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Who’s the Boss?

Teaching your children responsibility is one of the backbones of parenting. Why, then, is it so difficult to know how much is too much, and how soon is too soon? Sometimes the hardest thing for an adult to do is to let their child grow up.

My son is starting high school … like … now.

He is two months from being a teenager.

What sort of internal monologue does this create for me?

“It means he is three years from a driver’s licence; a year or two from his first real broken heart; five years from his first legal drink; and oh, I don’t know, some yet-to-be-determined amount of time from marriage … and kids … and forgetting to call his father.”

Never mind whether he can handle his adolescence; can I?

Who’s teaching whom?

Isn’t teaching our kids responsibility really about our own emotional elasticity? It is a growing equilibrium of how much they pull, versus how much you hold back, balanced against what your relationship can handle before it all snaps like a fatigued rubber band.

Shouldn’t they also, technically, be teaching us about the world? After all, as of the age of 25, our brains become more and more rigid, less and less flexible. My brain has been hardening for 20 years. As has my lower back. I have the neuroplasticity of a basketball net.


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