Princess Pat Akpabio
To all my readers, who are facing this situation currently and have been asking that I write on it, I have avoided writing on this particular issue of parents trying to control grown-up successful married adults and their homes for the simple truth of being misunderstood but hey, it is the new year and I am always misunderstood, so I might as well just write out my thoughts on this parental control gimmick.
It is so sad the way some parents want to be dishing out orders to a son in law or a daughter in law who is married into the family on how things should be done in their matrimonial homes.
I mean they want a full report of what you are doing with your spouse in your own home ranging from but not limited to: who you gave money to, who you helped, who you want to help, what should be done for the extended family, who lives in your house, how many times those living in your house eat, what are their job descriptions, why so many people, you are not helping the extended family enough because of your wife or why are you doing more for your husband’ side of the family and vice versa, etc?
My question is, do these types of parents stop to think that these their children have grown up adults and are no longer in diapers needing their hands to change?
Even if they needed their help to change, they are no longer children you make decisions for but adults who are old enough to know what they want that is good for themselves? As parents, stop the control gimmick of your children’s homes.
Parents should raise their children to let go someday to start and have their own families. When the latter happens, Don’t try to run their homes for them, allow them to be parents too. Don’t try to control your child or the spouse, you will meet with resistance that if care not taken, can send you as a parent to self-inflicted depression, bitterness and feeling unwanted or unappreciated. As parents, we should realize that we are caregivers to our children until they are old enough to take care of themselves.
No parent should try to boss his or her in-law around, it will only lead to conflicts and your child might end up withdrawing from you and cleaving to his or her spouse to fulfill the scriptures “so shall a man leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife….” stop the entitlement saga, claiming of ownership of your child especially when they have gotten into marriage officially and properly. Parents, she builds a life for themselves while raising children, knowing that one day their children who are passengers on their bus will disembark and embark on their own bus and start afresh journey of their own to fulfill the first command of God given in Eden to Adam and Eve “be fruitful and multiply.”
If you are a parent living in your in-law’s house as a result of circumstances that is mutually beneficial to both parties, realize that the home is your child’s home with his or her spouse please don’t cause problems for the couple and their children. Respect your son-in-law as the head of the home and your daughter or vice versa.
Realize that it is a mutually beneficial arrangement. Don’t ever think that, that arrangement can not be altered or changed especially for those couples whose parents are helping with caregiving for their grandchildren. Respect each other’s authority and please parents don’t be overbearing and stop claiming ownership in someone’s home.
Welcome visitors in your children’s matrimonial home, don’t chase their friends and guests away because you think everybody living is bad or wicked but yourself. If you want to live in isolation please your children’s matrimonial home is not where you practice your solitary living.
I have so many instances to give but allow me to clarify this by sharing this conversation with you.
A friend of mine living in Houston, Texas called me one day out of frustration on how her mother whom she brought to the USA to live with them is causing so much drama in her home that even her children were avoiding her and I asked why? My husband and I can’t have our friends come over anymore or my kids play with the neighborhood kids or their friends come sleepover since the arrival of her mother.
She complains and nags about everything. If it is not that I don’t love her or my husband isn’t friendly enough, it is the grandkids didn’t greet her good-morning. If they are having a husband, wife, and children conversation in the room, you all were gossiping me, just different things. Then the manipulation tactic of playing the victim in all the drama.
Then the line “I’m your mother, I gave birth to you show me some respect, I know I’m living in your house but I’m the oldest in this family.” I had to pause and reflect on all she was saying and crying because she meant well for the mother and oh my mother says I’m not doing enough to help with my siblings at home and she said to me Pat I have four kids to take care of and my mother doesn’t see that my hands are full she added.
As a parent realize our job is to provide a loving peaceful home for our growing kids and as daughters and sons, we want to share that home with our parents when they come live with us or visit us. Our parents should do what wasn’t done to them in their own homes to us. Don’t dictate for your child what and how to run her home but rather wait and see if he or she will ask you for advice on certain issues and if he or she doesn’t keep your unsolicited opinion and advice to yourself.
A lot of parents are living in depression and bitterness of heart that they hate others for no justifiable reason because they feel their children don’t listen to them anymore as adults doing their own things. They don’t respect them anymore because the child wants to be who God created them to be and it doesn’t sit well with the parent.
Well, parents, you have one life to live, so live it well. You owe yourself the right to happiness without your grown-up kids. Love if you have to find love again or just dance and celebrate life. Stop trying to control and dictate for adults because you helped them out, it won’t work. Every adult living on earth has a mind of his or her own and what they want for themselves. Don’t interfere or use parental manipulations. It won’t work. Children endeavor to take care of your parents the best way you can remember the sacrifices they have made in life for you while raising you.
Respect your parents. Love your parents. Don’t live your parent’s lives for them. Let them live their lives and be happy; realize that you can only support them the best way you can. Don’t go into frustration mood because your parents are nagging on you. It is a fine thin line between depression and expression. Express yourself respectfully of what you disapprove of and don’t let your parents dictate your life outcome for you.
If you have to move away from each other to have sanity and respect back if lost or intact, please kindly do so before you lose your relationship in totality. Parents, please stop the control gimmick on your children because you are helping them with taking care of your grandchildren or in any other way. Know for a fact that it is the condition of fire that makes the crayfish to bend its back.
We all have one life to live, so let us live it well!!!
I am Princess Dr. Pat Akpabio (FJW) and this is changing minds changing attitudes.