Welcome to Your New Job

It’s time to quit your job.  No, not the one where you earn a paycheck – keep that one.  I mean the parenting job you’ve had for about 10 years or so.  It’s not that you’re not needed anymore – it’s just that your job description has changed.

During your first decade of parenting, your role was more like that of a personal servant.  You were supposed to make sure your children were happy and all their needs were met.  They in turn showed their appreciation with hugs and kisses and stories about everything that was going on in their heads and hearts.

But if your child has reached the age of 10 or beyond, your responsibilities have changed, and you weren’t even notified.  You are no longer expected to solve his problems and cheer him up.  In fact, if you try to do either at the wrong time, you may find yourself on the receiving end of an angry outburst or a cold shoulder.

Your new role is more like that of a consultant.  Be available, listen to the issue, show you understand, but offer a solution only if asked to do so.  Your son complains that his homework is too hard?  Tell him you remember how it got harder as you got older.  Your daughter complains that her friend is being mean?  Tell her you know that must make her unhappy.  If your help isn’t requested, then don’t give it.

Think of it as a promotion.  And your raise?  It will come in the form of a teen-ager who actually wants you around.




  1. Thanks, Sue, for the wise words I wish I’d known years ago. On the other hand they are just as helpful in any relationship. Listen. Show you understand. Offer a solution only if asked. And remember, “I am not on that committee!”

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