The Parent Who Keeps on Giving: Coping with Your Eighteen Year Old Teenager: Part 2 of 2
Whenever we helped them learn to walk, we knew there would be times they would falter and fall repeatedly. We knew that a fall could give them a fatal blow so we stood by and supervised them and only stepping in whenever the fall could be life threatening or damaging. This is what we have to do, as they are young adults learning to step into the interstate of life. Hopefully, as in learning to walk, the falls will become less frequent and your 18 year old will become self sufficient.
To recap this chapter before moving on to the next – If you do not allow them to fall they will never learn to walk as a child or as an adult. Just because they fall does not mean they are incapable of handling life – it just means they are learning. If you take away all their obstacles, you are making them dependant upon you and they will not learn to be efficient adults. Therefore, with this being said you must ask yourself if maybe you are the one hanging on to them because you cannot face life with an empty space in your nest. Once you can actually face the answer to that question, ask if you are doing them any favors by stepping in all the time. Just like some people become dependant upon a drug or a drink to get through each day – make sure you do not make your child dependant on you to make through their days. Addiction is not choosey about what it settles upon.
Have faith in the love you gave them and the lessons you taught. Believe that at some point in their life, they will stop running from what they were taught and stand in the glow of it. Take time to find the inner you that become addicted to “child-raising” and love yourself enough to start living for you and your life mate. The artwork is finish, leave it alone or you will ruin it. Dust the child off, help at certain points yet realize there is no magic year. They will still be around for help, but real help is knowing when it is needed and not just asked for. They are never gone from your life – they just stand in a different place.
This chapter carries you from hopes and fears to realities and facts. I think I could write an entire book on this subject yet hopefully by condensing it to one chapter you will see the light. Do not ever think there is a magical year to any stage of your or your child’s life. The plateaus come at their own timetable. The 18th year was made magical by the law of the land, not by the maturity of your child or your ability to let go.
Go buy your new couch and plan your dream vacation. Life is a bed of roses – quit gripping about the thorns. I say that with much love.
In early childhood, you may lay the foundation of poverty or riches, industry or idleness, good or evil, by the habits to which you train your children. Teach them right habits then, and their future life is safe.
--Dorothy C. Fisher (1879 - 1958)
A mother is not a person to lean on but a person to make leaning unnecessary.
--Sonia Taitz, O Magazine, May 2003
What children take from us, they give…We become people who feel more deeply, question more deeply, hurt more deeply, and love more deeply.
--Hodding Carter Jr.
There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.
Rhiannon Waits is a syndicated columnist with her column published in 14 different countries and translated into 4 different languages. You can purchase "Little Lessons on Love And Life" at Amazon.com, book private sessions, schedule speaking engagements, or attend book signings by calling 850-941-4190. You can also visit her web site at RhiannonWaits.com. Rhia lives in Pensacola Florida with her life partner, Steve, and her children. Rhiannon Waits is a renowned Psychic/Medium.