Parenting is a difficult task. Your two main goals are: 1) keep them alive until they are 18 years old (and recognized as a legal adult) and 2) make them productive members of society.
Along the way, of course you have all manner of challenges, as well as some incredibly touching moments. At some point though, you have to recognize the fact that you did your job; that these kids are no longer kids.
Your children will (and should) have some differences of opinion with you. This is not a failure on your part. If anything, it ‘s a HUGE success. You taught them to think for themselves. Now, the challenge becomes ensuring that they understand that it’s okay to agree to disagree. Youth are filled with raging idealism and they often just don’t understand how the world actually works. This is perfectly fine. They haven’t given up hope in changing the world. They can still be wrong, but at least they are fighting the good fight.
The new challenge, for parents becomes recognizing that your children have turned into adults, and with that, have formed opinions that may (in fact, most likely) run counter to your beliefs.
Your first thought is “Where did I go wrong? I trained them to believe what I believe.” This is not your fault. If anything, it’s a success. They will have differing beliefs, based upon THEIR life experiences and their influences. It’s perfectly normal.
Now, it doesn’t mean that they know everything and are completely wise with the world. I have no idea how to deal with the failing health of your parents, something that my mother is currently dealing with. One day, it will be my turn, as their health fails them. And it will not be easy, I’m sure. There are still things for us children to learn.
The important thing to recognize, as parents, is that the life lessons that you teach now, are farther apart. You have to trust that your kids have taken your life lessons, and applied them to their life, even if that means that they reject some of them along the way. And it’s okay.
This is the next phase of parenting, where you don’t wield the influence that you once had. You can only advise, and only when they ask. They are adults now. Congratulations. You did your job.