Back in March I bought myself a new water bottle…

Then pandemic struck and I never used it.

My daughter found it in June and claimed it as her own.

I don’t know how vigorously my daughter cleaned this water bottle though…

When I saw it the other day I decided it could be classified as hazardous material, I donned a protective suit and I sanitized the bottle…

I cleaned it against my daughter’s objections- she said it was fine

I said “EWWWWWWWW”…

I know as a parent we are supposed to let our kids fail. I have stated that on this very blog.

However…

Do we let them possibly get sick because of choices they make?

I know as a Mother attempting to raise a child that can survive on their own, I am not supposed to interfere…

But at what cost the lesson?

As a parent of an adult child- what are the lines?

What do we tell them or not tell them?

What lessons do we let them learn the hard way?

While we are speaking about parenting- I watched possibly the worst TV show about parental relationships: “Call Your Mother”. It is so bad mere words can not describe how I needed a shower to cleanse myself of its bad dialogue and situations.

82 thoughts on “Anything Can Happen Friday: Parenting

  1. The water bottle situation comes under the “letting them learn it the hard way”, I suppose.
    I am not a parent but when I think of my childhood, I feel there were times when I could use some help from mum at a few things – emotional support, at least …
    Maybe not spoon feed but there are few things we all can learn by observing our surroundings – at least that is how I learned it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Emotional support is slightly different. If your kid needs an ear or a shoulder I think it’s ok to be there. The practical stuff though?

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      1. Hmm. That’s definitely got to be “learn it the hard way”. Although it doesn’t work sometimes. My aunt used to pamper her son(he was in his early twenties when this incident happened.) We had gone on a trip and he was at home. She had prepared a few dishes for him so that he doesn’t have to go to the restaurant. When we returned, the dishes were still on the table, full and spoiled. It even stank a bit and yet this guy didn’t even know about it. When his mum asked, he was like “oh?”. 🤣🤣 he’s still the same…😶🤣🤣🤣

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  2. Great questions! My goal was once they hit 18, then it has been hands off, and interact with them as I would any other adult. If I saw you with that water bottle, would I feel free to have that conversation?..that would all depend..My dad, as an example, in my life, did and continues to this day, attempt to give me input on big life issues…and we’ve had these conversations more than once about the same things. Talk about an issue once if it comes up in the course of normal life, but after that, it’s nagging.

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  3. Great subject – I sometimes intervene, depending on the age. But I also try to keep quiet because I remember and appreciate that when I was growing up, my parents usually let me make my own mistakes unless a lot was at stake. Hard to do now! And for the record, I would have definitely washed out the water bottle.

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  4. I hate the icky water bottles too. I sometimes do what you do…but often just nag them to do it themselves which they find annoying. 😳

    It’s a situation of “pick your battles “… sometimes it warrants the failure, other times their failure impacts you so dramatically you have to judge which is worse and go from there.

    Pandemic, and especially lockdown parenting, changes everything and the rules become more flexible. You gotta do what you gotta go to stay sane.

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    1. All I could think was she was going to bet some mold induced disease. I knew she wasn’t going to clean the mouthpiece that well so I did it. I’m not proud of it, but I can’t say I regret it either

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  5. Oh I would totally clean the water bottle! Just do it! Sometimes a mom has to step in. My adult children are 47 and 32. (I know, huge age difference, two different husbands. Lol)
    My older son has three children so obviously he rarely needs me to step in anymore but sometimes I just can’t help sticking my two cents in. He will look at me with rolled eyes and remind me that he’s a middle aged Dad and has it handled. Sometimes I do forget that and remind him I’m aware he’s completely competent but I still have a need to give him my point of view. He seems to accept that. But he’s not particularly thrilled. Just mature enough to be polite. Lol

    My younger son doesn’t get bothered if I offer advice. In fact, he will often call and as for my advice where his brother would never do that. Some adult children take offense and others welcome our input. Either way, when it affects their health or well being we need to be there. Before the pandemic my younger son was on set ( he’s an assistant director on a tv show) and everyone was coming down with a stomach flu. I received a call from him and he had me on speaker. It was so cute… it went something like this … “ Hi, this is an emergency call for Doctor Mom. Everyone on set needs your help. What do you suggest we do for stomach cramps, the sweats, the runs… bla bla…” Now keep in mind they have a medical person on set who apparently wasn’t helping much so I told him (and the crew who were listening) about the Brat diet…. bread, rice etc. and told them a few over the counter items to take that could help. I made sure they all were hydrated and he and a bunch of background voices were so appreciative. I could hear him immediately send out production assistants to get a list of supplies. Later that evening he called and said i really helped everyone. The funny thing is, I think all these grown kids just needed a mom to tell them what to do. So now he will call every so often in the middle of work and say something like, my costume dept has a question for DOCTOR MOM, or our main Director needs a DR. MOM consultation. I think everybody needs a mom now and then. It’s truly adorable. But seriously, these adult “kids” often want a mom’s help.

    So …Follow your gut. Don’t interfere on personal things your daughter might find embarrassing, but when it comes to her health? Hell yes!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for that! It’s like I told Claudette…not my proudest moment as a parent but I don’t regret it either. And because I’m nuts I ordered her a new water bottle because the thought of this one makes me cringe!

