Owning Others

Photo by Egor Myznik

Our brain seeks to rationalize human behavior, forgetting that there are part of us that don’t make sense to our mind. Reactions or actions that don’t align with a script can be stigmatized. They make us feel good and in our right to point at others. And although it might always feel right, it’s never true. We are the masters of our own life. We don’t own our children, partners, friends and family. We only have what we build and are what we grow into being.

What We Have

We are often denying that our life is worth it as it is. That our awakening into wanting more from the future needs to come from the present moment, in the present. It is our thoughts that give us everything we have. Ownership of our own life can only happen now.

A Way Out

Photo by Matthew Menendez

We are all looking for options to improve our life, to do better, to be better. But we often seek for someone to show us the way or walk a path, not realising that each path is different. We can follow someone and have a different experience of life. A poorer experience of life. Or we can dare to walk ahead, carve our way and take ownership of our journey.

Aging Parents & Grown Children – Debt, Love & Ownership

I’ll start with a bold statement. Being a parent above being your own person is toxic. Not just for yourself, but for the child also. It puts responsibility on ‘your’ child to always be yours, to identify themselves through who you are and it limits them from becoming their own person.

If you give love without expectations, you will get a higher return on your investment than if you keep a record of what you gave, how you’ve given it and what you’re entitled to in response to the parental sacrifice.

Expectations vary from wanting your child to be straight, average or excellent, get a mortgage by the time they’re thirty, marry, eat meat, be not too fat and not too skinny, to asking them to visit every Christmas or every weekend etc etc.

Understanding what your role as a parent is plays a great part in what your relationship with your child will be 5, 10, 20 years from now.

According to a study ran by two researchers from State University of New York at Albany, aged parents want a balance between care and freedom. Isn’t it interesting that this is what children wish for also?

Being a parent without being your own person will reflect on the adult child – aged parent dynamics in years to come. It is likely that the toxicity of the early relationship will lead to a controlling attitude on the part of the child-adult.

Wanting to take control over the life of the person who needs freedom, neither child nor the parent realise that they can’t function without overpowering one another.

Resources:

“The Bitter With the Sweet”: Older Adults’ Strategies for Handling Ambivalence in Relations With Their Adult Children by Glenna Spitze and Mary P. Gallant

What Do Grown Children Owe Their Parents? by Jane English