Don is a Dad who has retired but continues to work full-time, as he closely approaches 80 years of age. His knowledge, expertise, willingness to share and collaborate inspires all who meet him.
Don, originating from the “slums of Hamilton” (as he puts it), has enjoyed an
exemplary career and a beautiful family. His children, now all in their fifties, have been a joy all his life. Don shared how he loved every aspect of parenting, all stages of development. He loved sharing a world with them and watching things unfold from their perspective.
Don attributes his successes to three key people, his Mom, his parish priest
who kept him on the “right track” and his beloved wife of 60 years – who helped to ensure he remained on that track.
To the empty-nesters:
Don, “Be careful in recommending life decisions for them. Focus on discussing
options, rather than pushing your preferences. Adapt to their own life changes, in age and other respects.” Tips 5 & 6
Don shared his dream for his family was a hope “they maintain closeness even when distance is a factor.” This dream, and Don’s fifth and sixth tip really resonated with me as I continue to accept my role with an adult child, and an empty nest.
As Don suggests I do try to be careful with recommendations, as well as
adapting my expectations to the many new obligations and interest in Michael’s ever-evolving life. I appreciate he is running his life and I don’t want to be competing priority. I want to be sure Michael has the space to spread his wings and grows in a way that best suits him.
Most of my friends do not yet have adult children. Hearing from parents
such as Don, who have been through this phase, has been a great help in my
transition. A non-parenting parent is a different role, with different challenges.
Michael did begin preparing me early on with his steadfast perspectives and
solid logic. I could quickly see his decisions were sound, even when I was in compete opposition. Acceptance was difficult, although the only option.
I realize our different opinions are healthy and positive; although, an unexpected outcome in raising a critical thinker. I didn’t want to raise a mini-me, but sometimes a little agreement would be nice.
I intended to raise Michael in an opposite manner, I sought opposite results. Given I’ve obtained my goal, it doesn’t make sense I would struggle when our opinions are opposite, yet I do.
Initially, and to this day, I never like when Michael disagrees with me. I will
admit, 90% of the times I understand and am proud of his logic, consideration and his final decision. The remaining 10%, well, it doesn’t matter. My disagreement or agreement is irrelevant.
One of my many parenting goals was to raise a solid and sounddecision maker. Goal accomplished!
I’m honored to have Don’s messages, and I’ll take each tip under advisement. I also share Don’s dream that no matter where we land, I too hope we will always “maintain closeness.”