In a perfect world, all parents would love their children. Unfortunately, ours isn’t a perfect world and some parents can’t wait for their kids to grow up so they can kick them out of their lives.
The internet was horrified when they saw a post by somebody who asked whether they should tell their daughter that they don’t want to see her anymore once she turns 18. And they thought that the comeback to the question was spot-on. Some people were quick to judge and shared their own stories about being kicked out of their homes. However, other internet users had different opinions about the situation.
We spoke about parents, their kids, and the importance of how children leave home with Lenore Skenazy who is the president of the nonprofit organization Let Grow, dedicated to fighting overprotection and promoting the independence of kids. According to Lenore, a significant part of a child’s confidence comes from knowing that someone believes in them. “A teacher, coach, grandparent, or, of course, parent who thinks you are terrific and ready to wow the world can make all the difference in the world.” However, when that support isn’t there, this can have a big impact on the child.
A parent got shut down after asking a very provocative question online
Image credits: Mish Sukharev (not the actual photo)
Image credits: Imagination-Parking
“A parent saying, ‘Leave when you’re 18’ can be that person, voicing incredible confidence that the child can make it (even if the child is less sure). But the ‘Leave!’ could also be weary disdain: ‘Get out already. I’m washing my hands of you. Goodbye and good luck.’ Whether the message this parent is sending is one of trust or disgust will have a lot more impact on that kid than simply being expected to live on their own,” Lenore explained the that the same action (leaving home) can have very different results depending on how it’s done.
According to Lenore, honesty is the best policy between parents and their kids. “The best way to make sure that a child starting out in the world feels like their parents believe in them—rather than simply being fed up—is for the parent to make it explicit! ‘I have watched you growing up and seen how you work things out when faced with challenges and I believe this next chapter will test you—and you will do great. It may not be easy, because important things rarely are, but you will be happier and stronger for it,’” she gave an example of how things could be done.
She continued: “Also: ‘While it’s time for you to make your way, that doesn’t mean you are leaving my heart. I will always love you and hope we see a lot of each other. This is a new chapter for us both and I wish us both well!’” Now that is a healthy, mature response to a child leaving home and becoming independent.
Life is rarely black and white and reactions to the question and the answer were mixed
So while some supported the clap back, others weren’t so quick to jump on the criticism bandwagon. They thought that it was important to get more context before judging the parent.
Life is rarely black and white. So, according to some internet users, it was important to learn more about the situation: perhaps the parent wasn’t as ‘evil’ as they seemed and had to deal with an incredibly difficult, belligerent teen. In a perfect world, all parents would love their children… and all kids would love and respect their parents.
Unfortunately, in this particular case, additional context is hard to come by, so judging whether or not the parent was completely or only partly in the wrong is incredibly difficult. However, there are two things that we know for sure: the parent was completely honest about their feelings about their daughter; and people think the idea of a parent not loving their child is appalling.
Depending on what part of the world you live in, your legal responsibilities toward your child stop when they turn 18. From a legal perspective, it’s “fine” to abandon an adult child, even if society sees it as cold-hearted. From a more human point of view, however, your child doesn’t stop being your child when they hit an arbitrary age. Parent-kid bonds are meant to last forever, even if everyone doesn’t live under the same roof.
Here’s how people reacted to the Anonymous question