“My deepest concerns will stay buried and unspoken”

When you are a child, your parents hold the power. You do as they tell you to do. You might kick and scream the whole time, but they make the final call. The idea behind this act is that they know what’s best for you, and you are not capable of making reasonable decisions at such a young age. In the book of Proverbs, it says “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”  The ultimate goal of parenting is to raise their children to learn what’s best and how to make those decisions on their own. As these children learn and grow, they do not need to depend quite so frequently on their parents.

Therein lies the major dilemma. Parents know how to play a particular role our entire lives. They know how to hold our hands, make our most important decisions, and tell us when it’s past our bedtime. Of course, this is hardly an exhaustive list, as the responsibilities of a parent are numerous and done sacrificially out of love.  It does become tricky however if they’ve raised us to the point where we are capable and intelligent and no longer need their constant assistance. There is a total separation in the relationship based on the change in roles. Their question becomes, “What part do I play in my child’s life?”  

The best part is, this question is never answered. Many parents struggling how to answer this question were once or probably still are wishing their parents knew the line between “help” and dictating how their lives should go. So how to deal? Some parents take the friends route. 

While this route may be a decent one to take, it still carries its own downsides. You can’t be friends with your parents. It sounds harsh and ridiculous, but think about it. Your friends act differently than your parents and likewise so are your relationships. You can try and be friends, but after a certain point a line is crossed. Without meaning to, someone reverts back to their previous roles and the friendship is not a friendship. Quite simply, a child cannot talk to his or her mom the same way he or she talks to her friends all the time. 

A few of my friends call their parents everyday, but they are the same people that still heavily rely on their parents. This is not wrong, but it is not independent either. They are so close to each other because the parents are still able to carry on the same supportive role. I find it especially interesting to see the same sort of conflict with those a few years older than me. They are a little more settled down and have careers and whatnot, but still they struggle to find this balance between friendship and over-involved parenting. 

If nothing else, I think it should be acknowledged and understood that there has to be a balance and continual effort. 

Lyrics from No Phone by Cake.


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