Recently, I dropped my daughter and her partner off at the airport as they flew to Europe for a holiday.
As a frequent flier I had plenty of tips to pass on........
"Check each other’s luggage as you get off a train!"
"Leave room in your luggage to bring back stuff you buy."
"Land with local currency in your pocket"
The list went on. I must have driven them both mad.
But I loved it!
It was great to be able to help my daughter, an independent soul who no longer lives at home. I felt like a dad again.
It had been a long time since I’d felt so...........useful!
I started to think how often we do things for our kids, not because it’s in their best interests but because we feel like parents when we do them........ we feel good; we feel useful.
Parenting has its own unique rewards that come in many forms. The reward may be the pride you take in seeing your kids strive and achieve; or overcome an obstacle.
It may come from your kids' love and affection that disappears for a time in adolescence.
And, of course, one of the great rewards of parenting is the feeling of being really needed. It never really goes away.
The trap of wanting to be needed is that it can lead us to smothering our kids, doing too much for them, or boring them to death in some cases..........as my daughter no doubt discovered.
On the other hand, we shouldn’t always deny ourselves one of the real pleasures of parenting – that wonderful feeling of being needed. So that means we do spoil and do too much for our kids at times when we probably shouldn't. But we shouldn't, I believe, chase that feeling too much.
As with many things parenting, it’s all about balance!
What are your thoughts?
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