Have you noticed that your adult children are living a life style nothing like you did at their age? All those good values you thought you were embedding in their brains so that they would know how to act like a responsible adult and parent are not being copied. Those actions that would not only help them be responsible but also provide them happiness and stability in life. So you thought.
My kids do very few things like the way I did at their age. They don't think, act, or speak the way we did.
They don't have the same expectation of what a clean house looks like.
They don't eat the same kind of meals as we did in our family.
They don't have the same expectations of their children as we did.
They don't wait to buy something they want.
Their standards of honoring the Sabbath are different.
They and their children watch TV more than we did.
They spend their free time differently.
They think nothing of skipping classes while in college.
The truth is none of the above behavior is wrong. It's just different. It doesn't mean the end results in their lives are going to be much different than mine. We are all agents unto ourselves.
It doesn't mean we didn't teach them acceptable behaviors, because it's just a thought not a truth, that the way we raised our kids was the right way. I don't see any lists in the Family Proclamation that addresses anything that a responsible adult should do. They only give one guideline.
It says "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God........" Ok. I passed. I think I did my best in following those admonitions. I bet you did too. And so are our children. But probably they're doing it better.
The truth is our children are benefitting from The Plan of Happiness. They are just exercising their agency to do things in a way they think is best; just like we did. There is more than one "best" way to do things.
By following the "dictates" of their hearts, they are figuring things out....just like we did. That's how our children will grow and be the best humans they can be, in whatever role they're trying to fulfill; by succeeding some of the time and by failing some of the time.
I talk with a lot of clients that experience "expectation pain". Pain that comes from their children not fulfilling their expectations, or in other words, not acting in the way they think they should acting.
The truth is, everything is just fine. It's just different.
Their house is maybe not as clean as we wanted our house to be, but I see my children having more time to give their kids their attention than I ever did.
Yes....some days they have cereal for dinner. I would have never done that because I would have thought I was an irresponsible mother. I'm glad they have the self confidence and insight to see that having a stress free meal is important than having a well balanced meal. I've grown quite a liking of having cereal for dinner.
Their children are given more choices as to what kind of optional activities they want to be involved in. I think of all the pain I went through trying to get my boys to get their Eagle Scout Award. Children being raised with some say in what they want to participate in are more likely to make the best choice.
They buy things they want without waiting. Our oldest son was 14 before went on a real vacation; 4 years later he was 18 and out of the house. Oh, we went to the grandparents houses once a year, but it was more of a time to bond with grandparents, not with each other in our little family.
I was such a live-by-the-letter-of-the-law type of Sabbath observer that I caused lots of contention in the house on Sundays. My adult children are very respectful of the day, but are laid back and also make Sundays fun. Their children are learning to love the Gospel as well as live it,
They spend more time watching TV than we did, but they're watching it together as a family. On a cold, dark winter night, I can't think of better way to connect with each other than to share watching a show. The get a better understanding of what their children's interests are.
I see them spending much of their free time with their family. More than I did. Maybe they don't read out of a book as much as I did, but they can multitask listening to a podcast, audible books, even the scriptures can be listened to rather than reading them out of a hard copy. It's just different.
If I skipped a class at college and my dad found out, I don't know what he would have done. All I knew, I didn't dare skip class because the wrath of my father would come down on me. I'm glad that my kids didn't live in fear but knew we would love them and not shame them when they even purposely made mistakes.
Times are different....our adult children are the next generation. How many things did you do differently than how your parents did them. The circumstances happening around them are so, so different than when we were their age. Life happenings cause us to have thoughts about what we make those circumstances mean; different life happenings are going to trigger different thoughts, which evidently cause different behaviors. It's all a very natural thing going on, and yet, we take it to mean that something has gone wrong. The only thing that is wrong is our not letting go of our expectations of how they should be using their time, raising their kids, spending their money,living the gospel.
There is way to rid ourselves of our expectation pain.
1. Be curious about their actions rather than judgmental.
2. Don't try to predict the outcome of their future.
3. Just focus on all the goodness in them.
4. Loosen your grip on trying to change them.
5. Relax into loving on them.
Don't miss out on feeling the most amazing emotion we can feel.....LOVE. Just use your time loving on them. Be love.
We know when we're loving or if we're judging by the way we feel. Love feels so good; judgement does not.
Love on purpose. Love is ALWAYS an option. Love always wins.
I can help you. I can help you learn how to feel love and connection with your adult children no matter what they say or do. I can teach you how to use an amazing tool called the Model that will show you how to maximize feeling the most amazing feeling that only feeling love offers. I'm here to help you. Just email me for a complimentary, 50 minute consult. I'm checking my inbox to see if I've heard from you. I can't wait. Click here.