Thursday, October 02, 2008

Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children

Fall is all about change. School begins, the seasons change, crops are harvested. It's full of big and small changes for my family too. I turned on the furnace for the first time today when I got home from work. The temperature in the house was 60, and I couldn't put it off any longer. It's now a toasty 68, and I'm snuggled under a few blankets. A bigger change came yesterday; I picked out Doogie's senior pictures. They turned out absolutely fantastic. I'll put some up when I get them back. It was difficult to pick out just a few poses that I wanted to keep and give away. Looking in the pictures, I was forced to see my son as a man instead of the boy I see when he's here with me. I studied the pictures, looking in his big brown eyes searching for the skinny little boy who was obsessed with Pokemon of just ten years ago. I miss that little guy, but I'm so proud of this Doogie. Getting a job has made him far more responsible, and it's improved his self-esteem as well. I've seen changes in his personality and how he responds to stress. He's growing up, and that's a change I'm not quite ready for yet.

Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children by Allison Bottke is an empowering book about letting your children go. Bottke's story is sad, and all too familiar to a lot of parents. Her adult son was addicted to drugs and has done multiple stints in prison and rehab. She cleaned up his mistakes, helped him get on his feet numerous times, and in return, he was verbally abusive. Bottke provides a plan called SANITY to stop enabling adult children who are living off of their parents, whether through addictions, bad choices, or just sheer laziness. She includes anecdotes from her own experiences, as well as other parents who have suffered. The advice is solid, as are the quizzes she uses to help the reader determine if they are enablers. My children aren't adults yet, but in reading, I did see several areas where I could end up enabling them in the future if I don't take steps now. Bottke offers hope to parents who are at the end of their rope and don't know where to turn.

A quick update: one of my regular readers, Marilyn, asked how my RA is doing. I've been trying not to talk about it too much on the blog. I sat down one day and in reading past posts, I realized that I had turned it into Christy's Whine Blog. I'm currently weaning off of prednisone (again!), but it's going ok. This weather is murder on my joints. I just want to hide under lots of blankets and wait for the rain to stop. I've been making it to work more often, and I'm even going to be volunteering at the elementary school starting next Friday. I'm having more good days, but when I have bad days, they are the worst I've ever experienced. I'm also fighting fatigue often because of the pain meds. That said, no more whining for awhile, but it's so nice that Marilyn cared to ask. Thanks!


Anonymous said...

Keeping you in my prayers!