21 September 2020

A lesson for parents whose children have become independent

We are so overwhelmed with articles on how stressful parenting is that sometimes one wonders if there is any luck in raising a child? Of course there is because caring for a family does not only mean blood, sweat and tears, but also indescribable fulfillment. To bring positive things into your life, we bring you the life lesson of Avivah Wittenberg-Cox. Avivah is the CEO of the consulting firm 20-first, which advocates for gender equality in the workplace. Her lesson is dedicated to all those with children, especially those parents whose children have already grown up and left the parental nest.

The level of happiness for most people decreases between the ages of 30 and 50, which is quite logical because those years are marked by parenthood, marriage, work and caring for elderly parents. Many will admit that those years are exhausting, but fewer parents will want to admit the excitement they feel at a time when parenting does not require constant involvement.

Avivah believes that many parents do not mention the happiness that is born when their children have encouraged for decades to self-actualize. “The ability to refocus on professional priorities and dreams is an unexpected gift that cannot be planned. In my thirties, I assumed I would retire in my sixties. Today, at the age of 56, I have the feeling that I have just started, ”claims Avivah, who is getting used to living with holes in her schedule.

Of course, sometimes she caught herself checking if her kids need help with their homework. Despite this, she was able to discover how her obligation-free brain was moving in the direction of honing creativity and creating opportunities. Suddenly, a range of possibilities appeared in front of her that were not available to her when the children were younger. For example, she manages to get organized, travel, go to a Sunday brunch, go out with her husband, and business trips have become exciting for her.

If you stopped before this paragraph with the children, you would think that Avivah forgot about her children and decided on a carefree high life, without worries and wit. But that’s not the case. She started looking at her children through different glasses. She is delighted to see children who inspire her with their passionate views on careers, and in addition, they have begun to discover how relevant she is in the business world. “Few rewards can compare to your child’s proud gaze. Nothing compares to the way your kids look at you when they suddenly realize you’re actually very interesting. These moments are worth the stabbing parental guilt that you felt every time you missed a school play or football training, “said Avivah, to whom it is a confirmation that children do not grow up and leave, but grow up and call.

Unfortunately, this is not the case with all families. Some parents are focused solely on their job and want their children to be their victims, even though the children have never asked for it. “Nothing has such a strong psychological impact on children as an unexperienced life of their parents,” said Carl Jung and this can be perfectly applied in the context of parents who do not devote enough time to their children. For children to develop into complete people who will appreciate their parents, it is necessary to invest time in them and, of course, love. That is why it is necessary to find WorkLife balance so that children do not suffer because of their parents’ careers.

As life expectancy increases from year to year, the period that occurs after children move out is healthier and richer than it once was to parents. Depending on the peak age of parental responsibilities, the amount of time you have to work on your own talents increases. It is for this reason that many put their retirement period on hiatus and return to work.

Reflecting on the peak of parental responsibilities, Avivah highlights these four tips for parents:

  1. Don’t worry about the little things. One bad week doesn’t make you a bad parent. Once they grow up, children probably won’t even remember it.
  2. Don’t allow yourself to burn-out trying to be the perfect parent. Instead, invest in yourself and your children on a regular and sustainable basis.
  3. Love your kids, but focus your ambition on your own career, not theirs.
  4. Love your partners and don’t put your relationship at the bottom of your parenting priorities. Children learn about relationships from their parents, so be an inspiration to them.

Being a busy parent is a challenge. Still, parenting is like wine. As you get older, parenting gets a lot better. Until you get to the stage where your children are leaving the parental nest, make sure you maintain a good work-life balance in which you will maintain a level and career and relationship with the children.

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