Children and young people are always growing and changing. Parents, however, sometimes need to take the effort to grow with them. #parenting
A lot of parents seem stuck with their idea of who they want their child to be, or who they remember the child as--often as a literal baby, helpless and dependent, so easy to project the parents' hopes and perceptions on.
I kind of get why parents don't forget their children's very young childhoods, I think? It really is a precious and unforgettable time, when you're bonding with this brand-new being soul to soul as you get to know each other. It's a time of unbearable sweetness that will never come again, because no matter how many children or grandchildren you have that particular child will only be young once. No wonder it leaves an indelible mark in the parent as well as the child.
@ljwrites I think the parent has more to lose than the child too because most of us don't expect to have our parents with us our whole lives, and some lose their parents to death much sooner than others. To some extent, people who end up estranged from their parents because they're gay or whatever have a experience analogous to people whose parents died young.
But a parent expects to have a child in their life for all the rest of it, and they can feel entitled to that.
@bright_helpings the expression "dead to me" exists for a reason lol. There was a book of advice from older people to young people put together by a sociologist (it's really not as bad as it sounds!) and it specifically mentioned estranged relationships with children, especially for being gay, as an abiding regret of parents that they cautioned others to avoid.
Yet another reason parents have more to lose is that they will grow older and sicker, and their social circles will shrink due to deaths and social isolation. They will often come to need their grown children more than their children need them, and it's such a tragedy if the relationship is no longer there or distant and formal.
A community centered on the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and their surrounding region. Predominantly queer with a focus on urban and social justice issues.