Lessons from Fiction: Isolating an Older Child (Interruption: Shae's Search)
In chapter one of Interruption: Shae's Search, we are introduced to the main character, Shae and her mother, Chanelle. Their relationship is extremely strained. Chanelle's vanity and pursuit of money, dominates the relationship, leaving Shae vulnerable and isolated.
While these characters express vivid examples of friction in their relationship, it's important to examine if we, as parents, are making similar more subtle mistakes.
In the story, Chanelle was feeling the gap close in age difference. Being only 17 years older than Shae, she emphasized ways to feel younger. She demanded to be called Chanelle, instead of Mama, and dressed similar to her daughter in pursuit of a beau. This behavior essentially isolated Shae, who needed her mother.
Self examination is difficult, especially when it comes to parenting. However, to offer our children the highest possible good, we really need to ask ourselves those tough questions.
Does vanity rush me to shove my children out of the door? Am I in a hurry to get on with my life after parenting? Do I assume that my teenager or early adult son or daughter doesn't need my guidance because they can take care of themselves?
While it's important to establish a life after they leave the nest, it's equally important they don't feel isolated and/or vulnerable. They may not be children anymore, but they still require your guidance and direction in life. The wisdom you have attained, garnered by your experiences, can help them navigate life and all it may have to offer.
With all the curveballs life throws at us, it's easy to become distracted. Take the time out to check in with your teenager or early adult child. This is necessary when you have older children who only check in every few months or so. Do this, even if it means you are always the one who initiates the phone call. Don't assume they are fine. As parents, we want our kids to be independent responsible adults, but may take for granted that they don't need our direction and guidance anymore. Sometimes, they don't need advice or guidance, they just need someone to listen.
Take an interest in what they are doing, no matter how crazy it may sound. Listening to their plans may be the thing that helps them to work the plans out or realize how ineffective the plan may be. Don't be too critical. This again, isolates your son/daughter and makes them apprehensive to talk to you. Understand that the world they are growing up in is vastly different than the world you grew up in. Their approach to it, may also differ.
Let them know how proud you are of them. It's easy to criticize and way more damaging. Find reasons to express your pride in your son or daughter. No matter how old they become, they need your emotional support and sometimes approval.
If you struggle being nurturing or can be emotionally distant, ask for help. Don't be ashamed to do whatever you need to help your son/daughter attain their highest possible good. If you have siblings, involve them in raising your child, especially if you are a single parent. I also encourage two family homes to get extended family involved. It really does take a village to raise a child. Parenting doesn't end because your don or daughter is grown. They could use support, advice, guidance, and love in all they do.
While art imitates life, it's a great sandbox to use to analyze aspects of reality that could use examining. May creative art, inspire you in life!
ERIN N. SIMON is a writer, blogger, and visionary in raising the conscious level within her Community. One of her passions is to create a Black Media that truly matters, is promotable, and shared with as many people as possible. In 2013, She and her husband started Inspired, In-Spirit Transformation. They have a Publishing Company called Inspired, In-Spirit Publishing which have multiple published books on their shelves, four of which is Erin's: In September of 2013, her first book within a series, Interruption: Shae's Search was published; followed up in May 2014 by the sequel, Interruption: Interlude; the series finale, Interruption: Alter Ego, was published August 2015; Under Cover & Under The Covers: Starring Detective Aja Anderson, published December 2016
Her husband has a company known as GS Investments in which financial freedom is gained one investment at a time. She currently resides in Mexico City with her husband and four handsome sons...