I've been writing about the challenges of parenting an eighteen year old. It's been a bit frustrating at times. We have the month of April and then in May I will be writing about the challenges of parenting a nineteen year old. Yay! Here's where I am in my parental learning curve, along with we both need to learn and practice patience.
She wants to be grown up almost as much as she still wants the perks of being "taken care of and guided." She won't admit it, but there's a lot to be said for Mom organizing things, doing the planning and research, picking things up, smoothing things, over, going shopping and yes, even folding laundry! She still needs limits, though she doesn't want them imposed as a dictator. She won't always do as I suggest, but she doesn't want me to stop
suggesting. She doesn't want to be set adrift to make her all of her own
decisions -- but she does want to make some.
I've also learned that she isn't me, hasn't ever been me, and probably won't be me -- even though everyone says she has my smile! She is her own person. She's charming, outgoing, kind, generous, loyal, caring, sensitive, supportive -- a real people person and an animal lover. Friends and family are constantly congratulating me on how well she's turned out. I'd love to take a modicum of credit for all this, but she's herself and she's still in process of becoming an adult, the young woman she will be.
She also likes to entertain, but in an off beat and casual way, not always center stage. This generation is comfortable taking and posting "selfies" and making and posting videos at the drop of a hat or in the blink of an eye. It's second nature to see themselves and their friends all day every day -- online. And to stay in touch and share via texting, instagram, facebook, whatever is the latest and greatest why to communicate. They sometimes even talk on their hand-held communication devices -- we call them cell phones but they really are for total communication.
I finally see the allure of this instant communication. I don't see how they get anything done in life if they're always online, checking in, texting, sending photos, posting stuff. At any time of the day or night you can go and check up on your family and friends and see what they're doing, where they've been, who they're with, what they're seeing, what they're watching -- even what they're eating. How amazing is that?
Today, it's all a little too fast, too much and makes me want to crawl back in bed for a nap, go work in my garden, play with my pets and slow the world down a bit.
Tags: communication, social media, growing up, patience, adult, pets, naps