This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those facing retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after they retire. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class, is available by clicking on this link: Amazon.com. Click here for her website: AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
Now, on to my blog:
I often get advice from my son who is an adult with children of his own. He’s bright, and I learn from him. He enjoys counseling me, and I enjoy our interaction.
No matter how old your children get to be, it’s hard for a parent to switch from the teaching mode into the learning mode. I’ve heard parents say to their adult children something along the lines of “Don’t tell me; I’m your father (or mother).” What does that have to do with hearing sound advice?
I suspect that what’s really going on is a power struggle. The parent doesn’t want to admit that their child may surpass them in any way. It’s also a sign of aging which so many distain–passing the baton when a child is old enough to be the adviser to a parent. But the flip side is that it allows the aging parent to have an adult-to-adult relationship with their child. This scenario can be extrapolated to any relationship between an aging person and a much younger person whether it be an aunt/uncle relationship with a niece/nephew, a boss-employee relationship regardless of which person is in which role, and so many others.
What a wonderful gift to receive at this stage of life. Embrace it! Be grateful for it! Don’t push it away just because your ego becomes a little bruised or you don’t want to give up being the pack leader.
It’s also a wonderful gift to your child. It lets him/her know that you admire them and have confidence in them when you listen to and/or accept their counsel. What an empowering experience for a child to know how much they’ve succeeded in their parent’s eyes. What a boost to their self-confidence. That’s probably one of the things they crave the most.
Remember to thank them. Remember to verbalize how proud of them you are. Too many parents forget to do so. Be aware of the gift you are giving each other. Not all parents get such a reward in the later stage of their lives.
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