As parents we all want what is best for our children. However, what some parents fail to realize in terms of co-dependent children is that they are no longer leaving a legacy, but yet, a liability.
By leaving a legacy one must raise self-sufficient children. They should be children capable of making their own wise and practical decisions upon adulthood. They should be children who feel compelled to do more with their life than the previous generation. And most importantly, they should be emotionally healthy children who feel they can be who they are, not who we imagined or wanted them to be.
Just because we have run the family business, doesn’t mean we should expect our children to take over someday. They will likely have plans of their own.
Just because we played a particular sport and excelled, doesn’t mean we should force our children to play it if they have no interest.
Just because they dream the impossible, doesn’t mean we should squash their dreams.
Our job is to encourage their successes, and help guide them when they encounter failure. It is to teach them how to handle their own relationships vs., being a dictator for their relationships. Our job is tough, but to raise healthy children with the ability to maintain healthy adult relationships, we must push them to do well. We must teach them to put forth effort. We must help them learn to look at the big picture.
Signs of leaving a liability:
The adult child comes to you for every one of life’s hurdles.
The adult child now expects the parent to take care of financial responsibilities.
The adult child now expects parents to bail them out.
The adult child now has no insight.
The adult child now has dependency issues aside from their relationship with their parents. Most likely chemical dependencies.
The adult child is now angry.
The adult child, will then likely leave another liability for their children. And the trend continues. However, there are ways to avoid leaving a liability. And there are proven ways to leave a legacy. Proven ways to leave a legacy are as follows:
Encourage and comfort your children.
Listen to their feelings and respect that they have their own minds, and opinions.
Do not try to control who they are, better yet guide them to where they should be.
Allow them to suffer consequences of their actions. They need tough love. They have their own friends to be best friends with.
And most importantly, practice what you preach. Be a good role model.
I once heard a saying from a parent that said : Well I guess if I was your best friend, and you loved me all the time; then I wouldn’t be a very good parent. And I agree with that statement. There will be times our children do not agree with our decisions in parenting. There will be times they do not understand our reasoning and we find ourselves saying what we once heard: Someday you will understand….when you have kids of your own.
These days I see more parents trying to be best buddies with their kids. They are there to rescue them from situations the kids/adult children put themselves into. Rather than showing tough love so lessons can be learned, they throw them preserver after preserver.
Tough love is absolutely the hardest step for people to take in any forms of relationships. But without it, we leave a liability. We should be leaving a legacy instead. We should be allowing our children to live their own life, and a life that they are proud of. An honest life, and a life with an abundance of good people with direction.
Are you leaving a legacy or a liability? Are you teaching bad habits? Or are you setting a good example instead? The quote that children learn what they live, has much insight. What are your children learning from you?
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