17 Sep Parents: Get it together!
Last week, one of my daughters told me for the tenth (it could be more), time that she never plans on getting married. When I ask her why, she tells me that her generation does not understand how to love or trust or how to make a marriage work. I pointed out to her that she has a mom and dad who have been married for over 20 years. She has grandparents on each side of the family who have been married for over 45 years. She replied that she knew all of that, but that it still didn’t change her mind. I wondered why, but then I took mental inventory of some of the happenings going on in her friends and their sibling’s lives.
Example #1: One of my daughter’s very good friends, a boy, discovered three years ago that his father was having an affair with another neighbor. Needless to say, it rocked the family, and slowly, stories of other affairs started to trickle out. He was a businessman who was often gone for extended periods of time, and took advantage of that time to have affairs with women while he was away. His parents marriage eventually ended in divorce, my daughter’s friend attempted suicide twice, and just this week he accidentally discovered his mother in bed with another man. In his mind, his mom is now just as guilty as his dad and has betrayed him just as much as his father. His world has been shattered as far as his trust in parents, marriage, or relationships are concerned.
Example #2: My neighbor babysits another neighbor’s little girl quite often. The young girl is eight-years-old and is often with my neighbor’s daughter of the same age playing in our cul-de-sac . This little eight-year-old girl has three older brothers, the oldest of which is 15, the youngest of which is 11. They know something isn’t making sense, the younger ones just don’t know what it is. Children are impressionable, and they’re not stupid. The fact is that their mother is experiencing marital troubles, and instead of trying to work things out with her husband, decided it was just easier to get a boyfriend. To heck with her family. This is all about her!
Example #3: One of my son’s friends calls me “Mom.” A lot of my kids’ friends call me that, but the ones who call me that consistently are the ones who come from broken homes and their parents are off onto the next relationship and have no time for their kids. This boy, age 14, goes to school Monday-Friday, and comes home to an empty house Friday afternoon because his Mom and Dad are doing another triathlon. Grandma is in charge, yet again, for another weekend. This boy’s mother is one of my face book friends, and I think I have counted over two dozen half triathlon’s since the beginning of July. He is lonely. He spends a lot of time with friends during weekend days, and begs to sleep over so he can hang with “Mom and Dad,” (AKA: my husband and me). I completely understand husbands and wives wanting to spend alone time together, but this is over the top. Way over the top! I don’t know how parents can have relationships with their children if they’re always gone.
Why would my daughter have the viewpoint that her generation doesn’t understand trust or love or how to make a marriage work? I don’t think it’s her generation. I think it’s mine. We’ve set a very poor example. The three examples I listed above came about because of pure selfishness. It is only when parents realize that they must consider the needs of their children, NOT just their physical well-being, but more importantly their emotional and mental well-being, that we will see a turnaround. Only then will children begin trusting the institution of marriage once again.
Great Article on the topic: Millennials and Marriage