and makes sure they feel that she is better than them, selfish, right? But she only wants to feel likeable, desirable and she forgets that maybe her daughters need some self-confidence more than she does. The most difficult part about this is that the child has to react, give its point of view or advise his parents, since they are expecting him to help them taking a decision.
I’m not saying that they are bad parents, they can be really loving, giving, sometimes too understanding, I’m just emphasizing on the fact that a person can be so self-absorbed that she forgets about the natural meaning of relationships such as parenthood. It’s not a bad thing to try to live your best life, to step outside your community’s comfort zone and to do unusual things, to consider your son or daughter as your bestfriend and share with them everything, just keep in mind that your child, at whatever age he is and whatever stage of mind-openness he might look having, he remains your child and expect you to be an example, his example, and that’s in the most normal way that can be, avoiding intimidation, non-respect and embarrassing situations.
And as we say, some things are better kept unsaid, and in this case, lines and limits are made to be respected, not crossed!
So, have you ever felt that you are parenting your parents?