Monday, October 10, 2011

Can Parents Care Too Much?

We’re having some challenges in the “I want to be independent” department with my older teen and twenty-something children.  I’m all for independence, of course, but there has to be a plan.  Doesn’t there?  Yes, I am in the phase of constantly second guessing myself.

I love my children beyond measure.  Most mothers feel that way.  So, I’ve always wanted to give them the world.  We’ve really tried to provide them with everything we could.  Sometimes to a fault.   It never occurred to me that that might not be the best thing for them.
As you know, we live in a world of instant gratification.  If something on the internet takes too long to load or more than one click, we’re moving on.  Texting means we communicate NOW!  We don't wait for a quiet time to have a conversation.  We are all becoming hard wired to want things quick and easy.

I find my older kids wanting apartments, cars, tuition now!  No plan, no saving for the investment, just I want therefore I will have.  Mom and Dad are having to put on the brakes and say, no.  No – you can’t have a “better” car because you don’t like the looks of your older car – it gets you from point A to point B.  No – you can’t move into an apartment when you have no job and only $21 dollars in the bank account.  Yes, I know the job is coming, but wait a couple of paychecks so you have some money in the bank first. I’m beside myself.  I know we’ve modeled frugality, saving money, waiting until one can afford what one wants.  I’ve preached ad nauseum the value of not being in debt.  But, that message isn’t a fun message – that message doesn’t get what we want, now!

I love my children beyond measure; however, had I to do it over again, I would have made them wait for what they wanted as children.  I would have put less effort into helping them be successful and allowed them to fail sometimes.  I would have made them earn more of what they have rather than simply giving it to them.  We have to be capable of making our kids "able" without enabling them.   
It’s tough being a parent, isn’t it? 


  1. It is a tough job! I believe in supplying the essentials, but anything more than that is something to be earned. Tough love is difficult because we are by nature, trained to protect and provide. Allowing them to fail makes them depend on themselves for survival. In the end, we're raising our children to be competent adults, not 40 year olds living in mommy and daddy's basement! You've been a good role model to them...they'll figure it out!

  2. Right there with you, April. The family dynamic is always changing. We have a few grown and out, a couple grown and still at home and many still to grow! lol Nothing is ever simple and seemingly what worked so well with one isn't even a thought for another. :) I'll keep you and yours in prayer...

    A crew mate, following you via GFC. I hope to stop by again, soon.




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