The Painful Paradox of Parenthood – Dr. Sandy Nelson

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Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation. –Unknown

It’s not natural to guide, protect, teach, and give to children for eighteen years IMG_2109and then sit back and let them go out into the world on their own. It’s unnatural. Letting go of a kid is so adverse to being a parent. It’s like attaching your child to a helium balloon that holds the parenting of 18 plus years–love, academics, guidance, morality lessons, wisdom, and values. You stand back with awe and apprehension, wondering if the balloon will ascend. Does it have enough of everything it needs inside to take flight? And then suddenly, your child rises up and floats away to his or her own future and life, on hope and a prayer.

And you’re never the same parent again. 

IMG_1714The task of every mom and dad is to raise a child to be an independent, moral, and responsible addition to the world by the age of eighteen. Blah, Blah, Blah. Of course, that makes sense. But it’s not biologically innate for a mother or a father. Even though the parent’s are proud, it’s painful to experience the changes that come with an empty nest. The dark bedroom that had once seen many transitions of paint and many different styles of wallpaper from zoo animals to concert posters and blaring music, is now vacant. The chair at the dinner table is empty. The everyday banter about everything and nothing is absent.

But, this is the child’s milestone, not the parent’s.

When a child grows up, a child is no longer a child. He or she is someone who can contribute to mankind and knows how to lift the spirits of other people. Someone who is a good person and a good friend to those pals along that path. Someone who is caring, responsible, and genuine with the world in the horizon. Someone with a separate life to live.

And, just like most other important experiences in life, it’s a paradox.

Think about it.

 

drsandy@e-couch.net  ♦  ©All rights reserved 2014 Dr. Sandy Nelson E-Couch.net  ♦  Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com unless otherwise indicated

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