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Toot Your Own Horn

shutterstock_33728050As baby boomers most of us have spent years (decades?) as helicopter parents.  We all know that it’s time to land the bird and walk away but it’s often a struggle. When we are no longer doing hands-on parenting, we often compensate by serving as a one-person public relations firm for our adult children.

In “A Loss of Perspective: The Perils Of Parenting,” Tira Harpaz, a mother of three adult children, suggests that we tone down the cheerleading.  She gives several over-the-top examples including the Princeton alum who believed that  any woman on campus would be lucky to marry her undergrad son.

Then what do we do when, horrors, we can’t live vicariously through our children?  Ms Harpaz, a lawyer turned stay-at-home mom turned business owner, suggests that we focus more on ourselves as individuals rather than parents.

What do you do when they leave home, get their own independent lives, don’t need you every day? Do you just wait in limbo until you can babysit for your grandchildren? How do you remain a stimulating person, if you’ve spent your life focusing on your children’s achievements and downplayed your own?

So how about the next time you catch up with your adult child, do a little self promotion about your successes—personal and professional. And if you don’t have any, start making some—new friends, hobbies, work projects–and then you’ll have something to share: Ms.  Harpaz writes:

If we don’t think we’re interesting and vital, if we don’t take steps to connect with people and the world, if we don’t toot our own horns and if we don’t think our lives and accomplishments are as worthwhile as those of our children, why should we expect anyone else to?

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  • Nancy Berk April 30, 2013, 9:22 am

    So true. I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to be accomplished and proud of it. After all, we’re still role models.

  • Ruth Nemzoff April 30, 2013, 2:15 pm

    We can’t expect respect from our children unless we respect ourselves. Sharing with our children how we managed to feed them and clothe them is worthy of respect. Everything else we’ve done is a bonus. Unless we share our struggles and our triumphs, our children will never know what mountains we have climbed and the valleys from which we have emerged.
    Ruth Nemzoff, Ed.D.
    Author and Speaker: Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children AND
    Don’t Roll Your Eyes: Making In-Laws Into Family

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