The thread about nostalgia got me wondering why I'm not so nostalgic these days, at least in regard to my kids. It occured to me that it may have to do with how my parents were when I was in my 20s, that I may have taken some parenting cues from them. I should add a disclaimer (lol) that when ds left for college I was certainly sad and weepy, I do miss my kids even now, and I still can be very sentimental about things like family heirlooms. And I miss that grandcat like crazy!
How did your parents "parent" you when you were a young adult? Do you think that had a strong influence on the way that you parent your kids now--in what you do or what you don't do?
My parents were pretty hands-off even when I was in my teens, sometimes TOO hands off I felt when I became a parent (which I think made me more involved with my kids). I am the youngest of 3, when I was 21 and had been out of the family home for about a year my parents sold the house and downsized significantly. They rented a 2 bedroom apt and bought a sailboat---that they would eventually live aboard. When I was 25 they left San Francisco on what was intended to be a sail around the world. For a few reasons they altered the plan and instead went through the Panama Canal and arrived in Florida about 6 months after leaving CA. I think that the plan was to someday sail around the world after exploring the Caribbean, but it never happened. But they decided to stay in Florida while the rest of the family was on the West Coast. In those years I joked that my parents had "run away from home" but we were in touch regularly via letters and phone calls, and infrequent visits. Two years after my father died my mom moved back to CA to be near her kids, I was then 44 and she was 69yo.
Dh's parents OTOH remained quite involved in their adult kids' lives, especially the daughters that lived closer. At least one of my SIL felt that they were too involved but part of that was her own doing. My ILs are still "all about the family". Since we're about 2 hours away from them, and dh established boundaries many years ago, we're not affected in any negative way.
By the way my parents jumped into the next phase of their lives as soon as their kids were independent, I guess the behavior I saw modelled was that parents can have a full life that's not about the kids or family, after they've "done their job". I do think that my mom regretted not seeing the grandchildren more when they were little because they didn't really know her then, but I don't think either parent felt any need to be more involved in their adult kids' lives. I never felt compelled to do anything as "drastic" as what my parents did but I think they did show me a different way to be a parent to adult kids.