If you are you might be getting disapproving looks from adult children. Some children are hurt that a widowed or divorced parent has found a new romantic partner.
In a article directed at adult children, When Mom or Dad Wades Back into the Dating Pool, author Ian Kerner writes:
Like it or not, these adult children find themselves thrown back into unhealthy childhood dynamics: They may feel hurt and even abandoned by their parent’s actions but are powerless to do anything about them.
His advice to adult children might help parents understand their children perspective:
- Recognize the difference in how a spouse grieve the loss or a relationship as opposed to a child.
- Give your parents credit for enduring a major stressful life change, and understand that they deserve happiness, too – whether that comes in the form of friendship, casual dating, sexual intimacy, a committed relationship, or a marriage.
- Don’t make it about money. It can be difficult to bite your tongue when you suspect your parent may be making poor financial decisions. If you think they are truly being taken advantage of, speak up – gently.
Empathetic not Narcissistic?
Baby boomer parents have been criticized for raising self-centered children. That turns out to be a stereotype, at least according to a study reported in “The Empathetic Generation.”
The annual national survey of college freshman by the Higher Education Research Institute found:
- over 80 percent of college freshmen have done volunteer work in the past year
- college students are more likely than in the past to participate in organized political demonstrations than college students in the 1960s
- young adults are more inclusive and more tolerant than any previous generation. Their acceptance of diversity extends across boundaries of gender, sexual orientation, ethnic group and religion.