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      1. I’m so glad you got her a new water bottle! I would have done the same thing. In fact, I ordered new face masks the other day for my son and my grandchildren because I knew they weren’t washing them enough. I got camouflage ones for my son and grandson and colored ones with sparkles for my daughter in law and my grand daughters. Each person got a set of three. Hopefully they will WASH THEM OFTEN! I didn’t even bother asking, I just did it and because they thought they were cool they liked them. AND with the set of masks each came with a special bag to put them in when you throw them in the washing machine. I left no stone unturned! THATS WHAT MOMS ARE FOR! 😉

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  6. I would clean the water bottle. It is in your home you can clean it. I have done this with my husbands water bottle too. My kids will call and ask for advise, depends on the kid though. My daughter will call and ask for practical advise (car, home repairs etc.) because neither she nor her husband are as good at those things. My son will ask advice on money, insurance, cooking etc. He will be getting married in September and I imagine some of these talks will decrease.
    You never stop being a parent, the trick is figuring out where to step in without taking over. Believe me mistakes have been made, but not with a water bottle, eeew.

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  7. With 3 adult children I wish I had the answers to your questions! Seems like there is a fine line between helping and interfering. I get a lot of, “I know that” “yeah, I’m pretty sure I figured that out already” or “It’s fine that way”. On the other hand I also get “Why didn’t you tell me?” So I am never quite sure.

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  8. When to intervene..Great question!—I think it’s all about finding the middle ground between full on Mutual of Omaha, let the hyenas tear our cub to shreds …and bring the three-legged squirrel into the house to live with us. I’ve seen both..both are UUUUgly.

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  9. I would have cleaned the water bottle!
    Knowing when to step in and when not to is a constant battle in parenting I think!
    I saw that tv show advertised, now I don’t have to waste my time checking it out. Thanks! 🙂 You do have to wonder how some shows ever get on Tv!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your last paragraph made me laugh, I may have to Google this show so that I can see what you were watching!
    Sometimes lessons are best learnt by mistakes being made, with practical advice, sometimes we need to hear it a few times as a reminder, and for it to sink it. But when it comes to health, then we should all look out for each, regardless the amount of times we’ve been told

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  11. It honestly depends on the kid. Some will listen to advice, take it on board and learn from that advice. Others, no matter how much you speak, they still have to learn through experience (I am a whole lot this way). My kids are kind of a combination of those two, with my daughter leaning a bit farther into the needing to experience it for her self. Having grown up with a parent that had to always point out when I was doing something wrong (often the opinion based kind of wrong, not an actual, definitive wrong), I tend to not give my opinion unless it is asked for, at least in the areas that aren’t too important. In others, I will say something, but still leave it up to them. If I think what my kid is doing is going to put their life at risk, then absolutely I’m going to speak up. Loudly.

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  12. When to step in is a hard call even when the children are 34 and 31. I tend to use a lot of humor. “Is that a water bottle or a science experiment?” “Going for the latest version of penicillin?”

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    1. I wish I had thought if that!! I think I might have said What are you growing. Or I might have screamed omg that’s gross. I’m not quite sure exactly what my reaction was…😉

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  13. I am struggling with that very question today! My 13 year old does not like remote learning but we don’t have a choice. There are a few classes where he is not turning his work in. His teachers reach out, his advisor has reached out and I have yelled at him 🙂 in a calm but no crap manner.
    This week his advisor and I sat down with him in person and tried to discuss what is going on. My son was rather uncommunicative. I believe this is a growing phase thing, testing boundaries. I do not want to babysit him. He is a smart kid. He has been told the consequences of failure, both short and long term. I can’t force him to develop a work ethic. I think he needs to fail to really grasp reality. But even at 13 this could have big consequences for his future (ie not attending the excellent but expensive private school he goes to and being put back in the AZ crappy school system, even the ‘good’ school district leaves much to be desired). One of those no win situations I fear 🙄

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  14. I wish I would have let them fail in elementary school when the consequences aren’t big. But I didn’t. I have improved though the biggest thing I learned is not to offer unsolicited advice. When they call, if they don’t ask for advice, they just want to vent. They aren’t wanting me to solve their problems. I would have washed the water bottle, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. You probably already know what I’m going to say, but I’ll say it anyway…my husband and I allow both of our children to “fail” repeatedly for different reasons. Our oldest only seems to learn by going through an experience, and we trust our youngest to make decisions. We both also believe that each person has their own journey, sans our societal titles.

    Sometimes it’s a challenge to parent this way, but overall, we believe in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There are mistakes only they can make, but your level of conversation might really depend on the relationship you’ve developed. Sometimes our kids want to hear from us. With the water bottle you can always a little fun – two lessons in one. When I bought a new one I was unable to wash the chemical smell out it, and I have chemical sensitivity. So I filled it with Coke (soda not cocaine) and let it sit for 2 days and then washed it. It was chemical free then. The phosphoric acid in the Coke dissolved the chemicals. Coke can dissolve nails too. How to clean a water bottle, plus soda is not good for us – two lessons – LOL 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  17. There’s a line between helicopter and free range parenting. The middle is called common sense parenting. Yes, let them fail when there’s a lesson that can be learned that will help them succeed in the future. Intervene when the stakes are high and they need guidance (even if they don’t know it). We would intervene if a toddler was about to touch a hot stove, right? It’s all about helping to equip them with the knowledge on how to make good decisions when they are on their own. And, technically, it’s YOUR water bottle, so there’s that……😂

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  18. My daughter turned 21 in 2020. I am now figuring out how to be a mother to an adult child. Parenting is a constant learning venture isn’t it? Once you feel you have mastered one stage, the child moves on and we have to relearn to parent the child in his/her new phase. Never a dull moment. I am glad I found your blog through Tater.

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  19. Parenthood is all OJT IMO. There is no book because there are no two children alike in the same family, no matter what. I mostly let mine learn from their own mistakes. In this case, though, let’s hope she learned from your example! That’s another option I used a time or two or more.

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