Here’s the thing. We can raise adults. Whoever we are, we can rebuild bridges with our adult children and we can get it right the first time with the younger ones. Forgive the cliché but this is not rocket science. It’s relationships—which means it’s both harder and easier.
Rocket science depends on precision. Relationships depend on passion. I don’t know anything about precision relationships and I don’t anyone who does.
People are essentially unreliable under stress. Sometimes people make apparently senseless choices. Folks choose self-sacrifice when they don’t have to, or self-destruction when there’s clearly a better way. There’s nothing precise about it. What’s behind those choices is pure passion.
Passion sounds like what went on in the back of ’57 Chevys back in the day. But the word derives from the idea of suffering. Passion has something to do with wanting something so much it hurts. Add the prefix com—it means with—and you’ve got compassion: the experience of shared suffering. Raising adults requires passion (I want to nurture my child so much it hurts) and compassion (I choose to share my child’s suffering).
And that’s it. I don’t know any painless way to raise adults.
What I do know is that passionate and compassionate parenting, teaching, coaching, and mentoring tend to get the job done.
So the question becomes, “How bad do I want it?”
— from Raising Adults