Whatever be the circumstance or temptation, parents must not get in the way of their adult children.
Someone we know is looking for a marriage alliance for her daughter who is an alumni of the London School of Economics. We have met the prospective bride and found that she’s intelligent, compassionate and independent enough to make informed choices. But her mother insists on choosing a groom only from a TamBram, IT industry background so that the couple can “settle” down in Chennai in the next 10 years to be able care for her (our friend) in her old age! Another mother does not want a groom for her daughter from anywhere out of Chennai because she (the mother) has a ‘fear of flying’ – so outstation and overseas visits may not be possible if the groom came from outside Chennai! Yet another couple we know is ‘worried’ stiff that their 33-year-old son is unmarried – the son however believes that no alliance is coming through because his father insists on the girl’s side following a regimented process of match-making which most families find stifling – and avoidable!
I am sure there are countless such stories around you as well – in your family, in your circle of influence. A lot of parents I know are sweating over their children quite unnecessarily. I believe parents must take a chill pill and let their young adult children just be. Most certainly parents have a need to counsel their children and share perspectives. But the engagement must stop there – at best with a sermon. Trying to micro-manage and live their children’s lives or live their own lives through their children is something that parents must totally avoid.
Parents must appreciate – and accept – that their children are unique individuals. Their Life designs are entirely distinct and different from that of their parents. Besides, they have their own aspirations and their own lives to lead. So, coming up with preconditions, like choosing a companion who is in the same city, or one who belongs to a specific community or insisting that a child gets into running the family business because there is no one else to run it or dictating how a young adult must live, ruins the party for everyone. It is possible that some of all this happens because despite being young adults, the children may not always share how stifled they feel with intrusive and instructive parenting. But it is time children spoke their mind, even as it is time parents grew up – and not just older!