When I had them, never did I think, well there’s a lifelong commitment! See I left home at 17 and pretty much took care of myself. So I figured when they got around that age, presto, I would be free.
After all, when I left home, I didn’t call every day to give a what’s going on. At some points weeks would go on without a word from either side. I lived my life.
I have two boys and one is graduating this year and the other is at home, older. We will leave it at that.
They don’t give you a guide book of parenting. You are supposed to just figure it out by the examples you had. Hmmm OK. Not that it was bad, just some of it I would have liked to have been warned.
The one thing they never told me was how frustrating it would be even when they are technically adults.
The world I stepped in at 17 is very different than the world my 23 year old is part of today.
First of all, I moved out with a guy (it’s OK, I married him eventually). And there were no smart phones or all day video games. So it was find work and figure it out if your parents had no money for college. And you were lucky if your parents could pay for that.
But in that, you had to figure your own life out. Today it’s not like that. The computer age has brought about WiFi zombies. Parents spend thousands for their kids to drop out of college or university.
The most popular YouTube channels are people playing and reviewing video games. FUN. It’s also brought forward people who have forgotten that life is out there. They stare at the TV or game console or laptop having to be told to get off and join the living.
The idea that they have a phone should have brought comfort to parents as in we could keep communicating with them, instead, they ignore us or mute the noise so you can never reach them when you actually need to talk to them.
They put value on what other gamers think or how cool they are while working some minimum wage job with no ambition of anything else. That’s if they work at all.
So as a frustrated parent, what do I do.
Well, I fight to keep trying to explain and show my kids that they need to find and make a life for themselves. It doesn’t have to fit in any particular mold, but it needs to be this:
If you live with people, at one point you need to contribute your share. Unfortunately, you cannot live for free. Money is still the major way of making ends meet and no one gets a free ride forever. It shows you responsibility but also makes you a thoughtful human being who helps out, not just a freeloader.
You need to keep trying even if you feel like you might fail. We sometimes make things too easy for kids. That everybody wins mentality helps no one when they do finally get told they didn’t win the position, the 1st place or when they get fired. A ribbon for participation does not pay the bills.
They need to be responsible and step up when needed. That means making sure you can be reached and answering your phone or text whether or not it’s pleasant for you or not. Ignoring things don’t make them go away, dealing with things do.
And when I can get my kids to do or follow any of these things, I will be the first one to let you know.
All I know is, I wish they had told me the lifelong commitment this would be when I signed up. Some days the frustration of it all makes me want to rip all the hair right out of my head.
And although I love them both to pieces and always will, they do occasionally make me question my sanity.
As I am badgering one as we speak to go find work, the other can’t wait to be free of us to go join the military or just run away from home.
At any rate, life should always be interesting and although I abhor it, dramatic in parts.
So for now I will take a deep breath and hope for the best as I text the older one again so he can ignore me!
Ahhh isn’t life grand!