Parents. What is the deal about needing our parents? As a young adult, I envisioned that one day I would not need my parents anymore. But actually it is the opposite - as we age, we need our parents more than ever. The evolution of how much we need our parents changes with every age. As a child, we rely on our parents to satisfy all of our needs. As we gain independence in early adulthood, we rely much less on our parents. Possibly even to the point where we do not feel like we need them. Then, in adulthood, when we start having our own families and become parents ourselves, we regress. We need our parents more than ever. Why is that? There are many reasons for this…
Adult children need their parents for financial support. Approximately 75% of parents help their adult children financially. Whether this is a result of the recent recession or something else, adult children on leaning on their parents for financial support. In some instances, to the expense of their parent’s retirement. It is a natural parental instinct to want to help out your children stemming from a place of love. After all, just because your child hits 18 does not mean you are not their parent anymore. More than financial support, more adult children are living with their parents than before. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans ranging from ages 18-34 are more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse or other living arrangement. This trend applies to every demographic group. One explanation for this is because young adults are not getting married. Therefore, they clearly not living with a spouse or partner. Is it a bad thing to be so close with your parents that you live with them? Not necessarily. After all, your parents are the reason you are here.
Becoming a Parent
No one will argue what a life changing moment become a parent is. However, for me, it is when I realized exactly how much I needed my parents. A new baby is demanding and arrives with a learning curve. During that learning curve, I leaned on my parents more than I had in years. I leaned on my parents, now the grandparents, for their child-rearing experience, guidance, and support. Sometimes it was a simple visit, a phone call, or text. After all, who better to look to for advice than someone who has done this before, and in my parent’s case four times. I found that my parent’s help in raising my child was essential and it felt natural. It is a natural flow for parents to “parent” their adult children at any age, particularly as their children have children.
The Grandparent Role
Your children need your parents. Grandparents have a special unique role to play in your child’s life. So regardless of whether you think you need your parents as an adult, your parents have a role to play in your children’s life. Grandparents offer your child love, adventure, and they pass on family traditions. As your children age, your parents will be able to tell stories of what life was like when you were a child. Plus, grandparents have the time, at least more time than they had when they were raising their own kids, to spend on your children which creates a sacred bond between the child and grandparent, and is rewarding for both.
We need our parents for emotional support. It doesn't matter if they live geographically close because it is easy to keep in touch in the digital age. For the first time, parents are able to provide emotional support from any distance. Who better to affirm that you are “adulting” properly than your parents? You can trust your parents to listen and give advice that is in your best interest. Let’s face it - most likely your parents have seen you at your worst. They still like you even after surviving your toddler tantrums, your awkward middle school days, and endured your teenage years. You can truly bare your soul to your parents when you confide in them in a way that you might not be able to with a friend.
We need our parents as adults more than ever for the same reason we needed them as kids. We are always evolving yet our parents will always be a permanent figure in our lives. They are our first friend, our first love, and the most enduring relationship in our lives.
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