It’s not supposed to be a threat. It’s not supposed to even be a problem or an issue. A person’s kids are supposed to follow in the parents’ steps, respect them. I mean, I’m not asking for the whole filial piety thing, but maybe on a scaled down version it would be good. I have poured social capital (the intangible resources that only those close and concerned can give to a youngling) onto my kids since they were born. I want them to be maxed out in terms of social capital. The more of this kind of resources they have plus the tangible resources available to them, then the more opportunities for success they will have.
I love my kids. I fill them with social capital. I teach them to navigate the world around them and how to interpret it. And I am not oblivious–I know very well that the teen years are the most tumultous, as they are the time when they begin to spread their wings, to practice take-off flights, to begin to change their worldview from what they have been taught, to something they have come to on their own. Teenagehood is the time when kids rebel and develop their own beliefs, thoughts, ideas.
That being said, my kids were not supposed to start slowly pulling my worldview apart. They were supposed to stay out too late, forget to call, lie about where they were going or who they were going with. They were supposed to skip school to hangout with friends once in a while. They weren’t supposed to tell me that my interpretation of how the world works, of how people behave, are up for debate, and that they are not going to be persuaded anymore by me. They weren’t supposed to tell me that my perspective is too rigid, that I am judgmental. Me! and to hear this from my own kids, the same kids I have lavished my attention and knowledge and understandings upon. It would be one thing if those who don’t know me, the real me, were to say these things, make these challenges. I could ignore them with disdain, or embark on a philosophical wandering that eventually demonstrated my reasoning (I hope!). But with my own kids, I certainly can’t ignore. And when I try to explain and give them evidence that what I say is true (I think), they pull me apart at the seams and I find I am actually under some kind of an attack, that I am not explaining to them, I am defending. Or I find my very character is being put on the block, and there is no defense I can muster.
I know they are teens. I know they are practicing at being adults. I know they are learning their own minds. I know they will rebel, but it should have been with skipping school once in a while, or being late coming home, or sneaking out. Those I am prepared to deal with. But not this, not eschewing all that I am, all that I have poured into them, to help shape them and guide them into who they are now so they can succeed when they really do fly away from me. I never saw this coming, not this way.