Part of being a parent is working yourself out of a job. And since changing jobs—like moving to any new stage in life—is a stressful proposition, many parents fall into the trap of resisting their children’s natural maturing.
You may be rebelling against your kids’ growing up if:
If any of these sound familiar, beware! You may be on a path to either alienating your children completely or keeping them so dependent you’ll still be “raising” them thirty years hence.
What to do about it:
No question: besides maintaining a comfortable status quo, having our children stay children appeals to our pride. Having someone thoroughly dependent on you is burdensome, but it also makes you feel powerful and important. (There’s an extra risk if your partner is the family’s sole wage-earner, or if your own job is low-status and low- income, or if you otherwise lack “clout” in other areas of life.) Look for, and own up to, any areas where “concern” for your children is really a concern for yourself.
Once you have a clear picture there, it’s easier to face changes in your role as a parent.
Don’t just assume you know what they want and why. Give them a chance to personally express their desires, answer your concerns, and brainstorm ways to get where they want to be.
The following hints (there are endless resources for finding more) will help you further prepare not only for your children’s growing up, but for moves, income changes, and other transitions that affect your family.