Ungrateful Rebellious Adult Children :-Michael Brickey, Ph.D
Toddlers love to play a game in which they bravely venture away from their parents. They have in mind just how far is safe and comfortable. If the parent happens to move further away or go out of their sight, they rush back to a safe distance.
When today's seniors grew up, values were clearer and stricter. Often their children rebelled against their values. As they reach middle age, however, the adult children often feel a little lost. Like a toddler, they look to their parents' more conservative values and ways for reassurance. Even if they are not willing to undergo the self-discipline their parents' values requires, they often find reassurance in their parents being a consistent ballast in their lives. This is especially true for those who have been divorced and are struggling with shared parenting.
Years ago I went to my 25th high school reunion with my wife. I sat across from a gorgeous classmate. I couldn't believe the transformation. She had been a wallflower in high school. Now she was strikingly beautiful, owned her own business, raced cars, etc. At the end of dinner people still sat at their tables, waiting for the slow eaters to finish. My classmate said she was feeling restless and wished she could go for a walk. I said, “Why don't you?” and she responded, “In front of all of these people?” Driving home I was baffled by her being so inhibited and asked my wife what she thought. She perceptively said that a reunion brings out the behaviors you had back then, and back then she was very shy and self-conscious.
The same can be true for when adult children visit their parents. In many ways their emotions, and possibly behaviors as well, are those of a child. Many an adult child walks into their parents' home and their hand automatically reaches for the cookie jar.
Rebellion is a normal part of growing up and becoming a unique adult. Your adult children may not tell you how much they respect and reference your values, but they probably do. Keeping the light on for them can be a lighthouse in their lives.
Dr. Michael Brickey is President of the Ageless Lifestyles Institute and author of Defy Aging.
Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
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