I have heard many of my single adult friends complain about their parents seeming interfere with their life. Indeed I have heard the comments, “Why can’t my parents just leave me alone?”, or “Why can’t they acknowledge that I am an adult?”, or “If only they would stay out of my life.”
I must admit that a time or three I used to feel that way, as well. As an adult I felt the need to spread my wings and independently fly. Part of becoming an adult was to be independent isn’t it? It was my right and responsibility to think and act of myself (and live with the consequences.) Besides my parent’s responsibility toward me was over, wasn’t it?
I finally came to realize how unjust and immature I was being. It was pride and isunderstanding that stood in my way of accepting their wisdom, counsel, and involvement in my life. What I needed to realize was that my parents will never outlive their responsibility toward me, their child. President Ezra Taft Benson the 13th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as the Mormons)taught,
“Fathers and certainly mothers too, yours is an eternal calling from which you are never released. … A father’s calling is eternal, and its importance transcends time. It is a calling for both time and eternity.” To the Fathers in Israel,Ensign, Nov. 1987, Ezra Taft Benson
Where parents will never outlive their responsibilities as parents, when their children grow into adulthood, their parental roles do change. This can be difficult to adjust to on both sides. This merely necessitates more love and understanding.
“While parental responsibility never ceases, it does change. After the birth of a child, parents provide for the baby’s every need. As the child grows, the amount of parental involvement decreases. Over time, the degree of involvement becomes harder for parents to determine. By the time children have reached adulthood, the complexity of determining the timing, extent, and direction of parental involvement in children’s lives sometimes causes parents to give up. As a result, they either assume a very passive role or stop those relationships altogether. When this happens, everybody loses. Parents feel alienated from their children’s lives and activities, and the children lose opportunities to draw on the wisdom their parents have accumulated through years of experience.” July 2006 Ensign, Families Are Forever—and So Is Parenthood, By Garth Hanson and Steve Hanson
As we realize that our parents are trying to adjust to this new role they have in our lives, (which is not easy for them) and recognize that their actions stem from love toward us, then we can have more patience and understanding toward them.
There is still much that we can learn from our parents. There always will be. This is a great blessing to us. In closing I would like to remind all my single adult friends that as we learn how to adjust to our relationship with our parents, it is important for us to remember that being an adults, doesn’t void God’s commandment to always,
“Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” Deuteronomy 5:16