- I spoke with a friend who is counseling his 20-year-old son through a relationship. It was a delicate situation, but the fact that his son was calling his dad about it was admirable.
- I learned from another friend that he talks every day with his daughter as she works her way through college in another state. Every day. He’s not checking up on her; she calls him.
- My daughter Cynthia came into my office to ask some advice. She’s juggling several commitments (lots of exciting things going on in her life) and she wanted my thoughts. It was an hour long – not all that uncommon nowadays – and the both of us treasured the time.
What is awkward about these three situations? Adult children seeking advice from their parents, that’s what’s awkward. I didn’t act this way when I was 20-something. Did you?
As a young man, I desired to break free from my parents, figure out life for myself, stake my claims. The same was true for my siblings and virtually all my friends. Independence was a virtue for us, and situations like these above were perceived as weird – even manipulative or controlling.
So in my 20s, my folks weren’t all that important to me. Don’t get me wrong, I still appreciated them some. Wendy and I had kids and clunked along the first decade of our marriage, and we saw my parents dutifully at holidays, reunions and such. But we didn’t really enjoy each other’s company. I just didn’t think my folks were all that important. Call me thoughtless if you want. Perhaps I was.
It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s that I began to rethink this idea of “independence” from my parents. We’re now rooted in Colorado, but we make it a point to visit Minnesota at least once per year. My folks make it out here about the same. We Skype often and keep tabs on each other. My parents stay connected with the kids with birthday presents and phone calls.
Bernie and Judy Jeub are in their sunset years. I enjoy them now more than I ever have in my life. I love them, as I think every parent should love their parents.
I’ve got more to say on this next time. Please share below: what is your relationship with your parents?