Allowing for Adult Children

This week one of my (near adult) teenage kids asserted that I had a ‘self righteous’ attitude, especially toward the younger of the two still at home.  I have to admit that my (unwarranted) tendency toward an authoritative stance must chafe. That my attitude is unwarranted is clear: they are both in their third year of college and coming home with good grades. Still, as a parent, it’s hard to transition from “because I said so” to “It’s your decision”; especially when the item under discussion is so familiar, like when it is time to take out the trash or wash the dishes. I don’t always fully recognize just how much stress they are feeling from their own work load at school, which I agree is their proper first priority.   It’s also hard to begin to recognize when my parental guidance becomes mere meddling, when their assessments don’t quite line up with mine.

Funny how we nurture our own angst, while minimizing the troubles of others.  I suspect their ire is only the tip of the iceberg. I probably have the same effect on those who report to me at work. (At least I probably did before they were all laid off in the current economy.) My prayer is that “out of the mouth of (these) babes” I can find wisdom to become a better father, better leader, and a better man. The male ego is a troublesome entity, and often the playground of the enemy of our souls…

May God help me to be better at giving more positive reinforcement instead of fault-finding or criticism.  They really are exceptionally good kids!

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