Changing roles is an inescapable byproduct of time. From your baby’s first step, to his first day at school — from the day she gets her driver’s license until her college dorm is in your rear view mirror — your role is changing. And your relationship evolves from all-knowing protector and teacher to “out to lunch” parent of a teen, to bankroller with a good idea once in a while, surprising your nearly grown college freshman.
Then, for several decades, the parent-child relationship becomes adult-adult. This period can be very pleasant. Like good friends, you help each other in a pinch, but live your own lives and make your own decisions.
Role reversal begins when the child assumes control of some aspect of a parent’s life. It may begin at the parent’s request and be relatively minor, such as taking care of Dad’s car maintenance, or driving Mom to medical appointments, doing income taxes or balancing checkbooks. This control shift is limited and non-intrusive. Inconvenience to the child is minimal and the parent is grateful. [Read more…]