“How different would our personal [parenting,] and professional lives be if, rather than viewing … endings as failures, we saw them as necessary steps for creating the possibility of something better?”
The most bittersweet ending in a parent’s life is itself a goal of parenting: the empty nest, when the emerging adult strikes out on fledgling wings.
Long before the first solo flight, what parent hasn’t struggled alongside a child, a tween and a teen over friendships old and new, in should we stay or should we go scenarios?
And nearly as often as we celebrate friends there is debate over which sport to quit—or start; when—and where.
All along, priority-setting of the ant and grasshopper variety: ‘don’t be too fond of sleep; you’ll end up in the poor house!’ and a time to work, a time to play usher life along, back and forth.
Those are the usual and customaries, but what about the biggies?
Relocation of your own family or a friend’s? Death? Divorce?
Before 2012 comes to an end Monday night, consider how endings are handled in your family? Are they delayed? Avoided? Embraced?
According to Dr. Cloud, ‘Endings are not a tragedy to be first feared and later regretted but a necessary stage on the way to growth, says clinical psychologist and bestselling author of The One-Life Solution. Endings are a crucial way to get what we desire by shedding those things whose time has passed. The author addresses the benefits of concluding unsatisfying work or personal relationships, and he advises readers on diagnosing when the situation can be resuscitated or must be shut down. This “pruning” process can spark readers out of passivity or paralysis, getting them motivated and energized for change… [and] the fresh start they crave.”
Two copies of Dr. Cloud’s Necessary Endings are available through the Chester County Library system.
When parent-leaders learn to press through necessary endings, and then lead their kids in doing the same, kids are positioned for productive adulthood, regardless of whether the auld lang synes are consistent and comfortable year after year, or life-changing.
Is anything ending for your family this year?