Point #5 in my Top 10 List for Parenting Young Adults is: Don't take it personally …
These were the exact words of my daughter during our conversation about what young adults wish their parents knew:
"Parents should not react to our decisions about how we choose to live as if they are a personal affront to them and to their choices. Just because we choose to do something differently than our parents did does NOT mean that we are judging them or looking down on their choices.
We are forming our own lives; forging our own paths and choosing our own journeys.
It is very stressful when we make decisions to then feel like our parents are stressed or put off because our decisions do not look like theirs did.
Parents need to not take things so personally."
This felt like both a gentle, but firm, slap in the face and a breath of fresh air at the same time.
Like a slap because I think I had been doing exactly this - looking at my young adult kids' decisions as if they were a direct assessment of my own - which they weren't.
I needed to stop taking their choices personally.
It felt like a breath of fresh air because … I get to stop taking their choices personally!
What a relief!
I could just enjoy their choices and cheer them on without feeling diminished in any way.
Sounds dumb, like I should have known this …
But I have never been a parent of young adults before.
I am flying blind.
Thank goodness my kids are kind enough to sit down with me and open my eyes a bit.
Don't take your kids' choices personally.
This will free them up … and you, too.