Am I Illogical?
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted to help someone but no matter how hard you tried nothing you said made any sense to them? As a parent this can be the most frustrating thing to handle sometimes, especially when your dealing with “adult” children that you know are about to make mistake that will impact their lives in ways they don’t have the experience yet to understand. That is not to say that parents always know whats best, but they do have a wisdom born of their own success and failure that shouldn’t be ignored yet often is.
Oh I have heard on more than one occasion, “I need to make my own mistakes” but I question where is the logic in repeating a mistake just because you can? There is a saying that goes…it is insanity to repeat an action expecting a different outcome. Why do kids think that just because they are going to make a mistake that their parents have already made that the outcome is somehow going to be magically different or that by making that mistake they are going to learn something important? That is just illogical! Don’t they understand that the real lesson to be learned is the one their parents are trying to teach them by keeping them from making a mistake that is going to impact their life forever.
No, I am not saying that parents should keep their kids from making mistakes, there are valuable lessons for them to learn but there is also a difference in the degree of mistake being made. It’s one thing to get a horrible haircut, or buying a used car without having it checked out first and putting ones self in a situation that has the potential to affect ones life for ever. It is those big decisions that a parent knows are a mistake that can’t be taken back that cause the most frustration when the advise they are offering is ignored by their children.
I have struggled with this very thing many times in my own relationships with my kids and while I know that they are just wanting to “grow up” I don’t know how to explain to them that “growing up” isn’t about making bad choice or mistakes it’s about being mature enough to listen and heed the advise of those who do know more about life so that they can succeed instead of fail. That after all is what every parent wants for their child.
I have to admit that I find myself getting very frustrated and yes angry sometimes when I seem to be butting my head against a brick wall as I watch one of my children making bad choices. I get frustrated and angry when they value the advise of friends, who have no more real experience than them, or others that are not looking at the entire picture clearly more than they do the advise I am offering. I don’t get this logic either. OK…so no I didn’t always listen to my parents either but for those really big decisions I did seek their advise and it kept me from many a disaster.
Right now I am dealing with this on two levels and it is making me crazy. One kid is making choices that are leading her down the path to nowhere because she doesn’t get that life isn’t a free ride and that paying ones bills on time is something you must do first! She doesn’t know how to budget and doesn’t see a need to plan for the future. She is floundering and struggling because she isn’t willing to accept the opportunities or the lessons I can teach her. That is ILLOGICAL!
On the other front I have a kid who is looking for her future in all the wrong places. She is listening to advise that is going to put her in debt when she doesn’t have to be and setting her up in a situation that has no guarantee of a positive outcome when the advise I am offering gives her the same advantages without the extra debt. That is ILLOGICAL!
I really don’t know what is expected of me sometimes. I listen, worry, fight and argue because that is one of my responsibilities as their parent just as it is my responsibility to guide, protect and support them, but they don’t get that. It’s not about being in control or always knowing whats right. It’s about being logical and not making mistakes just because I can and I hope that someday before its to late that they understand that.
LIFE LESSON: Making mistakes in life is not a bad thing, but making mistakes others have just because you can or because you think its how you will learn a valuable lesson…will land you in a…