In my varied readings, I keep running across situations where parents disapprove of decisions that their adult children make and make that disapproval known to the child through various ugly means. Parental approval is important to our children even when they are adults and while not every situation, such as drugs, alcohol, or crime, can be approved, it doesn’t mean that we have the right to treat them at less than. Sometimes, the child’s choice isn’t even a choice but rather a need to follow their own path to the ends that are meaningful to them, to be who they were born to be not what we choose them to be.
I find it astounding that parents would use their love as a bat to batter the adult child to their will. As parents, we must learn and know that our children are only on loan to us for a scant eighteen to twenty-something years. From there, they must fly on their own and be the person they were meant to be rather than sit in a gilded cage for the parents own pleasure.
During the time they are on loan to us, it is our responsibility to teach them the values and mores passed to us by our parents or establish ones that we would have wished for as a child. They will take that knowledge and create for themselves, and their children, their cultural mores. This is progress whether we approve or not. What would have happened had Einstein’s mother insisted that he become a musician rather than follow his own pursuits into the world of physics? The chances that most of us will raise an Einstein are slim, but to see one’s child come into their own and become what they were meant to be is too valuable to chance losing it.