Parenting a lifetime experience

ONE might assume parenting of grown children means our responsibility to and concern for them lessens.

This is a huge misconception.

I remember my mum speaking of this topic, and a similar theme can be heard among my friends.

Is there an age when we can grant ourselves permission to put the tools of responsibility aside and tell our children to fend for themselves?

I guess that we can, but does that mean we will care less about them? I believe not!

We are torn between wanting, and often needing, our children to assume self responsibility and then feeling the pain as we see them struggle.

Listening to the conversations of others it seems to me that parenting boundaries are more blurred in the 2000s.

Discipline has taken on a new dimension.

Observe how school teachers struggle to discipline children within the classroom.

Handing our child over at the school gate does not diminish our responsibility, but when does that responsibility cease?

Is it when the child finishes formal education or when they choose a life partner, or can we intervene in their life at any stage and do we really want to do that?

Granted, each situation must be looked at individually because many aspects are at play.

As a rule of thumb I believe that we must look at how much harm might occur if we do not step in.

I believe that when we see they could improve their life by doing something differently, our responsibility is to communicate this to them in a loving way and then allowing them to consider and act the way they choose.


Shirley Cornish is a counselor, relationship specialist and health coach. To contact her phone 5443 7626, 0488 437 626 or visit


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Topics:  children family lifestyle parenting

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