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Parenting Grown Children :: Deciding to Let Them Learn for Themselves

After a long pause, her voice said, “so whatcha think, Mom? What should I do?”

What should I do? There is nothing more lovely than when your grown and flown child asks for your advice. Although, the days were easier when they just did as you said.

What should I do? It’s like an invitation into her world again.

I love being the one in control. I have over 25 years on her and I know exactly what she should do…

But..that’s a weighty term.

My dear daughter, raised to be wise and loving and compassionate, knows what she should do. Is she doing what she can do? What she wants to do? What her heart is telling her to do?

Or is she settling for what she should do?

Is she picking the better way? Or the easier way? Does she want permission or advice? As a mom of grown children, these are the minefields I walk through.

Researchers at Cornell University have estimated that each adult makes 35,000 decisions a day and 226.7 decisions about food alone.

Decision fatigue is a real issue.

This alone explains why what we are having for supper is such a hard decision every day.

As our children grow and leap from our warm, comfy nests, they need to have the skills to make good decisions for themselves.

I certainly made a bunch of bad ones in my day… Number one was the 1990 Geo Metro fresh off the car lot for 12% interest.

But I’ve made good ones too. I started dating my husband just two months after I bought the car.

The decision muscle needs to get pushed and flexed a little. Most of the strength comes with time, experiences, and the company of good humans in your life.

By telling her what she SHOULD do, am I really helping her to grow into the woman she can be?

“Well, baby girl,” (yes, I call her that), “what do you feel about this situation? What’s your gut telling you? It doesn’t need to be made now so let’s rest on it and discuss it later.”

That’s the only answer I can let out of my mouth. Telling her an answer would have been easy.

Every decision she makes now is going to be one that will impact her life…and it’s best she falters now while the nest is still so close and her adulthood is just beginning.

I’m here. I’m listening and loving. I’m here ready to catch her and offer her advice, but not give her answers.

This way I know her wings will be strengthened and she will be most decisively be able to fly.

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