Mourning the good old days

Coit Tower with kids
Last year we were climbing Coit Tower together on a trip to visit our kids.

I’ve learned that our adult children no longer hold things of value that we do. It’s distressed me to learn that the years I spent raising my kids that I view as some of the best — they don’t view the same way.

The values I worked to instill in my kids — they don’t value.

I’m talking Family. Marriage. Home ownership. Religion.

How did we go wrong? Did I spoil them? Was I too strict? Was I too lenient? Did we empathize the wrong things?

Should I be thankful they have separated from us and are their own people with their own ideals? That they are adults with their own opinions? Or, should I be hurt that they find our traditional values to be worthless. Right now I’m feeling a mix of emotions.

All I want for them is to be happy and hopeful.They do believe in some of the things we tried to teach them. Honesty. Hard work. Perseverance. Those things stuck. Don’t get me wrong. We still can spend time together, talk and have good conversations. I’m just feeling sad that everything I want for them they don’t care about.

Do your kids value the same things you do? What do you want for your children’s futures? At what point did your kids break away from you politically, religiously or in other ways?

22 thoughts on “Mourning the good old days

  1. I don’t have kids, but I think you should be proud to have raised independent thinkers. Honesty, hard work, and perseverance sound like pretty great values to me. Do you value exactly the same things as your parents did? Probably not. Different times, different experiences, different values. Also, life views change as we get older. Who knows, they may embrace some of the other values you listed… or not.

  2. Alas, you are fighting the influence of the Internet and Social Media platforms. Differences can be healthy, so long as the core values stay the same, and it would seem they have. I am fortunate that our two kids have held the same values and beliefs, it is the Grandkids that I am concerned about. At least one has decided to go off the farm and adopt the “you owe me so why should I have to work?” attitude, and she has carried that into early adulthood. The others seem to be holding the family value trajectory, so I am hoping the odd one figures it out, sooner than later.

  3. I have 5 kids, all raised the same way in the same household, and they vary so much! The values that stuck to 1, didn’t stick to another and vice versa. They are all their own people- which I adore- but, there are a couple of values which are very important to me and without which, I struggle to feel I’ve done my duty for society in “raising them right”. I’m with you in grieving those things where they don’t seem to be planted and growing. But ultimately, it’s their choice and their blessings or consequences to reap.

  4. Oh my, do you live in our house? We have 3 adult children and each one of them has ideals about so many things that are different not only from our ideals but also from each others ideals! Our oldest is 35 and has not gotten the vaccine yet (her reasons are endless), has Republican (and not the “good” Republican) tendencies while we are strongly Democratic but she does value marriage and family and is a hard worker. Our son is 33 and is anti-politics of any kind (“they are all corrupt”) and says he does not believe in God. He questions everything we say, wants backup information before he will believe us and loves to prove us wrong. While he still lives at home, he is a hard worker and has been since he was 16, we just live in an area that is not affordable for a single person. Our youngest is 25 and is more closely in tune with our political beliefs but while she believes in marriage, is not at all interested in having children. She also is a hard worker and the only one of the three to go to college.

    I can say that I am grateful they have never been in trouble with the law, do not lie, cheat, steal or have drug/alcohol issues. Each one of them is extremely loyal to their family and friends and all would give freely of their resources if someone was in trouble.

    In fact, sometimes I have thought that my listening to the ideals of my parents (especially my mom) when it came to family dynamics has caused some problems. One of my mom’s “lessons” to me growing up was that the “husband is the master of the house. He is king.” Now I see that by putting my husband first in everything for most of our married life I have done some damage not only to the kids but also myself. Sorry, probably more info than you wanted. Just know you are not alone!

    • I love hearing about your kids and the dynamics. It’s very helpful. I’m thankful my kids want to talk to me and also haven’t had any problems with the law, drugs, etc.

  5. I think when you work really hard to raise strong, independent people like we did, when they go off and make their own life decisions they will be based on who they are, not who we think they are. It’s a life lesson I had to learn. But though it may look different then we imagined if they are happy and following their dreams then we have to look at them differently then when they were totally under our charge. You never stop learning even when you’re a grandparent, as I am.

  6. As long as my daughter is a good person and doesn’t hurt others, I’m ok with whatever she wants. She needs to be true to herself, not me.

  7. I think that young adults are trying to find their own values and belief system. They frequently revert back to what they were taught as kids. All kids do that. Ours was a different generation.

  8. I completely get how you feel. But, based on what I’ve learned about you from your blog, it appears that your children want you to be a part of their adult lives, which is fantastic.

    My perspective on all of this is that I want them to use the advice we gave them as a roadmap to adulthood. They will veer off track. In fact, I hope they do! I want to have a relationship with both of my children as they get older, and I want to see their lives blossom.

    You’ve given me a good idea of what my life might be like in a few years. 🙂

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