I don’t know about anybody else but I am finding this stage of parenting to be just a wee bit tedious. You see I have a grown daughter, 21 years old, who is in the thick of this particular phase. At times it makes me want to yank out all the hair on my head, jump up and down and shriek in her face if only it would get her attention.
Part of me wants to accept this phase for what it is; to chuckle at her hangovers and wish her a good time as she’s on her way out the door. I mean I’m not that old! I do remember those days. Days full of drinking, partying, staying out late, dancing and puking in the ladies room. Those days were fun and every young person should enjoy those days while they can because they sure don’t last long.
The other part of me completely freaks out that she’s getting sloshy somewhere and the dangers that that in itself presents. The images that go through my mind are nerve wracking to say the least. While she’s out I worry and I fret until I hear her come creeping through the door at 5 a.m. Then I get angry at her childish ways; coming in at such an hour so she can sleep all morning! This is no hotel!
What’s a parent to do? I sure as hell don’t know. I’ve come to learn that the most difficult thing to do as a parent is to shift how I parent. The time for me to yell, lecture and ground is gone. These days I’m supposed to be supportive, encouraging and letting go as well remain as a source of council but only when asked.
How is it possible to rear a child for 18 plus years and then one day switch it off? If I ever find the answer I’ll let you know, in the meantime someone needs to send me some antacids.