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I think that parenting, strictly speaking, ends when your child is an adult.

I'm not saying the relationship ends when junior turns 18. But I believe it changes and becomes something different, something other than a parent-child relationship. For me, this means that I respect my daughter as an adult and treat her as such.

Sometimes she might just want a mom hug, and of course I will give her that. Same as I'd give any friend a hug (assuming I have granted them access to my bubble of personal space). Hopefully, I have demonstrated to her that I'm someone she can always trust and confide in.

That said, I also believe that the most critical period of parenting occurs from birth to about 8 years old.  If you haven't been a good parent (consistent, loving, appropriate structure, etc.) in the early years, you shouldn't be shocked when your child is unpleasant to be around later on. (I guess I should give an immunity for a certain period of teendom, because we're all* unpleasant to be around for a certain period of our teens.)

*There could be exceptions but I haven't seen one.

 

 

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What a shocking idea. I wonder if you have these crazy thoughts because you're intelligent and mature.

My parents started treating me mostly as an adult by the time I was twelve or so.  I wouldn't say that you're too unconventional.

I was going to post something similar in the other thread. Parenting evolves into an adult relationship on many levels. If you have laid a ground work of mutal trust, respect and dignity, they turn into your better than best friends.

Which, I believe, is what it should be.

My kids are not yet grown so I can't full comment but generally I agree with this. My 11 year old is my stepdaughter who lives with us full time after a period of intense chaos while living with her biological mother after her parents divorced. And boy boy boy is this SO TRUE. I fear for her future b/c no matter how well she is parented now there has been a lot of damage done that cannot be undone by me or her father this point. We're trying. Oh so very hard. We are trying and loving her but.... it's hard, sad, unfair, this poor child has been through too much.

"That said, I also believe that the most critical period of parenting occurs from birth to about 8 years old.  If you haven't been a good parent (consistent, loving, appropriate structure, etc.) in the early years, you shouldn't be shocked when your child is unpleasant to be around later on."

*giggles at rosie*

:D

yeah, kathy, that's a good way to put it

 

I don't think I treated my daughter like she was an adult when she was 12. I mean, she had a curfew and I could (and did) veto things she wanted to do. But in terms of interpersonal interaction, it was probably changing from child to adult at that point.

I didn't live with my stepmom until I was 9, April. You can do much to teach her the difference between what she was born into and what she can become.

I think I disagree.

I agree with the OP.

It doesn't mean stuff can't change from 8 onwards, or even 18 onwards, it'll just be harder, but not impossible.

Original Post by april_bride:

My kids are not yet grown so I can't full comment but generally I agree with this. My 11 year old is my stepdaughter who lives with us full time after a period of intense chaos while living with her biological mother after her parents divorced. And boy boy boy is this SO TRUE. I fear for her future b/c no matter how well she is parented now there has been a lot of damage done that cannot be undone by me or her father this point. We're trying. Oh so very hard. We are trying and loving her but.... it's hard, sad, unfair, this poor child has been through too much.

"That said, I also believe that the most critical period of parenting occurs from birth to about 8 years old.  If you haven't been a good parent (consistent, loving, appropriate structure, etc.) in the early years, you shouldn't be shocked when your child is unpleasant to be around later on."

{{{april}}}

hang in there! maybe there will be an epiphany for her at some point...

so sorry you're dealing with that situation, but just imagine if she were still in the care of a toxic parent...

I still look to my parents for reassurance and support, even though I don't think they know that. I cleverly disguise it as a phone call to update them on what I'm doing and find out what they're doing. Really, I'm lonely or overwhelmed or excited and I just want one of them.

My mom cut the cord when I moved out at 19. She gave me so much space and all that I kind of felt abandoned for a few months. She was still there when I needed her, though. 
Dad didn't back off until I moved 1400 miles away.  

It's still a little weird, interacting with my parents on an adult level. Of course, the trust we all share is stronger now than it ever was, so...good thing, I suppose.

My parents took that philosophy on adulthood with my sister and I. It mostly works.

However, I disagree with your statement about the most important part of a child's development is up to 8 years old. You can significantly screw up a kid after that. My parents had no trouble with the baby/little kid part of things but once my sister and I were teens and all the hard stuff starts they had no idea to handle us.

I don't think I can comment...

1. I don't have kids.

2. I didn't experience anything like the parent/child relationship you mention.

Love it Nomo, and I agree.. entirely..  When I moved out, my relationship with my father changed a lot and I think he FINALLY decided I was an adult and began to respect me.  Our relationship is very much a good friendship now... and he does help me out a LOT when I need advice, and I do my best to be there for him to vent.

I look forward to the day when I can give back more than I do.. :)

Original Post by kathygator:

I was going to post something similar in the other thread. Parenting evolves into an adult relationship on many levels. If you have laid a ground work of mutal trust, respect and dignity, they turn into your better than best friends.

Which, I believe, is what it should be.

This describes my relationship with my mom very well. It was truly an evolution, and I would imagine it will continue to evolve as our lives go on.

I'm much less close to my mom now that I've learned to be able to think for myself.

Kinda sad. :-/

You can screw them up in their teenage years, Liseey, sure. I think, though, that the first 8 years establish a sort of basis for how the later years will play out.

If you're raising your children with the expectation that they must become functioning, adjusted, relatively happy adults - there's a lot to do in those first years toward that goal.

From 0-25 (or some where about) children are children, parents are parents

From 25-75 all parties are on equal footing with the parents getting the older generation courtesy and respect for what they have done. If they have done little, they get little respect.

From 75-death children approach being parents and parents regress to being like children.

#18  
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Agreed. We have four educated nice adults running around out there. :o
Original Post by amethystgirl:

Original Post by kathygator:

I was going to post something similar in the other thread. Parenting evolves into an adult relationship on many levels. If you have laid a ground work of mutal trust, respect and dignity, they turn into your better than best friends.

Which, I believe, is what it should be.

This describes my relationship with my mom very well. It was truly an evolution, and I would imagine it will continue to evolve as our lives go on.

Lots of examples around here of folks that are really and truly friends with their parents. Everyone goes through the difficult transition into adulthood, certainly, but again if the foundation of the relationship is solid, the transition is much less painful.

just my opinion, of course.

Original Post by spleef40:

Agreed. We have four educated nice adults running around out there. :o

Plus my two...;D

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